It was quite evident in 2018 that the momentum is definitely shifting. This blog post will provide a ‘snapshot’ of the positive progress made this past year for blockchain, and how large corporations have made meaningful investments in the technology, evidently pushing the potential of real-world use cases closer to reality.
It would be hard to disagree that 2018 was nothing short of a successful year for the advancement of blockchain technology. We observed the growing state of maturity of the technology and its alignment with the core principles that underpin the distributed ledger ecosystem.
The financial leverage that the blockchain market has benefited from — through the influx of large fundraising efforts from ICO’s (Initial Coin Offerings), especially in 2017–2018 — has given the opportunity to conduct a considerable amount of research and development studies aimed at finding solutions to the challenges faced by the technology.
What was seen as challenges were interpreted as an opportunity for ambitious entrepreneurs and companies to step up and find solutions to the pending fundamental issues of consensus, governance, automation, security and link them to real-world use-cases. 
Notable Positive Developments From 2018
- Malta’s revolutionary cryptocurrency and blockchain technology regulatory provisions passed and taken into effect in Q4 2018. Where countries like China and the United States have taken a stricter stance on the cryptocurrencies while embracing the technology that powers them — Blockchain, Malta has shown a progressive attitude towards the crypto and blockchain technology market. 
- In November 2018, tech giant Amazon announced that they will be launching a blockchain service to help clients develop blockchain networks without incurring the costs of creating their own platform. The new platform is another aspect of Amazon Web Services, Amazon’s cloud computing subsidiary which powers a large number of websites and services, including platforms like Netflix. 
- The internet giant Google announced that they are working on blockchain-related technology to support its cloud business and head off competition from emerging startups that use the heavily-hyped technology to operate online in new ways. 
- U.S. electronics powerhouse Apple Inc. considering using blockchain due to the decentralized security features it offers and plans to use the technology within a prospective system for creating and verifying timestamps.
- Among tech giants, IBM (with Hyperledger) and Microsoft Corp. (with Azure) have so far led the charge in offering blockchain-related tools and letting companies tinker with digital ledgers using their cloud services. Cloud’s 800-pound gorilla, Amazon.com Inc., helps companies build blockchain applications, and Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg is looking at cryptocurrencies, encryption and other decentralized computing approaches . When it comes to supply chain, there have been many big companies exploring the use of blockchain in 2018: Samsung, Berkshire Hathaway, Walmart and Alibaba — just to name a few.
The market for blockchain products and services may grow from $706 million last year to more than $60 billion in 2024, according to WinterGreen Research. If one thing is for certain, it’s that companies don’t want to miss the blockchain bandwagon.
If you attended any of the Beyond Blocks summits this year, you would have felt the insurmountable feeling of enthusiasm and positivity flowing through the conversations throughout the events. The progression of the technology is what continues to drive optimism in the industry, and leveraging the growth of blockchain technology is why we are here. The price of tokens may have taken a massive hit, but the interest in the advancement of the technology still continues to rise.
The statistics on what we’ve achieved in 2018 says it all. Stay tuned for the next post outlining these amazing achievements.