In the past year and a half, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology have begun to transform the way people--and companies--exchange money, raise capital, and invest in projects that would normally be reserved for top-tier investors.
Since most founders have their finger on the pulse of all things innovation, many entrepreneurs were pre-disposed to utilizing blockchain and cryptocurrency assets before the rest of the world. The same goes for those in the tech space. But even if you're new to the game, don't worry. This new medium of value exchange has only just started to position itself into our society, and is creating more and opportunities for the world every single day.
As a humanitarian, what fascinates me about the blockchain space is its ability to cross borders and bring people together in a way that has never been possible. From creating digital economies for tumultuous war-torn countries, to encouraging innovation on a global scale, here are three trends every entrepreneur should be leveraging to bring positive change to the world.
1. Cryptocurrencies allow value to be exchanged without a bank.
An incredibly exciting aspect of cryptocurrencies is the way they provide opportunities for people to receive or send money without needing a bank to do so.
For example, this simple transaction process would allow refugees or impoverished regions with little access to a traditional form of banking to engage with the rest of the world. And as a company or corporate entity, this would mean being able to do business with hard-to-reach countries or regions. This creates opportunities for entrepreneurs to connect with a variety of consumers they previously could not reach.
In order for these kinds of societal shifts to happen, cryptocurrency platforms are becoming more and more aware of how to play within today's financial ecosystems. This is opening a whole other door of opportunity for entrepreneurs, and why blockchain companies like Javvy are working hard to break through and service everyday consumers, bringing cryptocurrencies to mass markets by building more universal, device-based wallets.
But it's not just tech startups who are working on closing the gap between traditional banking and crypto. Big name banks such as Bank of America, Barclays Bank, and HSBC, to name a few, are all looking to implement blockchain technology into their businesses. In fact, just a few days ago, JPMorgan filed a patent to issue asset-backed tokens on a distributed ledger--a clear sign of both the threats and the massive entrepreneurial opportunities facing today's largest industries.
2. Use attributes that can improve your transactions agreements.
One of the biggest reasons cryptocurrencies have attracted so much attention is because of the way the technology has influenced transactional agreements between parties.
Since cryptocurrencies live on decentralized networks, this allows users to transact financial amounts from person to person without having to go through a centralized authority.
For example: if your startup decides to accept payments in the form of cryptocurrency, it could be more efficient and eventually help you save on transactional fees otherwise associated with more conventional credit card processing. A great example of this being implemented was with the retailer, Overstock.com, opting to accept Bitcoin. They first did this in 2014 and accepted over $126,000 in Bitcoin within the first 22 hours of the change.
3. Raising capital for your company.
Last but not least, a major cryptocurrency trend that entrepreneurs are beginning to leverage is its opportunity to help your company raise capital.
This technology has completely revolutionized the way early-stage startups can raise capital. For example, fundraising through an Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) can assist startups to raise funds in an efficient and inexpensive manner, by connecting them to a wide range of investors from around the world.
To give you a sense of just how quickly this new fundraising method is taking hold, the amount of money raised in 2018 through ICOs has already surpassed 2017's jaw-dropping $5.5 billion--and it happened in the first three months of the year. And despite the fact that there are less ICOs being held in 2018, the amount of money being poured into the space doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon.
With all of these things in mind, entrepreneurs would be foolish not to pay attention to what is quickly becoming one of the largest and most influential technology spaces in the world. And as it continues to grow in size, the available opportunities for innovation will continue to unfold right beside it.