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The popularity of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum is exploding. The total market value of all virtual currency is $135 billion. Established venture capital firms are pouring tens of millions of dollars into cryptocurrency hedge funds. Investors are buying and storing cryptocurrency in hopes of new opportunities and huge profits.
Almost every industry you can think of is researching and integrating blockchain technology into its long-term plans. This new technology promises to help businesses more efficiently share information, cust costs, and increase profits.
Along with other emerging technology like VR, AR, MR and AI, I believe blockchains are going to exponentially change business, government and society just like the printing press and Internet have already done.
Should you be using blockchains in your business? Should you be investing in cryptocurrency?
I share my thoughts, and answers to these two questions, in this post.
What is a blockchain? The easy answer is to think of this technology as a bleeding edge digital ledger or table, that is used to track credits and debits. It connects or “chains” cryptographically verified transactions into a sequence of lists or “blocks” all managed by a mathematical function to keep track of things. For example, who owns the digital currency, who built and shipped specific building supplies or maybe a new smartphone. Common records are created and accessible to everyone but controlled by no one.
I believe that eventually, major industries are going to be using blockchain technology to instantly monitor the many complex parts of supply and demand needs like ordering, shipping, and quality control. Smart companies will be using blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the customer experience. Future technology could turn global product networks into decentralized marketplaces.
Companies like Walmart and Danish shipping giant, Maersk, are going to be doing in seconds what usually takes days or weeks. Accenture, Microsoft and the United Nations are building a blockchain to help with digital identity and global security.
On August 1, 2017, the state of Delaware established a new law allowing companies to keep shareholder records on a blockchain. Eventually, almost everything you need to do to run, manage and grow your business, or a Fortune 500 company (two-thirds are incorporated in Delaware), will be done via blockchain. Better organization and accountability will be the byproducts of this new technology. In a perfect marketplace, better efficiency should result in lower prices to the consumer.