Author: Laurence Bradford
The Potential Of Cryptocurrency Moving Into The Future
The most well-known use case of cryptocurrency is just what the name implies: a digital currency that people can store and exchange without giving a thought to banks or borders. Arran Stewart, cofounder of blockchain recruitment platform Job.com, explains, “Cryptocurrency can become a global currency platform and is able to replace traditional payment methods.
In the future, you will be able to pay for lunch with your crypto wallet, without a need for a credit card, merchant system, or cash. Consider how many things you buy and pay for day-to-day that crypto could replace.”
The Tremendous Potential Of Blockchain Technology
However, while that is the core of cryptocurrency, the utility of blockchain technology can take many interesting forms. Like in Stewart’s company, it can be used to connect employers and candidates. Or, like with the Ethereum cryptocurrency platform, it can be programmed to execute “smart contracts”–think automatic rent payments, etc. Some crypto platforms and tokens have nothing to do with finance at all.
Blockchain’s conceptual framework and underlying code is useful for a variety of financial processes because of the potential it has to give companies a secure, digital alternative to banking processes that are typically bureaucratic, time-consuming, paper-heavy, and expensive.
Saving the planet, fixing healthcare, replacing conventional currency—there is apparently nothing that the shared-database technology known as blockchains can’t fix. At least, that’s the impression given by the horde of governments, banks, entrepreneurs, and tech companiesworking on the technology. But what is a blockchain and why the excitement? If you’ve got 2 minutes, check out the video below- WIRED can explain.
A Use Case For Nearly Every Industry
As for blockchain technology itself, it has numerous applications, from banking to the Internet of Things. In the next few years, BI Intelligence expects companies to flesh out their blockchain IoT solutions. Blockchain is a promising tool that will transform parts of the IoT and enable solutions that provide greater insight into assets, operations, and supply chains. It will also transform how health records and connected medical devices store and transmit data.
We are in the infancy of a technology that could revolutionize technology and potentially have a bigger impact on the way business is conducted than what we saw with the coming of the internet in the 90’s.
There is a use case for almost every industry. Now this doesn’t mean every digital token will succeed. But for the ones that do… this is a very exciting time
Yu’s company StormX, for instance, is built for side gigs. “The reality of the mainstream side hustle is often high freelancer fees, high operating fees, and many opportunities can be more trouble than they’re worth,” Yu explains.
“The StormX platform allows users to earn in crypto by trying out new products, services, games and other apps, and then invest or exchange their earnings as they see fit. Eventually, the platform will support skilled work like coding, writing blog posts, editing a video, QA testing, translating content, or programming a website – and get paid instantly via the app.”
Yu believes that with blockchain, millennials can revolutionize the landscape of work. “The old paradigms of work–based on the industrial revolution–are far too limiting in terms of a person’s potential, a person’s life’s work, and the return on investment for their time and effort, as well as the ability to advance,” he says.
Platforms like StormX are positioned to provide more freedom and flexibility, he continues. “Leveraging blockchain technology can help millennials lock down opportunities to work from anywhere they want, when it suits them, and without the stress of waiting for an employer to pay. This will allow millennials to create opportunities for themselves, educate themselves, and advance their lives regardless of their socioeconomic status or location.”
How To Get Involved (Without Doing Anything Too High-Risk)
There’s no denying it: it’s intimidating to invest money into technologies that are still in their infancy. Crypto in particular, which lacks government regulation and has a history of wild value swings, gives people a valid reason to look at it with skepticism.
The solution, at least until the space becomes more stable, is simple: learn as much as you can, and then start by only investing “fun money” that you could lose without compromising your ability to pay for necessities
For beginners, the simplest way to purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash is either through the Coinbase or Square Cash App.
Drawbacks: Fees are extremely high and options are very limited.
The Next Step Up
The next step up would be to open an account on an exchange. There are many exchanges in the cryptocurrency world that are “sketchy at best.” So it’s important to select an exchange with a good track record and solid management. Because of the massive demand for customers looking to open new accounts, some of the top exchanges have even had to shut down new customer registrations. Unable to handle the volume.
Don’t rush to open an account on a lesser exchange. It’s better to be patient, and wait for a reputable one. Most open back up after a few weeks or a month.
For Those With Higher Dollar Amounts To Invest
For those with more to invest, that don’t have the time or interest to watch the crypto markets all day but wish to invest in digital assets hedge funds are an option.
Some crypto hedge fund managers have had to turn away clients due to the sheer number of investors looking for an actively managed fund with exposure to blockchain technology, tokens and digital currencies.
Make sure you do your due diligence and always do your own research before deciding to invest.
“Never do anything blindly, including investing or participating in cryptocurrencies,” says Stewart. “Allow yourself a day to truly read and understand it all. After that, only go in at a financial level you could afford to lose completely and that would not affect your life. With that, you’re all set to join the cryptocurrency revolution.”
Yu stresses the importance of security and the need for more user-friendly platforms in the future. “As much of the digital technology is still nascent, it is really important to be diligent about your personal data and security,” he says. “[Right now]
I know that for most people, it is quite daunting to figure out what crypto-platforms are the safest and what the best practices really are for this space. Gamification and user experience design [will be] integral in enabling this chapter of digital evolution to be truly accessible to anyone in this global ecosystem.”
The author is a Forbes contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.
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