It all started in October 2008 when an unknown person under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto introduced to the world bitcoin, the first blockchain application. At that time, cryptocurrency was inexistent in the minds of investors, and bitcoin was basically priced at zero.
Fast forward to 2017, bitcoin has become one of the hottest commodities for investors, with its BTUs price recently soaring past the US$6,000 mark and up by over 500% over the past year.
Bitcoin – “The Digital Gold”
Ex-fund manager Michael Novogratz, who has made a fortune from bitcoin and ethereum, said in an interview on October 10 that he believes the value of a bitcoin will reach $10,000 in six to 10 months. He also plans to start a $500 million fund for cryptocurrencies, token sales and related startups.
More recently, Wall Street strategist Tom Lee even predicted that the price will reach $25,000 in five years, and that’s only an estimate based on the most conservative assumptions possible.
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are attracting attention because the public now realizes that this “digital money” can be used for market transactions and be exchanged for fiat money. These currencies, using cryptographic technologies, can also guarantee the security of transactions, More importantly, they have investment value.
What’s happening currently with cryptocurrency also has investors and analysts drawing comparisons with the dot-com boom in the 1990s.
“Digital currencies have replaced gold as a choice of investment and, sooner or later, currencies such as bitcoin and ethereum will compete against nation-state paper currencies.” – Aswath Damodaran, professor of finance at the New York University
Even Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, talked up this new type of currency: “In many ways, virtual currencies might just give existing currencies and monetary policy a run for their money.”
But the real mastermind behind the outbreak of cryptocurrency is the blockchain technology. This technology is not just a financial tool; its application is in fact boundless.
Going Beyond Cryptocurrency
The revolutionary blockchain technology serves as a protocol that allows transactions to be simultaneously anonymous and secure, peer-to-peer, instant, and frictionless. Essentially, blockchains are a distributed database that enables us to send money directly and safely between each other without going through a bank, credit card or PayPal.
Even banks and some governments are implementing blockchains as distributed ledgers to revolutionize the way information is stored and transactions occur. For example, in Sweden, Georgia and Ukraine, property registers are being moved to the blockchain. Blockchains ensure speed, lower cost, security, fewer errors, and the elimination of central points of attack and failure.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey once described blockchains as the “next big unlock” that is normally applied to accounting terms but has the potential to “be applied to so much more.”
What Blockchains Can Do:
- Eliminate agents or dealers in transactions, saving costs;
- Manage contracts;
- Provide banking without the need to go to a bank;
- Validate and secure almost anything;
- Enhance cloud technology;
- Ensure transparency in transactions.
What’s Ahead For Blockchains:
- Blockchains have already been adopted by large financial institutions like JPMorgan Chase & Co, with other banks expected to join in the act in the coming months.
- Cryptographically secured currencies will become widely used.
- Nasdaq will launch blockchain-enabled digital ledger technology that will be used to expand and enhance its equity management capabilities.
A Better Value For Money
In finance, cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin or ethereum remove the need for the trusted third party, using instead an encrypted, secure database. This helps with the verification of payments and performance of contracts in most businesses.
Even in some economies, the use of virtual currencies could grow due to the instability of their national currencies (i.e. hyperinflation).
As part of this wave of blockchain revolution, many businesses have decided to fund their operations through cryptocurrency, and many other cryptocurrencies have emerged or will be offered in the future.
A Public Company Investing In Blockchain
Global Blockchain Technologies
Global Blockchain Technologies Corp (TSX-V:$BLOC) (FSE:BWSP) (OTCPK:$BLKCF), formerly known as Carrus Capital Corp, is an investment company aiming to become the world’s first publicly traded company that invests in vertically integrated originators and managers of top-tier blockchains and digital currencies.
The company also intends to serve as the only company with exposure to the entire blockchain system, with plans to create its own incubator for new tokens.
A key advantage of Global Blockchain is that it is a public company, so investing in its shares offers less risk than the coins themselves.
Recently, the company appointed a brand new management team consisting of highly experienced individuals in the blockchain space:
- Steven Nerayoff (chairman), a pioneer in the cryptocurrency space who advised and contributed to Ethereum since its early days;
- Rik Willard (CEO), founder of the blockchain platform Agentic Group LLC;
- Shidan Gouran (president), founder of Nuovotel,
one of the first and largest wholesale VoIP service providers of its time;
Jazinga, developer of an award-winning unified communications system; and Home
Jinni, developer of the first Android-based smart TV platform;
- Kyle Kemper (CSO), executive director of the Blockchain Association
In just three months, the company’s shares went up from $0.25 to $3.05 per share, and immediately following its name change to Global Blockchain and entering the blockchain space, the company saw a 40% jump in its stock. This is testament of investor interest and confidence in the red-hot blockchain sector.
Also, just recently, the company began to apply for listing on the Australian Securities Exchange, expanding its market reach and showing its ambition.
TenX is a Singapore-based startup focusing on its blockchain payment platform, in the form of a Visa card being tied to digital currency (Bitcoin). In June, the company completed its initial token offering, raising close to US$80 million by issuing its PAY tokens at a rate of 350 PAY to 1 ETH (cryptocurrency associated with the Ethereum blockchain).
The PAY tokens provide access to part of the revenue that TenX generates from its payments service, in addition to serving as a loyalty scheme to users.
“TenX is pitching its debit card as an instant converter of multiple digital currencies into fiat money: the dollars, yen and euros that power most everyday commerce.”
Cobinhood, advised by a former U.S. chief information officer and endorsed by award-winning actor Jamie Foxx, is a cryptocurrency service platform designed to be the world’s first zero-fee cryptocurrency exchange. The platform will also offer:
- ICO underwriting services;
- High-performance order matching engine;
- Support for multiple fiat currencies;
- Multi-language support;
- High liquidity.
Cobinhood launched its own ICO on September 13, which runs until October 22, offering 500 million COB tokens that can only be purchased with Ethereum. Afterward, the Cobinhood exchange will go live on November 1.
Cobinhood has already secured US$5 million in seed funding, including involvement from Banyan Capital, Infinity Venture Partners and other investors.
In September, blockchain data storage platform Filecoin completed its ICO, raising more than $257 million. Participants in the offering included Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures.
The platform provides a decentralized network for digital storage through which users can effectively rent out their spare capacity. In return, those users receive Filecoins as payment.
“The amount of storage that is out there that is not in use is enormous,” says Juan Benet, founder of Protocol Labs, the company behind Filecoin. “All that storage is getting depreciated and wasted and a lot of people are losing money every second. All that storage could be put online and actually provide a valuable service to the world, and it could drop the price of storage significantly.”
LindaCoin, also known as Linda Cryptocoin, is a hybrid PoW/PoS coin that offers more than 70% pure proof-of-stake reward phase and 99% APR, as well as a masternode for instant transactions.
Other features include:
- Multi-wallet support;
- Encrypted messaging;
- A stealth address for complete anonymity;
- 50% block reward for masternodes.
This cryptocurrency has a maximum supply of 50 billion coins and a stable and growing market cap valuation of over $1.6 million.
The Bottom Line
Because of the immense potential of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, exemplified by bitcoin, it is totally understandable that nobody wants to miss out on this fast-growing sector.
The rate of growth can only get faster, as this is only just the beginning, and demand is still stronger than ever. More and more opportunities for blockchain technology will be discovered in the near future.
This is also a great opportunity to invest in public companies like Global Blockchain because it offers:
- Less risk than ICOs, since the coins are not regulated;
Investing in shares of a company offer greater liquidity than coins themselves.
Featured Image: nils.ackermann.gmail.com / Depositphoto