Blockchain hype has yet to die down, as some companies begin actually using the emerging ledger technology in everyday business operations involving digital identity, asset management and tracking, regulatory compliance, cryptocurrency, and smart contracts.
From tokenization to Internet of Things (IoT) integrations, blockchain will see many new adoptions and use cases this year, said Arun Ghosh, KPMG's US blockchain leader.
Here are five blockchain trends and predictions that Ghosh said he expects to see moving forward in 2019:
SEE: Quick glossary: Blockchain (Tech Pro Research)
1. Blockchain will converge with the Internet of Things (IoT)
With the number of IoT devices online expected to reach 28.5 billion by 2022, IoT adoption is challenged by device security and data assurance issues, Ghosh said.
"Blockchain's decentralized systems can help companies overcome these challenges by providing a secure framework for communication between devices and enhance data security across IoT and 5G networks," he added.
2. Tokenization of assets will drive loyalty
Tokenization will continue to spread in 2019, with brands increasingly tokenizing loyalty rewards that can be used to make purchases and drive better customer experiences, Ghosh said.
3. Blockchain will finally move past the hype into reality
"We will see a greater understanding of what blockchain is—and what it is not," Ghosh said. "Combined with more accessibility via blockchain services on public clouds, companies will move towards successful implementations and strategic projects that result in business outcomes—such as reducing reconciliations in the order to invoice process or financial services organizations combating fraud."
SEE: IT leader's guide to the blockchain (Tech Pro Research)
4. Blockchain will help prevent unauthorized access
With news of massive data breaches like Collection 1 exposing the information of millions, companies are increasingly looking for a trusted ecosystem that both authenticates and authorizes to manage information flow. Blockchain will be used to build these encrypted ecosystems more frequently this year, Ghosh said.
5. Blockchain adoption will spike across sectors
While blockchain is already being used in a number of industries including pharmaceuticals and fashion, adoption of the technology will begin making its way into new sectors, such as energy and government, Ghosh said.
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Alison DeNisco Rayome has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.