It’s 2020, and the new year ushers in a new list of possibilities for blockchain technology and the businesses, institutions, and enterprises that choose to utilize its capabilities to improve their products and services. Among the emerging blockchain trends to watch in 2020, there are five important movements that will continue to define blockchain’s future applications.

  1. The Collaboration of Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence (AI) has remained top of mind in 2019 for many large businesses, government agencies and tech giants, and it’s not expected to slow down in 2020. AI has a diversified set of capabilities, including its ability to integrate with blockchain applications and increase efficiency. It is also possible to improve machine learning models by using the organized data provided by blockchain. Microsoft acknowledged this in 2019 when they stated, 

“Leveraging blockchain technology allows us to do two things that are integral to the success of the framework: offer participants a level of trust and security and reliably execute an incentive-based system to encourage participants to contribute data that will help improve a model’s performance” (1).

Blockchain and AI are expected to join forces in 2020 to help businesses to streamline existing data sets and refine a number of applications including:

  • Smart Computing Power
  • Creating Diverse Data Sets
  • Data Protection
  • Data Monetization
  • Trusting AI Decision Making
  1. Financial Institutions Will Increasingly Adopt Blockchain Applications

In 2020, we expect financial institutions to lead the way for industry-blockchain use. Evidently, cryptocurrencies have quickly actualized from blockchain and the capabilities for the banking and financial industry to capitalize on blockchain don’t stop there. Blockchain can also help banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions to:

  • Reduce excessive bureaucracy
  • Provide faster transactions at lower costs
  • Improve its secrecy and data protection for users
  • Reduce fraud
  1. Blockchain Will Help Regulate Social Media

Social media isn’t going anywhere in 2020, but the way we consume social media will continue to change. The Influencer Marketing Hub predicted that a large trend in 2020 would be “More Regulatory Control and Legal Scrutiny” over various social media platforms. Blockchain technology will be used to:

  • Ensure publish posts are untraceable and cannot be duplicated 
  • Allow users to maintain ownership over their shared content
  • Allow users to better control content relevance
  • Increase privacy and security (2)
  1. Big Tech Companies Will Offer Blockchain as a Service (BaaS)

What does Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) mean for big tech? Large companies and even smaller start-ups are using applications that use blockchain technology to enable users to set up their own digital products like landing pages on a website. These applications don’t have complex setup requirements and don’t ask that users have any prior knowledge about blockchain infrastructure. These intelligent blockchain-first digital products are already used by enterprises such as Microsoft and Amazon (3).

  1. The Rise of Federated Blockchain 

Federated blockchain is an upgraded version of the basic blockchain model, which increases efficiency for specific use cases. Federated blockchain allows multiple authorities to alter and control the pre-selected nodes of blockchain and therefore, validate the block so that the transactions can be processed further (3). This blockchain trend indicates that refinements will continue to be made to improve blockchain use. This improved model can be immediately useful for applications in the financial industry, organizational records, and supply chain management, to name a few.