As the saying goes, opportunity waits for no one! The ICT sector has continued to disrupt the sphere even during the pandemic. The past year has taught us that the limitations are only in our heads. When the intention is clear and determination with consistency is there, we are bound to achieve our goals. Similar is the case with the innovators around the world who kept working towards exploring their limitations. At the recent CES 2021 conference, we came across a lot of covid19 related tech innovations like a smart mask, touch-less doorbells, disinfecting robots, air purifiers. and UV sanitizers. Moreover, some companies offered work-from-home products like better performing laptops, noise-canceling headphones, and QLed TV for a Hi-def viewing experience for the users sitting at home.
Although Tech priorities shifted towards adapting to the pandemic, we have to agree that they were impressive. However, we have a long way ahead of us in 2021 since tech is destined for far more than just hygiene-related products. Now that developed countries are adopting blockchain and moving towards digital currencies, developing countries are still struggling with their digital transformation movements. Now that is a topic for some other time, the important thing here is how the world is transforming on blockchain and artificial intelligence. Let’s dig into the trends for each, blockchain and artificial intelligence, that are expected to fall through in 2021.
What Is Blockchain And How Does It Work
Blockchain technology is powered by decentralized ledger technology that holds data on a peer-to-peer network. Providing complete accessibility, transparency, and accountability to all the stakeholders on the network. Every action is approved by all the peers for it to be implemented. That is how the integrity of the system is maintained and no biased input is entertained.
Blockchain Trends For 2021
Over the coming few years, experts have evaluated that the blockchain market is going to exponentially grow from USD $3 billion in 2020 to USD $39.7 billion by 2025. Adapting to the pandemic became a huge opportunity for blockchain to establish itself. It definitely sped up the process of blockchain moving into mainstream tech. During the lockdown, many such services that requested an individual to be physically present created a lot of hurdles in going about the routine activities. However, with blockchain, we can form a digital identity consisting of a unique hash dedicated to a unique, individual person. With more and more decentralized digital identities, we can expect identity theft to decline. Moreover, with every institution, be it big-scale or small-scale, all of them can transform their operations on blockchain and save up on a lot of costs. According to Gartner, 40% of the surveyed corporates have at least one blockchain pilot running out of which 30% will be transitioning to the production phase. From there on it will be run on a private blockchain.
Another trend the experts have observed is that as the blockchain transitions towards the mainstream arena, private blockchains will become the largest contributor to the blockchain market growth in 2021. It is expected that other corporations would follow through with the global shift in tech especially now that we have countries in Europe planning to roll out their own digital currencies with china right behind them with their crypto yuan.
We have experienced a global acceptance of tokenization as the people stored their assets on a blockchain. That showed us how the DEFI or decentralized financial services can be used for financial use cases such as drawing up smart contracts. Now based on the digital currencies, the total value of DEFI services grew at an impressive pace as it surpassed $10 billion by 2020. This number is only expected to grow more from here.
Experts also believe that if the current financial system does not transform its operations, it will be left struggling as it did when the pandemic struck. During the pandemic, the financial sector was affected the most out of all. However, digital currencies and DLT powered systems, are encouraging the shift towards contactless transactions and redesigning the entire financial services. That is how the banking and financial sector will grow at an exceptional pace and will hold the largest share of the global blockchain market in the coming years. In light of all that, we will experience DLT-offerings by non-traditional financial institutions for good.
With blockchain moving towards the mainstream, it is obvious that the regulators would intensify their search for stricter and tighter regulation. Since the governments were late to get a hold of the technology, it is a growing concern for them now. As DEFI services grow, traditional banking systems are under the threat of becoming irrelevant. That is why, EU legislators are exploring possibilities to regulate digital currencies, including the proliferation of token investments as a sophisticated investing vehicle.
Moving forward to the trends expected in artificial intelligence, let’s see how AI flourished during the pandemic.
Artificial Intelligence Trends 2021
Artificial intelligence has experienced tremendous growth in the past year due to the pandemic. As a host of different other technologies like, machine learning, AR, VR, and mixed reality, the need for services or products powered on AI grew as people explored the possibilities of living a virtual life during their quarantines. Due to such a spike in demand for AI, the innovators took no chance to sit back.
Multiple companies started bringing forward their solutions for every problem. Such as the recent CES 2021 virtual event showed us how hygiene-related products were more prevalent. One such example is the disinfecting robot that goes around disinfecting the rooms. Another example is the smart mask that disinfects itself and has a proper ventilation system that runs on a battery. That means you can charge that mask when the battery runs out and you never have to worry about buying more masks. Especially now that masks are posing an environmental risk as reports suggested that 1.56 billion face masks entered the oceans in 2020. Thus, there is a potential for these smart masks.
Moreover, experts are observing that hyper-automation is the next wave of mind-blowing user experience, bringing AI to perform more of our daily tasks. Businesses can expect to perform their operations efficiently with better cloud computing options. AI-powered IoTs are also going to transform as they keep getting smarter. Such as, smart office tech will detect who is in the office and make energy-efficient decisions around the office by turning the lights and heating off. More AI-powered IoTs are under production or under beta phase which is expected to unravel in the coming months.
Furthermore, Generative Pre-trained Transformers are also evolving with the recent beta launch of GPT-3 which generates text just like humans based on a specific textual input. You can learn more about it here.
Taking a step ahead of it, experts at OpenAI started off 2021 with the release of DALL-E that creates images from textual input. Although this particular technology is yet to be explored to its full potential, it is just a heads up for what to expect from AI in the year ahead.
If we must phrase it, AI is shooting for the moon and nothing is going to stop it.
With the tech revolution waiting for no one, the past year saw a major shift in how we use technology even in the most unexpected circumstances. Along with tech trends that are expected to grow this year, the pandemic opened doors for more opportunities especially in the blockchain and artificial intelligence field. From this point forward, blockchain and artificial intelligence are going to disrupt the mainstream tech platform.
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