Blockchain, most often associated with cryptocurrencies, has long had potential as a global database of record for business applications and processes, and there is evidence that its adoption for these purposes is on the rise. Some have discounted the hype that surrounded blockchain a couple years back, but many sizeable companies have finally put it into production.
Take, for example, its application to supply chains. Avery Dennison, a $8-billion multinational enterprise, uses blockchain to provide a cloud service offering that provides supply chain services to some large consumer goods companies, as well as their customers. The benefit is not only the efficiency blockchain and security provides, but also its across-the-board transparency, according to Neil Hay, market development manager for Avery Dennison's atma.io division, which supplies SaaS-based supply chain services.
"I think that we are towards the end of a paradigm shift where the drive for fast fashion and cheap apparel is pretty much ended," Hay explained to Blockchain Journal's David Berlind in an interview at the recent World Economic Forum. "The need now is to have products in which you have confidence, in which you are proud to wear, and that is going to last," Hay says.
The advantage of blockchain is its enabling of "traceability of supply chains, our understanding what products, what comprises that product," Hay continues. This extends to quality of materials, origin of manufacture, and impact on the environment. "As the product moves through that supply chain, we're giving that immutability that confidence to the consumer, and have that auditability, that traceability, and that transparency which is linked to a blockchain. We can have the confidence to say what we have said is happening has really happened."
That verifiability has been missing from supply chains, he says. "We don't have to search too hard to see examples of companies that thought what was happening upstream in their supply chain was true, that the things reported they wholly believe. But the ability to have that auditable traceability piece, to convey the confidence to the customer you've got it in one is what the interest in the blockchain is for us."
The analysis, published by DevSkiller, an IT skills assessment platform, finds demand for blockchain skills increased by 552% in 2022. "Interest in blockchain is on the rise likely because of its enhanced security, greater transparency, and instant traceability," the report's authors maintain. The report's findings are based on 209,249 coding tests sent through the DevSkiller platform to candidates from 54 countries.
The second-fastest-growing technology is Kotlin, with a 205% increase in demand. "Kotlin is likely becoming more popular because of its multi-platform capabilities and the continued investment in mobile technologies," the survey's authors suggest. Other fast-growing technology areas include cybersecurity (176%), Salesforce (128%), and Go (94%).
"We had more requests from new customers in the past year than ever before for blockchain and low-code and no-code technologies," the survey report's authors add.
Breaking down the blockchain-related IT skill set into smaller pieces, Solidity was the most commonly tested skill with a 44% share in the number of skills assessments sent to candidates and employees. It beat out Hardhat (22%) and Smart Contracts (15%) that rounded out the first three positions respectively.