Cryptocurrency investors should absolutely have a detailed understanding of blockchain, the technology that coins are founded on.
Many of us are used to talking about Bitcoin and Ethereum and other top coins as digital forms of money, where we hold one Bitcoin instead of $3500, etc. But the blockchain is a very different idea in some ways – it’s broad and universal in design, and has thousands and thousands of individual use cases.
Think about blockchain as the ‘Swiss Army knife’ of the digital financial world. Experts have long described it by calling it an “immutable ledger” – another way to say this is that the blockchain uses crowdsourced decentralization to prove transactions – there’s no central point of verification, so the transactions are in some ways better documented and more stable, while in other ways, they’re seen as less stable. That’s where you get people saying the blockchain can fight money laundering while other argue that in a very different context, it can accommodate money laundering.
Getting back to blockchain utility, another way to think about blockchain is as the ‘new Internet.’ The original Internet grew out of establishing connections for communications. The blockchain grew out of establishing verifiable connections for transactions. That means that our payment systems will be global and interconnected and quick as lightning, and our banks won’t have to play the middleman nearly as much as they do today.
The blockchain is exciting and compelling for those with their eye on our technological future – with that in mind, investors may be looking for some tangible examples of blockchain working in the markets.
If so, you’re in luck – a company called Reality Shares has created its own blockchain score methodology, based on very concrete criteria with a visual layout that shows you just exactly why a given company has a high blockchain participation score.
Let’s look at some of these companies in detail.
International Business Machines – IBM
IBM ($IBM) is a prime example of a company that is “all in” on crypto.
This company made its bones in the personal computer market, but has now pivoted toward cryptocurrency and blockchain in a big way. IBM achieves a Reality Shares block chain score of 92/100, and as pointed out in a recent Forbes article, this is among top corporate scores in the survey.
Looking at the visual, we see that Reality Shares evaluated the company’s role in the blockchain ecosystem, as well as its research and development, blockchain related patents filed, financial filings, and blockchain projects staged, as well as IBM’s overall blockchain economic impact and membership in related groups.
IBM is working on blockchain as a service models, investing in blockchain projects, and launching industry initiatives based on blockchain technology – and that’s getting noticed by the tech space.
Traders might also want to skip to the other side of the world and look at how a Chinese company is building block temperatures a patient. AliBaba ($BABA) achieves a blockchain score of 77 – mainly for its research and development and filed patents, as well as its active use of blockchain models to power projects in its Lynx International logistics division, as well as e-commerce subsidiaries that are using blockchain for promoting food quality.
Close on the heels of AliBaba is Japanese firm Fujitsu (OTCMKTS: FJTSY), which is working with the Japanese Bankers’ Association to promote blockchain technology in the financial sector. The company gets a score of 74 based on institute membership, working blockchain projects and its role in the blockchain ecosystem.
Moving back to the Western community, financial behemoth MasterCard ($MA) also achieves a blockchain score of 69 from Reality Shares – MasterCard’s various blockchain patents are cited, along with the firm’s work in using blockchain to fight lending fraud.
Tech journalists are reporting that MasterCard is creating blockchain application programming interfaces to allow individual developers and development communities to work on other blockchain innovations. This kind of secondary incubation or promotion is another part of MasterCard’s bragging rights when it comes to blockchain participation.
One of the next most highly ranked companies is ING Group in the Netherlands – with a score of 53, this company draws blockchain reputation from its corporate filings and projects like the Easy Trading Connect platform and various blockchain proof of concept projects.
Look in detail at these five companies and their blockchain efforts, and you’ll see some of the same goals repeated time and time again – transparency and anti-fraud innovation – saving on paperwork and expediting transactions – streamlining economies and making economic activity more efficient – and replacing some of the quite obsolete financial methods that we’ve been used to with hard paper money.
All of this is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what blockchain can do for tomorrow’s financial world, so keep an eye on our ongoing coverage of blockchain and cryptocurrency work around the world and what it means or markets.