A Market Perspective of Blockchain Platforms in the Enterprise

The enterprise space has long been rewarded as the crown jewel for blockchain technologies. From horizontal platforms that enable the implementation of blockchain applications to vertical blockchain solutions across different industries, the opportunities of blockchain technologies in the enterprise seem limitless. However, many things are still needed for the mainstream adoption of blockchain in business environments.

One of the interesting aspects for venture capitalists and startups dabbling into blockchain solutions is to figure out the evolutionary path that those technologies are going to follow in the enterprise. From that perspective I would like to explore a few ideas that might highlight how the enterprise space is likely to embrace blockchain stacks. Just to be clear, the ideas that we are discussing are related to the mainstream adoption of the blockchain. While there are isolated examples of enterprises adopting blockchain stacks, the market is still incredibly early.

Some Thoughts About Blockchain in the Enterprise

The initial path of adoption of blockchain technologies in the enterprise is going to be driven by the uses cases of the early adopters as well as by the frictionless technology models that can deliver those use cases. Like other enterprise software movements, the early adoption of blockchains will create a series of platforms and companies that will capitalize on those initial scenarios and some of which will evolve to become household names in the enterprise blockchain ecosystem. Following that train of thought, we should then discover the initial market signs and opportunities that can be exploited by blockchain startups in the enterprise. Here are my top 5:

BaaS Drives the Early Pilots

Blockchain as a service(BaaS) technologies bring together the required elements to drive the early pilots and POCs of blockchain solutions in the enterprise. Many organizations are indirectly exposed to BaaS stacks as part of their enterprise cloud subscriptions. while PaaS incumbents such as Microsoft, Amazon oar IBM are driving the adoption of BaaS there is an opportunity for startups in the space.

Off-Chain Integration and Oracles Becomes a Market

Integrating blockchain code with off-chain systems remains a challenge in enterprise solutions. Technologies such as Ehtereum address this challenges with the concept of Oracles. The need for off-chain integration and the creation and commercialization of Oracles is likely to be the focus of new companies in the blockchain market.

Blockchain Databases Become Indispensable

Most enterprise application requires a database and blockchain solution are not the exception. In order to achieve mainstream adoption in the enterprise, the blockchain ecosystem needs to create robust database technologies optimized for blockchain solutions. BigChainDB is an interesting technology in the space.

High Level Blockchain Programming Frameworks Gain Popularity

In order to attract mainstream developers, the blockchain space needs more and better development frameworks that abstract the implementation of common types of applications such as mobile or web. Eris and Ethereum have been pioneering some interesting ideas in that front.

Blockchain Application Analytics Becomes a Standalone Market Segment

From the horizontal and infrastructure capabilities needed by enterprise blockchain applications, analytics is the one area that can have an immediate impact in the ecosystem and achieve relevant market share. While most blockchain platforms include some form of analytics, there are still relatively rudimentary which creates a lot of opportunity in this area of the market.

CEO of IntoTheBlock, Chief Scientist at Invector Labs, I write The Sequence Newsletter, Guest lecturer at Columbia University, Angel Investor, Author, Speaker.

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