Cryptocurrencies Shaping Future of Business
- When it comes to cryptocurrencies, their role is not rising, it has risen.
Bitcoin 1st launched in Y 2009, and it was followed 4 years later by its primary competition, Ethereum.
These 2 competitors are joined by dozens of other cryptocurrencies to create a comprehensive ecosystem that is burgeoning like never before.
Indeed, cryptocurrencies are having one incredible year.
This is particularly apparent for the world’s preeminent cryptocurrency. Bitcoin’s value has risen more than 1,500% this year.
At times, it’s touched or flirted with $20,000, which is made even more impressive when you remember that the asset was worth less than $800 at the start of the year.
Currently, Bitcoin is trading at: 13,795.415, -26.00, or -0.19%, as of 1:08p GMT, the market is open.
|Day’s Range 22 December 2017||13,225.344 – 14,634.995|
|52 Wk Trading Range||752.8023 – 20,000.0000|
For Bitcoin, the exuberance extends beyond price volatility.
Bitcoin is making a clear and irrefutable move into the mainstream financial system. CBOE (NASDAQ:CBOE), and CME Group (NASDAQ:CME) both launched Bitcoin futures contracts in December, and the demand for the product was so great that it crashed CBOE’s servers when it launched.
Bitcoin’s status is representative of the cryptocurrency ecosystem in general.
Bitcoin itself has spawned 2 other iterations, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold, which are both beginning to find their legs as they develop their intended purpose.
Moreover, Ethereum has reached highs of more than $700, which seems modest compared to Bitcoin, but it represents a more than 1,000% growth YTD. Perhaps even more impressively, the Ethereum blockchain has found applications for crypto startups and general business interests.
This data could and likely will be repeated over and over for the various other cryptocurrencies available to consumers.
So, when it comes to cryptocurrencies, their role is not rising, it has risen. But publicity and usability are two different things.
The Big Q’s:
- Even though cryptocurrencies are enormously popular and their values are higher than it has ever been before, are they usable?
- And more importantly, how can mainstream businesses integrate cryptocurrencies into their existing businesses models?
The answer is simple:
Enabled by the blockchains that power cryptocurrencies, smart contracts are an algorithmically authorized escrow-like service through which predetermined actions are automatically enacted when certain conditions are met.
A smart contract is a computer-generated promise that is irreversible. Smart contracts allow businesses to exchange everything from money to supply chain resources in a way that is guaranteed, transparent, and auditable.
Ethereum co-Founder has says of smart contracts, “the program runs this code and at some point it automatically validates a condition and it automatically determines whether the asset should go to one person or back to the other person or whether it should be immediately refunded to the person who sent it or some combination thereof.”
Just as important, the blockchain stores this information as an unalterable record of transactions and interactions. Smart contracts have broad application within the business community.
Below are a few examples, as follows:
- The insurance industry can automate insurance policies by storing them in smart contracts. Processing insurance claims and distributing payments is a laborious process the length of which could be significantly curtailed using smart contracts. Blockchain could make the insurance industry much more efficient and transparent.
- The shipping industry can operate with real-time information. Shipping juggernaut UPS is adopting blockchain and smart contract technology to fortify its extensive shipping network. Smart contracts have application in delivery verification, fraud detection, and information management.
- The financial industry can expedite lending and payment transfers. Large international banks like UBS, CIBC and Banco Santander are testing blockchain and its accompanying smart contracts to more quickly and efficiently settle payment transfers and other financial maneuvers. What currently takes days to reconcile can be completed in just secs using a smart contract, which saves time and money.
Notably, most companies do not employ the technical prowess to develop a private blockchain to enable smart contracts. As blockchain technology has proliferated with the rise of cryptocurrencies, so have a number of companies introduced private blockchains and personalized smart contracts for business use.
Jincor has developed a smart contract template which allows any business to create and accept smart contracts without the expense of continuous reprogramming. It allows a business of any size to institute blockchain to its technical, operational and legal segments. An adopter fills in the blanks of a smart contract template and eliminates much of the complexity, time and expense for each new agreement. The template also allows communication between parties, edits of existing contracts, and easy establishment of new business relationships. Parties of contracts on the Jincor platform are also cryptographically identified to allow digital signatures and arbitration should legal conflicts arise.
Cryptocurrencies and the accompanying blockchain technology may feel like a new toy on the technological landscape, but they are more than just noise for a Reddit thread.
They have real implications for businesses and are poised to usher in the next era of development for virtually every business sector and expression.
Paul Ebeling, Editor
Have a Happy Christmas Holiday.
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