Since the emergence of Bitcoin in 2008, cryptocurrency and one of its underlying technologies, the blockchain, have already become buzzwords in the world of finance. If you look into the short history of cryptocurrency, starting from the year when Bitcoin was introduced, it took less than 10 years for this technology to integrate deeply into the financial industry. Today, we already have hundreds of alternative coins and cryptocurrencies available. Those who advocate for this technology believe that it can change the global landscape just as Internet did a few decades ago. And it looks like major opportunities are yet to come.
The potential of blockchain technologies: finance and beyond
As 2016 started, one of the world’s leaders in news and information on digital currencies, CoinDesk , has shared an article featuring Deloitte’s predictions on how the digital currency and the blockchain industry may evolve within the following year. The prediction was based on a survey handled by Deloitte within its internal cryptocurrency community, addressing the question of “What do you think will be the biggest breakthrough in the blockchain space in 2016?”
The below graph displays the high-level results of the survey:
According to the survey results, the respondents believe that in 2016 the blockchain trend is likely to accelerate, resulting in new promising partnerships and high-tech product launches that would bring in major investments.
And it looks like the prediction has already started becoming a reality. According to cryptocoinsnews.com , Microsoft has recently announced its collaboration with Bank of America, with the aim to “fuel transformation of trade finance transacting, with blockchain technology”.
The other important outcome of the Deloitte’s survey regards the emerging new use cases of the blockchain and the decentralized approach itself, as this technology seems to have a lot of potential to reach beyond the financials, spreading into real estate, commodities, retail, digital media etc. This is just a short list of domains where a lot of experimentation with blockchain has started recently. And we at ELEKS also joined the trend with the number of experiments, building our own custom applications on top of the blockchain technologies. Below are the stories of two such experiments.
“The richest wallet”: our first experiment with blockchain
Our experiments with this technology started in 2015 with the attempts to parse the Bitcoin blockchain, looking for the richest bitcoin address or the so-called “wallet”.
Technically, a wallet is an address key that contains private keys for certain Bitcoin addresses, which belong to the user that owns the balance. At that time, the difficulty in reaching the project’s goal was that we had to download large volumes of data and store them locally. That data had to be parsed and all information about the user balance had to be stored in memory, so we could process and analyze it. As a result of our first experiment with blockchain, we managed to build several graphs.
The below graph represents the total number of transactions taking place over the last 5 years.
Having analyzed this data, we organized it in regard to the transactions split by days over the period of the last 180 days. Here is the result.