This year, industries across all sectors are looking into how blockchain can benefit their businesses. Despite growing global hype, systematic inequalities remain across the blockchain landscape. As the underlying technology matures, some of these inequalities will be addressed and eventually overcome, while other inequalities are a product of market forces and are deeper and more complex.
From an investment perspective, the most exciting aspect of the ongoing blockchain revolution is undoubtedly the initial coin offering (ICO), which has captured the attention of alternative investors and technologist across the globe. Even though this new capital raising mechanism has yet to be fully defined by government regulators, increased capital continues to flow into new projects. Coin or token investors are attracted to the opportunity to invest in blockchain ventures sooner than previously available without having to prove that they are accredited. ICOs enjoy global market access to investors, enabling them to raise unprecedented amounts of capital.
Blockchains and blockchain platforms have dominated the cryptocurrency conversation, building hype around the benefits of decentralization, privacy, innovation and immutability. The mechanism on which adoption depends is an ecosystem of applications fully reliant on blockchains and blockchain platforms. To the blockchain industry, these applications are known as decentralized applications (“dapps”). An inequality of potential exists between the promised benefits of blockchains and the current applications built on them. As innovation progresses, blockchains will continue to find ways to balance the network effect, allowing both new participants and legacy participants to benefit cohesively.