The digital currency markets (or cryptocurrencies) continue to grow with bitcoin, the most popular online token, which rises to a new record in current commerce, at more than $ 9,700. It has been a phenomenal 2017 for bitcoin, which has skyrocketed an amazing 870% to date. Such has been the growing interest in the cryptocurrency market that bitcoin’s main ethereal rival also reached a historic high of $ 425.55 over the weekend of Thanksgiving.
Despite what many call “a massive speculative bubble that is destined to end badly for investors,” the market limit for cryptocurrencies has skyrocketed since the beginning of 2017, multiplying by seven to approximately $ 285 billion through Friday. , and still climbing in a fast clip. To put market value in perspective, it is now ahead of the main financial services of Visa Inc.
While financial theorists continue to debate whether the dizzying rally of bitcoins and other large digital currencies is a bubble or not, the underlying technology behind them, Blockchain, is here to stay.
Blockchain: disruptive technology with wide range of applications
Blockchain is the leading software platform in the world for digital assets. First, it was developed as the technological platform that maintains the bitcoin transaction database: a shared accounting book with automatic updates in real time that can process and settle payments in minutes using computer algorithms, without the requirement of third party verification .
Since then, technology has become widespread with uses in a variety of industries, from finance to insurance. In fact, some observers believe that Blockchain has the potential to be as disruptive to the global financial services industry as Amazon.com AMZN was to retailers.
Organizations focused on developing Blockchain solutions
Earlier this month, a consortium including large European energy companies BP plc BP, Royal Dutch Shell plc RDS.A and Statoil announced the development of a blockchain-based digital tool for commodity trading. The company, which is due to start at the end of 2018, has the backing of the ABN Amro, ING and Societe General banks. Once it takes off, the platform aims to move away from physical trading using traditional paper documentation, to intelligent and secure electronic contracts that manage transactions from entry into the trade until the final settlement.
Given the versatility and endless possibilities of the tool, it is quite obvious that such technology could easily expand beyond the trade of basic products and in other ways.
Recently, eleven companies – including Axoni, the blockchain firm based in New York, as well as the US banking giants. UU Goldman Sachs GS and J P Morgan Chase JPM- successfully completed a blockchain-based pilot project to process equity swaps. The six-month experiment was successful in all aspects of the swap transaction, such as modification and termination of operations, division of shares and dividends.
Meanwhile, technology giant IBM is also working on a new blockchain banking solution to help flarify complex and costly cross-border financial transactions by reducing settlement time and reducing the cost of completing global payments for businesses and consumers.
Number of active corporate investors swelling
According to a report from the CB Insights data firm, Google GOOGL and Goldman Sachs are among the most active blockchain corporate investors, competing with Japanese-based financial services firm SBI Holdings, Citigroup and Overstock.com Inc. OSTK – commercial services provider.
Reflecting the interest of large companies in technology, the report also found that the number of companies that invest their money in blockchain companies reached a record of 91 this year, while companies have made 42 capital investment agreements for a total of $ 327 million. This is slightly below the $ 390 million recorded throughout 2016.
In particular, companies like Overstock are preparing to take advantage of the cryptocurrency cart by launching an exchange of digital currencies. Investors believe that the inevitable acceptance of these modes of payment across a broad spectrum of businesses will lead to attractive earnings and future revenue growth.
It is not surprising that the shares of Zacks Rank n. ° 3 (Maintain) recently reached a maximum of four years due to the growing excitement surrounding the company’s adventure in Blockchain. You can see the complete list of current Zacks # 1 Rank shares (strong purchase) here.
Taking into account the diverse perks of blockchain and its almost unlimited use, the technology arena has the potential to revolutionize transactions by reducing complexity, reducing costs, increasing accuracy and reducing counterparty risk.