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For blockchain, 2018 has been an extraordinary year as the momentum of the technology shifted from exploration to implementation. Blockchain witnessed unprecedented entry into the mainstream industries majorly including banking and finance, real estate, supply chain and more. 

As blockchain continues to grow, several new and old players in the industry have already entered in the blockchain space to leverage capabilities of the technology. The proof is the number of patents filed by companies in the blockchain space. As of 2017, a total of 406 blockchain patents have been filed by various banks and tech giants.

Regardless of challenges that the technology comes with, the opportunities blockchain has brought to the world are impossible to ignore.

Blockchain Year in Review

The implications of blockchain are far-reaching, with the massive potential to bring transformation across various industries. Blockchain, being a ground-breaking technology, brings greater transparency, more security and shorter time durations to the conventional processes. What that also means, is that blockchain is poised to replace the old systems and bring advanced methodologies in place.

Now, momentum is shifting from exploring the potential of the technology to identifying and building enterprise-level business applications. Companies are being driven by the great value blockchain could bring to their businesses.

We have captured some of the biggest stories related to blockchain happened in the past 12 months. It includes the contribution of proactive countries in the blockchain space, patents filed by IT companies and the evolution of blockchain as a technology.

December 12th: Russian government conducted elections on blockchain

Government authorities in Russia’s Saratov region have reportedly conducted the biggest blockchain-powered elections with 15000 citizens cast their votes. The elections were on a blockchain-based voting platform that managed to complete the entire election process in mere seven hours from start to finish.

October 22nd: Visa Chose Hyperledger Fabric for b2b connect

Visa announced to integrate Hyperledger Fabric to launch its much-awaited blockchain based enterprise payment platform called ‘Visa B2B Connect’. It is a platform designed to make the cross-border business-to-business payments simple, quicker and transparent. B2B connect aimed to cater to a variety of industries including finance, trade, and supply chain.

October 8th: IBM launched a blockchain-based food trust platform

Amongst the biggest commercial implementation of the blockchain, IBM launched a food traceability platform based on blockchain technology. The platform makes it possible to track the items on the food supply chain to ensure transparency and traceability. The result is possibly enhancement in food safety, freshness, and on the other side, a reduction in the overall wastage.

October 1st: Hyperledger joined hands with Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

Hyperledger Project and Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) made an official announcement stating that they are formally joining forces to boost the growth of industrial blockchain and foster greater collaboration across the two communities.

September 4th: IBM launched a blockchain-based payment system

IBM took the wraps off its new blockchain-based payment system called Blockchain World Wire. The system was aimed at institutions to harness the potential of blockchain technology to make cross-border transactions in near real-time. It also attempts to abolish the need for intermediaries (banks) to cut down the time and huge cost involved in the payment system.

August 24th: World Bank issued a bond based on blockchain

The World Bank launched what popularly known as bond-i the that was created by Commonwealth Bank of Australia using a private Ethereum blockchain. The bond was the first in the world to be “created, allocated, transferred and managed through its life-cycle using distributed ledger technology.” While the bank expected to settle the bond worth $73 million, it reportedly raised as much as $81 million.

July 10th: R3 launched Corda blockchain

The blockchain startup R3 released the paid version of its signature open-source Corda enterprise blockchain. The blockchain seems to be more appealing to businesses when compared to the traditional open-source blockchains due to various enterprise features such as 24/7 support, disaster recovery and more.

June 15th: Sweden’s land registry conducted a live transaction on blockchain

Sweden’s land registry authority and a consortium of participating banks, startups and businesses live conducted a transaction using blockchain. With this demo, Sweden has become the first few countries that took blockchain seriously putting land registries on a blockchain.

June 14th: EOS blockchain gone live

The long awaited, EOS blockchain, an initiative created by Block.one got live on this date. EOS is a blockchain-based, decentralized platform that allows the development, hosting, and execution of commercial-scale decentralized applications on its platform.

June 7th: SAP launched Blockchain-as-a-service platform

Multinational software company SAP launched an enterprise cloud platform which was dedicated to helping companies in the blockchain space. The platform based on blockchain aims to offer organizations with an advanced framework to build business applications on top of blockchain technology such as Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric.

June 5th: China built a blockchain-based system to replace paper cheques

China’s central bank finished building a blockchain-based system that could digitize the paper cheques by using smart contract technology. The system was built is to offer authorities a clearer overview of the entire life cycle of the issued cheques. The system was aimed to reduce the risk of fraud and provide regulators with a more transparent view.

May 2nd: Dubai – Blockchain-powered government

With an initiative to unite all real estate and department businesses and bring them on a single platform, the government announced the use of blockchain technology. The prime objective behind this announcement was to enable companies to set up and operate in the country without the need of following all the regulations.

April 12th: Mastercard filed a patent for a blockchain-based identification system

Mastercard believed that identity proofs provided by the government might inaccurate and could be entirely forged by imposters. To provide immutable storage of identities and credential data, Mastercard filed a patent for a blockchain system to store and verify identity data to prevent such abuses.

March 26th: Chinese govt institute launched blockchain for authentication

A Chinese government-led institute announced the launch of a blockchain-as-a-service platform for identity and supply chain tracking. The platform aims to streamline authentication workflow for public services using blockchain technology. The platform was developed by China Banknote Blockchain Technology Research Institute under China’s central banking authority.

January 30th: Hyperledger announced Hyperledger Sawtooth 1.0

Hyperledger released the Hyperledger Sawtooth 1.0 which is hosted by The Linux Foundation. It is an open source blockchain framework which delivers unique capabilities to run and utilize smart contracts and integration of more scalable algorithms.

Blockchain is poised to shake up many landscapes over the next few years including music, gaming, and even social media. More and more businesses are trying the find opportunities in utilizing blockchain and reap its revolutionary benefits.