Cryptocurrencies and blockchain have had a wild ride over the last couple of years. Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, saw a high of over $20,000 CAD in December of 2017 and a subsequent collapse to around $4,500 CAD in January 2019 of this year. As of June of this year it’s back up above $10,000 CAD.
That is some serious volatility.
When I was first introduced to the idea of buying Bitcoin it was summer of 2015 and the price was momentarily hovering around $400. Even though the buy was recommended by a close and trusted friend, I declined. Not my best ever decision.
Back to crypto volatility
There have been many reasons for instability in crypto markets over the last couple of years:
- Issuing companies had little or no tangible products or assets, making it difficult to understand their offering or even know if they were genuine.
- A lack of information or poor communication from companies issuing tokens meant investors were unsure of how their money had been put to work, and or any progress being made.
- Inexperienced management teams that were unable to deliver on promised value.
- Punters / speculators were attracted by returns in the thousands of percent while regulatory scrutiny kept more genuine investors at bay.
- Without defined market rules or regulations, prices fluctuated exponentially in short periods of time.
It’s clear to me that investments in failed business models or vaguely defined projects are the single largest contributor to the 2018 cryptocurrency crash. Coupled with undeliverable blue sky aspirations, and speculators looking for a quick buck, markets experienced significant risk and turbulence along the way. The focus was on the potential gain of a token or coin and not on the success or potential of blockchain as a commercially viable technology solution.
Mainstream crypto adoption
2019 however has seen a shift in the way markets are operating. We are now seeing investors taking a far more considered approach having developed a fundamental understanding of the value of crypto currencies as a decentralized investment opportunity, while searching for the legitimate projects that leverage blockchain technology. What has helped move the industry forward are the several multinationals that have turned to blockchain technology because of the potential it offers. Now that the ruckus around cryptocurrencies has settled, there are significant projects coming from large, blue chip companies and major financial institutions such as JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Facebook, IBM, and Cisco.
Having trawled through filings and releases from publicly listed companies in the US, Canada and across Europe, it’s obvious how widespread the interest in blockchain has become. To showcase this more clearly we have compiled a small list of the companies that have discussed blockchain, bitcoin or cryptocurrencies since 2015 in their filings, research or presentations. Our research shows the total number of public companies discussing these ideas over the last few years
- Financial institutions – Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank, CIBC, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Norges Bank, BlackRock, Fidelity Investments, MasterCard, Visa, American Express
- Consultancy firms – Capgemini, Accenture, IBM
- Resources – Oil Exxon Mobil, Shell, Chevron, Rio Tinto
- Automobiles – Ford Motor, Porsche, Tesla, Uber,
- Technology – Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Oracle, SAP, McAfee, eBay, PayPal, Tencent
- Consume – Unilever, Walmart, AT&T, T-Mobile, General Electric, Netflix
Source: Zooky, Bloomberg, Company filings
These are the early days of mainstream cryptocurrency adoption. Much like the mainstream adoption of the Internet, the bubble of the 1990s, the subsequent crash in 1999, and again today, the largest and most profitable companies in the world are technology companies.
Who is undertaking mainstream crypto adoption?
While this list is in no way exhaustive, it is a sample of crypto and blockchain projects that mainstream and credible organizations are undertaking.
Positive news from credible business leaders
PWC: The Big Crypto Players of 2019
Cisco: Cisco Says Blockchain will be $10 Billion Market by 2021
Deloitte: The Blockchain Practice
IBM: Blockchain and the shipping industry
Blockchain and the move to real estate
Jurisdictions around the world have successfully transferred ownership of real estate entirely through the use of secure blockchain technology. This includes government sponsored programs in both Sweden and the United States, as well as the exchanging of properties through cryptocurrencies in parts of Japan. These projects continue to attract the attention of other regions and the conveyancing, through the use of cryptos as a means of exchange, or even the full transfer of deeds, has started to take precedence. Consider for a moment the reality of peer-to-peer property conveyancing without the need of cumbersome financial or legal instruments and process.
Smart contracts, created through blockchain, already meet the legal requirements of a traditional paper contract. Along with the transfer of funds via fiat or digital currency, cryptocurrencies have started to be used to purchase properties. Equally, the transfer of the ownership of assets through blockchain has begun. Considering mainstream crypto adoption we are not far from a position where property ownership will be transferred entirely through blockchain technology.
More progressive countries will adopt the technology sooner than others; however, the use of secure blockchain for real estate transactions will become widespread in the coming decade. Transfer of ownership through blockchain distributed ledgers that are integrated into local or national land registries will be the tipping point.
Goldman Sachs has put out estimates that blockchain driven property records could save up to $4bn in costs associated with real estate transactions due to reductions in headcount and actuarial risk in the US alone.
Probably the single biggest impact on cryptocurrency adoption since Satoshi Nakamoto is the Libra. As earlier mentioned in this article, Facebook’s entrant into the world of cryptocurrency is going to have massive implications on cryptocurrency adoption. It is estimated that the Libra alone will increase the entire crypto user base by two to three times. When you then consider the global ripple effect this will have, it is easy to see that we are literally months away from a complete sea change in how we use currencies on a day to day basis.
At the beginning of 2018 Kazooky Media Inc embarked on and comprehensive deep study in the viability of ICO’s as a credible platform for raising expansion capital and buyer returns. We concluded the market was to fragile and lacked the foundation needed for long term investor sustainability. Since then we have been closely monitoring the opinions and views of both regulators and potential token holders. In our opinion the ICO market has significantly shifted towards more stable and commercially viable offers providing Kazooky Media Inc with a very exciting, credible and sustainable environment to re enter this space. With To this end the ZKY (Zooky Coin) ICO is now being put in place for a planned offer in the coming months. It is clear that mainstream crypto adoption of this real estate coin is now inevitable and, in our opinion, will see exponential expansion. Beyond the Zooky Coin is Kazooky’s fractional property investment platform and Property Token exchange. The Zooky platform will be perfectly positioned to ride this sea change of digital economics. Creating positive solutions from disruptive technologies has always been at the forefront of rapid scalability in enterprise and BlockChain/Smart contracts will become central to Kazooky’s solutions.