Cryptocurrency is an early blockchain invention that still has the market obsessed. Bitcoin was its first real application in 2008, thanks to the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, and has since become synonymous with blockchain itself. The currency has gained over 500% in value this year alone, but despite its steady trajectory towards the moon, blockchain has emerged from bitcoin’s shadow entirely. Businesses are increasingly recognizing the power of the infrastructure as bitcoin’s primary contribution to the tech world, and around the globe they are using it to create revolutionary digital inventions.
However, a key function of blockchain is its support for smart contracts, which are computer contracts that use cryptocurrency, bringing the technology back to its roots. Smart contracts can understand when their conditions have been fulfilled absolutely thanks to the permanence of blockchain, and have made cryptocurrency a sort of digital tender with unique value. Not only do smart contracts make cryptocurrencies available, but they can also mirror other digital assets like stocks, bonds, commodities, ETFs, and other instruments. Achieving digital parity unlocks a new decentralized market of investors for innovators to cater to.
Cryptocurrency Gives Ideas Value
The system of trading assets today cannot boast such capabilities. Before blockchain, the most efficient way of serving a high volume of requests was to centralize servers and use huge arrays of hardware to handle the load. This method of handling data is obsolete due to hackers who can do system-wide damage just by entering a single “door”. Additionally, the system is stratified between geographical borders and asset classes as well. Single exchanges handle different assets, like commodities on the CBOE or stocks on the NYSE. Americans must jump through several annoying hoops to own stock in companies on the DAX, and the bureaucracy required of such a system is fraught with middlemen and fees.
Blockchain-based exchanges like trade.io can store information, power data transactions, verify users, and handle trading volume securely and efficiently by simply relying on the network. For their hard work, network participants like traders and funds are rewarded with cryptocurrency. Much like a dividend, the cryptocurrency gains value as it becomes more useful, which is a direct result of the success of the platform itself. This “tender of services” quality of cryptocurrency literally gives value to ideas, because it is required for the idea to work, much like a trader would use TradeTokens to invest in assets on trade.io. Accordingly, as blockchain continues to evolve and more coins are minted, it will not be their speculative value but their backing by a solid product that informs value.
Radical ideas like this serve to widen the chip on bitcoin’s shoulder, which has long suffered talk about its relative uselessness compared to solutions like ethereum. Imminent blockchain upgrades like the Lightning Network will further change the landscape. The Lightning Network wants to make it possible to immediately exchange any cryptocurrency for any other, without the need for exchanges to connect the blockchains involved. It might be a way off, but would ultimately level the playing field for blockchain.
With Great Power…
As the value of any single cryptocurrency grows increasingly attached to its underlying usefulness, it is incumbent upon innovative blockchain firms to use the technology responsibly, or risk the whole industry. After all, with great power, comes great responsibility. The process of onboarding blockchain into our modern financial system won’t happen overnight, so it falls on companies to show their compliance with these standards and innovate from the inside. Trade.io is an apt example on this front as well, having met investment bank regulatory requirements and employed the best in banking compliance.
Thanks to creative platforms for blockchain, word will spread quickly. The next year will undoubtedly be a gold rush of innovation, as all the current processes we engage in are quickly outmoded by new blockchain interfaces. New functionality is a byproduct of these new systems, and people have high hopes for their potential. Once critical user mass is reached, blockchain will be another taken-for-granted tech term, heard as often as others like “the internet” or “Wi-Fi”. This optimistic painting of the future all depends, however, on the willingness of those with a stake in the status quo to be flexible.