Recently, Chain and R3 announced that they were open sourcing their core products. This is a clear change in direction for both companies, as it previously seemed that they were both going down the ‘permissioned partner’ blockchain route.
Although I’m sure that R3 and Chain would argue that this was always on the roadmap, my guess would be that after much effort working with partners they both realised that a platform (which is what a blockchain really is) has little value unless there are developers building on it. Having a rich tapestry of applications built on your platform matters and this is where I predict most will be now turning their attention to.
Some take the view that 2019 will be the year that PoCs go production ready. In contrast, I think 2019 will be the year that blockchain infrastructure startups go aggressively after developer mindshare. Expect more blockchain hackathons and developer evangelists at conferences as these companies realise that banks and other industry incumbents won’t be the ones that build the future of blockchain tech — it’ll actually be developers looking to solve problems in a novel way.