There are thought to be over three thousand ICOs currently in existence. And whilst the numbers have been slowing dramatically, the loss in momentum is in part attributable to a growing maturity in the marketplace.
ICOs are slowly morphing into regulatory-compliant STOs, and tokens are increasingly becoming bona fide utility tokens. As part of the same phenomenon, there has also been a noticeable change in how blockchain start-ups are seeking to solve problems in industry.
Previously, ICOs and other blockchain start-ups were largely stand-alone projects proposing stand-alone products which, they claimed, would replace already-existing products within the marketplace. The problem is that, so far at least, there has been no example of such a product having experienced mass adoption, much less turning existing industry on its head.
That may yet happen, but most analysts see another possibility as the more likely scenario.
“Blockchain as a Service”
And this is where it now appears that blockchain technology is changing in a business sense, at least. Newer arrivals in the ICO / STO space are proposing blockchain solutions as a complement to existing industry solutions as opposed to seeking their replacement.
The concept is known as “Blockchain as a Service”. One example of the phenomenon is Cryptyk. The project is aiming to add a blockchain layer to existing cloud solutions providers such as Google and AWS.
Cloud services are by their centralised nature vulnerable to attack. The recent example of Uber is a case in point. With a blockchain layer built on top of such existing services, Cryptyk are extending – not replacing – such services, and are such able to piggy-back on the success of those industries, but also adding value by addressing their drawbacks.
This Blockchain-as-a-Service model may be the real source of disruption brought by distributed ledger technology. And if it is, the blockchain will have heralded an evolution in industry, not a revolution – and it is this approach that may ultimately see cryptocurrencies become mainstream.