Recent headlines haven’t painted blockchain in the best light. It is often bundled in with cryptocurrency, as evidenced by last year’s crypto failures including Terra Luna’s collapse, followed by Three Arrows Capital and Celsius, plus FTX’s implosion amid allegations of large-scale fraud involving client funds.
This caused net trust in the cryptocurrency space across 17 major markets to decline by 30% on average, according to figures from Morning Consult. The blockchain, however, is the technology on which cryptocurrency runs and isn’t inherently the root cause behind the above scandals and failures.
A decentralised, distributed ledger tracks, stores and verifies transactions across multiple nodes (or computers). They are recorded in such a way that the registered transaction cannot be altered retroactively. That’s a significant difference between a traditional database where information is held centrally. The blockchain also makes it impossible for any single person or entity to control all the nodes.
As a relatively new technology – it was only invented in 2008 – its use cases have ebbed and flowed. The banking and finance sectors have explored using blockchain technology to pivot traditional pillar banks into the fintech and neo-banking space, but it has many use cases beyond finance.
Many big and household-name companies, including Google, Amazon, PayPal and Facebook, have looked at ways to adopt blockchain technology.
Proponents say it has applications that span across health, education, and government functions, where elements such as health and medical records or citizen data also need to be kept secure. Other uses include logistics, advertising, retail, NFTs, and music rights and royalties.
The snowballing value of blockchain technology has been predicted by Gartner to reach $176bn in revenue by 2025 and $3.1tn by 2030. When it comes to jobs, the blockchain market is expected to have 40 million jobs worldwide by 2030, and it is a field where high salaries are common. For example, blockchain engineers in London earn an average salary of £98,107.
Looking for a job in blockchain? Take a look at these five companies below, each developing exciting businesses across climate, pharma, energy and more, to get a flavour of the blockchain roles out there.
Founded in London in 2017 by Veera Johnson and Douglas Johnson-Poensgen, Circulor provides solutions to give companies visibility of their supply chains to demonstrate responsible sourcing, improve their ESG performance, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and manage supply chain risks.
Based in France, BlockPharma is developing a blockchain-based drug traceability and anti-counterfeiting solution. The BlockPharma app allows users to instantly check the authenticity of the medication they buy. The company uses the latest machine learning technologies to improve the detection of counterfeit drugs.
A next-generation cloud platform, Cudos unites cloud and blockchain, using spare computing capacity to create a decentralised, sustainable, and connected world. The company says that over $1tn is spent on IT hardware annually, but those computational resources are unused up to 50% of the time. By connecting blockchain developers and services to a global pool of computing power, it says it can enable up to ten times more cost-effective, greener computing. This could be used to “power your next metaverse, dynamic NFT, AI, machine learning, DeFi or any computationally demanding dApps and smart contracts”, the company says.
Founded in 2017 and based in Berlin, Energy Web is a global non-profit organisation that develops open source technology to help decarbonise the global economy. It has an extensive footprint in Europe, including 27 projects across 15 countries. Energy Web has grown into the world’s largest energy blockchain ecosystem comprising utilities, grid operators, renewable energy developers, corporate energy buyers, and others.
Ireland-based Eiravato was founded in 2015, and is a global waste platform technology that allows companies to digitise their waste data to comply with regulatory requirements, monitor waste consumption across global sites, transform waste into circular economy materials, and achieve zero waste accreditation.