Interest in blockchain technology is waning, research firm Gartner said in its latest “Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies” report.
Gartner included blockchain, along with four other emerging technologies, as one of five trends that can blur the lines between humans and machines, according to a news release on August 20. Blockchain technology is at the edge of the “trough of disillusionment” phase in the cycle, though it predicts that the technology may reach the “plateau of productivity” within the next decade.
The “trough of disillusionment” means that “interest [in the technology] wanes as experiments and implementations fail to deliver. Producers of the technology shake out or fail. Investments continue only if the surviving providers improve their products to the satisfaction of early adopters,” as explained on Gartner’s website.
Mike Walker, research vice president at Gartner, said in a news release that “digitalized ecosystem technologies are making their way to the Hype Cycle fast,” adding:
“Blockchain and [internet of things] platforms have crossed the peak by now, and we believe that they will reach maturity in the next five to 10 years, with digital twins and knowledge graphs on their heels.”
The “shift from compartmentalized technical infrastructure to ecosystem-enabling platforms,” as written in the news release, is building the fundamentals for unique business models as the technology stabilizes in the future.
In addition to blockchain technology, which is part of the “digitalized ecosystems,” four other distinct emerging technology trends that are listed on the hype cycle are “democratized AI,” “do-it-yourself biohacking,” “transparently immersive experiences” and “ubiquitous infrastructure,” according to the release.
The Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies report is the longest-running annual Gartner Hype Cycle, according to Gartner’s website, and it serves to provide a cross-industry perspective on the technologies and trends.
There are many countries today that still don’t have a currency of their own including Ecuador and Marshall Islands. Many of them are small countries that can’t afford expensive printed FIAT currency management.
The emergence of sovereign cryptocurrencies has presented a new way for countries to be currency independent and form a new identity as a key player in the sophisticated digital economy. For this reason, the mission to implement digitized currency on the blockchain – also referred to as ‘sovereign cryptocurrencies’ – has become the goal for many of these countries’ central banks and governments.
In fact, countries like China, England, Russia, Japan, Sweden, Australia, Netherlands, Singapore, India and others have all been seen to be testing their blockchain-based cryptocurrencies.
Ecuador seems to have been ahead of the pack in this department when it became the first country to roll out its own government back digital currency. Ecuador’s Sistema de Dinero Electrónico (electronic money system), hosted the first-ever state-run electronic payment system in the world.
For other countries, cities or nations striving to do the same, it takes more than just the flipping the switch off from fiat to crypto cryptocurrency. In Ecuador’s case, their journey began in 2000 when the country of 16 million people ditched their stumbling currency for the U.S. dollar so they had no option but to look for an alternative solution to their currency problem.
Countries need to be serious in developing a new crypto economy around their own cryptocurrency for long-term sustainability. Simply creating currency and selling that as a digital asset/commodity to global citizens through ICO or exchanges won’t create their own crypto economy. The process for cryptocurrencies to be on its way to be a global reality can be accelerated with careful consideration of five key elements that glue us together to create an economy:
Members of the society
Key members such as government, citizens, visitors, banks, entrepreneurs, software developers, schools, and hospitals all make up a well-functioning society. The needs and requirements of these players should take the lead in navigating the rollout of a sovereign cryptocurrency because they make up identity management and systems.
It’s vital for governments or companies issuing sovereign digital currencies to consider what their citizens need in their daily lives. This involves basic tasks like buying groceries, paying rent and paying other utility bills. Let’s face it, if citizens are unable to carry out basic tasks like paying for their lunch in sovereign cryptocurrencies, then that will defeat the purpose of issuing it.
The function of a currency
Governments and central banks today spend a lot of money on paper currency printing, regulation, usage and sometimes even the burning of that cash. Sovereign cryptocurrencies can eradicate all the administrative costs and processes that come with paper money, but that does it is not as easy to implement as it sounds.
Organisations who want to issue sovereign cryptocurrencies need to decide how they want to structure it. This means considering what the processes are, how they generated, circulated and stored.
Let’s take Chandler city located southeast of Phoenix Arizona an example. If the city council would like to issue a Chandler coin, as long as they are issued on an Ethereum network, they could list on an exchange. However to circulate such a currency is a complex task. Blockchain technology software development will be the best solution to help governments with cryptocurrency generation, circulation, storage, usage and burning.
Identification is the most important factor for individuals or businesses. Traditional identity process can be integrated with blockchain based identity management to make it more secured. An easy to use Identity API, which can be customized for this purpose will help with this process.
This function can be useful for a government welfare benefit distribution process. In this case it’s important for the government welfare system to know exactly who needs to receive a contribution and how much. This can also be used for business-to-business transactions so that companies know exactly who they are working with.
Governments have the responsibility to manage important records (ie. birth, death, marriage, divorce certificates), registrations (ie. Land and, home, car, boat etc.) and financial documents for citizens.
Using blockchain technology, existing and new documents can be managed easily and securely. Systems can be put in place to generate, distribute, store, authorize and even shred documents.
Distributed web technology will enable these systems, however, this has to be developed for the purposes of storing and tracing documents.
Again to implement a system like this can be costly and time-consuming. All governments need is a blockchain technology software development kit that they can simply implement.
Systems, device, applications and smart contracts
Scanners, Bar/QR code readers, mobile or web applications, existing IT systems are used to process day-to-day transactions of members. These devices and systems should be enhanced to handle blockchain based transactions via APIs and Smart Contracts.
Even with the basic daily activity of going to a grocery store, a person is exposed to all these systems. Let’s take buying milk for example, when someone goes to pay for the grocery item they need to scan the barcode on the milk carton and then take out their credit or card to pay via the card machine, which has sensors to take their payment. In this case, the payment processing part can be enhanced with the use of cryptocurrencies. It can be faster and more efficient both for the merchant and the customer to transfer payments.
Taking these five elements into consideration in the rollout of a sovereign cryptocurrency, governments need make sure they’re creating a crypto economy that is as open source as it can be. They should use existing and popular blockchains because they are proven to be more scalable. Essentially they would need to engage a developer community who can develop apps for the government at no cost.
It’s not recommended for governments to create their own blockchain because it defeats the purpose of having a cryptocurrency, which becomes expensive to manage in the long run. The best way to start is to create a sovereign currency and making it as stable coin that has low volatility. Users can eventually convert their existing FIAT to crypto. From there, the government can encourage basic financial transactions such as sending, receiving, storing, buying, selling and paying bills with cryptocurrency. Once all the systems and applications are in place for citizens to perform these transactions then the only thing that’s left is to educate users on how sovereign cryptocurrencies work. Education is the most challenging part, but this should become easier over time.
VERSES has showcased its virtual and augmented reality protocols to power a new economy of tradable digital assets in the form of holographic avatars. VERSES is looking to create a marketplace in which the physical and virtual worlds interact seamlessly, with blockchain technology powering a new generation of secure digital trade and immersive experiences.
The company has partnered with Blockchain Industries Inc., Decentra Fund and other parties to launch its private token sale internationally, which has already attracted more than $6 million in interest.
VERSES is attempting to establish a universal protocol that powers virtual commerce, interconnected virtual spaces, smart city infrastructure and secure holographic telecommunications.
“We have assembled a world-class team of staff and advisors from companies like Deloitte Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft, Magic Leap and more to create a safer, smarter and more immersive new era of the web—The Spatial Web,” said Gabriel Rene, Executive Director of VERSES. “The next generation of augmented and virtual reality can now include authenticated location data, real-time mapping and physical asset tracking between specific locations. This technology powers a new era of fully interconnected and immersive interactive experiences that speak to consumers’ moods and thoughts.”
VERSES provides full interoperability, allowing users to share VR/AR experiences, as well as trade virtual objects between locations. The company claims that the protocol will be compatible with more than two billion connected mobile devices by 2020.
“We’re heading towards a world where we will live and create fluidly between the real and virtual world. Interoperability between these assets and virtual spaces will be key in supporting abundance and economic opportunity. VERSES is speeding us toward this future by leveraging blockchain technology to create a new open standard which picks our heads up from our screens and lets us step inside the internet,” said Peter Diamandis, Founder of XPrize and Advisor to VERSES.
VERSES has showcased implementations of its technology in a stage show that features holographic avatars alongside immersive virtual reality experiences that VERSES claims are unlike anything ever showcased to the public. These demonstrations will illustrate VERSES’ vision for a new paradigm of interaction between companies, audiences, and consumers, one that combines the physical and virtual worlds.