In January 2016, most people just knew about one cryptocurrency and that was Bitcoin as it had a valuation of about $1 billion. These days, you can find more than 40 popular cryptocurrencies and more and more are entering the market on a regular basis. As their use becomes more widespread so is blockchain adoption due to what it can offer. In simple terms, this technology refers to a type of distributable ledger comprising of immutable digital data stored in packages that are called blocks. They are piled in a linear chain referred to as ‘blockchain’. Due to the security and anonymity it can offer, blockchain technology has a lot of potentials and people are beginning to realize that.
Suffice it to say, blockchain holds a lot of potential, but where is it going in 2018? We recently had a discussion with Guy Galboiz, an aspiring Tech Entrepreneur, and Investor, who shared with us some of the ways that blockchain will become integrated into the world:
More and more people and institutions are understanding blockchain technology
As mention above, this technology is moving further and further into the mainstream world. Blockchain groups are being formed everywhere, from small cities to college campuses. The concept of blockchain classes is being introduced and taught at universities. The purpose is to discuss cryptocurrencies and have conversations about it that lead to action. The price spikes and use of cryptocurrencies have caught the public eye due to which more and more people are interested in knowing all they can about blockchain technology.
There are some blockchain firms that are creating global solutions for dealing with crypto volatility. Furthermore, ecosystems are also being developed for interested investors in order to allow them to participate in the cryptocurrency market. This involves the development of exchanges, mobile apps and more.
B2B participants and tech giants are emerging
While talking about b2b participants, Guy Galboiz referred to David Marcus, Facebook’s VP of Messaging Products, who became a member of Coinbase’s board in December 2017. Previously, he had also started a mobile payments company that was acquired by his former employer, PayPal. Other than that, Google has also been one of the major corporate investors in blockchain technology and will continue to be the same in this year. Amazon has also jumped on the bandwagon as in December of last year, they announced a partnership with R3’s Corda. As far as the B2B market is concerned, TraDove had raised $30 million in their ICO for expanding their existing social networking platform onto blockchain technology.
There is a rise in smart contract applications
Under certain criteria, having a smart contract ensures an action or payment. This core technology is being leveraged by startups in a variety of ways. For instance, an infrastructure protocol is under development by JoyToken for the gaming industry that uses smart contracts (autonomous, decentralized agents) for safely guaranteeing and auditing game records. Put simply, these are great for eliminating a lot of friction from the gaming ecosystem thereby providing developers a revenue stream that’s easy to use and was untapped previously.
Guy Galboiz talked about another startup called meVu, which is using these smart contracts for becoming the most renowned global platform developed exclusively for players willing to bet anytime, anything and against anyone. With smart contracts, you can be assured of a transparent and safe process. Therefore, it is not surprising to know that smart contracts are becoming quite valuable across a plethora of industries. They don’t just eliminate the need for intermediaries, but also their fees and enable everyday transactions to run smoothly. As the security and regulations behind these smart contracts grow this year, their use will increase.
More and more companies are using the blockchain
Due to a large variety of functions that can be served by the blockchain technology, more and more companies are choosing to enter this space. Some of them include unique ICOs such as Puregold, which is making use of tokens supported by gold. As gold has been around for a long while, it was expected that it would enter the blockchain space and Puregold had its ICO in January of this year. Similarly, there are also other companies such as FarmaTrust that are using this technology for improving life like eliminating counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs.
This technology is reshaping the developed world
One of the biggest advantages of blockchain technology is how it can be used for dealing with global issues and open up access to areas that were unavailable previously. Some of these involve the introduction of an existing service to a whole new market whereas others can be found in more humanitarian forms. For instance, there is a blockchain-built crowdfunding platform called Acorn Collective, which is aimed at bringing crowdfunding to the market by providing access to all legal projects without any charges. This is immensely important because, before that, crowdfunding previously had high barriers to entry.
ExsulCoin is another interesting initiative that’s aimed at helping refugees integrate into their new homes, both economically and socially. Additionally, they are also looking into driving refugee led education and projects. All of this is only being accomplished due to the existence of blockchain technology.
Crypto is being used as a regular payment mechanism
Every day, more companies are declaring that they will accept cryptocurrencies as a payment method. Some of them include Subway, WordPress, Shopify stores and Expedia amongst others. SparkleCoin is offering a cryptocurrency to be used for purchasing from notable e-tailers within their ecosphere of 3 companies. Customers can enjoy a lot of convenience because of this direct transactability for B2B and also B2C purchases. This is becoming widely accepted in 2018. Some companies are accepting Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies (such as Ethereum, Ripple, etc) for media attention while others are incorporating this payment gateway for pleasing their customers.
In a nutshell, blockchain technology is disrupting a number of industries, which means that a number of traditional industries are being changed and developed. Some of these industries include education, healthcare, logistics, media, and finance. Other industries are also expected to undergo change as this technology continues to develop and is adopted by companies.
This article was originally posted on FX Empire