Blockchain, innovation and opportunity behind the crypto hype and doom

Blockchain, innovation and opportunity behind the crypto hype and doom

By Lachlan Feeney (pictured), Founder and Executive Director of Labrys

Critics of the always-volatile and always-controversial cryptocurrency industry only operate in two states of mind; ‘it’s a bubble’ or ‘it’s dead’. As Bitcoin plunges to an 18-month low, critics have returned to the ‘it’s dead’ dogma. The ramifications of a humbling few months for cryptocurrencies will no doubt last for some time, but it will do little to slow the exciting and influential innovation: blockchain.

Behind the volatile price action of cryptocurrency, blockchain is burgeoning. It’s already solving unique business problems, driving innovation and revolutionising archaic processes and industries. Crucially, though, we’re still early in its adoption.

The technology has immense long-term potential, but we must recognise that cryptocurrency is just one use case for blockchain. There are limitless other applications of the technology beyond cryptocurrency for business across all industries.

Untangling Bitcoin and blockchain

As the first and most prominent use case of blockchain, it’s understandable that the reputations of blockchain and Bitcoin have been so intertwined. The volatility of cryptocurrency and the sentiment that follows it is a deterrent for businesses; many of whom don’t realise that blockchain is now bigger, more evolved and more pragmatic. This is like suggesting that the internet’s only use case is email, and because there have been a small number of scam and spam emails circulating, we need to drown the industry in red tape before the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook could even get off the ground.

Due to the prominence of cryptocurrencies and the headlines they generate, policy makers in Australia and globally are implementing widespread regulation. We – like all serious players – understand that regulatory clarity will be a green light for big business, but knee-jerk policies that are designed to regulate cryptocurrencies could drown the broader blockchain sector in innovation-stifling red tape. For blockchain to deliver on its immense potential, the industry, businesses and policy makers must work in harmony.

Blockchain is here to stay

Businesses, industries and government departments are beginning to understand and embrace the numerous tangible benefits of blockchain. For business, blockchain can revolutionise archaic operations, add trust and efficiency to processes that are lacking it and stimulate a new and long-term era of democratised innovation. According to forecasts by Gartner the business value added by blockchain will explode to over $USD3 trillion by the end of the decade.

For over a decade now, the blockchain industry has been diligently innovating and evolving behind the scenes. On the sophisticated foundation that now exists, we expect exponential growth. Indeed, Gartner believes the next five years will see larger focused investments and many successful models before, from 2027, ‘global large-scale economic value-add’. Blockchain is here to stay, and turning theoretical potential into practical reality continues irrespective of the value of Bitcoin today, tomorrow or at the end of the decade.

The real innovation

At Labrys, our role is accelerating this trend; turning our clients’ intrigue and vision into practical solutions that drive business value. We’re working on projects for clients from start-up to ASX-listed. Like us, they recognise blockchain’s benefits. Through their progressive eagerness to embrace blockchain and our ability to create unique solutions with the technology, we’re driving real innovation and revolutionising industries long-considered ripe for disruption.

These benefits are being felt across almost every conceivable industry, from financial services, mining and manufacturing to retail and gaming. These practical applications aren’t garnering the same attention, but for us business innovation is far more exciting and important than hype and headlines. Ultimately, the impact of these innovations will be felt more greatly, more positively and for longer. The benefits blockchain brings are being felt already, it’s up to us and the industry to ensure those benefits are felt on a mass scale.