What progress is happening with blockchain and cryptocurrency?
Blockchain and cryptocurrency have been consistently growing toward the mainstream. They have been slowed by technological immaturity, but there is plenty of evidence to show that this will not last for long.
The more I have studied the cryptocurrency industry, the more I find one common theme. People make snap decisions about whether cryptocurrenies are good based on their price alone. Unfortunately, this leads people to miss the truth about the consistent progress which is quietly transforming our society.
To be fair, blockchain is challenged with some well known hurdles which are hindering its ability to be mass adopted. Concepts such as scaling, volatility, fees, and ease of use have dominated the news. These challenges certainly do need to be solved, however it may not happen all at one time. There are going to be many baby steps along the way that will help reveal solutions to these major challenges. Here are 7 important breakthroughs that have happened recently...
What are the 7 breakthroughs?
1) Regulation and Taxes:
One of the most highly debated topics involving cryptocurrency is how much it should be regulated. If there is to much regulation it will limit the ability for blockchain technology to grow. On the other hand, no regulation at all leaves the average person exposed to fraud and scams. Here are three import recent events showing progress:
Why is This A Breakthrough? These topics are a clear sign of maturity for blockchain and cryptocurrency. All three of these examples validate that a transition is happening and that important regulatory decisions are being made which will help shape our future economy.
2) Stock Exchange:
The Swiss Stock, Nasdaq, and German Stock Exchange have either begun trading cryptocurrencies or have plans to use blockchain for their own infrastructure. Here are three important advancements:
Why Is This A Breakthrough? These three stock exchanges wouldn't spend the time or money developing this sector if they didn't see long term potential. In addition to adding a sense of legitimacy, financial markets are among the most heavily regulated and would therefore help be a stepping stone into mainstream adoption.
3) Business & Retail:
Businesses such as British Petroleum (BP), Shell, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), and Overstock.com are all adopting and using blockchain in their business.
Why is This A Breakthrough?
Business provides the connection point for transactions between business and consumers. The true value of cryptocurrency is found in the real world problems that the underlying technology helps to solve. Companies who use blockchain for real world use cases move the needle from a person being a cryptocurrency speculators to a person being an actual consumer. Companies like the the ones above are helping to pave the way for wider adoption of blockchain in the business and consumer world.
Coding, Crytography, and Blockchain Development are part of the fastest growing job sector, and employers are paying top dollar for people with these skills. Many major universities have quickly developed blockchain and cryptocurrency programs to help meet this heightened demand. In addition, many other private blockchain training, or cryptocurrency programs, have quickly gained popularity to help meet the need these companies are desperately searching for.
Consider a few statistics...
Why Is This a Breakthrough?
Higher levels of education lead to higher levels of implementation. Overall, Blockchain and cryptocurrency are still immature in their development. As more people are educated and trained with these skills, the end results of using blockchain technology will only get better.
Also Read: "Should I Consider A Job In Blockchain"
5) ETF / Mutual Funds / IRA's:
Why is this a Breakthrough? Many people feel that the creation of a Bitcoin ETF would be a major step into the advancement of cryptocurrency. Currently, it is difficult for large hedge funds to easily move their money in and out of cryptocurrency. Creating a Bitcoin or cryptocurrency ETF would allow large institutional investors to easily enter into this market.
6) Blockchain Games / Dapps:
Before you laugh at this...consider that gaming is a $95 billion industry!
Why Is This A Breakthrough?
Gaming is its own micro economy. It is a simple medium of exchange to use and because gamers are familiar with digital money already there is a low barrier to entry into cryptocurrency. Also, games provide a test environment that can be tweaked and improved without life altering consequences. Many lessons are being learned from gaming that are then able to be applied into traditional business transactions.
South Korea has been trial testing the ability to vote through a blockchain platform and they have now declared their intentions to use a blockchain voting system in their country. This would be the first decentralized voting system, and would provide increased transparency by eliminating the possibility of double voting.
Why Is This A Breakthrough?
Voting is only a good thing if you can trust the underlying system. Blockchain voting has the potential to increase trust by providing a system that is secure, cannot be altered and is transparent. Votes would not be able to be lost, destroyed, manipulated or counted twice. If South Korea succeeds in their blockchain voting effort, they may very well be introducing the world to a higher level of trust in the democratic voting process.