2020 in the Cloud: Predictions from Storj Labs


We’re still somewhere in the middle of the blockchain movement and enterprises continue to adopt blockchain technology at an unprecedented speed. But while AWS, Azure and Google may rule the cloud presently, the benefits of decentralized technology may threaten their dominion.

Decentralization is not just disrupting traditional cloud storage providers. There are so many possibilities that blockchain technology can enable and some of the greatest are likely impossible to predict, but we’re still going to try anyhow. Here are a few predictions from leaders here at Storj Labs about what’s likely to happen this year in blockchain tech:

1. Companies and individuals will become ever more concerned about their privacy in the cloud and turn to encryption as a solution. 

Given all the recent data breaches that have impacted almost every US citizen, individuals and businesses are realizing there is a huge cost to unsecured data. Whether it’s an improperly configured Amazon S3 bucket, a network attack, or something else, unsecured and unencrypted data leaves data exposed to breaches. Client-side, end-to-end encryption–whether it’s in a consumer messaging app or an enterprise architecture–will become increasingly adopted to protect against breaches. A recent survey to our community of developers revealed that privacy and security is more important than price when it comes to purchasing cloud storage services.

2. Businesses will start distancing themselves from traditional  cloud services

Users are becoming increasingly savvy about the importance of their data and the risks of allowing cloud-based companies to access it. The bottom line is that the cloud as we know it today isn’t nearly as secure as we think. Presently, privacy and security are key differentiators for businesses, and public pressure will cause companies in the cloud to start taking a serious look at their security strategies in 2020, most likely incorporating decentralization options that guarantee better security.

Granted, it will take much longer than a year for businesses to solidify and fully deploy these new security strategies, but 2020 will be the year the conversation begins to shift.

3. Companies will begin to self-regulate

Governments move slowly, so companies will step in to implement their own regulations. In fact, it’s already happening. The Crypto Ratings Council seeks to rank digital assets on the likelihood of them being security risks. There’s also the Token Taxonomy Act, which continues to push for clarity around security tokens to strengthen the security of cryptography.

We predict companies will look to analogous industries and more traditional frameworks to adopt strong corporate governance as well as treasury management to protect against unpredictable enforcement. More companies will seek advisers and consultants with expertise in areas such as financial services, financial crime compliance, and data privacy compliance. This will occur as civil litigation increases in the wake of often aggressive — but ultimately inconsistent — regulatory enforcement.

Plus, U.S.-based companies will continue to mitigate the risk posed by the uncertain domestic regulatory landscape by branching out into crypto- and blockchain-friendly jurisdictions. This will result in a demand for expertise and increased awareness of local laws and regulations that will impact the global conduct of U.S.-based businesses.

We know that the blockchain explosion is here, but we expect that the next year will trend toward decentralizing cloud services and increasing blockchain regulation. It’s a powerful technology, but one that needs to be used intelligently. We’re excited to see what 2020 brings for the adoption of blockchain.