Professional services firm PwC has used news analysis to identify the top ten most influential technologies that combined form five game changing innovations.
Among these ten "fourth industrial revolution technologies" is the blockchain:
"The top ten fourth industrial revolution technologies with potential for addressing climate change are: 1. Advanced materials; 2. Cloud technology including big data; 3. Autonomous vehicles, including drones; 4. Synthetic biology 5. Virtual and Augmented reality; 6. Artificial intelligence; 7. Robots; 8. Blockchain; 9. 3D printing; 10. Internet of things."
The five game changing innovations include:
"1. A next generation distributed grid: combining blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud and big data, and advanced materials.
2. Electrification of the transport system: combining cloud and big data, advanced materials, AI and IoT.
3. A smart and automated road transport grid: combining autonomous vehicles, cloud and big data, and IoT.
4. Smart and transparent land-use management: combining autonomous vehicles, IoT, AI, cloud and big data.
5. Technology enabled urban planning and design: combining IoT, AI, cloud and big data, advanced materials, 3D printing, and autonomous vehicles."
PwC believes that blockchain will be combined to form a next generation distributed energy grid along with AI, IoT, cloud, big data, and advanced materials.
IT industry analysis firm CompTIA also predicts that blockchain, IoT and AI will be major emergent technologies in 2017.
However, CompTIA notes that these new techs will face challenges that include a lack of skilled workforce to implement them, poor approaches to security, and the perspective that they are solutions "looking for a good problem."