The Covid pandemic created an unexpected meteoric rise of the stock markets followed by the crypto boom. Everyone today wonders what’s in store for the near future. Putting aside speculation and hype as well as FOMO, it’s time to take stock of how big the blockchain market currently is, and what do experts predict in the coming five years or so.

Grand View Research has recently come out with its market forecast for blockchain technology for the period 2021-2028, which lays out the near future for the futuristic economy.

Despite the hype, the entire global blockchain market stood at $3.67 billion in 2020, and $5.88 billion in 2021. But until 2028, the market will expand at a high CAGR of 82.4%. That comes to $394.6 billion. These figures were arrived at by looking at data between 2016-2019.

Since the direct impact of blockchain is supposed to be on centralized banks, it is worthwhile to note that, according to the report, “commercial and central banks across the world are now using blockchain technology for payment processing and issuing of their digital currencies.”

A major advantage of using crypto – cheap and fast cross-country payments by workers and ex-pats which can be done at as low as 2-3% of the total amount, compared to other platforms where fees and commission can be anywhere between 5-20%. However, the high cost of gas on Ethereum and rising mining fees mean the situation today is different. Until Ether goes into the second version, as of today users are paying between $8-20 for transfers of ETH or USDT.

The new things coming up

New things are on the way for cross-country payment. For remittance markets, MasterCard is in partnership with R3. Paypal’s announcement to integrate bitcoin caused much of its price escalation recently.

For stock exchanges, blockchain is bringing more speed and less redundancy. Japan will have a digital stock exchange by 2022, the report states.

A blockchain need not be public, and private organizations can build and secure their own blockchain. The growth in private blockchains (private cloud) is expected to be the highest than the public, says the report.

Within the blockchain space, the development of protocols and standards was the major growth area in 2020. This means more people were busy creating networks and systems for people to use in various industries. In the next seven years, the middleware section will see higher growth. The middleware tools include those to authenticate data such as in healthcare.

In terms of applications, payment solutions, as expected, took a major share of 44%. In the next seven years, smart contracts will be the highest growing segment. Smart contracts will be used in various industries to execute and verify transactions and data, to secure against fraud, etc.

Who is dominating?

In 2020, large corporations were more active than small and medium sized businesses. They took 68% of the revenue. Most of them are major players in insurance, finance, healthcare or supply chains, and using blockchain for making processes more efficient. Another use lies in doing KYC, as in the case of HSBC or Barclays. Small and middle sized businesses however will be major growth players in the next seven years. They will use blockchains for scaling up and streamlining things in transactions or supply chains.

Industries leading in blockchain adoption

In terms of industries, let’s look at which areas were dominant users of blockchains.

Financial services had a 38% share of revenue, given the presence of cryptocurrencies and all their advantages. Governments were the second-largest players, using blockchains for securing data. The EU’s GDPR law played a role in this as well. In the next seven years, healthcare will be a major growth booster. Other sectors were media and entertainment, retail, transport and logistics, travel and others.

In terms of regions and countries, North America took 38% share in revenue in 2020. Asia Pacific (China, Japan, India) will be growth promotes in the next seven years.

Finally, the report enlists some major companies active in the blockchain space: IBM Corporation, Microsoft, Linux Foundation, BTL Group, Chain, Inc., Circle Internet Financial, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Digital Asset Holdings, Global Arena Holding, Inc. (GAHI), Monax, and Ripple.