4 Big Businesses Betting on Bitcoin Tech
4 big businesses you didn't know are betting on the blockchain technology behind bitcoin
You've undoubtedly heard of bitcoin over the past few months, it's the cryptocurrency that has taken the world by storm. Bitcoin operates independently of a traditional central bank and is a digital currency that works with encryption techniques to regulate the generation of units. Bitcoin has recently taken over the media with its fluctuation valuations and the way in which it skyrocketed in value.
Bitcoin works on blockchain technology, but what exactly is blockchain? Blockchain is a digital ledger (collection of financial accounts) which publicly records transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency in chronological order. Blockchain was invented in 2008 to power bitcoin which launched a year later. Blockchain is now being used for just about everything, including copyright protection.
The easiest way of explaining blockchain is that it is like a row of transparent safes with a depositing slot. Everyone can see what is inside the safe whilst everything inside is still protected, and anyone can put money into the safe too. When you open a cryptocurrency account, you are given one of these transparent safes and when someone wants to send you money you simply tell them which safe is yours and they drop the money in (somewhat like transferring money between bank accounts). Source: https://lifehacker.com/
Blockchain is being backed by some pretty big businesses, including Banco Santander and even Google. Here are 4 big businesses betting on blockchain:
1. American Express
Back in 2017, American Express announced that it is launching blockchain-based business payments. These payments can be made using the technology provided by Ripple and works by US-based corporate customers sending money via blockchain to UK-based businesses that bank with Santander UK. This marked one of the first major uses of the technology and it is hoped that it will be used more widely in the future, particularly as it provides the benefits of simplifying international payments.
Google, operating under parent company Alphabet, has been a major investor in blockchain startups. A report by CB Insights revealed that corporations have participated in numerous equity investments totalling around $1.2 billion since 2012, all of which were blockchain investments.
Since 2012, Google has invested in six blockchain-focused companies including LedgerX and Storj. The reasons for Google's investments vary, but one could be that it sees a positive future for blockchain technology meaning they'll see a healthy return on their investments. Another reason could be that Google is planning to implement blockchain technology itself.
As previously mentioned, Santander in the UK has partnered with American Express to provide blockchain technology for international payments between the US and Britain. Santander became the first UK bank to introduce the technology for its customers and launched a new app in 2015 which allows customers to transfer between £10-£10,000 via blockchain. No more waiting several days for payments to go through, it will now happen the next working day.
Overstock owns 10 blockchain companies and became one of the first retailers to accept bitcoin as payment - something which its competitor Amazon still doesn't accept. Overstock is now considering selling off its retail business and focusing purely on the 10 blockchain companies that it owns. Patrick Byrne, who runs Overstock, has also formed a joint-venture with a company that plans to use blockchain technology to form a property registry, which would provide land rights to people in the developing world.
As you can see, many big businesses are backing blockchain technology. Perhaps it won't be long until we see blockchain playing a major role in our everyday life - big business sure seems positive about such a future.
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