David Telford, Vice President of Innovation
Let’s talk about blockchain. Wait, didn’t we do that back in June 2017? Yes, we did.
Back then, Bitcoin was the poster-child for blockchain technologies and was about to explode into a wild ride that made some crypto millionaires (on paper) and had the bankers and regulators all in a quandary about what this cryptocurrency thing really was all about. Well, a lot has happened to Bitcoin since then including people losing interest in hearing about it every day; me included. The interest in blockchain, however, has gained momentum even as interest in cryptocurrencies seem to be fading into the background. For a refresher on blockchain check out Blockchain explained: It builds trust when you need it most from C|NET.
For example, Oracle, Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM all have blockchain offerings bringing big name competition to the game. Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and Security Token Offerings (STOs) have become a competitive approach to startup funding, when direct venture capital investment is difficult, or too expensive, to acquire. Anyone who is a fan of the show Silicon Valley saw how an IPO for funding can be used for crowd-sourcing investment. (Love that show.) And on the show Billions, some of the under-the-table compensation is delivered using crypto on a thumb drive.
But tokens and coins are really using a similar model that Bitcoin put out there. Blockchain usage is expanding into non-monetary areas. Guts is a secondary ticket service like StubHub that uses blockchain to eliminate fraud in the ticket resale market. Retailers like Walmart are using blockchain to verify that their products claiming NGO, single source, conflict free, and other consumer expectations are being met by their suppliers. Other retailers are using the technology to verify that their products are not counterfeits of known brands. Insurance, health care, real estate, philanthropy, and a growing list of other industries are embracing blockchain as the way to establish trust with their customers. Because that’s what it’s about; trust. Blockchain helps to eliminate the middlemen and establish a direct relationship between two parties. Voting systems using blockchain are gaining attention and it is anticipated that we may see them as early as 2019.
So even if you’re not interested in investing in cryptocurrency, blockchain is here and will be touching each of us in some way or another in the products or services we purchase, or when buying a home, or car, or insurance, or…
This month’s podcast is from ZigZag, a new program from a new media company using a blockchain token to fund the production of their content. The link below is for the very first episode but the evolution of this new media company is very interesting, so I recommend binging all 10 episodes.