Blockchain predicted to be No. 1 digital disruptor in 2018

Blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, virtual and augmented reality — these innovations have the potential to reshape digital business in 2018, according to research digital technology provider Dimension Data.

And, according to a press release from the company, businesses that have not started the digital investment cycle are at high risk of being disrupted, especially by blockchain, which Digital Data named as the top trend for 2018.

"It's ironic that the cybercriminals who perpetrated the recent WannaCry ransomware attack could hold a federal government to ransom and demand to be paid in bitcoin," said Ettienne Reinecke, group chief technology officer at Dimension Data.

"Bitcoin might be a cryptocurrency, but it's based on blockchain, and if cybercriminals are confident that bitcoin provides a safe mechanism for the payment of ransoms, it indicates just how secure the distributed ledger approach is."

Reinecke predicts that blockchain will also deliver on the promise of Internet of Things in the year ahead.

"To extract the true value from IoT technology you have to be able to operate in real time," he said. "Once a sensor alert is received from a control system you must react to it, meter it and bill for it instantly — all of which negates the viability of a centralized transactional authority. The cost of the transaction has to be near zero or free, and the cost elements of a centralized model simply don't support the potential business model in IoT."

Significant attacks have recently been launched from low-cost IoT endpoints, and there's very little incentive for manufacturers of these devices to incur the cost of a security stack, which leaves them extremely vulnerable. The blockchain can play a fundamental role in securing these environments, Reinecke said.

"I predict that a number of digitally transformed incumbents will successfully start reclaiming their markets because they have more credibility, longer histories, an established customer base, and assets that can stand the test of time."

Topics: Blockchain, Security / Theft, Software, Trends / Statistics

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