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What Is the Gartner Hype Cycle?

Based on the Gartner Hype Cycle, blockchain technology will be fully functional within the US economy in less than ten years. So, what exactly is the Gartner Hype Cycle? It is a research device used to measure current technological innovations. The objective of the Gartner Hype Cycle is to determine when various products and innovations (not just blockchain) will reach mainstream adoption by consumers.

The hype cycle consists of five phases. Let’s review each phase.

Phase #1 – Innovation Trigger

Phase #1 signals an initial breakthrough in product development. A small product launch is rolled out on a limited basis. The new product receives a small amount of press coverage. Early adopters begin to implement the new product in their daily lives. Blockchain technology entered phase #1 in 2013.

Phase #2 – Peak of Inflated Expectations

Phase #2 is characterized by a dramatic surge in media and press coverage. The new product becomes the latest “buzzword” within the industry and the general public is introduced to the new product. The media (along with the general public) places unrealistic expectations on the product and many people lose interest when the technology fails to meet lofty expectations. Blockchain technology entered phase #2 in 2016 and expectations peaked with the December 2017 crash.

Phase #3 – Trough of Disillusionment

The public continues to lose interest in the product based on the fact that the media and various news outlets overhyped the technology surrounding the product. However, the initial developers of the product as well as a core group of early adopters continue to move the product forward. Blockchain technology entered phase #3 in January 2018.

Phase #4 – Slope of Enlightenment

For the most part, the media has abandoned the product based on its belief that the underlying technology failed to meet expectations. During the fourth phase, the initial developers of the product continue to work tirelessly on the project in an effort to improve the technology. Ironically, the core developers of the project generally experience a sharply reduced level of stress in phase #4 because many people have abandoned the project, thus reducing the stress level. Blockchain technology entered phase #4 in 2019.

Phase #5 – Plateau of Productivity

The underlying technology of the product has become stable and dependable. The benefits of the product have been widely accepted by consumers. The growth rate of the product begins to expand dramatically. Approximately 30% of the target audience is using the product regularly. The product will continue to grow for several years into the future. According to the experts who study the Gartner Hype Cycle, blockchain technology has entered this phase in 2021. Most likely, blockchain technology will remain in phase #5 for several years as it reaches full-scale adoption within the global economy.

In addition to the Gartner Hype Cycle, several other blockchain-related studies have all reached the same conclusion – that is, blockchain technology will arrive at our front doorstep much faster than most people realize. The entire global economy is heading for dramatic technological advances during the next decade. Many of these new advances will be powered by blockchain technology.

Brief Summary of Gartner Hype Cycle

  • Gartner Hype Cycle is a research device used to measure technological innovations.
  • The cycle determines when various products will reach mainstream adoption.
  • The hype cycle consists of 5 phases.
  • Blockchain entered phase #1 in 2013 and phase #2 in 2016.
  • Phase #3 started following the 2017 crash 2018.
  • Phase #4 was signaled by a general disinterest in blockchain tech in 2019.
  • Blockchain is currently in phase #5.
  • Phase #5 will likely last for several years.
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