Most interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology centers on market value and potential use as an alternative for fiat. The most significant adoption, however, is presently taking place in the industrial economy where interest in distributed ledger systems has become extremely high. Given the scale of growth, manufacturing is poised to be the driving force that pushes blockchain into the mainstream.

The revolutionary potential of blockchain technology on industry is well known and without dispute. Among the many benefits are vastly more efficient supply chains, better quality control, and improvements in data management. In fact, blockchain promises to be so disruptive to manufacturing that entirely new production models are expected to be developed around its use.

Global industry is quickly beginning to appreciate what distributed ledger technology can offer. A survey late last year by Capgemini Research Institute found that manufacturers have the highest blockchain adoption rate of all public and private sectors. Six percent have already implemented blockchain platforms, and more than thirty percent of those with more than USD $5 billion in revenue will have done so by 2023.

Blockchain is increasingly viewed as the cornerstone of a manufacturing revolution termed “Industry 4.0,” which proponents assert will involve data management as the center of industrial production. Machines are expected to take automation to a new level by communicating with each other across all phases of the design, assembly, and distribution processes. Blockchain ledgers will enable these machines to use artificial intelligence to build and deliver products in ways that are vastly more efficient than is presently possible.

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Although any number of blockchain platforms may be used in Industry 4.0, a few are designed specifically for this purpose. The most notable by-far is Iota, which has a unique architecture that enables machine-to-machine interaction, including token transfer, without transaction fees. Iotex, IoT Chain, and Hedera Hashgraph are others being designed for use in this space. Even platforms intended for logistics such as VeChain and Waltonchain are expected to be utilized for industrial purposes.

The embrace of blockchain by industrial players is proof positive that cryptocurrencies represent a new asset class, and can hold concrete value in their function. Those crypto platforms that become industrial standards can expect to see tremendous growth in value over the next few years, yet it remains far too early to be certain which those may be. Nevertheless, current movement toward adoption in this sector is more than enough evidence to prove wrong critics who claim cryptocurrency to have no real-world purpose.

The movement toward mainstream use of crypto is likely to involve many twists and turns before a full picture of how it will be used emerges. Nevertheless, it is now clear that industry and manufacturing will be among the technology’s primary adopters. The pioneering players that take this bold step are poised to benefit financially, yet also demonstrate blockchains remarkable potential.

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