2017 will be remembered by many as the year that cryptocurrencies finally broached the mainstream consciousness. Although Bitcoin was first introduced to the world in 2009, it didn’t really gain significant traction until this year. For instance, Bitcoin was worth less than $1,000 at the end of 2016, and by the end of 2017, it was valued almost 20 times higher. Of course, Bitcoin is far from the only digital currency to comprise this phenomenon.
Dozens of digital currencies saw increases of hundreds or even thousands of percent throughout the year. According to data compiled by CoinMarketCap, at the beginning of 2018, the total crypto market cap exceeded $800 billion.
In short, even though crypto markets have cooled since the start of the year, there is still a lot of value in crypto markets.
The Blockchain is More Valuable Than Bitcoin
In January, the New York Times Magazine published a lengthy expose on the blockchain’s potential as a world-altering disruptive force. Authored by Steven Johnson, the article notes, “The Bitcoin bubble may ultimately turn out to be a distraction from the true significance of the blockchain.”
By this, Johnson means that the blockchain’s transformative capabilities will eventually far outpace Bitcoin’s meteoric price increase. It’s more of a nod to the blockchain than a criticism of Bitcoin’s value.
Already the blockchain is being touted by major corporations as the technological innovation that is at the forefront of their priorities. Even J.P. Morgan Chase CEO and avowed crypto skeptic, Jamie Dimon, recently acknowledged on a Fox Business telecast that “the blockchain is real.”
While some of the blockchain’s biggest holdups – slow transaction speeds, scalability issues, decentralization concerns – are being rapidly addressed, its most ardent problem, its inability to communicate with other blockchains, is stalling its development and implementation.
In its current state, the blockchain is a series of siloed platforms that struggle to connect with one another. In other words, while its decentralized ethos is an attractive asset, it lacks the connectivity of the internet so that companies and platforms can interact with and transact with one another.
Connecting the Blockchains
Thankfully, this issue is being resolved as additional platforms are emerging that connect different blockchain and allow them to work together rather than just independently.
A new blockchain platform, Fusion, is launching a comprehensive public blockchain that connects blockchains so that they can transact with one another. It’s the product of DJ Qian, a Chinese entrepreneur who is most famous for his previous role in starting Quantum and VeChain, two successful blockchain initiatives focused on business solutions and supply chain management respectively.
In contrast, Fusion is a blockchain for blockchains. With an emphasis on facilitating cross-blockchain and cross-token interactions, Fusion equips users to make transactions, exact smart contracts, and interact with other tokenized, high-level applications across different blockchains.
Fusion runs on a hybrid Proof of Work and Proof of Stake consensus algorithm and on open code platform that’s managed by the Fusion Foundation and its core contributors. One of its most compelling features allows users to lend or borrow digital tokens by using smart contracts. In this way, Fusion is allowing users to participate in broad cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem without direct exposure to all of its facets.
There are obvious enterprise implications for Fusion’s integration model. While collectives like the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and others strive to develop blockchain solutions at the enterprise level, Fusion can enable these disparate developments to collaborate in a coordinated way.
A Value Proposition
Ultimately, Steven Johnson and other blockchain proponents will be right. The blockchain will bring efficiency, reliability, and security benefits to all manner of enterprise and personal use cases, and those changes will be even more valuable than the cryptocurrencies that first made the blockchain famous.
However, before that can happen, blockchains will need to connect with one another. In fact, this is so important that prominent research and consulting firm, Deloitte, included the topic in its 2018 tech trends discussion.
Fusion represents a trustless system for developing trusted relationships across the blockchain spectrum. As blockchains connect with one another, their capabilities will continue to become more useful and more valuable. When blockchains can connect with one another, the blockchain is beginning to recognize its true value, and that’s an impressive thing to see.