In a week when the XRP cryptocurrency more than doubled in price on speculation it would be used by a number of Ripple projects, news percolated around a few unrelated big ideas that seem primed to explode (whether we like it or not).
The first big idea on the verge of making a big impact on the cryptocurrency world is crypto custody. With new entrants, including cryptocurrency juggernaut Coinbase getting into the space, the ways in which cryptocurrency owners access their assets are getting increasingly sophisticated. With an estimated $20 billion trapped on the sidelines by investors afraid they’ll get hacked, a rising tide of competition in this space could lead to an explosion of liquidity.
Another form of competition, coming from China, is also simmering on the back burner. In the past month China’s central bank began testing a blockchain platform for small businesses and its supreme court declared that evidence could be stored on a blockchain. But as the world’s most populated nation invests significantly in developing blockchain, the underlying motive seems to be clear: prevent innovators in other nations from wresting away the government’s total financial hegemony.
Regardless of whether China proves an innovative force in blockchain or snuffs out its potential through calculated maneuvering, the whole world stands to gain if these next two big ideas become a reality.
Over the course of the past year a number of anti-global warming projects have made significant headway with both mandatory and voluntary carbon markets powered by blockchains. Highlighted by these efforts are some of the very qualities that made blockchain popular in the early days, including the ability to prevent double spends, increased transparency and the trust that creates in the system. The result could be a network owned by the public that incentivizes corporate behavior to help nurture the environment.
As one batch of innovators is using blockchain to improve corporate behavior, another is targeting media. With more than half of the respondents to a recent Gallup poll saying they believe the media is biased, a number of blockchain efforts have identified the shared, distributed ledger of a blockchain as a way to increase the trust an audience places in the press, and hold reporters publicly accountable when they violate that bond.
On Wednesday, Forbes contributor Dante Disparte summed up such large scale problems being confronted by blockchain innovators in the starkest terms. In an article titled Misfortune And Misery As New Asset Classes the Risk Cooperative founder wrote, “The world’s best hope of reining in the modern era’s four horsemen riding on steeds of climate change, extreme income inequality, pandemic threats and the erosion of institutional trust, largely depends on financial engineering, technological innovation and political will.”
Current Price Of Top 5 Coins (by market cap)
Bitcoin (BTC): $6,778
Ether (ETH): $228
XRP (XRP): $0.6173
Bitcoin Cash (BCH): $483
EOS (EOS): $5.78