Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have endured a crushing blow in recent months, but that doesn't mean investors should blow off the underlying blockchain technology that underwrites them.
"Cryptocurrency is one application of blockchain technology, but there's a whole range of other ways to use this technology that may be able to abstract pieces of cryptocurrency or maybe not using cryptocurrency at all," Case Kuhlman, CEO of blockchain and contract software company Monax told TheStreet.
He cited the use cases for banks, supply chain companies, and even legal companies adopting the underlying technology to streamline the services they provide.
Most famously, Walmart (WMT) - Get Report which has employed blockchain for its leafy green tracking and reduced the discovery time of contaminants in its romaine lettuce supply from about one week to merely two and a half seconds seconds.
"Lots of companies are starting to look at this potential [in blockchain] and it has nothing to do with cryptocurrencies," Kevin Werbach, professor of business ethics and legal studies at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business told Real Money in a December interview. "They're solving a real business problem."
The space has only attracted more attention as new broke that Facebook (FB) - Get Reportis building its own blockchain dedicated division to apply to its own business problems.
"It's another data point for the uses of the technology by large companies," Kuhlman commented.
So, with some of the largest companies in America like Facebook and Walmart dipping into blockchain for their various needs, how big can blockchain be? Is it the next cloud?
Possibly, according to Kuhlman.
"What cloud platforms like Salesforce (CRM) - Get Report and others have traditionally done is separate the installation of software on a particular computer with the ability to interact with that piece of software. That was a real fundamental change for device mobility and a whole range of other things," he explained. "What blockchains do, is they sit behind an application and they enable us to divorce a single operator of a dataset or a system with that dataset or system. So in other words, now a group of companies, or an ecosystem can all collaboratively manage a system."
With such a tangible use case and lofty comparison, Kuhlman suggested that a "cambrian explosion" is ahead for the space in 2019.
To find out more on what to expect from the "explosion" of use cases, check out the interview above.
Employees of TheStreet are restricted from trading individual securities.