For years now, blockchain has been seen (and invested in) as though it will play some big role in economic development for years to come. Surely, this view is not unwarranted, and the biggest winners will be the firms who capitalize on this trend early, can scale effectively, and remain a step ahead of the competition. Few firms are better equipped to do this than mega-conglomerate General Electric (GE). For some time now, management has been placing an emphasis on the application of blockchain to the company's own operations, and while significant value creation for the company is probably still years away, investors should prepare for big changes in the future that will ultimately help (given appropriate execution) the firm's bottom line.
Given the breadth of opportunities out there for blockchain, it may not be most people's first guess to look at applications in the industrial arena. That said, with the rise of IoT (internet of things) devices, blockchain will become more important in the industrial space than most people could possibly fathom. The growth rate in industrial devices (of which counted for 5.9 billion of the 31.1 billion globally last year) connected to IoT is forecasted to be, on an annualized basis, 24.4% between 2013 and 2030. This dwarfs the 21.4% growth rate forecasted for automotive/transportation devices and the 20.8% growth rate forecasted for medical devices over the same period of time.