Čvn 15

What Does the Future of ICO Advertising Look Like?

· June 14, 2018 · 10:00 pm

Due to the notorious volatility and unregulated nature of cryptocurrencies, many organizations and even governments are jumping on the bandwagon to ban them.


As we move further into 2018, even the big tech firms are starting to put their foot down on crypto advertising. Such a huge widespread ban has the potential to severely hinder the future development of the crypto industry.

Google and Facebook Have Banned ICO Advertisements

Some of the Internet’s largest advertising platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, have completely banned any advertisements promoting ICOs and cryptocurrencies.

As of June, even Google will be banning the advertisement of crypto – including ICOs, wallets, and exchanges, etc.

 There has been a lot of speculation as to why this has happened. Some speculate that it is merely an attempt to protect their users (and their reputation) from fraudulent ICO and token scams and Ponzi schemes, while others have even suggested that these websites could be feeling threatened by the increasing popularity of blockchain technology.

But regardless of the reasons behind these bans, one thing is becoming clear – ICO marketing has become increasingly difficult.

 ICOs Are Looking for New Ways to Gain Exposure

As it stands, some of the main ways to promote ICOs include:

  •  Going on a roadshow and speaking at conferences to elicit interest, growing a brand and being exposed to potential investors.
  •  Ordering press releases and getting them published on popular websites that are frequented by crypto enthusiasts.
  •  Joining in discussions on popular social media websites – such as Facebook groups, Reddit, Telegram, Quora, LinkedIn groups, and specialized forums.

If you really want to succeed, it’s likely you’re going to have to leverage all of these methods and more.

Hopefully, after a while – if your offer is good enough – your idea will spread among users through word of mouth and you’ll be able to tone down your efforts slightly. But until then, you need to work hard to get your message out.

Can Decentralized Platforms Be A Powerful Channel to Promote ICOs?

One up-and-coming blockchain platform, known as 2Key, is introducing a brand-new model that rewards users for sharing valuable information.

It might just be the new go-to platform for blockchain startups looking to gain exposure.

2Key is a decentralized global referral network. Its goal is to become the go-to platform used to share information about products, services, and events. The platform encourages the free-flow of valuable information through human referral chains.

This is made possible through the platform’s Multi-Step tracking technology that makes it possible to track and reward every user involved in the link-sharing chains.

Using this technology, anyone can easily create their own referral link based on a smart contract, define their goal (such as more exposure, leads, or sales), and incentivize the human network to share this message to achieve it.

It even incentivizes users to share beneficial information by directly rewarding them with tokens.

As time progresses and 2Key continues to develop, the platform could become the go-to solution that ICO organizers choose instead of running bounties for their users.

 Another platform that’s built a lot of momentum is Wings.AI.

While the core functionality is to forecast and predict the amount an upcoming ICO is going to raise, the benefit Wings can bring to the table is ICO discovery and word-to-mouth buzz marketing.

The Wings community is comprised of crypto enthusiasts and investors that are constantly seeking new projects to evaluate. Through the Wings platform, users are exposed to new projects on a weekly basis, and they are required to run due diligence evaluate the project and share their findings on social media and on the Wings platform.

In some cases, this can create a network effect, where thousands of people engage with a project, ask questions, provide feedback and discuss it with each other.

How Are Users Rewarded?

With 2Key’s case, the platform features its own multi-party state channels protocol. This allows links to automatically perform self-tracking and information sharing as they are distributed.

This enables 2Key’s smart contracts to automatically reward the entire chain whenever a result is achieved.

Users will be rewarded with the 2Key Ethereum utility tokens in return for successfully referring other users. These tokens can be exchanged or used to purchase other services within the network.

With Wings.AI, users are rewarded in tokens based on how accurate their predictions were.

This incentivizes users to run a good due diligence, improve their rating on the Wings platform and grow their reputation.

 The Future of Advertising

There are a huge number of predictions about how advertising will change in the future that can be applied to the ICO industry.

Perhaps one of the biggest changes we will witness is the ever-increasing personalization of advertising.

Long gone are the days when the best way to advertise was to put up a massive banner advert in the middle of the city center that would attract the attention of everyone who passed by.

In today’s society, the best advertising is that which is highly targeted. A study by Rocket Fuel revealed that 80% of Millennials see value in brands engaging them with personalized offers.

Platforms like 2Key that are part of the moment shifting advertising away from the hands of big brands, back into the control of the human network, could act as a major catalyst for changing the future of advertising.


Images courtesy of 2Key, Wings.ai, AdobeStock

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Čvn 14

‘Leonardo da Vinci’ Puts Mona Lisa Painting on the Blockchain

· June 13, 2018 · 11:00 pm

Bitcoin core developer Peter Todd defended Blockchain art startup Verisart against Terence Eden June 13 after claims the company believed he had painted the Mona Lisa.


‘Obvious Fraud’

In a Twitter discussion, Todd alleged Eden, who currently runs Open Standards for the UK Government Digital Service (GDS), “misunderstood what Verisart is” after the company uploaded the famous painting to the Blockchain with Eden as the creator.

Verisart began trading in 2015 and describes itself as “applying blockchain technology to combine transparency, anonymity and security to protect your records of creation and ownership.”

“Verisart is a tool to collect and timestamp evidence, not an authoritative blockchain; his Mona Lisa claim is obvious fraud [without] evidence,” Todd wrote.

Eden had originally published details of his experiment with Verisart in a blog post June 12.

Allegedly, Verisart had required only “an email address” and “a photo of the Mona Lisa from Wikipedia” as “proof” he had painted it.

“I don’t understand the blockchain hype,” Eden subsequently wrote on Twitter.

A startup has certified my artwork & placed their verification on the bitcoin blockchain. Now art dealers & auctioneers can feel secure that I am the original artist. One small problem… I am not Leonardo da Vinci!

Blockchain ‘A Big Improvement’

Blockchain’s ability to tighten up the art sales process have formed the focus of a growing number of business initiatives in recent years, with high-profile schemes targeting the upper echelons of the collector world.

Critiquing Eden meanwhile, Todd nonetheless suggested the real value of Blockchain at Verisart lay beyond the benefits Eden claimed did not exist.

“What Verisart’s tech – specifically [open timestamps] – prevented… [Eden] creating backdated evidence. If he tried to forge that evidence, it’d still show up as being created recently, and thus be suspicious,” he continued.

That simple guarantee is a big improvement over the status quo.

What do you think about Terence Eden vs. Verisart? Let us know in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter

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Čvn 08

PayTabs CEO: ‘Cryptocurrency is Here to Stay’

· June 7, 2018 · 9:00 pm

Plenty of people remain skeptical about cryptocurrency’s future. PayTabs’ CEO, Abdulaziz Al Jouf, is not one of those people. 


‘It is out of their control’

The cryptocurrency market is notoriously volatile and still remains largely unregulated — but that doesn’t mean it should be dismissed as a failed project. According to the CEO of the Saudi-based payment processing and fraud prevention company PayTabs, Abdulaziz Al Jouf, “cryptocurrency is here to stay.”

Al Jouf believes cryptocurrencies will continue to exist and gain popularity, as none of the core problems which originally provoked Bitcoin’s creation — namely, centralization and a lack of transparency in traditional finance — have been solved. He explained to Arabian Business:

There are different dimensions and different directions where this will go. Keep in mind that until today, central banks are trying hard to ban [cryptocurrency] because they feel it is out of [their] control.

If you think back to why cryptocurrency launched, it is because of the massive collapse in 2011… [It aimed] to make sure currencies and money is protected everywhere.

While cryptocurrency is still a long way from mainstream, traditional finance hasn’t exactly regained the trust of the masses after the economic crisis — and is almost certainly never going to regain the trust of cryptocurrency proponents.

Crypto Enthusiasts Express Concern That Banks Could Take Over Bitcoin

‘Making Extra Bucks’

Al Jouf also believes cryptocurrency will stick around as a popular way to speculate and make money by trading in a volatile market. He explained:

People still use it for the fun of making extra bucks. Of course it’s risky and anything new is risky. There’s a lot of hype on how to make money out of it. I’m sure you heard that if you had bought x amount of bitcoin… You’re a billionaire today. But in reality, there’s a big issue on how to get this money out of the cryptocurrency industry.

Plenty of companies are already working on solving this issue — including Al Jouf’s. As more regulatory-compliant solutions come into play, cryptocurrency will only be further solidified as a viable means of value transfer, speculation, and investment.

Bitcoin volatility

‘Blockchain is not doing anything’

Finally, Al Jouf noted his opinion that blockchain technology is currently not doing anything of value for the real world. He told Arabian Business:

Blockchain [in its current form] is not doing anything. We need to implement it somewhere on our surface. You see a lot of people talking about blockchain, but there’s the question of why do you need to use blockchain and how you can implement it in your business. In Europe, many companies completely shifted their businesses to blockchain. We need some time in the region to see [that]… I see it progressing in some areas, but it will require some time.

During that time, expect companies all over the world to nevertheless continue implementing blockchain solutions in the race to launch the first true killer app. If and when that happens remains to be seen.

Do you agree that cryptocurrency is here to stay? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wikipedia Commons, AdobeStock.

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Čvn 07

Binance Invests in Malta-based Blockchain Esports Company

· June 6, 2018 · 10:00 pm

Binance, the cryptocurrency exchange behemoth has invested in Malta-based chiliZ, a blockchain esports company. ChiliZ revealed the news via a blog post on May 5. This move represents Binance’s first significant investment in Malta since announcing its intention to transfer its operations to the Mediterranean Island country.


Binance Teams up with chiliZ

According to the blog post, both Binance and chiliZ recognize the immense opportunities in the $110 billion video game industry. The cryptocurrency exchange wants to team up with the eSports company to bring blockchain technology to the gaming industry. With cryptocurrency and gaming appealing largely to the same user demographic, a melding of interests and strategies between the two companies could facilitate faster blockchain and cryptocurrency adoption within the gaming industry.

The monetary value of Binance’s investment in chiliZ is unknown, but the eSports company has already raised more than $27 million in a private funding round. Commenting on the investment deal, chiliZ CEO, Alexandre Dreyfus said:

Binance’s significant investment in chiliZ will boost our current private placement offering and help us to move faster. Their support will help us deliver our vision globally, increase our visibility in the blockchain ecosystem and empower our technical vision.

Apart from the monetary investment, Binance also plans to partner with chiliZ to tokenize the eSports ecosystem. Trading of virtual assets is already a mainstay of the video gaming world. By leveraging cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, stakeholders can monetize the industry. Commenting on the benefits of such a partnership, Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao said:

chiliZ is a creative way to embrace blockchain technology, aimed at building tools and services for mainstream adoption in industries that have a massive global growth rate. We are thrilled to support the team behind the project, and to help make them a success.

BNB Continues its 2018 Streak

Binance Coin (BNB) remains the best performing token of 2018. BNB prices are up almost 100 percent since the start of the year. At press time, BNB tokens were trading at $16.33 which represents a nine percent gain over the last 24-hour period. The weekly and monthly gains posted by BNB so far stand at 32 percent and 17 percent respectively. The 17th ranked cryptocurrency according to market capitalization figures reached its highest price valuation of $24 in mid-January 2018.

Binance Coin Charts

Malta Set to Pass Ground-breaking Cryptocurrency Laws

In a related development, the Maltese government has drafted a set of laws to guide the operations of cryptocurrency companies in the country. Announcing the news, Silvio Schembri, the Digital Economy Parliamentary Secretary said Malta was setting a precedent for the rest of the world to follow.

According to Schembri, the provisions in the draft provide the necessary framework for the monitoring and regulation of the country’s burgeoning cryptocurrency industry. He dismissed claims of the government tacitly trying to encourage money laundering under the guise of cryptocurrency commerce. Schembri said the requirements in Malta’s cryptocurrency laws were even stricter than the EU’s anti-money laundering regulations.

The law isn’t without its critics as opposition MP Kristy Debono found fault with the composition of the Malta Digital Innovation Agency (MDIA) board. The MDIA is the body responsible for overseeing the country’s emerging cryptocurrency industry. According to Debono, the MDIA should have cryptocurrency operators as members rather than nominees exclusively handpicked by the Prime Minister. Debono believes that without adequate representation from the cryptocurrency community in the running of the MDIA, the Maltese cryptocurrency economy will suffer the same disrepute as other sectors.

What are your thoughts about Binance teaming up with chiliZ? Will the new government regulations in Malta attract more cryptocurrency and blockchain investment into the country? Keep the conversation going in the comment section below.


Images courtesy of chiliZ.io, CoinMarketCap

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Kvě 31

Bobby Lee: 95% of ICOs Are Database Projects

· May 30, 2018 · 9:30 pm

China-based cryptocurrency exchange BTCC co-founder Bobby Lee continued the persisting narrative on centralized blockchains May 30, likening them to “databases.”


‘Complete Intellectual Dishonesty’

In a series of tweets, Lee echoed recent comments by cryptocurrency speaker and educator Andreas Antonopoulos on the lack of appeal of blockchains which are not decentralized.

“People don’t realize that Blockchain should be distinct & different from Databases, invented decades ago!” he wrote.

Bitcoin’s real Blockchain was only invented in 2009. Everyone using a digital ledger is calling it Blockchain, (without) regards to functionality. Complete intellectual dishonesty!

Criticism of blockchain has become a current topic of debate since last month. Speaking at a Polish conference, Antonopoulos had said that the technology without decentralized principles was a “very bad database.”

“Bitcoin is the future and Blockchain is bullshit,” he summarized.

95% Of ICOs Are ‘Database Projects’

A month later, Bitcoin developers Jimmy Song and Johnathan Corgan both took issue with the inability of cryptocurrency users to differentiate between blockchain “buzzwords” and genuine innovation, Song bringing the topic to the stage at Consensus 2018 in New York.

“…Because so many people are new, or because they’re not confident in their assessment of what was just shown, they think they’re missing something. And so they politely clap and ignore the nagging doubts in their mind,” he commented on the problem.

Bobby Lee

Lee meanwhile more closely paraphrased Antonopoulos, adding that “95%” of ICOs “claim to be (Blockchain) projects, when in fact, they’re just (database) projects.”

“All data going into the Blockchain needs to be independently & publicly verifiable, and thus insertable by anyone,” calling such database projects “lame.”

This week, even the Chinese government weighed in on the providence of blockchain “projects,” claiming 92% had already vanished and that their average lifespan amounted to just over one year.

The findings, however, appeared not to include China’s own blockchain offerings.

What do you think about Bobby Lee’s perspective? Let us know in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter

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Dub 16

Samsung Delves Deeper into Crypto Exploring Blockchain for Its Logistics

· April 16, 2018 · 5:00 pm

Samsung Electronics Co. is the latest big name to show a keen interest in the powers of blockchain technology, specifically, how it can be incorporated into their supply chain management processes.


Even though cryptocurrencies may still be getting critiqued, it’s supporting technology is being more readily adopted. The advantages of blockchain such as security and immutability, are major drawcards for companies that rely heavily on record keeping, such as healthcare, finance, and even art.

Blockchain to aid in shipping

However, it is also a viable option for supply chain management, an option that massive electronics corporation, Samsung, is ready to explore. According to Bloomberg Quint, the company’s logistical and information and technology branch, Samsung SDS CO., could use a blockchain ledger to monitor their billion-dollar global shipments sector.

Song Kwang-woo, the blockchain chief at SDS, touched on how the technology could revolutionize other businesses:

It will have an enormous impact on the supply chains of manufacturing industries. Blockchain is a core platform to fuel our digital transformation.

A cost-effective way of working

A part of this digital transformation is working towards a paperless way of doing business. Not only are physical documents annoying, they’re expensive too. In fact, according to International Business Machines Corp., the documentation costs for container shipments is more than double that of other modes of transportation.

When it comes to Samsung shipments, this equals a substantial amount of money. For this year alone, SDS projects that the company will transport 488,000 tons of air cargo and one million 20-foot-equivalent (TEU) shipping units. The SDS has said that by implementing blockchain technology, the company could save as much as 20% in shipping fees.

It’s not just about saving money though. Blockchain technology could actually impact on overall customer satisfaction. This is because efficiency associated with this technology could mean a shorter time span between product launches and product shipment. Not only will that keep Samsung customers smiling, it will also give the company a competitive edge over their industry rivals.

Cheong Tae-su, who is a professor of industrial engineering at Korea University, explained a bit further:

“It cuts overhead and eliminates bottlenecks. It’s about maximizing supply efficiency and visibility, which translates into greater consumer confidence.”

What’s more, Samsung appears to be going all-in into cryptocurrencies in general as it recently announced manufacturing mining chips. This move that puts them in direct competition with the Taiwan-based company, TSMC, a preferred ASIC chip supplier to Bitmain.

Samsung joins an ever-growing list

Samsung isn’t the only global company big on blockchain. Mastercard recently announced that they will soon be hiring blockchain experts to help drive innovation with regard to payment solutions.

Governments are also realizing its benefits, with China financially contributing towards blockchain-based startups. In addition, the European Union has launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum, which aims to foster blockchain promotion.

The blockchain business is definitely booming. The US-based research company, Gartner, has predicted that the technology will add $176 billion USD worth of value to businesses by 2025. This number is set to increase to over $3 trillion by 2030.

What do you think of yet another big corporation using blockchain technology? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bttcoinist archives

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Dub 05

Experts: Cryptocurrency is ‘A Multi-Decade Trend’ and ‘Proxy for True Freedom’

· April 5, 2018 · 3:00 pm

2018’s cryptocurrency charts have you feeling blue? Don’t worry. According to some experts, there are still plenty of riches to be made by investing in market leaders.


‘Still way too early’

In 2017, plenty of individuals joined the new crypto-rich crew. However, many also became crypto-poor — having been left holding the bag after buying at all-time highs. Explained Invest.com Senior Analyst Jesse Cohen to Forbes:

It’s safe to say that the price action in the crypto market over the past few months has been very ugly. All the major coins have suffered steep double-digit declines since the start of the year and are all trading below their respective 200-day moving averages, which usually signals more losses ahead.

However — though nobody can predict the future — it would be foolish to assume that “Bitcoin is dead,” “the cryptocurrency bubble has popped,” or that any other FUD-filled statement repeated time and time again has finally come to fruition. Explains Cohen:

We’ve seen Bitcoin do this before, where it plunges sharply over a prolonged period only to violently bounce back to new highs in a short time. While it isn’t looking too hot at the moment, it’s still way too early to call the end of Bitcoin, or cryptos in general.

Bitcoin

‘A Multi-Decade Trend’

“Way too early,” indeed. In many respects, cryptocurrency and its underlying blockchain technology is only really starting to gain traction now, with the majority of projects still in their developmental stages. Meanwhile, most of those that are already developed are still struggling to gain mainstream adoption — something many digital currency proponents see as an inevitability. Aaron Lasher, BRD CMO and co-founder, agrees, saying:

The game isn’t over, Digital scarcity is a major innovation in money and value, and we’re in the initial stages of a multi-decade trend towards tokenization of assets.

He also goes so far as to call cryptocurrency’s potential life-changing, asking Forbes:

If sending money globally as easily as an email doesn’t impress you, how about the ability to store your life savings in your head, then walking your family across a war-torn border to safety?

cryptocurrencies

‘True Freedom’

Those who care less about the life-changing applications of cryptocurrencies and more about the potential riches and “true freedom” to be gained by speculating in the market also have reason for optimism. Explained Lasher to Forbes:

Getting rich with cryptocurrency is a proxy for true freedom, a personal financial situation that is largely immune to the politics, flaws, and vicissitudes of an interconnected, global system — an oasis of security and a platform for individual pursuits.

Do you think the cryptocurrency bubble has burst, or do you think the market has only begun to show its true potential? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Bitcoinist archives.

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Bře 27

Blockchain Games: A Surprising New Player in The Industry

· March 27, 2018 · 3:00 pm

Innovation in the blockchain industry continues at a relentless pace. New projects involving existing blockchains have begun to be created, allowing for the tech’s gamification. On-Chain games or decentralized application (DApps) such as Cryptokitties have captured the attention of many in the blockchain industry.


The advent of the cryptocurrency space in recent years has created a booming new market that has sparked a lot of innovation in the sector. The common blockchain startup has been to create ICOS as a medium for startups to generate capital. However, the new trend has been to create dApps on existing networks. These dApps range from payment networks to games based on blockchain technologies.

These so-called ‘blockchain games‘ have been touted as a new way blockchain innovators can interact with a growing user base. However, some question the viability and safety of these games.

CryptoKitties: What Are They?

CryptoKitties: What Are They?

In December of last year, the Ethereum blockchain was overrun with requests. Transactions that had once taken minutes to confirm began to take hours as users of the DApp game CryptoKitties began fostering their kitty collections. Users rushed to create and trade these cats as the project began to roll out. This may lead you to the question: What are CryptoKitties?

CryptoKitties is one of the first on-chain and widely adopted blockchain games. The game consists of digital kitties facilitated by a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain. In the game, you can buy, sell, and breed cats using the smart contract.

Each CryptoKitty is unique with its own personalities, traits, and physical characteristics that allows it to be differentiated from other kitties. Players are incentivized to breed kitties in attempts to find rare traits which are unique to certain kitties. This just sounds like a way to spend free time, not money right?

Well, the game is far from free. Transactions for the CryptoKitty game have to be maintained by the Ethereum based smart contract which requires Ethereum.

So why do players agree to spend Ethereum on the game?

Players are incentivized to do so by the chance of real profit when they breed and trade cats. As mentioned previously, kitties can obtain certain rare traits which become very valuable in the CryptoKitty marketplace.

How much profit are we talking about, you ask? Well, as an example, the original CryptoKitty sold for over $110,000 worth of Ethereum on the native CryptoKitty market. So do not get these games wrong, there often can be a large sum of money involved.

in an attempt to help grow and improve the CryptoKitty platform, the team has requested funding and has succeeded in raising over $12 million dollars. This funding will go to the developers to help foster innovation, which should help the CryptoKitty platform to grow even more.

Other promising blockchain games have begun development and certain projects have only become even more engaging while still remaining ambitious.

Ethermon is another game that allows players to interact with the Ethereum blockchain. Ethermons are in some sense similar to the popular card game, Pokemon. The object of the game is to capture, trade, and use these in-game characters to battle each other. Like CryptoKitties, these digital creatures can be traded for a profit or a loss using Ethereum. Similar to the CryptoKitty application, Ethermon was a nice addition to the DApp/Blockchain game sub-industry.

Blockchain Games: A Worrying Trend or an Exciting Leap Forward?

Blockchain Games: A Worrying Trend or an Exciting Leap Forward?

Some cite the CryptoKitty craze as accounting for over 30% of the transaction volume in the Ethereum network at its peak with other Dapps coming close behind. In direct correlation to this, after the deployment of the CryptoKitty smart contract, unconfirmed transactions on the Ethereum blockchain increased more than sixfold according to Etherscan statistics.

While the increase in unconfirmed transactions has caused concern among some members of the blockchain community due to the popularity of the game affecting the efficiency of transactions on the network, others take a far more optimistic view.

Arthur Camara, a developer with CryptoKitties parent company Axiom Zen, stated:

We think that blockchain games unlock new categories and possibilities. […] With blockchain, gaming suddenly becomes open, transparent, portable and extensible.

The industry is still in its infancy but in order for blockchain-based games and other gamified DApps to succeed, developers will need to find a way to be innovative without adversely affecting the efficiency of the current blockchain networks.

What blockchain games do you think are going to succeed? Do you have any ideas which you think will be successful as a blockchain application? Tell us down below in the comments.


Images courtesy of CryptoKitties, iStockPhoto

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Led 21

Oil Giant Shell Buys into Blockchain

· January 21, 2018 · 6:00 am

Blockchain technology is no longer limited to innovative startups with grand intentions of changing the world. Massive multinationals are also looking to use the technology to improve their operations and boost productivity. The latest in the lineup to get on board the blockchain train is petro corporation Shell.


According to industry portal OilPrice, the energy giant has bought up a minority share in Gartner-listed startup Applied Blockchain. Details of the deal have yet to be disclosed, but the move will enable the London startup to help Shell explore how the technology might be applied to its business.

oil rig

Blockchain into Business

Operating for around three years now, Applied Blockchain has clients from the banking, telecoms, carmaking, manufacturing, and aerospace industries. This its first foray into energy. The technology is slowly entering into the energy sector with, according to Reuters, a consortium involving Shell, BP, and Statoil already working on the development of a blockchain-based energy commodity trading platform.

Shell chief technology officer Johan Krebbers highlighted the huge potential blockchain tech has for business:

Blockchain applications have huge potential to shake up how we do things in the energy industry from streamlining process, to simplifying how we work with our suppliers and serve our customers. Investing in Applied Blockchain is part of our commitment to use digitalisation to create value in our core business and develop new business models.

blockchain tech

Energy and Blockchains

Shell is not the only energy company with eyes on blockchain technology.  Last year, it was reported that trading house Mercuria started working with banks ING and Societe Generale on the first large oil trade based on blockchain technology. According to analysts, the marriage of blockchain and the oil and gas industry presents a number of opportunities for streamlining and improvements in cross-border payments, record management, supply chain management, and smart contracts as potential applications.

Specialists at multinational professional services network Deloitte stated:

A secure system that mitigates risk, increases transparency, provides an audit trail, and speeds up transactions at a significantly reduced cost may be appealing to oil and gas companies.

As the crypto space expands and more companies develop blockchain solutions, the entire industry will benefit from a technology which is revolutionizing the way the world does business.

Will more blockchain adoption help cryptocurrency markets? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay and Bitcoinist archives.

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Říj 22

Mastercard Blockchain Now Open for Payment Processing

· October 21, 2017 · 8:30 pm

Mastercard has opened up their own blockchain to allow payment transactions to be carried out between selected banks and merchants, but this process uses fiat currency and not Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.


Quite a few companies have taken a keen interest in what blockchain technology has to offer, and one of these corporate entities is Mastercard, the massive credit card provider. Mastercard has spent the last few years developing its own blockchain, and now the Mastercard blockchain has been opened up as an alternative method of paying for goods and services. The major difference found in the Mastercard blockchain is that it does not use its own cryptocurrency. Instead, it uses real world money.

Mastercard Blockchain Open for Business

The Mastercard blockchain is now open for specific banks and retailers to use as a payment processing system. So far, participation in this blockchain is by invitation only. The last week has been a busy one for Fortune 500 companies and blockchain technology. IMB opened up their own blockchain earlier in the week. Probably the most intriguing aspect of the Mastercard blockchain is that it does not use its own cryptocurrency, which is something that even the IBM blockchain does.

Justin Pinkham, a senior vice president at Mastercard Labs, says:

We are not using a cryptocurrency, and we are not introducing a new cryptocurrency, because that introduces other challenges—regulatory, legal challenges. If you do a payment, then what we can do is move those funds in the way that we do today in fiat currency.

Why the Mastercard Blockchain Could be Very Successful

Some people may look at the Mastercard blockchain and shrug, but there are some factors in why it could be very successful. The first such reason is that Mastercard is lord and master of a vast financial empire, so to speak. It has a settlement network that counts 22,000 banks and financial institutions from all over the world. Few other entities have such a global reach. Another important factor is that the Mastercard blockchain only uses fiat currency, which reduces costs as there’s no need to convert one form of cryptocurrency into another and then, eventually, cash.

This reduction in cost is also amplified by reducing fees for cross-border payments. Normally, a payment that crosses national borders would have to pass through different sovereign banks, racking up fees with each step. The Mastercard blockchain would remove those steps entirely, thus making the payment less expensive and probably faster. Eventually, Mastercard’s blockchain could be used for other items, such as luxury goods to provide “proof of provenance.”

Overall, this is an interesting development. Could the lack of a cryptocurrency tie-in fire a shot across the bow of other blockchains? One also wonders how the energy use for a single transaction on the Mastercard blockchain compares to current credit card transactions and Bitcoin. A Dutch bank recently reported that the average energy cost for a Bitcoin transaction was 200kWh, and the cost for an Ethereum transaction was 37kWh. By comparison, a credit card transaction only incurred an energy cost of 0.01kWh.

Do you think the Mastercard blockchain will have a major impact? Does the fact that it does not use a cryptocurrency have long-lasting ramifications? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Pixabay, and Flickr.

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