While the bear market continues, companies investing in blockchain is not showing any signs of slowing down. A recent LinkedIn report stated that blockchain developers grabbed the top spot in the “top emerging jobs” market, showing 33x growth over the year, which nearly tripled the next spot, machine learning engineers, at 12x. Skill penetration in the Software & IT Services category soared into the #1 spot as well. Markets are not always the best indicator for growth, as these trends show.

Forbes, one of the few major publications relentlessly covering blockchain and crypto, named the top four trends to watch for in blockchain next year. As Oliver Bussmann writes, we’ll soon see the end of speculation and enter a new phase:

The end of 2018 also marks the end of the crypto-hype, and we welcome the next phase of development of digital assets as we move up the slope of enlightenment and toward the plateau of productivity.

While all four trends are worth noting, special attention should be paid to #3: The creation of Decentralized Ecosystem Platforms and new business models. As a cooperative, this sentence is especially important:

This also involves the construction of new business models, in a frame of cooperative competition, with competitors coming together to build up ecosystems that connect various players through the lifecycle of any product and the end-to-end delivery of services.

The cooperative model, which Nathan Schneider recently told me is dominated by US companies (over 40,000) during an upcoming RCast, is not new, though in a capitalist system it can certainly feel foreign. There is always a learning curve and growing pains in attempting this model. As Bussmann states, 2018 has been more about learning than creating. He expects that to change in the coming twelve months.

Given the recent successes of our numerous portfolio companies, we are certainly moving into a phase of creation. Use cases will continue to emerge, some of them which will inspire broad adoption of blockchain platforms. It’s only a matter of time, and it seems that that time is closing in on us.