What's happening now in the Crypto/Blockchain/ NFT space?

15 March 2021

We've come a long way since Bitcoin's creation.  

Investors have been on a turbulent ride since Bitcoin's creation in January 2009. Various notable government and financial figures spoke out against Bitcoin during the early stages.

Warren Buffett has repeatedly criticised Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as risky, speculative assets; "I can say almost with certainty that they will come to a bad ending". Bitcoin pioneers shrugged off the oracle of Omaha's warnings, as the price has continued to surge from $0.08 to over $60,000 per coin.

Many people noticed early the most significant potential lay not in cryptocurrencies but the technology underpinning them; blockchain and NFTs, which have exploded in popularity since 2009. Blockchain has seen an enormous interest spike throughout the past decade. Entrepreneurs are using the distributed ledger technology for projects like peer-to-peer energy networks and storing health credentials securely.

A precursor to NFTs called coloured coins entered the scene in 2012, representing various assets like subscriptions, property or in-game items like skins. While coloured coins had issues, they opened the door to NFTs and global digital asset markets. CryptoKitties, a blockchain-based game where players adopt virtual cats, helped NFTs garner extensive media attention. Soon after launch, players made enormous sums of money from trading cats, which even caught CNN's attention.

From 2018, hundreds of different NFT projects have started, many in the gaming space.  

Blockchain

Retail and Investment banks continue to adopt blockchain technology. Santander recently issued a $20M bond stored on a blockchain, in addition to working with Ripple to build a cross-border payments app. The bond issuance demonstrated that institutions could conceivably trade bonds in secondary markets without security concerns. Blockchain-based international payments systems already exist and will likely become commonplace in the next ten years.

The insurance industry is starting to implement blockchains to speed up operations. Aon is building a blockchain-based insurance platform for companies to buy reinsurance to hedge the risk of insuring others.

BMW is currently partway through a program with its suppliers to track materials and parts on its supply chain. Developers believe the technology could one day track their cars from raw material through manufacturing all the way to scrappage. 

Many people are hopeful blockchains could also resolve sustainability issues by creating transparent supply chains to track a company's carbon footprint. Additionally, peer-to-peer green energy networks facilitating local trading of solar-generated energy could reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.

While media outlets have widely reported increased worker automation, many experts predict blockchains could put intermediaries out of business. Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, states, "blockchain puts Uber out of a job and lets taxi drivers work with the customer directly". 

NFTs

Artists are already using NFTs to sell their art worldwide. 

Musicians have especially welcomed this technological revolution. Having argued that music streaming apps like Spotify and Apple music unfairly reduced their income, NFTs give musicians a way to earn more money from their work.

Kings of Leon have led the charge toward widespread use of NFTs by releasing their new album through an online NFT sale.

The art world has also been rocked by NFT's, with artists Beeple and Grimes selling millions of dollars worth of digital art through online platforms using NFTs.

NFTs are increasingly used to exchange skins within the gaming industry, giving gamers ownership rights for their skins, a groundbreaking development. Gaming industry leaders expect the virtual asset market to increase exponentially due to NFTs.

NFTs are also a game-changer for creative industries. They offer a secure way for artists to share their work online without copyright concerns.

While only a few pioneering artists experiment with the technology, we expect NFTs to reach widespread usage within the next few years. 

Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies are on the cusp of widespread adoption. Entrepreneurs create new coins all the time, solving problems like expensive cross border payments. Most cryptos have a finite amount of coins, so there is a permanent supply limit. For this reason, Banks and investors increasingly perceive Bitcoin and other cryptos as a safe bet against currency inflation as their value should continue to rise in the long run.

While there are regular setbacks like the SEC's lawsuit against Ripple, media outlets increasingly report on cryptocurrencies favourably. In particular, Bitcoin has enjoyed historic price surges as institutional investors and international organisations invest a portion of their cash reserves into the crypto.

Tesla was the first household name to invest in Bitcoin, allocating $1.5B of their cash reserves into Bitcoin and accepting Bitcoin as payment for their electric vehicles. Tesla's Bitcoin purchase has led to a media frenzy, with many news services speculating Netflix or Apple could also jump on the bandwagon.

The crypto industry is expecting a lot of regulation in the next few years. Governments worldwide are working with industry leaders to keep consumers safe and protect against fraud and other issues. While governments initially rebuked the idea of government-backed cryptos, they are now playing catch up. Businesses like Facebook and JP Morgan have already released stable coins which track the US dollar, called Diem (formally Libra) and JPM coin.

The US Federal Reserve is considering a cash-backed cryptocurrency to speed up payment systems by giving people immediate access to their funds. People would no longer have to wait for days or even weeks for money to land in your account.

As governments worldwide take more and more interest, it seems that cryptocurrencies, blockchains and NFTs aren't going anywhere. We're excited to see what the future holds for these technologies.

Register for the prototype

The next step on our roadmap is to ask for your help. We want to hear from you what works and what does not, which features are more important to you and which ones are lacking. In short, we need your guidance.

To facilitate this, we are creating a prototype of our platform and are looking for a thousand pioneers to put it through its paces. We will expect a lot of feedback and suggestions from these pioneers over the next two to three months. However, these pioneers are not volunteers, when we launch each pioneer will have bestowed upon them 10,000 edifyqs.

If you see yourself as a pioneer, register for the prototype and explore the future.

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