A war is over the future of Bitcoin, the first digital currency, and is already showing strain. Among the competitors of Bitcoin, two of them are Darkcoin and Ethereum. People use these younger cryptocurrencies for much more versatile purposes. Hence Bitcoin faces a threat from more nimble competitors. Digital currencies will drive new company model innovation at unprecedented levels. This revolution could be either a bubble or the onset of a financial realignment.
Blockchain technology represents a seismic shift like that of email and web in the 90s and Facebook and Twitter a decade later. Also, the novel technology is changing the world for the better rapidly in a radical manner. Furthermore, even mainstream players like Goldman Sachs, Visa, Capital One, New York Stock Exchange, and Nasdaq have invested in this groundbreaking technology.
No central authority
Blockchain processes transactions without recourse to a central body like a payments company, bank or government. Finally, services and businesses can be decentralised, cutting out intermediaries and removing points of failure. The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger that tracks transactions of any kind that is of value. This innovative technology also makes Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies possible without centralized authority.
Key success factors
Many factors are driving the cryptocurrency boom today whose price is double the price of gold. First of all, miners get motivated because of the incentivized system where they can earn digital money. Second, it allows for privacy that separates people’s identity from their transactions. Third, it is a public ledger validated by peer network and mathematical calculation. Another advantage of cryptocurrencies is that they are run on this blockchain technology that uses a public record created using a crowd-sourced system. And last but not the least, the approach of blockchain is decentralised that eliminates dependency on financial institutions. Alternative currencies are in direct contrast to the image of traditional finance. In contrast to fiat currencies, the early leaders of digital currencies would never pass muster at legacy institutions.
Various industry applications
Cryptocurrencies are just the tip of the iceberg, much bigger and more essential things lie below the surface. Much like no one predicted Uber, Spotify or Seamless, it is difficult to tell how blockchain will evolve or impact us. Decentralisation and cryptocurrencies are not getting here next week or even next year per se. However, the data and preliminary research are amassing that this technology is for real. Homeland Security is considering blockchain to track people and goods across borders. Similarly, Food and Drug Administration is looking at it, among scores of others, to help with population health management. And Financial Services Industry are making numerous efforts in this arena too. So, Blockchain technology has the potential to create countless opportunities everywhere. Certainly, 21.co, a blockchain startup founded by Dr. Balaji Srinivasan, is a compelling case in point.
Foray into blockchain
Dr. Balaji Srinivasan is an entrepreneur, an academic, investor, and a thought-leader in the blockchain. Also, he is the founder of a blockchain-based genome startup called Counsyl that started in the Stanford dorm and examines 5% of all births in America. But most noteworthy, it won the Innovation Award, raised $65M in funding, was one of the Top 10 Ideas and is arguably the world’s largest genome centers. Dr. Srinivasan teaches at Stanford University, manages the Stanford Bitcoin Group as well as advises and invests in startups. He was a Partner at Andreessen Horowitz before being the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of 21.co. Through this innovative website, one can earn digital currency and have exposure to an already vetted Silicon Valley group.
Earn digital currency
According to the webpage of 21.co, a user sets up an account for paid messages. Account holders can answer the messages on web or mobile and make money anywhere anytime – while lining up, when at work, or during the morning commute – and it works in all the countries in the world. Users get paid for their services in Bitcoin and have the option to either donate the money to charities such as Black Girls Code or keep it. One has to be techno-savvy to earn digital money or take a risk and purchase digital currency.
Silicon Valley exposure
Apart from allowing access to earn or mine Bitcoin, another beneficial service of 21.co is exposure to the critical people in technology to pitch a startup. It has lists of 200 blockchain experts, 400 founders, 100 Chief Executive Officers, 50 investors, 50 capitalists, and 37 Horowitz partners.
Already vetted group
The business practice of yesteryears was to invest in database lists that companies use for cold calling. This process is inefficient – no consent or introductions or incentives, resulting in a huge number of deleted and unread messages. Research-driven companies and marketing utilize this blockchain-based website to get input from a vetted group who are eager to participate in the joint benefits. Using the platform of 21.co users can conduct research, assign tasks, and respond to email. The business outcomes and performance results at 21.co have stunned everyone concerned. The success of 21.co has made it clear that data-driven sales and marketing companies can receive feedback and completed tasks with a highly robust and efficient framework built on consent, trusts and mutual benefit.
Social interaction network
Digital currencies derive value the same way offline traditional currencies get theirs. According to Srinivasan, if there is a region of people or nation-state, it becomes reasonable and legitimate for that group to have local money. In the new phenomenon of Bitcoin, that currency is called a social network, and it is a crucial prerequisite. They are agglomerations of people that are online and not necessarily in a physical location. This logic and process do not have dependencies in the physical world, and users can widely distribute them.
Branching of blockchain
Srinivasan described that blockchain has branched into private and public blockchains. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Etherium, Dash, Ripple, etc. work within the public blockchain space and private blockchains include Interledger, Hyperledger, and Cords. It is the popularity of Bitcoin that led to the expansion of blockchain into these models. A good analogy regarding public vs. private blockchains is Internet vs. Intranet.
Advise to entrepreneurs
According to Dr. Balaji Srinivasan, the founder of 21.co, two kinds of startup entrepreneurs exist in this world. There are the ones who are already running a company, and there are those who want to build a business. Srinivasan says that the key to success is a higher-level motivation that will get people up and about in the early morning hours and through the initial startup chore. He advises startup founders to build it entirely on blockchain as opposed to starting a business. Technology that can create value in other people’s lives can bring impact, influence, and monetization. More decentralized companies of commercial value will arrive in the future, powered by blockchain.
Some businesses and companies prefer to stick to their past, but this is not a good marketing strategy. Instead, it is essential to take a progressive approach and look out for the next big thing. That is what happens when companies begin to accept Bitcoin payment that put them in a position for greater success. Embracing the power of this new blockchain technology shows the customers and prospects of a business that it is well ahead of the curve.