Greater digitization efforts, especially those championed by blockchain, will undoubtedly reshape the global trade environment. However, nowhere is the promise of greater digitization more relevant than the Asia-Pacific economies which are playing a growing role in global growth momentum. As the UN statistics show, the region could greatly enhance its export abilities and trade results simply from the removal of paper from the process.  

Without a doubt, digital adoptions are necessary, and becoming a common part of most industries. Even so, they’re not easy to pull off, and present countless opportunities for failure. This doesn’t mean any initiative will automatically fail, but rather that companies should work to reduce those odds by implementing sound policies, smart processes, and assuring that all projects are always supported from the top down. 

Until Snapchat can deliver a clear vision for what its future will look like and how it will cater to changing demographics and those it has been unable to woo, the latest rally in shares appears more like a short-squeeze than a trend reversal. If anything, this week’s earnings announcement will be more reflective of another opportunity for short-sellers to reload amid expectations of a shrinking user base and less attractive prospects going forward.

Sweeping policy changes are quickly positioning France as a key hub for blockchain innovation and development. While it is still playing catchup to more established blockchain destinations like Japan, which is still the leader in Asia, and likely the world, the European nation has made great strides in the right direction. The upcoming Paris Blockchain Week Summit is a testament to the country's growing blockchain ambitions.

Despite its relatively slow start, blockchain could find fertile ground for mainstream growth in the gaming industry. A sector that is so defined by its embrace of cutting-edge technology can only benefit from blockchain’s many advantages. 

Challenges remain, of course. Notable is that blockchain remains constricted by physical realities. Scaling must be resolved to support real mass gaming—as the Crypto Kitties fiasco showed—and the cost of developing on blockchain must also become more feasible. The technology’s multiple applications and real use cases, stretching from smarter marketplaces to virtual resources for developers to tap into, make it a perfect fit for gaming. Although it may come with some lumps, it seems blockchain and gaming are set for a productive and mutually-beneficial future.

As other assets are onboarded to blockchains, the new technology will allow for markets to flourish around the clock without maintenance, enjoy better fraud and network protection, and take advantage of a frictionless online investing and banking experience. Although blockchain has struggled to gain relevance in terms of upending traditional financial services, this latest development is a great step forward for all stakeholders in financial markets.

These advances mean that an era when investors will be able to hold and manage their entire portfolio from a personalized wallet isn’t far off; it’s already arrived.

Cyber-security has become a more comprehensive effort than ever before. When attacks are not simple hacks and direct breaches, security experts must focus their labors on the less-considered paths of attack. 2019 will see the challenges increase and evolve as companies must constantly contend with millions of possible attack vectors. However, as new attacks emerge, so do the mechanisms to defend against them.

Blockchain can be a breath of fresh air for multimedia’s ongoing push for wider reach by streamlining the connection between content creators and brands looking to capitalize on their exposure. By supporting new and unique ways to connect and remove the need for intermediaries who inevitably slow the process, blockchain offers a freer and more dynamic ecosystem both for vloggers and the companies seeking to expand their influence.