The term ecosystem refers to a “community of organisms that interact with each other and their environment”. This term has been extended to the world of blockchain, referring to the various interconnected initiatives, independent players, communities and even nations working to advance and utilise this technology.
Achieving Ecosystem Consensus
However, due to the rapid pace at which blockchain is continuing to evolve, together with the somewhat subjective nature of defining how exactly the blockchain ecosystem should be mapped e.g. what it should include, and how it should be organised, it is an impossible task to achieve consensus on one version of the eco-system accepted by all.
In fact, there are many variations of the blockchain eco-system that one could explore, including PitchBooks “Blockchain Market Cap”, which consists of “135 blockchain startups that have received the greatest amount of funding from angel investors and VC funds”. And Josh Nussbaum's “Blockchain Project Ecosystem”, which focuses on blockchain projects over companies, compiled off of personal experience, research and community input.
The point being, that blockchain has evolved to lend itself to all manner of industries and initiatives, with the term eco-system being used to describe this achievement as well as its ongoing evolution as a whole.
Let's take a quick look at a few of the verticals within the “Blockchain Project Ecosystem” as defined by Josh Nussbaum.