5 blockchain trends to expect in 2019

Blockchain may finally be ready to move from hype to reality, with continued IoT integrations and tokenization, according to KPMG.

Why blockchain tech is both real and hype Forget cryptocurrency, says Chris Mohney, and instead focus on how blockchain can solve real problems in healthcare, media, and the enterprise.

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

Blockchain has received a lot of hype but seen little actual adoption over the past couple of years; this may finally change in 2019, Ghosh said.

"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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    By Alison DeNisco Rayome

    Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.