The year 2020 is significant in that it has brought us into a new decade, as well as maturation of Blockchain development. Blockchain is moving away from experimentation phase, into application that solves real-world problems.

What is Blockchain

Blockchain is a distributed, decentralized, public ledger. It is a growing list of records called blocks, that are linked using cryptography. Each block contains a cryptographic has of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data- usually demonstrated as a Merkle tree.

By design, blockchain doesn’t allow any modification of data. It is an open distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a permanent and verifiable manner. When used as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is usually organized by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for internode communication and validating new blocks.

“Blocks” on the blockchain are made up of digital pieces of information.

In particular, they have three parts:

  • Blocks store information about transactions such as dates, time, and dollar amount of your most recent purchase from a given retail like Amazon.
  • Blocks store information about who is participating in transactions. A block for your splurge purchase from Amazon would record your name along with, Inc. Rather than using your actual name, your purchase is stored without any identifying information using a unique digital signature which is similar to a username.
  • Blocks store information that distinguishes them from other blocks. Just like people have names to distinguish them from one another, each block stores unique code called a “hash” that allows us to tell it apart from every other block. For instance, let’s imagine you made your splurge purchase on Amazon, but while travelling, you decide you actually need a second one. Even though the details of your new transaction would look nearly identical to the other earlier purchase, it is easy to tell them apart by just looking at their unique codes.

How Blockchain Works

When a block stores new data, it is added to the blockchain. Blockchain, as the name suggests, comprises multiple blocks strung together. In order for one block to be added to the blockchain, four things must happen.

  • A transaction must be made
  • The transaction must be verified
  • The transaction must be stored in a block. After your transaction has been verified as accurate, it gets a green light.

Although the blocks are themselves unalterable. They may be considered to be secure by design and present an example of a distributed computing system with high level of security.

The invention of Blockchain for bitcoin made it the first digital currency to solve the double-spending setback without the need of a trusted authority or a trusted server.

In 2020, blockchain is supporting some trends that are bellwethers for the industry’s wellbeing as the technology embraces implementation.

Humanity may be a few steps away from the internet of things, or anything that involve global digital inter-web. This has always been expected to happen at one point in time, but now it seems closer than ever. Currently, the most brilliant minds in computer science, software development, entrepreneurship, policymaking, and digital arts are hard at work designing the future aspects of Web 3.0 and the process shows no signs of unexpected delays.

Evidently, due to efforts made by many a blockchain development company, the blockchain technology is going to play a significant role in the coming-together of the ideas that will eventually set the stage for this major digital transformation. However, what is important to distinguish amid new product releases and the onslaught of credible and white papers is the kernel of reality when it comes to the biggest trends in blockchain for 2020.

7 Blockchain Trends for 2020 and Beyond

It is expected that neobanks will advance the blockchain technology to unimaginable heights.

The bizarre case of Hush aside, in the future neobanks will continue leveraging the power of the distributed ledger, making the very concept of monetary relations with each new technological advance. At this time, a number of young and hungry neobanks has already closed the books on interconnected crypto/fiat accounts, fast exchanges of fiat to crypto, and the ability to earn income with crypto investments while seamlessly converting the earnings to any type of currency.

The next steps neobanks are poised to make on the way to a cashless society are operations with CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currencies), issuance of public and private blockchain-based bonds, and participation in a unified global payment system.

Following the trend set be IBM’s World Wire and Banco Santander’s One pay FX, neobanks-employed technologists are working hard at refining their solutions for rapid transactions, transparency, lowering of clearing costs, precise transaction tracking, and platforms’ interoperability. Once this has been done, business, banking and the world will never be the same.

1. Blockchain, Naturally

One challenge recorded over the past several years of educating blockchain entrepreneurs in more than 130 countries at MIT and Oxford is the need for more compelling real-life application of blockchain development services. This doesn’t refer to just any use case, or just any scenario where the distributed ledgers might be used, but natural use cases where blockchain is evidently a better platform compared to the prevailing database technologies. There is a lot of expectations that 2020 will bring a more acute perspective from the industry on where blockchain is better utilized and scaled.

2. Games People Play

Currently, the videogame industry commands $300 billion, while the gambling industry has a massive $94 billion worth of value- which is near and projected growth. These two industries represent an interesting application area for blockchain.

John D’Agostino, the founder of Digital Assets Working Group, says, “Gaming and commodification of the gaming experience” is what’s in for 2020. He goes on to state that he sees opportunity in “combining the theoretical fungibility, transparency and security of blockchain databases along with the ease and portability of tokens to create new markets for digitally native assets and experiences like online gaming”

3. Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, or a decentralized digital currency without a central bank or a single administrator that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries.

Bitcoin remains the most financially successful blockchain project to date, with a market capitalization of more than $130 billion at the moment. For a long time, heeding the words of Meltem Demirrors, people should learn that you can train a mediocre bitcoin developer in a year or train a competent ethereum developer in a month.

Bitcoin is idiosyncratic, a hack of hacks, a thing that outgrew itself a long time ago. Ethereum and other newer protocols were developed more consciously with third-party development in mind. And yet, bitcoin is suddenly top-of-mind again, and there has been whispers about several bitcoin projects being underway.

People like Jack Dorsey are moving to Africa for a while, and this is due to the fact that Africa is viewed at as a game changer in relation to bitcoin. Michelle Chivunga, an advisor to the African Union, says, “With the Africa Free Trade agreement in line to transform the continent, Africa is in strong position to play a leading role in the digital revolution tapping into key technologies like blockchain. Africa’s time is now.”

4. China Giveth and China Taketh Away

The People’s Republic of China, within a few weeks, announced a warm embrace of blockchain on the one hand and began some aggressive enforcement actions against crypto companies on the other hand.

Tracking price movements of bitcoin recently has not been without a need for worry. It has been evident for a long time that it is not possible to speculate for one’s account because it’s hard to predict the price movements of crypto well enough to make money. It is important to note that bitcoin poses competition to the newly announced RMB central bank currency, so the Chinese government has vested interest in talking down price.

5. Central Bank Digital Currencies at Center Stage

For some years, there have been talks with governments and multi-government bodies, discussing how to shape innovation policy that supports fintech and blockchain. There has been some rising interest in central bank digital currencies, not only with China and Venezuela, but in a variety of nations, both small and large.

Simon Chantry, co-founder of say, “In 2019 we saw many Central Banks investigating and in some cases testing various blockchains and distributed networks for us in financial system. While initially hesitant to move efforts forward past the test phase, the emergence pf competition in the form of private sector digital currencies and ‘stablecoins’ has prompted Central Banks Worldwide to evolve their own technology strategies. I suspect we will see more tangible progress on Central Banks-issued digital currencies in 2020, as Central Banks seek to leverage many of the technological advancements that have taken place over the past decade to provide their countries and economies with advanced, secure, and efficient payment systems.”

6. ‘Custody is King’

In some instances, the “plumbing” of the financial system, while glamorous than token offerings or a new e-wallet, is necessary for any of the other great ideas suggested concerning blockchain to function. A good example is custody, the physical or electronic holding of assets for safeguarding, and a control system for serious institutional investment in digital tokens and cryptocurrencies.

In the absence of robust custody standards, the industry can never scale. According to SALT chairman Ben Yablon,” Single founders disappearing with hundreds of millions of dollars in value shouldn’t and won’t be allowable if the space is ever going to reach its potential.”

The industry is bound to work out more efficient standards and practices around custody in 2020, or risk failure.

The government of Mauritius, which is the gateway to Africa, has patented its flag in the sands of digital assets custody. This is quite a significant bet. State Street’s $32 trillion empire is built on custody of securities.

7. Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity refers to the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks. These cyberattacks are usually aimed at accessing, changing, or destroying sensitive information; extorting money from users; or interfering with the normal business processes.

Implementing effective cybersecurity measures is becoming more difficult these days because there are more devices than people, and attackers are becoming more innovative.

It is an unending marvel that cryptocurrencies, developed by cryptographers such as the those in blockchain development India, and sometimes held by highly but healthily paranoid people who seek ultimate security for their money-who don’t even trust Central banks- have persisted in today’s fierce environment full of cybersecurity inefficiencies.

2019 saw possibly $200 million or more stolen from various exchanges, and perhaps more unreported hacks may have occurred as well. 2020 promises more refined cyber-hygiene to safeguard various exchanges.

Author's Bio: 

I, Kuldeep Kundal, the CMO of Cyber Infrastructure (P) Limited, and is the trademark of the CIS. I have been publishing technology content for the last ten years. Being inquisitive towards technology and management strategies has impressed upon me the mantra of success is to gain knowledge to share it.