Let’s discuss the evolution of Blockchain because it’s impressive how blockchain technology is crafting deeper and vital relevance in the real world as it versions from 1.0 to 4.0. Introduced as a distributed ledger technology( DLT) for accounting transaction records of cryptocurrencies, Blockchain has evolved a big way to become the core technology behind powerful new-age possibilities like decentralized economies, NFTs, Web 3.0, Metaverse, and many more.
Blockchain is viewed as a leading and disruptive technology by techno futurists who wish to change the world for the better. With blockchain technology gaining traction in various industries, more research, investment, and development efforts are being focused on building the Blockchain ecosystem and community. There are currently over 100 private-permissioned blockchains and 50+ layer 1 blockchain protocols. By the end of 2026, the blockchain market is anticipated to be worth 68 billion dollars.
As Blockchain is maturing and rising in popularity, a discussion about Blockchain evolution is important for startups and companies because it helps them understand their own digital transformation path and realize where they stand in a Blockchain-enabled future. Have they begun yet, or are they only piloting or leading in response to Blockchain advancements?
This insight is about Blockchain’s various incarnations, particularly version 4.0. It’s about figuring out what the fourth generation of Blockchain has to offer, how it looks, and what it will power.
- Blockchain 1.0 – Cryptocurrencies
- Blockchain 2.0 – Smart Contracts
- Blockchain 3.0 – Decentralized Applications
- Blockchain 4.0 – What’s in there?
- Blockchain 4.0 Applications
- Web 3.0
- Industrial Revolution 4.0
- How can LeewayHertz help you with your Blockchain journey?
Blockchain 1.0 – Cryptocurrencies
As we know, it all started with Bitcoin. The Blockchain’s first-ever application was to record financial transactions of bitcoins. Blockchain has already established itself as the enabler of an ‘Internet of Money’ by powering cryptocurrencies. By providing transparency, accountability, immutability and security, Blockchain very soon triggered the influx of more cryptocurrencies, and today we have more than 2,000 different cryptocurrencies in circulation.
The boom and growth of cryptocurrencies into the mainstream market has always been the talk of the town, so we all know how it is evolving. Eventually, many consumers and businesses have started accepting and using crypto-powered digital payments, and there is no going back. The era of cash is coming to an end, and our monetary systems will increasingly rely on digital currencies in the future. According to economists, the future we are heading to is a combination of cryptocurrencies, stable coins, central bank digital currencies, and other digital payment systems.
Blockchain 2.0 – Smart Contracts
With Blockchain 2.0 came the era of smart contracts that helped Blockchain to outgrow its original functionality of powering cryptocurrencies. Smart contracts gave businesses a way out to automate their cross-organizational contracts. As autonomous computer programs live on Blockchain, smart contracts can execute automatically when pre-defined conditions are met, eliminating the role of middlemen. Smart contracts have gained widespread appeal because they are tamperproof and lower the cost of verification, exception, arbitration, and fraud protection, in addition to permitting automated permission-less execution. Also, smart contracts allow transparent data recording, which is easily verifiable and provides the involved parties equal sovereignty over their deals.
The very popular Ethereum is a 2nd generation blockchain. For fueling the functionality of smart contracts, Ethereum is the go-to Blockchain for enterprises across industries, especially supply chain, logistics, cross border payments. Like Bitcoin, Ethereum also adapts the Proof-of-Work consensus method, which necessitates the use of heavy mining hardware and the expenditure of significant resources. This created the need for more environment friendly and less resource-heavy blockchains, which the 3rd gen blockchains tried to fill up. But for most of them Ethereum still remains the ideal, as they attempt to match the Ethereum’s programmability.
Although a second-gen Blockchain, Ethereum has been continuously at the forefront, scaling up its offerings to expand the blockchain functionalities across industries. Ethereum is leading the way in everything from smart contacts to dApps, asset tokenization to DAOs, DeFi to NFTs.
Blockchain 3.0 – DApps
Blockchain 3.0 has been all about the rise of dApps. With a frontend user interface, calling to its backend smart contracts hosted on decentralized storages, dApps support various powerful blockchain use-cases like DeFi platforms, Crypto loan platforms, NFT marketplaces, P2P lending and others. What Ethereum started in dApp development and DeFi found new dimensions, with the coming of 3rd generation, dApp development focused blockchains like Cardano, Solana, IOTA, Nano, XDC and many more. These new entrants focused on improving the adaption of Blockchain at the mass level by fixing the flaws or shortcomings in the second-generation blockchains. Powered by new consensus mechanisms like Proof of Stake, Proof of History and others, 3rd gen blockchain protocols focused on areas like Speed, Security, Scalability, Interoperability and Environment friendliness.
For offering benefits like transparency, scalability, flexibility and reliability, the Global dApp market is expected to develop at a 51 percent CAGR from 2019 to USD 368.25 billion by 2027. dApps have found applications across verticals like Gaming, Finance, Lottery, Social media, Crypto transaction.
Blockchain 4.0 – What’s in there?
The third generation of Blockchains is still expanding and solidifying their market footholds. So, is it too early to discuss Blockchain 4.0? It is not because Blockchain is now fast progressing. Passed the phase of discovery and experimentation, Blockchain technology is now in the phase of implementation and expansion. While Blockchain 3.0 was mostly focused on fixing the issues of second-generation blockchains, Blockchain 4.0 is focused on innovating with Blockchain. We should expect rapid advancements in the blockchain space as businesses across different industries are adopting Blockchain at a faster rate.
Blockchain 4.0 promises to scale up Blockchain as a business-usable environment for creating and running more improved and mainstream decentralized applications. Speed, user experience and usability by larger and common mass will be the key focus areas for Blockchain 4.0.
Blockchain 4.0 Applications
We can truncate blockchain 4.0 applications into three verticals – Web 3.0, Metaverse and Industry 4.0
The Internet is constantly transforming, and we are on our way to the third generation of internet services, which will be fueled by technological advances such as IoT, Blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence. Web 3.0, is focused at having decentralization at its core, hence Blockchain plays a critical role in its development.
Web 2.0 has been revolutionary in terms of opening up new options for social engagement. But to take advantage of these opportunities, we as consumers have poured all of our data into centralized systems, giving up our privacy and exposing ourselves to all of the usual cyber threats. Web 2.0 platforms are managed by centralized authorities that dictate transaction rules while also owning user data. The 2008 global financial crisis exposed the cracks in centralized control, paving the way for decentralization. The world needs Web 3.0- a user-sovereign platform.
Because Web 3.0 aims to create an autonomous, open, and intelligent internet, it will rely on decentralized protocols, which Blockchain can provide. There are already some third-generation blockchains that are designed to support web 3.0, but with the rise of Blockchain 4.0, we can expect the emergence of more web 3.0 focused chains that will feature cohesive interoperability, automation through smart contracts, seamless integration, and censorship-resistant storage of P2P data files.
The dream projects of tech giants like Facebook, Nvidia, and many more, Metaverses, are the next big thing for us to experience in the coming few years.
We are connected to virtual worlds across different touchpoints like social engagement, gaming, working, networking and many more. Metaverse will make these experiences more vivid and natural. Advanced AI, IoT, AR & VR, Cloud computing and Blockchain technologies will come into play to create the virtual-reality spaces of Metaverse, where users will interact with a computer-generated environment and other users through realistic experiences.
The more we discuss Metaverse, the more astonishing it will appear to us, particularly when we conceive of it in terms of games, large art exhibitions, concerts, virtual workplace board rooms, and so on. But first, let’s look at how blockchain technology can help with Metaverse development.
Centralized Metaverse entails more intense user engagements, deeper use of internet services and more uncovering of users’ personal data. All these almost likely means higher cybercrime exposure. Giving power to centralized bodies to regulate, control and distribute users’ data is not a sustainable set-up for the future of Metaverse.
Thus, much emphasis has been placed on developing decentralized Metaverse platforms that will provide user autonomy. Decentraland, Axie Infinity, and Starl, these are all decentralized Metaverses powered by Blockchain:
Also, Blockchain 4.0’s advanced solutions can help Metaverse users regulate their security and trust needs. Take the Metaverse gaming platform, for example, where users may purchase, possess, and trade in-game items with potentially enormous value. Proof of ownership through something as immutable and scarce as NFTs will be required to prevent forgery of these assets.
Blockchain solutions, particularly those expected in Blockchain 4.0, can aid in the regulation of the following Metaverse development requirements:
- Decentralized data management
- Digital Proof of ownership
- Digital collectability of assets (such as NFTs)
- Transfer of value through crypto
Industrial Revolution 4.0
We can look into the idea of Blockchain 4.0 as a vision that is fueling all the development efforts aimed at making Blockchain viable in Industry 4.0. The world has always needed industrial revolutions to disrupt the stereotypes and jump into novelty from time to time. Similar to how the steam engine or the Internet ignited previous industrial revolutions, Blockchain is now propelling the fourth industrial revolution’s upheavals. According to World Bank experts, Blockchain is the fourth industrial revolution’s pillar because it has the potential to reduce corruption by increasing openness in commercial operations, government processes, and supply networks.
World Bank is also seeking to ensure that emerging economies may use blockchain technology to alleviate extreme poverty and increase shared prosperity. Bond-i, a new debt product powered by Blockchain, was launched by the World Bank. Blockchain is used to build, allocate, and manage the instrument all through its life cycle.
Blockchain 4.0 for Businesses
We all have a good understanding of how businesses function or seek to function in an Industry 4.0 environment. Smart factories, smart supply chains, digitized service offerings, new digitally enabled business models, and customer transparency characterize the Industry 4.0 firms in domains such as healthcare, manufacturing, finance, logistics, education, and government.
Now, looking at the Blockchain maturity and adoption graph in Industry 4.0 , we can say that the wave of awareness occurred from 2011 to 2016; from 2016 to 2018, a lot of experimentation took place around Blockchain to make the technology more viable for specific business use cases such as R3 in banking and B3i in insurance. The blockchain transformation phase began in 2018 with the development of new frontends and APIs to drive corporate integration and an entirely new approach to data management.
Blockchain 4.0 will build on this wave of transformation by enabling the fusion of physical and virtual worlds into smart cyber-physical systems that are decentralized, transparent, verifiable, tamper-proof and automated. Blockchain combines with other Industry 4.0 technologies such as IoT, AI, AR, and VR to create smart solutions, smart supply chains, smart factories, and smart products.
How can LeewayHertz help you with your Blockchain journey?
Blockchain is advancing fast to its 4th incarnation. With that, you can be assured that adopting the technology in business use cases will become more viable, prompt and cost-effective. More than just automated record-keeping, Blockchain 4.0 solutions will provide businesses with more secured, self-recording applications based on decentralized, trustless and encrypted ledgers.
Blockchain 4.0 ecosystems can provide an Integrated Development Framework (IDE) for developing cross-blockchain interoperable dApps that can run on several 4.0-level blockchains using advanced APIs. However, just like any other digital transformation, a blockchain transformation journey for any company is a multi-phase process that begins with a technical/business needs analysis, consulting, concept development, smart contract development, frontend and backend development, deployment, maintenance, and upgrade.
At LeewayHertz, we cater to your end-to-end blockchain development needs. Our developers are well versed with the SDKs, APIs, CLIs, Programing languages and frameworks of all types of Blockchains, including 2nd and 3rd generation chains; private, public and hybrid chains. We’re working on projects that span the Metaverse and Web 3.0. We offer all-inclusive development services for smart contracts, wallets, dApps, Defi platforms, NFTs, NFT marketplaces, and anything else blockchain-related.
We would be delighted to work with you if you are interested in pursuing digital transformation with Blockchain or starting a blockchain project, or improving an existing one. Please get in touch with our experts to discuss your needs.
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