Blockchain Operating Systems – What are they and how long before they become the standard?
Blockchain technology has been around for a decade. While most people associate it with cryptocurrency, this powerful solution has already proven useful in several other sectors including data sharing, digital voting, real estate, and even in online dating apps.
Nevertheless, blockchain adoption continues relentlessly in its most relevant dominion: computer technology. The niche of operating systems is the likeliest target for implementation. Several promising projects are already underway, and we’ll be discussing them in this article. Is the era of MacOS, Windows, and Linux coming to an end? Let’s find out!
What is a traditional operating system?
An operating system (OS) in its traditional form is three things:
- The governable medium between hardware and software.
- The binding mechanism that unites all the physical components of your computer, and provides a virtual interface for you, the user, to interact with them.
- The host for applications, programs, and other software that you can add to your computer.
Computers have existed since the 1940s, but only for limited use. Operating systems appeared in the late 1960s, and they were rudimentary applications quite far from our understanding of an OS today. It wasn’t until personal computers became popular in the 1980s and 1990s that operating systems made a huge technological leap.
Nowadays, the most popular operating systems include:
Most of these operating systems are available to buy as commercial licenses or proprietary software. They run in various forms on personal computers, servers, automotive computers, house appliances, and of course, mobile devices.
The operating system gives us access to some of the greatest and most successful technologies in history. Today, with the indisputable advent of blockchain technology, the OS is facing another leap forward, and from there, to infinity and beyond.
What is a blockchain operating system?
To understand what a blockchain operating system is, first we have to look at what a blockchain is, and how a combination of the two technologies would work.
The blockchain is a virtual network of computers, also known as nodes that create a global supercomputer with astonishing power. Users on this network cannot access it from their device or computer through a traditional operating system. Instead, they have to work directly on the blockchain, and if you have ever tried to create a DApp, you surely know how cumbersome the process is.
The blockchain operating system aims to create a seamless software interface between the blockchain and the users. It should work as a layer between the huge network of computers and each node on the network itself. This way, users can interact, develop, and execute projects easier and faster, essentially paving the way for the standardization of blockchain OS.
Is there a market for blockchain operating systems?
Blockchain, as a term, grew in popularity thanks to Bitcoin (BTC), which is the most notorious blockchain-based product so far. There are very few conversations about any of them that do not include the other.
Still, to this day, there are plenty of people who do not know what Bitcoin is. Even fewer of them can explain, in their own words, what blockchain is, and how it works. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise to discover that the market for blockchain operating systems is just barely opening its eyes after a long and strenuous birth.
Nevertheless, there is optimism in the crypto community for the wide adoption of blockchain operating systems in the decade that just started. This enthusiasm sprouts from mirroring the current situation to that of the operating systems for personal computers in the 1980s. Back then, Microsoft Windows was just a dream in the making. Linux didn’t even become reality until 1991, and its market could reach $15.64 billion by 2027.
Blockchain Operating Systems Examples
There is little doubt about the emergence of the blockchain OS market. The only question is who will dominate it? In the case of traditional operating systems, Microsoft Windows possesses crushing supremacy with no less than 77.74% of the market. Apple’s OS X is far behind with 17.07% and Linux even farther with a mere 1.85% share of the market.
So, who will be the Microsoft Windows of blockchain operating systems? For now, we can only guess by looking at some of the projects that act as trailblazers in this niche.
ConsenSys is the brainchild of Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin, and it emerged as a rapidly expanding provider of blockchain solutions in 2014.
Through Codefi, the company aims to deliver a “blockchain operating system for commerce and finance.” It should act as a modular application that enables payments, asset management, and data analytics among many other exciting features.
LibertyOS is one of the many projects in the blockchain tech industry that claims to be the “world’s first blockchain operating system.”
Although it’s still going through the development and looking for additional funding before release, LibertyOS is a suitable candidate for the blockchain OS of tomorrow. It comes with a browser, TOR, and according to the white paper, it should rely more on the user’s experience on the network than on personal computer configuration.
Although it drifts a bit from the classic definition of an operating system, Overledger could have its share of the market once it becomes a real, full-functioning system. The developers aim to provide a link between blockchains and enable users to jump from a public chain to an enterprise-controlled one without any hassle.
Conclusion – How long before Blockchain Operating Systems become the standard?
A world where blockchain operating systems become the norm, and where different companies fight to control a billion-dollar market sounds exciting, to say the least.
Are we there yet? Certainly not! A few years ago, EOS and TRON announced that their ecosystems would eventually develop into globally adopted blockchain operating systems. A fair deal of progress has been made since then, but not enough for the crypto community to rejoice.
If we were to compare the current evolution stage of blockchain OS to traditional operating systems, it would be safe to say that we are sometime before the release of Windows 3.0 in 1990.
So, we’re about five years away from a user-oriented blockchain operating system like Windows 95 was back in its day. And, we’re about 11 years from a professional Windows XP-like version. We can only hope that the calamity of all operating systems, Windows Vista will not repeat in a blockchain adaptation as well.