It may have taken nearly a dozen years, but the technology sector finally appears to be catching onto the game-changing potential of the blockchain. Major companies are now experimenting with blockchain solutions, and even governments are testing out the technology in new and innovative ways. It’s more than possible that 2020 will be remembered as the “Year of the Blockchain.”
Here are three recent news stories about blockchain technology breaking into the mainstream.
1. Blockchain tops LinkedIn’s list of “in-demand hard skills” for 2020. At the start of every year, LinkedIn publishes the results of a survey asking companies about the “most in-demand” skills they are looking for when recruiting new employees. Typically, this list is dominated by technical skills like AI experience, video production, and UX design. This year, however, LinkedIn was completely surprised by surging demand for workers with blockchain experience. As the company explained in their report, blockchain is “a skill we weren’t even looking at a year ago.” Why the sudden increase in demand? “Blockchain is now being used in industries ranging from shipping to healthcare, from farming and food safety to entertainment and gaming.”
2. U.S. Treasury testing proof-of-concept payment blockchain for grants. In a report published last week by industry newsletter FCW (Federal Computer Week), the U.S. Treasury Department confirmed that it is currently testing a new, blockchain-based system for modernizing federal grant payments. According to Craig Fischer, innovation program manager at the Treasury Department, the proof-of-concept blockchain is designed to create a more efficient and secure platform for tracking the flow of grant payments.
3. Dish Network seeks patent for “anti-piracy” blockchain. Last week, satellite TV provider Dish Network filed a patent application for a “content anti-piracy management system” that would use blockchain technology to enable copyright holders to identify illegally shared content. While the core concept isn’t new — Dish filed a non-blockchain version of the patent in 2018 — this is one of the first attempts by a large company to use blockchain technology to tokenize content broadcast and download rights. Dish Network has around 9.5 million subscribers, and is also the owner of streaming video service Sling TV.
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