Now that the initial buzz around blockchain applications and the long blockchain “winter” that followed has ended, we are now in the middle of a “spring” that is helping organizations rethink how they create value. Blockchain will add $1.76 trillion to the global economy by 2030, according to PWC.
Most of this increase is expected to come from business-to-business (B2B) applications, which will further benefit from the security, stability, and simplification opportunities offered by blockchain-based transactions and relationships. With multi-partner operations, dozens (if not hundreds) of products, and onerous bureaucracy for almost every business process, it’s hard to overestimate how much organizations can earn, especially as stronger competitors emerge.
But while small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are faster and smarter in adopting new technologies and products, businesses are slow to adopt them. Sales cycles are long, there are multiple gates, and many internal stakeholders still have strong incentives to leave things as they are.
Related: Today’s Enterprise Blockchain: While Some Fail, Others Show Potential Value
Join the Consortium
Part of the emergence of enterprise blockchain is due to the growing desire of enterprise decision makers to team up with others to develop and operate similar solutions. Everyone hopes that more units working together to develop and manage experimental or pilot phases can make development more valuable. These efforts were carried out through membership in larger cooperative organizations or “old world” associations. We are starting to see the creation of several blockchain industry consortiums such as RiskStream and B3i.
Industry associations and established governing bodies have also started creating dedicated networks for their members, as the GSMA has done for the mobile space. In 2019, 92% of executives who responded to the Deloitte Global Blockchain Survey said they were already part of a consortium or planning to join one.
Related: Private, Public, and Consortium Blockchains: Explaining the Differences
But in hindsight, the deployment of blockchain production seems to have one thing in common: very few are actually led by consortiums. Admittedly, some companies have created ad hoc consortiums, which typically represent stakeholders with an interest in a particular ecosystem, to facilitate early adoption and initial consensus (Mediledger and Tradelens are two examples). But the fact is that the solutions were developed and implemented by profit-oriented service providers and adopted by commercial companies without endorsement or endorsement by industry organizations every step of the way.
The excuse for this industry is dropping
Companies that want to experiment with technology, create use cases, and succeed at doing so are often excluded from public networks due to their limitations, especially those looking to keep their business internal and private. Before interoperability became the focus of the industry, developers were understandably forced to develop the blockchain in isolated ways. They are licensed, owned or operated by associations.
But now a decade has passed, and the alliances are still associated with licensed implementations in the private sector. An enterprise blockchain site simply cannot ignore evolution. Increasing interoperability and the coming wave of Web3 mean we need to rethink the central role that blockchain associations play in the equation.
Will the DAO replace labor unions in the corporate world?
For companies, the new infrastructure and the role of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) supported by smart contracts and governance protocols could replace the blockchain association as the focus of the industry. DAOs have even caught the attention of more traditional investors, including billionaire Mark Cuban, who called them “the perfect blend of capitalism and progressiveness.” In May, he tweeted: “The future of companies could be very different with DAOs taking over old businesses, if the society is good at governance, everyone shares the benefits.”
Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, or a16z, has also led multimillion-dollar fundraising rounds at both individual DAOs and companies supporting the creation of DAOs. But DAOs only make sense in certain contexts, and not all areas of consensus-seeking organizations can realize this idea. Look out for some very exciting news in this area in 2022.