Bitcoin, as well as other notable digital assets, are usually associated with profiteering, bubbles, and speculation. Blockchain technology, the driving engine behind cryptos, and its ever-increasing adaptation, is changing the way people perceive cryptocurrencies.
The fact that governments around the world are making use of the technology and even developing their own digital assets tells us that the world of business is in for a major shift.
Although fiat currencies and traditional banking won’t disappear anytime soon, cryptos are threatening to fundamentally change the economies around the world.
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Intermediaries will no longer be necessary, as crypto is peer-to-peer. As banks’ core functions are no longer necessary, many predict that housing money in banks will no longer be needed. However, the current value of crypto lies in the fact that it easy to transfer.
Banks make a great portion of their earning on the movement of money through check fees, wire transfer fees, and credit card fees. There’s no doubt that cryptocurrency is a threat to the banking industry.
However, more and more banks are employing the blockchain technology in order to stay on top of the game. Many claim that what crypto is doing to banking is what email did to postal services.
The technology has led to the emergence of the crypto-bank ecosystem. The security, privacy, and transparency the blockchain technology offers, enables this new form of banking.
For instance, crypto-banks manage credit facilities by directly linking the user and the borrower through decentralization.
As long as a borrower has a good credit rating, they have a much better chance of receiving money. The direct linking process allows crypto-banks to execute services quickly. Bank holidays, business hours, and business days do not pose an additional obstacle.
Loans are generally processed within a day. Crypto-banks are even employing AI to protect themselves, as well as borrowers, from bias that stems from human involvement.
There are more and more crypto-banking projects on the market. Galaxy Digital LP is one of the more notable examples. The bank was set up by former Wall Street fund manager and billionaire investor Mike Novogratz.
While this particular diversified merchant bank is not involved in issuing crypto-loans, it is dedicated to blockchain technology and digital assets.
Datarious is another notable example. In their Initial Token Offering, they have raised $1.6 million. Unlike Galaxy Digital, Datarious is focused on providing credit services.
Payments and Transactions
With cryptos, there are almost no processing fees. They are threatening to radically change the way payments are done. Aside from banks, there are various other secondary vendors in the industry.
Cryptocurrency is impacting companies that help move money and facilitate in-person payments and online transactions. Now, one party can transfer money directly to the other.
The multiple layers of intermediaries are becoming obsolete. Third-party processors can be a big burden to small businesses and large corporations alike. We can see more and more examples of that chain being broken.
Even though state-issue cryptos are becoming a reality, no major cryptocurrency is tied to any nation. They allow businesses to cross borders between countries with astonishing ease. Bitcoin, and a few others universally accepted cryptos, make that possible.
To attract more customers, many businesses are relying on cryptos to offer customers more payment options. The lack of processing fees is alluring to both customers and businesses.
While Paypal and credit card processing companies charge a 2% to 5% fee per transaction, merchant crypto-wallets charge flat monthly fees for as little as $30.
With cryptocurrencies, transactions are almost instantaneous. The average Bitcoin transaction takes several minutes to process. With ETH, it takes 20 seconds on average. Considering that credit card payment processing can take 2 to 3 days, the discrepancy is huge.
Studies show that most customer complaints revolve around the speed of service. With that in mind, it’s no wonder more and more small businesses are turning to crypto as a payment option.
The world of investing is in for a seismic change as well. Brokerages and banks make money off the transactions they facilitate in the investment world. It’s another cost that parties have to assess against all transactions.
This is another area where the peer-to-peer system comes into play. In order to bypass a brokerage, the parties need another way to facilitate the payments and record the transfer of ownership.
Moreover, they need a way to find each other in the first place. While crypto doesn’t yet have all the solutions for tackling those obstacles, it is slowly disrupting the way investments are made.
So far, crypto has shown to be a profitable asset to invest in, rather than a means of investment. Duo to their volatility, cryptos are attractive to investors that seek high rewards through high risks. However, since flagship cryptos have begun to stabilize, the situation is changing.
Accredited investors prefer to invest in bitcoin long term through crypto funds. While the average person doesn’t have the ability to invest in crypto funds, crypto exchanges and trading platforms have made it possible even for complete novices to invest in cryptos.
Seasoned Bitcoin enthusiasts are ardent advocates of long-term investing in their favorite currency because, as a limited asset with no inflation, it has the potential to become a digital replacement for gold.
The Bitcoin community has jokingly coined the phrase ‘HODL’ which serves to remind investors not to sell their digital assets during turbulent times and focus on the long run. The decades-long history of Bitcoin has proven them right so far, and more and more accredited investors are jumping in on the ride.
Crowdfunding has also gained prominence, thanks to the development of cryptocurrency. Investors are often reluctant to invest in new products and services. Now, investors are able to make smaller investments instead of large ones by using digital currencies.
ICOs are becoming a popular tool for startup ventures. They offer an in-demand source of capital.
Across all industries, there are more and more companies that are capturing the advantages of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
However, since crypto comes with certain levels of uncertainty in terms of government regulation, many businesses are still reserved and have opted to focus solely on blockchain technology instead of cryptocurrencies.
Once the governments around the world take a crystal clear stance on Bitcoin, we will be able to see the full scope of the crypto revolution.