The focus is shifting
While 2017 and the first half of 2018 witnessed a market exuberance driven by the skyrocketing prices of cryptocurrencies, with blockchain conferences attracting record numbers of profit-seekers, perhaps the blockchain conferences in 2019 are going to focus less on cryptocurrencies and more on the practical use-cases for blockchain. World Crypto Conference is building its blockchain conference in this manner. In fact, the major theme of the upcoming WCC 2019 in Las Vegas this October will be blockchain solutions for enterprise businesses.
Do enterprises need blockchain?
While cloud computing is still one of the most popular technologies used by enterprises, it presents enterprises with several issues when it comes to managing multiple cloud networks. Usually, when cloud providers remain in their private networks, it becomes difficult to communicate with each other without significantly interrupting the firewall configuration of the network and creating security risks. It’s no wonder that more and more enterprises are considering blockchain technology in order to easily and effectively manage their multi-cloud networks.
Blockchain will provide a competitive edge
As the blockchain sector sheds itself of various opportunistic ICO projects and dubious use-cases, enterprise businesses are slowly but surely becoming the key players on the market. Legacy companies are starting to feel increasing pressure to innovate or risk being outrun by their competitors and fledgling tech startups.
Indeed, companies like Amazon, IBM and Oracle have already started offering enterprise-grade blockchain solutions. And it’s not just tech companies that are exploring the space. Large food suppliers, such as Nestle, Unilever, Walmart and Kroger are working with IBM to create a global food-tracking supply chain system on the blockchain. It will enable the real-time tracing of each food item from its provenance all the way to the supermarket shelf. Such real-world use-cases will enable faster adoption of enterprise blockchain technology. The way things are going; pretty soon we might witness every blockchain conference become flooded with executives and CTOs from every major industry and large corporation. Will it happen this year? That depends on one important question.
Is Ethereum enterprise-ready?
The obvious candidate for enterprise adoption and integration is Ethereum. Businesses, however, have been hesitant to utilize the Ethereum blockchain because of the inadequate transaction speed it currently offers. Despite Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin touting the usefulness of his project at almost every blockchain conference during the past 5 years, and despite the recent Casper fork, Ethereum’s transaction speed and network interoperability are still not at a level that would satisfy the needs of enterprises. Things might be changing, however, with ConsesSys (the largest workshop for blockchain development) releasing a new client specifically geared toward facilitating enterprise and commercial adoption.
They call it Pantheon
Pantheon is an Ethereum software client that allows users to create their own blockchain networks and other commercial industry applications, which are unsuitable to be run on a public mainnet. Pantheon has been designed to allow enterprises to control the permissioning and consensus of their own blockchain. Unlike the public Ethereum mainnet, the Pantheon client allows node and account whitelisting, thus providing increased security. Pantheon is already available for enterprises to purchase on Azure Marketplace, or directly through Azure portal.
Still a game-changer
Although blockchain technology is still at its early stages, its potential to become incredibly useful for enterprises in the very near future is difficult to overstate. One thing is quite certain, however: Anyone who wants to keep up with the latest important developments around enterprise blockchains could do much worse than to follow every major blockchain conference throughout 2019. In fact, this year’s blockchain conferences might prove to be the most reliable indicator of the overall sentiment across the whole blockchain space.