The huge surge of interest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin has made major news around the globe over the last few months. As values have skyrocketed, everyone wants to get a slice of the rich rewards on offer.
But look beyond the headlines and you’ll find that the potential of cryptocurrency goes far beyond the financial gains possible from trading. Forward-thinking FinTech firms and savvy tech startups are creating their own cryptocoins and tokens in order to power inventive and unique ways of doing business.
In this blog, we’ll highlight five diverse industries where cryptocoins are driving new business innovations, as blockchain continues to emerge as a disruptive technology for virtually every industry.
The idea of coins powering one particular business function perhaps first came to real prominence at the very start of 2018, when photography giant Kodak unexpectedly announced the launch of the KodakCoin.
KodakCoin is intended to make photo licensing clearer and easier for agencies and photographers, with transactions between parties being made in KodakCoin form on Kodak’s own secure payment and management platform. This adds an extra layer of transparency and control for photographers who often see their work taken and used in places without their permission.
This creation of a micro-economy also means that Kodak can use the blockchain powering KodakCoin to keep a complete view of all its rights and licenses.
The peer-to-peer nature of cryptocurrencies can also allow users within a particular ecosystem to wager their coins against each other. And with football being the most popular sport in the world for gambling, a blockchain-powered betting coin means users can make a beautiful profit from the ‘beautiful game’.
Called Benicoin, it gives punters the ability to bet easily against people from other countries, as the coin acts as a single unified currency for players from all over the world. And as a fully decentralised system where users bet between each other rather than with a bookmaker, there is full transparency within each bet, and users can feel sure that they are only making bets at a fair price that’s dictated by the market.
We live in a media world where television viewers expect targeted and personalised advertising, but aren’t finding this exists in traditional linear broadcasting as it does in on-demand viewing. However, a decentralised app-based format called TV Two is making that personalisation within linear television a possibility.
TV Two allows viewers to watch an infinite channel of content based on their own preferences, interspersed with advertising chosen in the same way. The decentralised nature of the blockchain platform means that viewers can actually be paid for watching adverts in Tokens For Television (TTVs), with advertisers paying into the system so that they can reach the users most relevant to their products and services.
Rescue and recovery
As cryptocurrencies can be traded and used anywhere in the world, services that were previously only available on a local or national level can be scaled globally much easier than they can with traditional ‘fiat’ currencies. One unusual example of this is Valhalla Coin, which aims to turn the previously reactive world of life insurance on its head in the form of an international recovery and rescue service.
The principle is that investors in the coin are contributing to a fund, some of which can then be converted into whatever currency is needed to get an investor or their family out of trouble. This help can therefore be enacted anywhere in the world and in any circumstances, from natural disasters to political upheaval. The team behind Valhalla Coin suggest that the funds can even be transferred directly into an investor’s bank account if they need local cash to get themselves out of a sticky situation.
The warming attitudes of established banks and authorities towards cryptocurrencies has been one of the main drivers of their growth in recent months. And now, intriguingly, even national governments are starting to see the merit of deploying coins as a way of attracting international investment.
The government of Estonia is in the process of establishing the ‘estcoin’. The intended benefit is to enable entrepreneurs from around the world establish digital businesses in Estonia through an e-residency scheme. What’s more, in a novel development to combine the collective advantages of real and virtual currencies, the Estonian government also intends to connect the value of the ‘estcoin’ to its fiat currency, the euro.
The key takeaway
What all these new coins demonstrate is that the potential of cryptocurrencies and blockchain is virtually limitless. Just about any industry or business you can think of is a possible beneficiary of these innovation. For a forward-thinking service provider like you, it means that simply broadening your horizons beyond your established markets could gain you more new business than you thought.
You can enhance your existing clients’ FinTech solutions, and reach new markets and clients, when you partner with IBM.