For bitcoin, 2017 was an extraordinary year as it documented the cryptocurrency’s stratospheric rise and unprecedented entry into mainstream dialog. Regardless of which side of the bubble debate you are on, the implications that blockchain technology may have on many industries are impossible to ignore.
In technical terms, blockchain is a decentralized database that enables trustless peer-to-peer transactions without the need for any intermediaries. In concrete terms, it means that businesses are able to pay one another and exchange assets directly without a trusted third-party. It also means that legal contracts can be established and automatically executed through what are known as “smart contracts,” which can manage agreements between two parties without the need for an outside arbitrator.
The implications of blockchain technology are far reaching, with the potential to change many aspects of business across a variety of sectors. Procurement departments are poised to benefit from many of the advantages blockchain technology brings, such as cost savings, greater data transparency and shorter lead times. What that also means, and what comes with every ground-breaking technology, is that many markets are put at risk of being displaced.
Here are a few industries we’ve identified that may have the most to worry about as blockchain start-ups begin to introduce working products to the market during 2018.