VIDEO – Everyone talks about “blockchain”, but who really understands the impact of this technology in real life? Here are three examples of cryptocurrencies with concrete applications for citizens and businesses.
This is to say that crypto-currencies have been focusing media attention since the end of 2017. Estonia announced last August to launch a state cryptocurrency, provoking the ire of the European Central Bank. At the end of December, an iced tea company “Long Island Iced Tea” changed its name to “Long Blockchain” and took more than 120% on the stock market in the day, without any technical evolution to present. More recently, the company Kodak would say to develop its own blockchain with the aim of managing the remuneration and copyright of photographers.
“Launching your own cryptocurrency” is the fashion of the moment to make people talk about themselves. But while some unscrupulous companies are taking advantage of the craze created by the word “blockchain”, without real technological innovations, others are working on projects that could have a real impact for Internet users and companies.
Example with Civic, a cryptocurrency specializing in securing and certifying the identity of citizens and businesses. By using the Ethereum blockchain (the second most important cryptocurrency after bitcoin), it makes it possible to issue in a few seconds an “official” digital identity card to authenticate for banking transactions, a plane reservation or any type of administrative procedure, often time-consuming. This technology would also allow effective protection against identity theft, according to its founders.
We can also mention the project “Stellar Lumens”, a non-profit organization, whose objective is to allow everyone to send a sum of money to anyone on the planet, regardless of currency. The transaction will take three to five seconds. The time it takes to be validated by the blockchain. In addition, the network will take care of finding the best possible exchange rate and the transaction fees will be almost zero. The value of the cryptocurrency related to this project has also soared in recent months, following the signing of a partnership with the giant IBM. The project leaders make it a point of honour to develop their activities in emerging countries, where bank fees are often excessively high compared to salaries.
Finally, the engineers behind the iExec cryptocurrency propose to create a decentralized market for IT infrastructures where users pool their resources (processors, servers, hard drives) and monetize them. You are a start-up in artificial intelligence and you need big computing skills to run your algorithm? Use the power of computers on the other side of the planet, when it’s dark and they’re not in service. This start-up was particularly noticed last April by completing an ICO of $ 12 million in less than 3 hours. At the time, it was the 5th largest cryptocurrency fundraiser in history. Important point, based in Lyon, it is one of the few French crypto-currency. At the origin of the project, we find researchers from Inria (National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation) and CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research).
The market for these “virtual currencies” now represents more than 700 billion dollars, compared to less than 17 billion on the first of January 2017. An increase of some 4000% which has clearly accelerated since the end of last November, taking advantage of the arrival of many curious on the exchange platforms as well as a certain recognition of the financial world. If the price of bitcoin has been able to maintain the fervor of crypto-enthusiasts since its creation in January 2009, it is the “altcoins”, the other virtual currencies, which attract more and more investors and speculators for more than a month now. The share that bitcoin represents is diluted to less than 33% of the total market capitalization, against more than 55% at the beginning of 2017. The most complete site on the subject, Coinmarketcap, lists 1,426 at the beginning of the year. – © –
Find all Statista infographics here.