The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, Davos, drew to a close recently. There was a lot of – surprisingly positive – things to say about blockchain.

Davos 2018 was a victim to the hype of cryptocurrency. Last year’s Davos was packed with blockchain sessions and discussions. This year, Davos was more focused. There was little interest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but an appreciation and optimism towards blockchain as the underlying technology.

Interest from investors

People appear to recognise blockchain as a positive investment despite the devaluation of cryptocurrency. Jeff Schumacher made his beliefs clear at Davos: that while blockchain had worth, he believed Bitcoin could eventually reach zero.

Blockchain’s strength comes from the fact that it can be the backbone of many things. It’s just like a regular database – but much more secure and decentralised.

Less about hype, more about practicality

At Davos, there was a noticeable emphasis on the transition of blockchain’s reputation from a hyped and romanticised technology to a sensible, practical one.

Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan Chase’s CEO, spoke out against cryptocurrency and its hype back in the very early days of Bitcoin. At Davos, Dimon said that he does, however, support blockchain as a database. Dimon also said that he found no satisfaction in Bitcoin’s drop, despite predicting it.

Bitcoin has dropped over eighty percent since its peak.

Best use cases

Blockchain seemed to appeal to the investors at Davos because of its:

  • Simple but effective uses (e.g. BitPesa)
  • Ability for database storage
  • Potential governmental use
  • Potential to streamline business processes

Many (40%) institutional investors said that they would compare the advent of blockchain to that of the internet and viewed it as a technology with a great deal of potential. The optimism definitely revolved around blockchain and not cryptocurrency, however. This opinion has drawn significant criticism.

Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse predicted that blockchain technology would be widely adopted within five years.

Others suggest that artificial intelligence is actually overtaking blockchain’s place in the popular technological sphere. Sessions based around AI were far more widespread at Davos this year.

The conclusion

The majority opinion from Davos seemed to be this: optimism in blockchain, but a strong lack of faith in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Investors ultimately want to invest in blockchain, because they see its value as a simple method of storage, communication and transfer. However, cryptocurrency poses an unstable, unreliable risk. With its recent crash, cryptocurrency has lost 2018’s hype and has instead become relegated to the back line.

What does this say for 2019, then? Potentially, it could mean increased optimism in blockchain-based businesses with simple solutions for major problems. Here at Blockhead Technologies, we’ve created STAMP: a platform that uses blockchain technology to streamline the supply chain process. It brings traceability and accountability into supply chains.

Click here to find out more about STAMP’s solutions for the mining sector.