Every day there is more news about what can, can and should happen in the world of cryptocurrencies (CC) and blockchain. There has been significant investment, research and a lot of chatter, but the coins and projects are still not mainstream. They have not yet brought the anticipated explosive changes. Many ideas are being discussed and developed, but none of them have produced big, game-changing results. What could be needed is that major industry players such as IBM, Microsoft, and major financial services corporations continue to move forward in developing useful Blockchain applications – ones that the entire world CANNOT 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 precisely and painfully digitized, and because these systems are archaic, they are expensive to maintain and operate. Banks almost have a good reason to charge high fees for services – their systems are inefficient. These systems have many layers of redundant data, as everyone involved in a transaction must have their own version of the transaction details. And then there’s the challenge of ensuring there’s a trusted third party to clean up all those transactions—which requires even more versions of the same data. Blockchain technology promises to solve these problems as each transaction will only be recorded in ONE block on the chain and as it is a distributed database, security and integrity are built in and ensured. It may take some time to build trust in these new systems, given that Blockchain transaction verifiers are not the traditional clearinghouses that banks use and trust today. It will take time for banks to trust the new technology, and it will take even longer for that trust to trickle down to consumers.
Another company that may soon be ready to give CC and Blockchain a big push is Amazon. It looks like Amazon is preparing to launch its own cryptocurrency. It is a company with revenue the size of a large country and it can issue a digital token that will be fully convertible with other CCs as well as fiat currencies. This move will allow Amazon to:
- issue (AMAZON) coins to reward and incentivize developers on any of its platforms
- issue coins to consumers for in-app purchases
- issue coins to players to purchase virtual goodies in the game
- issue coins to regular customers as part of a loyalty program
Amazon may have the perfect ecosystem of customers and partners to make it all happen. They have about 300 million customer accounts worldwide, roughly the size of the US population, and they have 100,000 sellers on their platforms with millions of items for sale. There is hardly a more massive company than Amazon, with a huge, dynamic economy where everything is connected. Amazon’s imminent entry into the CC world may signal the widespread adoption of blockchain technology by mainstream institutions. What could be just around the corner when AMAZON coin comes into play is DISNEY coin, DELTA AIRLINES coin, CARNIVAL CRUISES coin, HOME DEPOT coin – you get the idea.