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18 Blockchain Predictions for 2018

Traders Magazine Online News, June 18, 2018

Andrew Keys


1.Bitcoin is the generation 0 of blockchain technology… the opening act… the gateway drug … the first inning … MySpace.

We must thank her for her work, as none of the following technology would be available without Satoshi’s Bitcoin, but we’re about to go much, much, further. While Satoshi converged a database structure with peer-to-peer networking, cryptographic tokenization, consensus formation algorithms, and game theoretical economic incentivization to create a means for trustless digital storage and transmission of value, the “Digital Gold” use case, is only one use case.

Bitcoin as a digital store of value is the least interesting use of blockchain … There, I said it.

Far more interesting are programmable money, programmable asset transfer, and shared, tamper-resistant business logic. People fixated on Bitcoin are missing the fact that we’re verging upon the next generation of the world-wide-web.

The Bitcoin protocol is the world’s largest modern-day abacus; it only enables us to move a bead (or coin) from one side to the other. The ability to do this on a global, permissionless substrate is not trivial. But I can’t overemphasize the limited scope of this initial design, due to its use of a virtual machine which isn’t Turing-complete.

Here’s an example of a Bitcoin script:



The above script should serve to explain the inherent limitations of the Bitcoin scripting language. Ethereum can be thought of as Bitcoin + everything else, with a high level software language reminiscent of Javascript.

While still being able to store and transmit value (the single Bitcoin use case), we’re also able to program our agreements using Ethereum. Here are two examples of typical agreements that are now easily codified using Ethereum’s Solidity programming language.

Our agreements are turning from Microsoft Word documents written by attorneys and recognized by notaries into agreements bound by code, transacting assets that are natively digital.

As the Internet commoditized the cost for communication, Ethereum commoditizes our costs of agreement and trust.

2. 2018 in blockchain years is the equivalent of 1994 to the 1996 boom of the Internet.

Intranets First

Similar to the evolution of the Internet that began on private Intranets, permissioned blockchains will give way to the permission less blockchains once they successfully achieve scalability and privacy.

The Stack

The next generation of the internet will be a “stack” comprised of: (1) a decentralized transaction layer (the strongest of which I believe to be Ethereum); (2) a decentralized file storage layer (IPFS and Swarm are early leaders); (3) a decentralized messaging layer (Matrix or Whisper are strong candidates); and (4) a high throughput computing resource (Golem is an example of attempting to accomplish this).


As Jeremy Millar noted at the inception of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, blockchain technologies will be helped tremendously in 2018 through formal standardization processes similar to when Java evolved into Java 2 Enterprise Edition through standardization of database and web API’s to be the most widely used software language on Earth.

Consumer Facing Applications

For more information on related topics, visit the following channels:

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