Blockchain tech is still in the early stages, but companies such as IBM are rapidly coming up with a variety of ways to use it.
Analysts have been suggesting use cases since bitcoin’s meteoric rise a couple years ago, but we are only just now starting to see some of those use cases implemented. Meanwhile experts continue to look years in the future in an attempt to predict where the technology will be used next.
Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Graham attended the Money 20/20 conference this week to learn more about cryptoassets and blockchain tech.
Among the panels he covered in his report on the conference were two focusing on the future of the technology. Experts shared their predictions for how the blockchain will be used more than 10 years from now and also about what they think the next phase for cryptoassets will be.
Blockchain tech in 2030
Graham feels the panel about the future of blockchain was the “most contentious” panel on the technology. BTCC Co-founder and CEO Bobby Lee faced off with IBM Blockchain Leader Dave Maddox, Juno Consultant Jill Carlson and Bloq Chairman and Co-founder Matthew Roszak. Each expert had their own view of what blockchain will look like in 2030.
For example, Lee said he hasn’t yet seen any use cases for blockchain beyond cryptocurrencies. He sees major limitations for blockchain that’s “truly unique and differentiated from traditional databases.” A true blockchain requires some information to be publicly verifiable.
Maddox disagreed with Lee, saying that IBM has already successfully implemented its blockchain strategy with more than 500 engagements and about 25 others in production. He mentioned one as a food trust network for Walmart, Carrefour and others in the food industry.
Carlson pointed out that confusion about the technology continues in both blockchain and cryptoassets. Roszak focused on the variety of tokens, which he expects to increase dramatically in the coming years as stablecoins, asset-backed tokens and many other types gain traction.
Blockchain tech on Wall Street
Graham also highlighted a panel which discussed using blockchain in the global finance industry. We have already seen a few implementations in this area, but more is probably coming down the pike.
For example, Jennifer Peve of the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation said they are considering how blockchain tech can change the way transactions are carried out. She said they’re also discussing ways distributed ledger technology is “uniquely qualified to solve pain points with the existing system,” Graham explained.
As far as specifics, Peve suggested that distributed ledgers will one day replace the current payment infrastructure. She added that attempts to place the blockchain on top of the current infrastructure haven’t worked and instead have resulted in added expenses.
Dave Morehead of Pantera Capital also pointed out that blockchain could reduce the fees associated with transactions, especially in cross-border payments.
Meanwhile the technology could increase the number of transactions completed, thus improving the experience of users.
Video: Compound Interest, Explained
3 Ways To Invest From Your Smartphone For Under $5
The numbers say 80% of millennials don’t invest in stocks.
Reason? Half say they don’t have money, one-third says it’s too early and another third says they don’t know how.
In addition to that, there’s demographic gap. “The average age of a financial advisor is 55,” said Douglas Boneparth, a New York City-based financial planner. “There are more financial advisors over the age of 70 than there are under 30.”
Despite these beliefs, you don’t really need much money, nor experience, to get started. (Just look at our fearless co-founder Odunayo Eweniyi and what she’s pulled off here)
Be that as it may, here are three ways to get started for $5 or less.
What: A micro-investment app (iOS and Android) with over 30 ETFs according to industry, sector and risk tolerance.
How it works: Download the app and choose your investment.
Minimum investment: $5
Cost: Fees range from $1 a month for accounts under $5,000 to 0.25% a year.
“We help people who don’t have a lot save money on a weekly basis,” CEO and co-founder Brandon Krieg said in one interview. “Stashers look like America, they look like people you meet every day: they are nurses and teachers and Uber and Lyft drivers.”
What: iOS and Android app.
How it works: Download the app and choose one of six index funds. When you buy, say a cup of coffee for $1.75, it rounds up the change to $2 and deposits the difference.
Minimum investment: $5
Cost: Just like Stash, fees range from $1 a month for accounts under $5,000 to 0.25% a year.
“We’re not trying to preach austerity to the client, because that’s a bummer,” CMO Manning Field says. “Some people will say, ‘Don’t have the cup of coffee.’ We’ll tell you to have the cup of coffee and invest along the way.”
What: A commission-free investment app (iOS and Android).
How it works: Download and start buying stocks.
Minimum investment: Whatever stock you want to buy.
And by the way, if you want to get a fast start on real estate, here’s Forbes’ list of nine REITs with yields between 8% and 10%.
CHART: How Blockchain Powers Bitcoin
Blockchain, Bitcoin. Bitcoin, blockchain.
The two terms go hand in hand—and have become almost ubiquitous with this year’s insane rise (and fall) of Bitcoin.
But what does it all really mean? How does it come together? In this week’s chart, our friends at CB Insights break down exactly how blockchain powers Bitcoin.