By Vanessa Malone
The blockchain community has hit some incredible milestones in the past year. And while its important for these conversations to continue among current community members in order to share new ideas, developments, and implications regarding the technology; at times it seems the community remains in an echo chamber where only the people and companies in the blockchain bubble understand and care about what’s going on.
Take a look at Google Trends for the term ‘blockchain’ over the past year. Interest was at a year-time high during and immediately following New York Blockchain Week in May. This is the period of time each year when blockchain enthusiasts flock to NY to discuss the technology they’ve built or are building that is going to fundamentally change every aspect of the world, from how we issue and manage securities, to how we track healthcare, to food safety.
As we know, there are incredible use cases for blockchain. Yet aside from cryptocurrency trading, the growing industry which caters to the underlying distributed ledger technology is still in its infancy. Just like what happened with the internet boom, there is a lot of buzz and hype that comes with an emerging technology. The promise of what’s to come does have the ability to peak interest temporarily but as we can see in the chart, this excitement can fizzle out.
Another potential reason for slowed mass adoption is that a lot of the use cases for blockchain are being used to adapt and solve issues at the developer, B2B, or enterprise level, and are far less consumer facing. Outside the intimate blockchain and surrounding tech community, blockchain can appear daunting, confusing and a bit out of reach to the average person.
So, how do you get the general public excited about blockchain? One way is to stop leading the conversation with blockchain this, blockchain that, and start leading the conversation with the tangible ways in which the general public can interact or engage with the technology.
The rise of blockchain tech is often compared to the internet boom. Think of the companies that rose from the internet craze. Amazon, Priceline, and eBay all managed to push the internet to the background and showcase products which made the experiences individuals cared about quicker, simpler, and better.
Most people don’t care about how new technologies work under the hood, they care about the outcome of what the technology will do for them. Users didn’t need to know the intricacies of how the code and algorithms worked to compare prices and products on Amazon, they only cared that they could shop more effectively.
So, this year Horizon is focusing on concepts that we believe could fuel adoption and general understanding for what blockchain technology can do for the masses.
As you may remember, we launched our digital securities exchange software last year to deliver next generation trading technology to financial institutions and other regulated entities around the world. The software is paired with a trading app where investors can buy, sell, and instantly settle digital securities directly from their smartphone.
The first marketplace to utilize our technology launched in Brazil last month. Brazil’s Piemonte Holding powered the first bond issuance on Ethereum to include a public secondary trading platform for qualified subscribers to buy and sell bonds and experience liquidity potential prior to bond maturity.
But as discussed above, the bond market could be tricky to understand and seem out of reach to the general public. In the very near future, Horizon is going to unveil details on what we believe to be an incredible opportunity in a widely understood market…sports.