Blockchain evolution: from 1.0 to 4.0
3 min readDec 7, 2017


Today we want to look at the evolution of blockchain technology and its “versioning” from 1.0 to 4.0. This brief desciption shows how we at see the development of blockchain — in accordance with the majority in this field.

Blockchain 1.0: Currency
The implementation of distributed ledger technology (DLT) led to its first and obvious application: cryptocurrencies. This allows financial transactions based on blockchain technology or DLT (for the sake of simplicity often seen as synonyms) to be executed with Bitcoin being the most prominent example in this segment. It is being used as “cash for the Internet”, a digital payment system and can be seen as the enabler of an “Internet of Money”.

Blockchain 2.0: Smart Contracts
The new key concept are Smart Contracts, small computer programs that “live” in the blockchain. They are autonomous computer programs that execute automatically and conditions defined beforehand such as the facilitation, verification or enforcement of the performance of a contract. One big advantage this technlogy offers, is the blockchain making it impossible to tamper or hack Smart Contracts. So Smart Contracts reduce the cost of verification, exceution, arbitration and fraud prevention and allow transparent contract definition overcoming the moral hazard problem.
Most prominent in this field is the Ethereum Blockchain — with its aim at allowing the implementation of Smart Contracts.

Blockchain 3.0: DApps
DApp is an abbreviated form for decentralized application avoiding centralized infrastructure. It uses decentralized storage and decentralized communication, so most DApps have their backend code running on a decentralized peer-to-peer network, a blockchain. In contrast, a traditional app has its backend code running on centralized servers. A DApp can have frontend code and user interfaces written in any language that can make calls to its backend, like a traditional App. But a Dapp can have its frontend hosted on decentralized storages such as Ethereums Swarm.
DApp = frontend + contracts (running i.e. on Ethereum)

Blockchain 4.0: Making blockchain usable in industry (4.0)
With the foundations laid by the previous versions, for us Blockchain 4.0 describes solutions and approaches that make blockchain technology usable to business demands. Especially Industry 4.0 demands.
Industry 4.0 meaning in short terms automation, enterprise resource planning, and integration of different execution systems. However, this industrial revolution demands an increasing degree of trust and privacy protection — this is where blockchain kicks in.
When adding blockchain to IT systems one ends up with business integration, allowing Cross-System/Cross-Blockchain business processes, i.e. machines safely and autonomously placing an order for their replacement parts to arrive. Supply chain management, approval workflows, financial transactions and condition based payments, IoT data collection, health management and asset management are just a few examples of areas that can be empowered by blockchain technology.
Blockchain 4.0 means, making Blockchain 3.0 usable in real-life business scenarios. Satisfying Industry 4.0 demands by making blockchain promises come to life.

That is why we see the framework as the first framework for Blockchain 4.0. Providing an unified approch for blockchain based business integration — thus fulfilling industry 4.0 demands.

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