If 2017 was the year blockchain swept the tech industry with the potential to disrupt a variety of verticals -- FinTech, healthcare and shipping – 2018 is already shaping up to be the breakout year for the distributed ledger technology.

Case in point: Maersk and IBM announced earlier this month that they've joined forces to create a new company focused on building a blockchain-based electronic shipping platform. According to Maersk, the platform would effectively supplant an archaic system that now relies on legacy technology, and paper, to track shipments around the world – something that could save billions of dollars.

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