Every day there is more news about what can, may, and should happen in the world of Crypto Currencies (CC's) and Blockchain. There has been significant investment, research, and lots of chatter, but the coins and the projects are still not mainstream. They have not yet delivered the explosive changes envisioned. Many ideas are being discussed and developed, but none have delivered big game-changing results. What may be needed is for big industry players, like IBM, Microsoft, and the large financial services corporations to continue forging ahead in developing useful Blockchain applications - ones that the whole world can NOT live without.
Financial services are a ripe target for Blockchain projects because today's banking systems are still based on archaic ideas that have been faithfully and painfully digitized, and because these systems are archaic, they are expensive to maintain and operate. Banks almost have a good reason to charge the high service fees they do - their systems are not efficient. These systems have many layers of redundant data, as everyone involved with a transaction has to have their version of the transaction details. And then there is the business of ensuring that there is a trusted third party to clear all these transactions - requiring even more versions of the same data. Blockchain technology holds out the promise of addressing these issues, as each transaction will be captured in just ONE block on the chain, and because it is a distributed database, security and integrity is built-in and assured. It may take some time to build up trust in these new systems, given that the verifiers of Blockchain transactions are not the traditional clearing houses that banks use and trust today. Trust by the banks in a new technology will take time, and even more time will be needed for that trust to trickle down to consumers.
Another company that may soon be ready to give CC's and Blockchain a big boost is Amazon. It looks like Amazon is getting ready to launch their very own crypto currency. This is a company with revenues the size of a good-sized country, and they are in a position to issue a digital token that would be fully convertible with other CC's, and fiat currencies too. A move like this would enable Amazon to:
- issue (AMAZON) coins to reward and incentivize developers on any of its platforms
- issue coins to consumers to use for in-app purchases
- issue coins to game players for in-game purchase of virtual goodies
- issue coins to regular customers as part of a loyalty programme