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Opinion: The Blockchain Evolution - Real World Applications Beyond the Hype

Renat Lokomet, Strategic Partner at Venture faculty

"One month ago I was at #ETHDenver. Since then, a lot has changed!

Bitcoin reached $30k for the first time since June 2022, and the number of active crypto addresses hit an all-time high with 15 million in March, more than double the amount in March 2021’s bull run.

This indicates that more people are interacting in the space, as we continue on the road to mainstream blockchain adoption.

The Ethereum conference displayed a shift from 2022, with the focus moving from the NFT frenzy to addressing real-world challenges using blockchain technology, as seen in the #BUIDLathon event.

Despite fluctuations in market sentiment, the number of active developers in the crypto industry has remained consistent year-over-year. Developers who joined during the 2020 bull run are here to stay. In fact, nearly 30,000 developers contributed to or built on crypto projects last month – a steady increase of over 60% in the past three years.

Events like ETHDenver show that even when market sentiment fluctuates, dedicated developers stay committed to building and innovating within the space.

This means new technologies, once practically impossible, are becoming very real. We’re seeing work on “zero-knowledge” systems advance at a staggering pace, which will unlock further blockchain scalability and a new category of privacy-protecting applications (not to mention applications in AI). Recent data shows a positive trends in zero-knowledge - related research, developer activity, and usage.

As the blockchain industry explores its potential in areas like identification, transactions, and asset conversion, the question of product-market fit remains. Like AI, simple and practical applications are necessary for wider adoption in both the real world and the metaverse. Mainstream users, often unaware of or indifferent to the underlying technology, can benefit from an approach that avoids hype and focuses on practicality.

The blockchain industry is still developing, seeking new verticals beyond payments, with emerging use cases in healthcare, gaming, logistics, and even agriculture. However, now more than ever, the industry is looking at implementation focused on WEB3, with projects and products designed to function in a decentralized world.

The aftermath of the Silicon Valley Bank collapse has been seen as a blessing for crypto, with increased uncertainty and a loss of trust in the banking industry.

With recovering prices and a bull market on the horizon, an opportunity arises for crypto startups. As the venture capital market adapts to changes and investors expect a transformation in blockchain startups, moving from hype-driven projects towards robust, user-friendly initiatives.

The contrast between ETHDenver and CoinDesk’s upcoming Consensus 2023 conference will be intriguing, as we anticipate the innovations that will shape the industry's future."

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