Gartner’s latest technology hype cycle puts blockchain past the peak of expectations and close to entering the trough of disillusionment. They estimate a 5-10 year timescale before it enters the plateau of productivity, or mainstream.
The research organization identified five trends: Democratized AI, Digitalized ecosystems, DIY biohacking, Transparently immersive experiences and Ubiquitous infrastructure.
Gartner grouped blockchain under the Digitalized ecosystem group where companies will get involved in more dynamic ecosystems. The company says this will demand new business strategies and platform-based business models.
“The shift from compartmentalized technical infrastructure to ecosystem-enabling platforms is laying the foundation for entirely new business models that are forming the bridge between humans and technology,” says Mike Walker, research vice president at Gartner.
One area Gartner highlighted was blockchain for data security. They pointed out the potential to “increase resilience, reliability, transparency, and trust in centralized systems.”
Gartner didn’t go into details on its website, but several applications are targeting this area. Most servers use logging systems that are stored on that server. When a hacker breaches a server, one of the things they do is edit the logs to cover their tracks. However, if logging uses a blockchain spread across multiple corporate servers, then a hack is far easier to detect. Xage’s industrial IoT is a good example.
Last week Hyperledger’s Brian Behlendorf told Ledger Insights about a project in Hyperledger’s Labs called Software Parts. Today manufacturing involves significant amounts of software. For example, autonomous vehicles, aircraft, medical devices, elevators, and factory robots. As part of a manufacturing supply chain, there’s a need to track these software parts just as you would for a physical component. By putting it on a blockchain, the ultimate purchaser can have visibility all the way down the supply chain.
The Software Parts project is based on Hyperledger Sawtooth and involves three elements. Most software includes open source components with a variety of licensing requirements. This is tracked. Secondly, the software needs to be appropriately reviewed and tested. This certification is saved on a blockchain. Finally, many governments have restrictions on the use of cryptography. Software Parts will track the details of cryptographic libraries included.