Almost $300 million dollars has been tipped into venture funding for blockchain and bitcoin companies in the last six months according to a new study by Juniper. A blockchain is a public register of all bitcoin transactions that have ever been done. It derives its name from the concept of a completed “block” which is added chronologically to previous transactions – hence the blockchain.
Three companies took a third of the money between them. These companies include Circle, the social payment provider, Blockstream the sidechain developer and Digital Asset holdings, the distributed ledger solutions provider.
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The new research report The Future of Blockchain: Bitcoin, Remittance, ID Verification & Smart Contracts 2016-2021 highlighted the increasing diversification of nascent blockchain deployments, with applications ranging from identity to asset management.
The research investinages the development of the ecosystems that have evolved around blockchain and cryptocurrencies, including the emergence of services targeting niches ranging from derivatives trading to online gambling
It pinpointed the banking sector as being particularly proactive, with several banks having already adopted the Ripple blockchain protocol and others piloting competing solutions.
The research claimed that in areas such as transaction settlement, the introduction of a blockchain-based system would substantially reduce both the risk of error and the time taken for error checking.
Furthermore, it argued that in cross-border remittance, the technology could allow new entrants to offer services at significantly lower costs to consumers.
Smart Contract Flaw Poses Challenges
The research cautioned that if smart contracts use blockchain technology, then their contents are visible to all the users of that blockchain. These contents might potentially include bugs or flaws.
It cited the recent case where a flaw on the DAO (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation) network was exploited by a third party, resulting in the misappropriation of cryptocurrency worth nearly $80 million.