The emergence of blockchain technology and its related features and benefits have become widely used and adopted globally in the last 2 years. In fact, blockchain technology is regarded as the safest, most reliable and efficient way of transferring and storing value, without any third party involvement. While the food and beverage industry is beginning to realize the untapped potential of blockchain integration, the concept of blockchain technology is increasingly being accepted by a large chunk of the world’s population, most notably, Generation Z.
Generation Z and blockchain
Generation Z consists of individuals born after the mid-1990s till the mid-2000s. Generation Z consists of digital natives, which may be a result of their increasing reliance on technologies such as blockchain. Trust is a major factor here, as they do not fully trust today’s centralized institutions and systems, citing government intervention as one of the main reasons. Thus, a direct correlation has been seen between the generation’s lack of trust and their high rate of adoption of crypto assets and other blockchain use cases.
Other socio-economic reasons as to why blockchain is increasingly being adopted by this generation are:
- New and efficient way to store value. Over the years, the ways to store value and investment has changed drastically on a global landscape. Unlike prior generations that introduced gold and equities as a viable investment option, Generation Z individuals increasingly look for decentralized options in today’s world. This can directly be attributed to the general distrust of Generation Y toward any centralized entity, citing third-party involvement as a major reason. This is also considered by many analysts as the driving force behind the future of crypto-assets and their mainstream adoption.
- Lack of trust on traditional financial institutions. There is a general consensus among Generation Z members causing them to steer away from traditional financial options. Many individuals have already lived through major economic crashes, such as the financial crisis of 2008, which involved centralized institutions. As such, individuals today are weary of involving themselves with banks and other government-controlled financial institutions. In a world that is increasingly being digitized to develop complex but efficient financial systems, digital trust has become increasingly important. Generation Z prefer blockchain integration, which is creating digital scarcity and native digital trust on a global level.
- A new way of crowdfunding. The emergence of start-ups on the global stage has highlighted the importance of crowdfunding methods. Through blockchain, raising capital via token sales or initial coin offerings has presented individuals with an almost fool-proof method of capital generation. This is because of the existence of a degree of safety and trust, where contributions made go directly to the intended party of the project.
- Online anonymity. Online anonymity is a highly controversial feature of blockchain technology, and has been described as a “double-edged sword” by many industry experts. Online anonymity is increasingly being preferred over open social media interactions for a variety of reasons. Industry analysts believe that the demand for online anonymity and security of personal information will only grow exponentially as Gen Z grows into maturity.
- Freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is another important reason why many individuals across the world are preferring blockchain. Individuals view the transmission of information through blockchain networks as an important requirement, especially in countries with high levels of public censorship. By tapping into the decentralized nature of blockchain, information can now be transferred without the fear of censorship, no matter where in the world it originates from.
Emerging uses of blockchain technology
Blockchain technology is almost tailor-made for Generation Z, an entrepreneurial, tech-savvy and socially aware chunk of today’s population. In the past two years, the industry has seen widespread adoption and integration of blockchain technology in varied industries such as healthcare, supply chain management, arbitration, real estate and even in some governmental sectors. For example:
- Global energy. There are a handful of companies in the world that aim to use cryptocurrencies and blockchain to transform the global energy market, creating solutions for developing nations.
- Charity. Charity is another sector where blockchain has contributed majorly on a global level. Many startups have started using blockchain technology to revolutionize charitable giving and relief efforts.
- Governmental institutions. A number of national governments began integrating blockchain technology for a variety of reasons.
Even though blockchain is increasingly being integrated into several industries of the world, the decentralized approach of blockchain technology will be crucial for the future of food and beverage. Blockchain will create transparency, which in turn, will help remove data silos, speed up processing and provide security and a high level of interoperability.