As cryptocurrencies reach record levels in a surprising end-of-year twist, investors and tech enthusiasts are paying more attention to the foundational blockchain technologies that power these digital currencies.
In 2020, we saw the blockchain continue to gain more relevance through an assortment of emerging and trusted names shaping its future across multiple industries. The unpredictability of the past 12 months has created an appetite for greater certainty and transparency, which blockchain platforms promise.
In the worlds of fashion, agritech, and of course, finance, blockchain applications are becoming more accepted as a way of performing transactions. If this year is anything to go by, more exciting changes await the blockchain in 2021. While it’s only natural to take a look forward at this time, here are some of the major blockchain stories of the month.
- From Covid-inspired health inventions to China’s national blockchain network, 2020 was a year of impressive blockchain highlights.
- The World Economic Forum has created a new blockchain platform to track the carbon emissions produced by leading mining companies.
- Former Apple exec Steve Wozniak has created his own blockchain targeted at funding green energy projects.
- The blockchain platform behind the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency is getting a long-awaited upgrade that promises thousands more transactions per second.
- Manchester City Football Club will release a series of blockchain-powered games and collectibles.
The biggest blockchain moments of 2020
This year has brought some of the most significant advances in the blockchain sector. In Forkast’s overview of 2020, they highlight some of the most innovative advancements of the last 12 months.
An unexpected outcome from the global pandemic is the development of health-related blockchain solutions, such as the emergence of rapid response registries for medical professionals.
Other notable developments include countries partnering with blockchain platforms to shift to Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) and China’s groundbreaking national blockchain for commercial use. While some of these moments mark historical milestones, they’re paving the way for more progress in 2021 and beyond.
Tracking greenhouse gases through blockchain
The World Economic Forum is using blockchain to monitor the greenhouse gas emissions of leading mining companies. WEF’s Mining and Metals Blockchain Initiative will track embedded greenhouse gas emissions from the mine to the final product using blockchain technology. Its creation is another example of how distributed ledgers can resolve supply chain transparency issues.
Seven leading mining firms, including Tata Steel, are partaking in the initiative in the proof-of-concept phase. The project will explore the technical feasibility and supply chain dynamics with the hopes of building an advanced tracking programme in the future.
Apple cofounder launches environmental blockchain startup
Former Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak is betting big on blockchain. Through his new startup, Efforce, Wozniak aims to stop climate change by promoting green and energy-efficient companies through blockchain.
Efforce will operate as a digital marketplace that green tech companies can use to find funding with the help of Wozniak’s new cryptocurrency, WOZX.
Given the concerns about the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies, Wozniak’s new company is countering the narrative by fostering an ecosystem where green technologies are front and centre while pointing to the versatility of distributed ledgers.
Top cryptocurrency gets a new upgrade
Ethereum, the blockchain platform behind the second-largest cryptocurrency, Ether, is getting a long-awaited upgrade to the relief of investors and blockchain enthusiasts.
Ethereum 2.0 will be the latest evolution of the Ethereum blockchain, and its development denotes an important shift in the growth of blockchain and Ether. The upgrade will make the platform faster and more secure and improve its scalability, facilitating thousands more transactions per second.
Football meets blockchain
Blockchain is the latest player in the world of football. City Football Group has partnered with the digital entertainment company Animoca to create blockchain games and collectibles for the group’s leading football teams, including Manchester City Men’s and Women’s football teams and Australia’s Melbourne City Football Club.
Animoca’s clientele includes Marvel and Power Rangers, among other brands with huge fanbases. The English Premier League team’s new collaboration speaks to the potential of fantasy football evolving through blockchain technologies.