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Top 5 Emerging Blockchain Technology Trends in 2021

 

October 27, 2021

Below we look at the following blockchain technology trends:

  • BaaS – Blockchain-as-a-Service,

  • VC & SSI – Verifiable Credential & Self Sovereign Identity (Universal Identity),

  • DeFi – Decentralized Finance,

  • NFT – Non-Fungible Tokens, and

  • CBDC – Central Bank Digital Currency

 

 

This article is sponsored by Trezor.io -- The safe place for your coins.

 

1) BaaS – Blockchain-as-a-Service: Blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) is the third-party creation and management of cloud-based networks for companies in the business of building blockchain applications. BaaS is based on the software as a service (SaaS) model and allows customers to leverage cloud-based solutions to build, host, and operate their own blockchain apps and related functions on the blockchain. BaaS help the customers in a faster application development, low maintenance cost and fast adoption of Blockchain technologies.

 

BaaS has gained significant traction recently because it can resolve complex issues around transparency, efficiency and cost in a simplistic and straightforward manner. The quickest adopters have been in the software, fintech and logistics industries. BaaS has become so popular, in fact, that some of the largest tech companies in the world — including IBM, Microsoft and Oracle — all have divisions dedicated to the integration and evangelism of BaaS.

 

Here is a list of noteworthy BaaS developers:

 

Dragonchain

Location: Seattle, Washington

How it’s using blockchain: Starting as a company within Disney, Dragonchain’s BaaS platform focuses on the protection of vital business assets and data. The company uses serverless cloud architecture to improve interoperability, and privacy, between blockchains that share a businesses’ most important information, like finances.

 

Bloq

Location: Chicago, Illinois

How it’s using blockchain: Bloq offers a suite of BaaS tools that focus on key issues in business reconciliation, authentication and security. The software platform helps businesses build and personalize the BaaS technology that suits their current needs. Some of their specific blockchain products include a smart wallet, a smart contract platform and a decentralized cloud to help businesses store and manage data.

 

Factom

Location: Austin, Texas

How it’s using blockchain: Factom has two tools dedicated to BaaS for managing and securing important documents. “Factom Harmony” is a ledger tool that converts documents to a singular digitized platform to reduce audit times and costs. Factom’s “dLoc” uses encryption to authenticate and verify personal documents like land titles and birth certificates.

 

Symbiont

Location: New York, New York

How it’s using blockchain: Symbiont lends its BaaS to fintech companies in a variety of  sectors. Fintech companies and banks that lend for mortgages and loans use the company’s blockchain to verify origination of records and transparently record all payments on a ledger. Private equity firms and crowdfunding platforms can use Symbiont to secure private documents and show ownership of securities in real-time.

 

Blockstream

Location: Mountain View, California

How it’s using blockchain: Blockstream’s BaaS creates scalable solutions for the Bitcoin ecosystem and protocol. The company’s Bitcoin processing software creates a larger peer-to-peer financial system that eliminates the need for third parties.

 

PayStand

Location: San Francisco, California

How it’s using blockchain: PayStand incorporates blockchain into payment and documenting processes to ensure immutability and auditability. The company’s BaaS installs networks that notarize certificates (like diplomas, deeds and receipts). It also provides an admin platform that gives users an in-depth and real-time look into their data. Additionally, the PayStand network automates parts of the end-to-end financial process, including cash management, accounting and reconciliation.

 

tZERO

Location: Midvale, Utah

How it’s using blockchain: tZERO integrates its BaaS ledger into financial platforms to create traceable, real-time movements in the finance industry. The company’s tZERO security token, paired with its “Digital Locate Receipt” platform, helps financial institutions distribute cryptocurrency and trace it throughout the end-to-end spending process.

 

Skuchain

Location: Mountain View, California

How it’s using blockchain: The Skuchain EC3 Platform installs blockchain-based infrastructure in current IT processes for the shipping and logistics industry. The company’s ledger enables businesses to simultaneously access a cloud environment, blockchain protocol and in-house applications. Compatible with any supply chain process, Skuchain’s BaaS immediately installs smart contracts and chain-of-custody tools.

 

Amazon AWS

Location: Seattle, Washington

How it’s using blockchain: Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a BaaS leader in many industries. The company integrates blockchain-based networks and business processes for some of the largest companies in the world (including T-Mobile and PwC) to improve IT infrastructure, business processes, human resources, financial transactions and supply chains. The company’s BaaS deploys Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric frameworks so the blockchain is flexible enough to adapt to almost every environment.

 

LeewayHertz

Location: San Francisco, California

How it’s using blockchain: LeewayHertz offers a full suite of blockchain-based services, including blockchain consulting, hybrid ledger installation and maintenance. At LeewayHertz, the end-to-end BaaS offerings range from ideation to installation. The company has already developed decentralized applications (dApps) for industry leaders like Disney, Budweiser and 3M.

 

VironIT

Location: San Francisco, California

How it’s using blockchain: VironIT offers a multitude of BaaS services, including consulting and blockchain-based mobile app development. Specific examples of the company’s BaaS include everything from smart contract development and auditing to development of cryptocurrencies and digital wallets.

 

Altoros

Location: Sunnyvale, California

How it’s using blockchain: Altoros uses blockchain to automate workflow processes, fortify identity security and manage records. The company has installed blockchain in a variety of industries, including telecommunications, finance, energy, supply chain and manufacturing. The permissioned blockchains in these industries do everything from mitigate fraud to detect faulty parts.

 

Appinventiv

Location: New York, New York

How it’s using blockchain: Appinventiv offers a full suite of blockchain-based tools and solutions for almost every industry. The company builds dApps for healthcare, entertainment, logistics, fintech and more. Over the last four years, Appinventiv has produced more than 700 dApps that feature everything from smart contracts to crypto wallet developments.

 

BlockApps

Location: New York, New York

How it’s using blockchain: BlockApps develops security-focused, permission-based BaaS solutions for enterprise customers. The company’s blockchain development environment is designed to run a node locally or on the cloud, and can be launched in a matter of minutes. The BlockApps BaaS platform has been used to develop blockchain solutions for everything from smart insurance contracts to fraud prevention in ticketing tools.

 

Fluence

Location: San Francisco, California

How it’s using blockchain: Fluence is an API for businesses to deploy, integrate and manage smart contracts and blockchains in their own environments. The Fluence API lets companies do everything from create dApps to deploy public net nodes.

 

Cryptowerk

Location: San Mateo, California

How it’s using blockchain: Cryptowerk’s Blockchain-as-a-Service helps businesses create ledger-based tools that seal off important data and create a tamper-proof chain-of-custody. The Cryptowerk Seal — a blockchain API that uses ledgers to verify the authenticity of data and digital assets — has been use for everything from shipment ID codes and GPS telemetry in cars to gathering data from smart energy meters.

 

Clovyr

Location: New York, New York

How it’s using blockchain: Clovyr is an ecosystem of blockchain applications that allows teams to experiment, iterate and deploy products quickly and safely. Employing a hybrid of permissioned and public networks, Clovyr offers its users upgraded immutability and authentication standards.

 

Kaleido

Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

How it’s using blockchain: Designed with business networks in mind, Kaleido's full-stack BaaS platform helps enterprises quickly build and run cloud-based blockchain networks. Kaleido clients can manage multiple clouds using blockchains that span the Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services networks, as well as, any geographic regions.

 

Innominds

Location: San Jose, California

How it’s using blockchain: Innominds’ Blockchain-as-a-Service creates products for smart contracts and cryptocurrencies that allow businesses to build and test blockchain products, develop crypto solutions using Ripple and maintain interledgers — protocols used for payments between blockchain networks.

 

 

2) VC & SSI – Verifiable Credential & Self Sovereign Identity (Universal Identity): Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) offers verifiable, globally resolvable, and privacy-preserving credentials that we store and manage from the security of our own devices and can show it to anyone, anywhere. It can be used for industry that can be used for personal identification purposes. e.g. claim benefits, bank account, loan, insurance, healthcare services etc.

 

In-short A Self-Sovereign Identity is an identity you own. It’s yours. Only you hold it, on your own personal digital identity wallet, and only you decide who gets to “see” it and what of it they get to “see”. To see a more comprehensive overview click here.

 

 

3) DeFi – Decentralized Finance: Decentralized finance (DeFi) is shifting from traditional centralized financial systems such as brokerages, exchanges, or banks, and instead utilizes smart contracts on blockchains.

 

DeFi technology creates decentralized money and eliminates the necessity of government-controlled central banks to issue and regulate currency. But DeFi technology is also capable of providing many other blockchain-based solutions for financial services. Fintech companies use DeFi technology to offer savings accounts and loans, enable securities trading, and provide insurance, among other offerings.

 

How DeFi works: DeFi is a technology alternative to relying on centralized financial institutions such as banks, exchanges, and insurance companies. DeFi systems achieve distributed consensus by using "smart contracts" on blockchains such as Ethereum. Developers write smart contracts to perform specific actions only when certain conditions are met.

 

As a simple example, you could write a smart contract stating that you will pay $500 to another person if the Cardinals win the World Series this year. Once the smart contract is pushed to the blockchain, everyone in the blockchain's network can access and read the code, but no one can change it. Smart contracts are often what govern decentralized apps, or "dapps," which are not owned or managed by any one company or person. While Ethereum was the first platform to develop smart contracts, other blockchain platforms use them as well.

 

DeFi enables any two parties to securely and directly transact without involving an intermediary or central authority. The result is that many more people can access financial services at lower costs or receive better interest rates than those offered by traditional financial institutions.

 

Some of the most popular DeFi applications include the following:

 

Stablecoins

One of the earliest applications of DeFi was the creation of cryptocurrencies with stable values, also known as stablecoins. Stablecoins, by being much less volatile than other cryptocurrencies, are considered suitable for making ordinary purchases.

 

One example of a stablecoin is DAI (CRYPTO:DAI). Issued by MakerDAO, an open-source project on the Ethereum blockchain, the coin is pegged to the U.S. dollar and collateralized by Ether, the native Ethereum token. DAI is purposely overcollateralized by Ether, which enables the value of DAI to remain stable even as Ether's value fluctuates.

 

USDC (CRYPTO:USDC) is another stablecoin, but, unlike DAI, its collateral is centralized. USDC stablecoins are backed by a reserve of U.S. dollars held in an audited bank account.

 

Decentralized exchanges

Despite the decentralized nature of cryptocurrency, several cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) function as centralized platforms to connect cryptocurrency buyers and sellers. Decentralized exchanges (DEXs) such as MDEX use smart contracts to perform the work of centralized exchanges, with the smart contracts providing pricing for each counterparty at or near prevailing market prices. Using a DEX allows each party to retain full control of their respective cryptocurrency holdings rather than depositing them in a wallet held by a centralized exchange that may be vulnerable to hacking. DEX users who create liquidity by supplying cryptocurrency can, in certain markets, earn income by being awarded portions of the transaction fees.

 

Prediction markets

The prediction markets are what enable people to bet on the outcomes of certain events. DeFi prediction markets can offer better odds of winning by modifying the structures of bets. The associated fees are also lower, and market participants can bet on anything in unlimited amounts. Prediction markets, as compared with standard sportsbooks, are much harder for central authorities to dismantle. DeFi prediction markets can provide value beyond increased access to gambling. Stock market predictions weighted by the size of the bets behind them are often fairly accurate.

 

Borrowing and lending

Perhaps the most traditional functions enabled by DeFi, borrowing and lending services are available to cryptocurrency users. Those who own substantial amounts of cryptocurrency but want liquidity in other currencies can borrow money by using their cryptocurrency holdings as collateral. Individuals can lend their cryptocurrency deposits to earn interest from borrowers, thereby profiting from the values of their holdings without triggering taxable events. The dapps that facilitate this decentralized borrowing and lending are designed so that interest rates automatically adjust based on the changing supply and demand of the cryptocurrency.

 

Why use DeFi?: Regardless of what you're seeking to accomplish, using a DeFi platform in place of doing business with traditional financial institutions can confer several benefits. People use DeFi for these primary reasons:

 

Accessibility: Some people are unable to open bank accounts or receive loans, but anyone with an internet connection can access a DeFi platform. That high level of accessibility means that DeFi transactions occur without any geographic restriction.

 

Low fees and high interest rates: DeFi enables any two parties to directly transact. With no intermediary, transaction fees are greatly reduced and the parties themselves can directly negotiate interest rates. People who lend money via DeFi networks typically enjoy much higher interest rates than those paid by traditional financial institutions.

 

Increased transparency and security: Smart contracts published on a blockchain, along with all records of completed transactions, are available for anyone to review. Blockchains are immutable, meaning they cannot be changed. While DeFi platform users benefit from the transparency and security conferred by blockchain technology, smart contracts are executed in a way that preserves the privacy of the platform's participants. The publicly available transaction data does not reveal your real-life identity.

 

Functional autonomy: DeFi platforms don't rely on any centralized financial institutions. The financial collapse of 2008 illustrates the significant interconnectedness of most banks and governments and makes clear the inherent risks of centralized systems. Individual financial institutions holding your money can face hardship or corruption or become over-leveraged and declare bankruptcy. The decentralized nature of DeFi protocols mitigates much of this risk.

 

Is DeFi safe?: The newness of DeFi technology means that negative outcomes can unexpectedly occur. New companies that use DeFi technology may not succeed (failure among startups is exceedingly common), and errors by programmers can create profitable opportunities for hackers. Investing in or storing money with a DeFi project that fails can result in the total loss of your funds.

 

Deposits with traditional centralized financial institutions are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), while DeFi platforms generally don't provide any means by which to recover lost money. If a traditional financial transaction goes awry, a consumer can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), but no such recourse exists if you become a victim of a fraudulent DeFi transaction.

 

Interestingly, another type of DeFi application is becoming available to address these deficiencies. Decentralized insurance, which is created by individuals pooling their cryptocurrency as collateral, is being offered to those who wish to protect themselves against losses from other smart contracts. The individuals who contribute to the cryptocurrency pools collectively charge premiums to those who are insured.

 

How to invest in DeFi: There are several ways to invest in DeFi. The simplest option, which provides only general exposure to DeFi, is to buy Ether or another coin that uses DeFi technology. Buying a DeFi-powered coin confers exposure to nearly the entire DeFi industry.

 

You can deposit cryptocurrency with a DeFi lending platform directly in order to earn interest on your holdings. You can receive higher interest rates if you are willing to deposit funds for longer terms, and the interest rate paid on your deposit can be either fixed or variable and change with the market.

 

Since demand for deposits is high among the various DeFi platforms, a practice called "yield farming" has emerged. Yield farmers deposit funds on whichever platform pays the highest interest rate or other incentive, and they continually monitor the current interest rates and incentives offered by other platforms. If another platform starts offering a better incentive, then the yield farmers maximize their profits by moving their deposits to the other platform. As incentives constantly fluctuate, yield farmers continue to move their funds from platform to platform.

 

If you want a role in deciding the future of DeFi protocols themselves, you can buy a token like Uniswap's UNI (CRYPTO: UNI). Known as a governance token, UNI gives you decision-making authority, in proportion to your holdings, about the future of the Uniswap protocol. As more people participate in the decision-making process by purchasing UNI coins, the future of the service becomes of greater interest to more people, and increasingly large holdings of UNI are required to retain substantial decision-making authority. This dynamic can cause the price of the token to increase significantly.

 

4) NFT – Non-Fungible Tokens: A NFT (non-fungible token) is a special cryptographically-generated token that uses blockchain technology to link with a unique digital asset that cannot be replicated. NFT digital content represented as tokens which ascribe provenance to uniquely distinguishable assets by artist, gaming companies, content creators, is driving a new wave of crypto adoption. One recent report by market insights on NFTs, says that in 2020, NFT trading was worth over $250 million.

 

To see more insight on NFTs click here.

 

5) CBDC – Central Bank Digital Currency: A Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDCs) is a digital form of central bank money based on Blockchain, which is a legal tender created and backed by a central bank. Many CBDC pilot projects are going on across the globe. ##

 

 

 

     Content found herein is not investment advice see Terms of Use, Disclosure & Disclaimer

*Projections, estimates, and assumptions herein are based on journalistic opinion, not Company guidance.

 

       

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Content found herein is not investment advice see Terms of Use, Disclosure & Disclaimer. This is a journalistic article and the author is not a registered securities advisor, and opinions expressed should not be considered as investment advice to buy or sell securities, but rather journalistic opinion only. Technical terms used by the writer may be used/expressed in simplified layman terms and should not be relied upon as appropriate for making investment decisions unless the reader contacts the company directly for independent verification.

 

     

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