Cryptocurrency, Blockchain–Bank of America, one of the largest financial institutions in the United States, is no stranger to the sphere of cryptocurrency or blockchain. The company, which serves over 46 million customers across the country, has made headlines before with patents related to improved cryptocurrency storage. Now, the banking giant is in the news again with a bullish outlook for the industry of blockchain and the companies that are most likely to benefit from the growing exposure and adoption.
On Tuesday, CNBC reported that Bank of America had released an estimate on the outlook for the blockchain industry, valuing the market at $7 billion which would subsequently lead to a boost for corporations currently exploring the space, particularly Microsoft and Amazon. BoA analysts were short on specifics as far as when they projected the market growth achieving such a valuation, or whether that estimate would still take years to reach. However, the estimate came from a conservative conclusion that 2 percent of servers would one day being running on blockchain, leading BoA to peg the value of technology as a multi-billion dollar industry.
BoA research analyst Kash Rangan also provided details on the how the blockchain industry could further grow its exposure and utility as a technology, one of the primary innovations being a union with existing cloud computing operations to improve supply chain operation. In a note to clients, Rangan went on to give an example of blockchain-problem solving in relation to the massive, multi-disciplinary platform that Amazon has developed,
“Amazon will benefit from incremental cloud services demand from Blockchain implementation, while improved supply chain tracking should make Amazon’s retail operations more efficient”
While the CNBC article was careful to draw the distinction between blockchain and cryptocurrency (via the example of Bitcoin) it did point out how the technological principles underlying crypto as a currency would find similar use for data sharing and web hosting companies. Specifically, the ability for blockchain technology to share data in a way that is distributed and unalterable would provide a resource that could provide security that, according to Rangan, “databases have not been able to in the past.”
Rangan draws upon the innovation of software as a service, a feature being pushed by companies like Amazon and Microsoft, as a viable pathway for blockchain to follow into mainstream commercial interests, dubbing the merger “blockchain as a service,” or “BaaS.” He cites Microsoft’s popular cloud computing platform Azure as a possible candidate for merger with blockchain, with the smart contracts and third party develop application driving some of the growth,
“BaaS on Azure offers services such as smart contracts and other third party apps, and should benefit as use of blockchain on Azure increases.”
While cryptocurrency and major currencies like Bitcoin are underrepresented in the discussion of blockchain use and development, it does provide greater exposure for two synergistic technologies, further legitimizing the field of crypto in the eyes of the genera public. As an extension of developing blockchain-based software, companies such as Amazon and Microsoft could rely upon cloud computing geared cryptocurrencies to provide similar features–or it could pave the way for an upstart competitor looking to further the field via decentralized computing.