By: Didier Serra, EVP, Sales & Marketing, SecureKey

2017 was quite the year, and blockchain’s gains are a big part of the story.

This year alone, according to CoinDesk, the number of blockchain-related patent applications nearly doubled[1]: Dubai announced its intention to turn itself into the first-ever blockchain-powered government by 2020[2]; the Australian Securities Exchange adopted blockchain to help manage their operations[3]; Microsoft and Accenture implemented the technology to help the United Nations give refugees permanent digital identities[4]; even Air New Zealand is exploring applications for the technology in making its customers lives easier.[5]

Evidently, blockchain has emerged as a cross-industry application with nearly limitless possibilities. Although most blockchain initiatives are still in their early phases, Gartner’s annual Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies report predicts that in the “long-term… this technology will lead to a reformation of whole industries.”[6]

But one of the most important cross-industry applications blockchain can and will bring in the new year is providing a strong, secure, resilient and privacy-enhanced platform to develop holistic digital identities for consumers. Our personal information – an omnipresent and invaluable asset in the digital world – needs to be protected with strong technological solutions blinded against the ever-growing risks of hacking and data breaches.

At SecureKey, we believe that blockchain is one of the emergent technologies that is, and should, revolutionize the way we live. As new applications of the technology unfold, it is of the utmost importance that we learn how to adapt and implement blockchain in a safe, meaningful way. We believe that other industries are beginning to understand how a siloed approach, wherein new applications are developed solely for the benefit of a single industry, is ultimately ineffective. The collaborative, distributed and open-sourced nature of blockchain is, in many ways, its most attractive quality. My prediction for 2018 revolves around the advent of blockchain-based consortiums and cross-industry groups that develop solutions in the spirit of true collaboration to build a better digital world for all.

The partners we have been lucky enough to include in our forthcoming digital identity ecosystem, Verified.Me, stand testament to collaboration. I cannot think of another initiative in recent memory that has brought together financial institutions, telcos, credit agencies, sharing economy companies, government agencies and industry leaders, like IBM Blockchain and the Linux Foundation, to give input and develop a single product for the greater good of consumers who seek their services.

2018 will see us, and our partners, continuing to rise to the occasion and tackling the challenge of digital identity head on, using blockchain as our foundation. From our family of collaborative partners across the country to yours, we wish you a happy holiday season and new year. We look forward to sharing our updates with you and showing how Canada can lead the world in next-generation, privacy-enhancing and consumer-empowering solutions.

 

[1] https://www.coindesk.com/rate-blockchain-patent-applications-nearly-doubled-2017/

[2] http://fortune.com/2017/12/07/blockchain-technology-australian-securities-exchange-asx/

[3] http://fortune.com/2017/12/07/blockchain-technology-australian-securities-exchange-asx/

[4] http://fortune.com/2017/06/19/id2020-blockchain-microsoft/

[5] https://www.coindesk.com/air-new-zealand-winding-tree-team-up-for-blockchain-exploration/

[6] https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/top-trends-in-the-gartner-hype-cycle-for-emerging-technologies-2017/