Last month was a trying one for those in the cryptocurrency business. The technology actually got banned by an entire nation – not by one of those small, sovereign places like Luxembourg or Pacific Tuvalu, either.
The Chinese government, in a bid to preserve the ongoing autonomy for which it is famed, banned residents from trading in cryptocurrencies on universal exchanges and levied a status of illegality on any related fund-raising efforts…got a startup in the Far East? Forget it. Best look elsewhere.
As one might imagine, anytime a country with a population topping 1.3 billion steps out of a business, those remaining are going to feel the effects. And they did. Almost overnight, Bitcoin prices fell. Ether (the second-highest currency in market cap value) fell as well.
If we were talking gold and silver (Bitcoin surpassed the former in value for the first time, by the way, in March), the fallout would have been catastrophic, World War II-era national reserves being plundered by invading forces-disastrous.
Then the crypto community woke up, and within days bounced back. The secret to its resurgence? Blockchain.
See, cryptocurrency is everywhere. It’s not relegated to some ultra-secret, underground stockpile somewhere, just waiting to be pilfered. Crypto runs, instead, on a platform designed with decentralization and autonomy in mind. One that still thrives when conditions are dire.
Blockchain essentially operates as a massive digital ledger. Accessible to everyone in the market, it’s constantly updated as industry participants make transactions. If that’s hard to comprehend at first – understandable given the system’s sheer scale – think of how Google Docs works. You have a common document that’s accessed and edited by authorized users. It’s not saved on any one editor’s computer, but is rather ubiquitous. Cryptocurrency traders apply the same concept to Blockchain technology, resulting in a fully public registry that, to this point, has proven incorruptible.
It served the crypto community well last month when China brought down their hammer. Though bans in the country continue, worldwide holdings for the most part have retained their value: they’ve simply continued to grow and permeate elsewhere.
This sense of everywhere and nowhere all at once fits right in line with the Internet of Things, a phenomenon that – as with cryptocurrency – only continues to burgeon. These two multi-billion dollar industries have become inextricably linked by a number of factors, from their inherent value and future promise to challenges such as security.
If you’ve followed my Jason Hope blog or read any of my more recent interviews, you know by now my enthusiasm for the Internet of Things. Already, we have cars and trucks that govern themselves, sensor-driven train systems which standardize their own speed and location, and entire networks of satellites that have evolved from low-maintenance to virtually no-maintenance, thanks to our ability regulate them remotely.
Consumers increasingly demand services that are one hundred-percent reliable – a trait not natural to the human race. People must eat, sleep, medicate. They get stressed, distracted (increasingly so these days). We, as a species, are inherently fallible. If we’re able to program a machine to do the same work – and with better, more consistent quality – we’d be crazy not to.
Talking finance? Ditto. Crypto-finance? Doubly so. For the latter – such a new concept and one against many old head bankers have railed (see JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s recent comments about Bitcoin) – the margin for error is smaller than it ever will be. It’s incumbent, then, upon crypto industry heads to ensure the greatest degree of security possible. If a pre-programmed platform or device can do the job faster and better, it’s a no-brainer from both a business and security standpoint.
This brings us back to Blockchain. IoT expert Ahmed Banafa framed it very well during a recent lecture at San Jose State University: “Blockchain is promising for IoT security for the same reasons it works for cryptocurrency: It provides assurances that data is legitimate, and the process that introduces the data is well-defined,” he said.
In this way, crypto transactions would remain secure even as accessibility via IoT devices grow and develop.
Security concerns satisfied, the inevitability of an IoT-Crypto merger becomes more apparent. IoT devices are lightweight, easy, and largely autonomous. Cryptocurrency is universal, nearly incorruptible via Blockchain, and growing every day. Combine these two celebrated technologies and their inherent profitability, and you’ve got a new-wave dog that will hunt all day.
It’s an exciting time to be in (or at least invested in) Tech. Whether China will get on board remains to be seen, but the rest of us aren’t too worried either way. We won’t be waiting around.
About the Author
Jason Hope is an Scottsdale, Arizona based entrepreneur and investor in the field of technology. He has familiarized himself with all things Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin related and has dedicated himself to sharing his experience with the masses. Jason also has great interest in rejuvenation biotechnologies and other technologically advanced anti-aging research and experimentation and has donated generously to the SENS Foundation among other related organizations.