Blockchain Adoption Around the World
Blockchain usage is being increasingly adopted around the world, certain regions are ahead in the adoption and the development of the technology but there are still many places in the world don’t have the technology or are inaccessible to it. This is due to a number of limitation for the adoption, including infrastructure development, local resources and regulation. However, while the investments in blockchain technology is growing steadily, it still falls behind other technological investment in the information and communications technology sector.
The governments in the Middle East region is increasing their efforts in the usage of blockchain, having their own free economic zones dedicated to technological development and innovation. The Middle East and African governments are increasingly investing in understanding how blockchain and digital currencies can improve the economic outlook for their regions, and using the economic zones in full potential by incubating blockchain projects, while taking cautious steps to set up regulatory sandboxes to test the effects of these technology on the population. Some blockchain applications that they have been looking are DNA storage, cyber-security and diamond registration. They are setting up legislation for the blockchain-based projects and most notably the digital currencies, which has allow some banks in the region to develop blockchain powered exchange systems.
The African region is the least developed in blockchain technology, being excluded from the previous industrial revolution, the countries have underdeveloped infrastructure, and consequently, nearly 80% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa do not use formal or semi-formal financial services. However, this is exactly why there is so much potential for blockchain adoption in Africa. The economic instability and poor banking systems in Sub-Saharan Africa have resulted in the adoption of digital and mobile payments , where most transactions in the continent are digital, and a large percentage of the adult population holds some type of e-wallet. This is a good indicator that the population may be more open to new technology. The younger generations in Africa sees blockchain and other software development job as future careers paths that can help them earn a living which is not limited to their local vicinity.
In contrast to the Middle East and Africa region, and as one of the most early adopters of blockchain, Europe is has a well developed regulatory environment for the blockchain and financial markets, and is actively exploring ways to implement the blockchain technology. The European Blockchain Partnership is a way of proving the support for blockchain from the European Union, where the countries that have signed the declaration are obliged to dedicate in the implementation of blockchain technology to benefit their citizens and economies.
The United States also has strong support for the blockchain technology, having the most developed regulatory environment and being the center of many technological discoveries, it is not surprising that the United States has the most blockchain investments. The trend will likely to increase as more government official begin to see blockchain in a more positive way through blockchain’s use to help law enforcement, promote transparency of government grants, modernize military warehousing and validate government contract bids.
The game changers
The Asian region is may not have as many adopters of blockchain as Europe or United States, but it certainly is the region with the fastest blockchain development. Tech projects play a central role in the economic growth of the countries in Asia, such as China and Singapore, and have the most competitive markets. More than cryptocurrencies, governments are more open to the benefits that blockchain can bring. Both the Chinese and Singaporean authorities have stated that the blockchain technology is important for the country’s future economic prospects, and China is trying to beat the United State as the leading country for blockchain investment. In 2019, the Unite States invested $1.1 billion in blockchain, Western Europe invested $661 million, and compared to them, China had only invested $304 million. According to IDC data, the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, is predicted to have $2.4 billion invested in blockchain by 2022, most of which will be made by China. However, China still has a huge advantages over the other countries in terms of blockchain patents and will likely to remain as the leader of blockchain development.
CyberVein, being a blockchain company in China, also pushes for the development of blockchain technology. We see blockchain as a tool that can be used to bring change and benefit to the world, especially when it is combined with other technological tools such as IoT, Big Data, and AI. CyberVein is a public blockchain infrastructure based distributed database, utilizing DAG as the underlying storage solution, blockchain as the data management, and federated learning as the AI application architecture. The technology provides a complete solution in compliance with GDPR and internationally growing concern on data privacy, granting businesses new opportunities in data exchange and machine learning modelling.To show our dedication to technological development, we have a research center at Zhejiang University where numerous research and experiments are being conducted to explore ways that blockchain can be implemented. The Zhejiang University-CyberVein R&D Center had successfully achieved a keratitis diagnosis algorithm with federated learning, which can correctly identify the different types of keratitis with an accuracy of 80%, a lot more reliable than diagnosis with naked eye, and it performed better than 96% of the doctors that had participated in the experiment. The research center is working to further improve the algorithm, and is looking into other aspects of the medical and healthcare sectors for a similar implementation of blockchain and federated learning, while also exploring other field and tool that can help achieving blockchain implementation. CyberVein has used blockchain and IoT to help a seafood market platform in Ningbo province, by utilization the data collected through GPS, sensors and cameras, the buyers on the platform can see accurate information on the seafood that the fishermen had caught, preventing fraud, price disagreement and trust related issues. Other work included building blockchain and AI platforms for government operated department such as law enforcement and tax bureau, which improved the overall efficiency and cost reduction greatly for their operations.
With China being in the forefront of blockchain development, blockchain companies in China, including CyberVein, are working to achieve blockchain implementations that will actually be of use to the society. We clearly understand that blockchain is not only used to power cryptocurrencies, and as a relatively new technology, many areas needs to be explored and many problems will surface, such as the energy consumption of blockchain and the interoperability of blockchain. Efforts have been made around the world to solve the problems surrounding blockchain, looking to be a respective and authoritative participant in setting the global regulation standard for blockchain, and China is no exception. Blockchain will eventually be trusted and well developed, mass adoption or full adoption of the technology is only a matter of time.