A national digital identity service based on blockchain will be launched in Canada. SecureKey's Verfied.Me service had to be launched by the end of this year, so it's late. But it is making announcements with major Canadian financial institutions and technology companies as it increases to provide a reliable way to demonstrate your online identity for high value transactions, like applying for a mortgage or even renewing a passport. Since SecureKey already works with the Government of Canada, this partnership can be counted for Verified.Me. Presumably, the last piece of the puzzle is a partnership with cell carriers. Rogers, Bell and Telus must be on board to make it work. We will look to see if they agree to move on.
I predict that there will be a consolidation in the blockchain market. By the end of 2019, we will have less blockchain platforms in real conflict, or at least other blockchain platforms will find a way to be compatible with each other. In the last two years we have seen many blockchain platforms introduced through Initial Coin Offerings. But too many have proven to be pump and landfill patterns, ruining the market's appetite for this approach. Expect blockchain platforms like Ethereum and Hyperledger to continue to become more popular in the business and be in a strong position by the end of the year. Their open source nature means that it is much easier for the different operators in the sector to collect and develop them with them. Hyperledger is already supported by IBM, Intel and SAP and these providers will have many incentives to maintain interoperability.
The regulation of the blockchain and related tokens will become a topic of conversation in Canada at the federal level. In 2018, there were hundreds of inquiries about initial coin offerings conducted by the North American Securities Administrators Association as part of the Cryptosweep operation. According to a report by The Logic, the governors of Ontario and Quebec have approved only one ICO since 2017. This is a problem considering the popularity of this form of crowdfunding in the last year. Expect that the pressure is formed from two different points of view: the securities regulatory authorities will have to create a legal path to allow for innovation; and a mechanism for identifying and sanctioning fraudulent schemes of ICOs.
Thanks to Dawood Khan and Marc Lijour for their help with these forecasts.
The zen of a connected business