The World Economic Forum, the NGO dedicated to “shaping global, regional, and industry agendas”, announced its predictions for the blockchain world on Thursday. For the WEF, 2019 saw a shift from blockchain hype to quality; in the year to come, it predicted that “there is an opportunity for blockchain to have a social impact”.

Specifically, the WEF expects to see increased experimentation with hybrid blockchain models,” taking place in the financial sector through decentralized finance (DeFi) and “synthetic” central bank digital currencies. In the public sector, it predicted an increased use of smart contracts.

Partner up

However, there’s a catch: “Projects will only succeed if there is adequate governance and a collaborative approach,” said the WEF. 

Duh. But 2019’s blockchain companies didn’t think of the obvious: Libra, the kind-of-stablecoin network led by Facebook, fell flat on its face in 2019, and world leaders have already pronounced it dead on arrival.

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The WEF predicts that blockchain projects must form partnerships in order to succeed. “Companies are waking up to the idea that to go far, they ought to go together,” it wrote.

By way of an example, the WEF plugged its own consortium that looks at blockchain in the mining and metals sector, “where a collaborative approach would have been hard to imagine even a few years ago”. It expects such collaborations to continue in the future.

Technology, however, must be supported by strong policy, which is “essential” to make sure that blockchain is “deployed in a way that addresses its limitations.”