Cryptocurrency, The Future Of Payments And The Esports Industry
I am mining bitcoin and getting a bunch of it every day, so now what? That is the question some of the people probably asked themselves when they got acquainted with bitcoin in its infancy. We know exactly what happened with the finances of those who stuck with it a few years down the line. However, we tend to focus too much on that side of the cryptocurrency revolution while we gloss over a more fundamental change in the way economic ecosystems will emerge in the 21st century. It took years for the earliest bitcoin adopters to be able to spend their coins on a variety of products and services. Once bitcoin gained wider acceptance, the amount of goods and services that were available to bitcoin users, including those specially designed or engineered for bitcoin users, expanded tremendously. The same can happen now with niche coins such as eSports’ ERT.
The Kind of Tokens You Hold, Represent the Kind of Consumer You Are!
Although bitcoin is still the most dominant coin, a plethora of niche coins have emerged in the market, creating sub-economies within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. eSports’ ERT is a great example of how it is possible to develop such a niche coin that can become the pillar of an emerging industry. The advantage now is that after the advent of the bitcoin economy, it will take ERT a fraction of the time to develop an economy around it.
This is due to the fact that it was designed with a specific set of goals in mind, and it plays a specific role within cryptocurrency markets. In a sense, any ERT holder, will automatically be identified with the gaming industry, pushing the notion that the tokens you hold say a lot about what kind of consumer you are. This will trigger the next stage of evolution within the cryptocurrency sphere.
The Relevance of Consumer Identity and Cryptocurrency
This evolution in consumer identity will generate economic efficiencies. Lower transaction times and costs were the kind of efficiencies that bitcoin brought to the market. With niche coins and custom tokens that can become one of the pillars of an industry such as eSports, it will be possible to achieve interesting economies of scale and an unprecedented level of integration between different actors within the industry.
This will create a whole new set of efficiencies. If a token such as the ERT allows specific customers that are identified with the gaming industry, to get better deals and bespoke products and services, then the economy will enter a whole new era by going deeper down the cryptocurrency rabbit hole.
Imagine the following:
- Gamers start buying gaming related products with ERT tokens, such as gaming PCs, or perhaps special mice and keyboards.
- The producer of these goods will have an incentive to market and retail within the eSports platform, which will allow them to spend less on marketing and distribution efforts through other platforms.
- Buyers will become a consumer cluster, which will allow companies to sell at lower prices while keeping their margins higher.
- This will jump start a small economy centered around the gaming industry, with the ERT and eSports playing a central role.
Precise Economies and eSports
This is not at all different from the economy that bitcoin created. New service providers, and innovative companies producing highly specialized goods and services for the bitcoin economy sprung eventually. Service providers such as cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets, hardware wallets and even artists, owe their livelihood to the bitcoin economy. The ERT token and eSports can do the same for gamers and for the gaming industry, while it gives consumers advantages that they wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Once gamers acquire ERT tokens and the gaming economy starts developing around this new niche coin, just as other economies develop around other niche coins, the cryptocurrency ecosystem will advance further into the realm of precise economies. Within these, a myriad of new services will develop, mounted on platforms such as eSports. The shift will be evident in consumer behavior, because cryptocurrency users will no longer ask themselves what they can do with this new coin. They will start asking which coin will be the best to have to acquire the products and services they are looking for.
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Original Post: Cryptocurrency, The Future Of Payments And The Esports Industry
Here Is Why Gold Can’t Keep Up With Bitcoin
In a world of scarce resources, clichés seem to abound. There is too many of them, and one of the most prominent ones when it comes to cryptocurrency refers to Bitcoin as the digital equivalent of gold. Nevertheless, when the price of this so called ‘digital gold’ quadruples that of its physical equivalent per unit – if a troy ounce could ever be equated to 1BTC – then it is time to call the cliché into question. The truth is that gold prices cannot keep up with gold because the comparison is profoundly flawed.
When we Equate Bitcoin to Gold, we can Explain it to a Broader Audience
There is no doubt that both assets bear some resemblance. That is enough to create a cliché and then use it to explain a complex digital asset to a broader audience. The following are some of the characteristics that gold and bitcoin share. These are the characteristics upon which the cliché was built:
- Both assets are scarce. Some of their value derives from scarcity.
- Gold was the earliest for of a globally accepted medium of exchange, as much as bitcoin is the first globally accepted medium of exchange that is internet-based.
- Neither are issued by a central bank.
- Extraction of both requires mining, albeit bitcoin mining is a radically different procedure.
- Even if mining for gold and mining for bitcoin are fundamentally different activities, they both require sizeable amounts of energy, and both become more difficult as the resource becomes scarcer and/or its price increases.
- Mining on both progressed from an ‘artisanal’ phase into one controlled by several large corporations.
- Economies based on either asset are by default deflationary in nature.
- Both can be used to hedge against an economic downturn like the 2008-09 collapse.
However, Bitcoin and Gold Should not be Compared!
There might be more similarities between both assets, but as we run out of similarities to write on that list, we start stumbling upon the differences between them. The following is a brief list of different features that put gold and Bitcoin in radically different categories:
- Storing, transacting and transporting gold is cumbersome while doing the same with bitcoin is extremely practical.
- The scarcity of bitcoin is known – 21 million coins – whereas the scarcity of gold is unknown – estimates vary between 155,000 tonnes and 2.5 million tonnes.
- Given that we know how many coins there will be, miner rewards are also known and fixed according to an algorithm. With gold there might be a sudden discovery that can throw prices off.
- Mining on asteroids or on other planets, could dramatically increase the supply of gold. Bitcoin’s supply cannot be changed.
- Gold can be controlled by governments and its markets often are, whereas Bitcoin cannot be controlled by governments.
- Various industrial processes require the use of gold – the production of electronics is a good example. No economic process requires Bitcoin – besides hedging against the economic policies of governments and monetary policies of central banks.
- Bitcoin is digital, and it relies on an innovative technology to operate. This technology has the potential to revolutionize accounting, as well as many other fields of knowledge. Gold is physical and is a chemical element which can be used in a variety of forms, but is not revolutionary.
Gold Can’t Fill Bitcoin’s Shoes
The differences between these 2 assets make them ultimately incomparable. Moreover, the differences between gold and Bitcoin debunk the ‘digital gold’ cliché, and leave us with a situation in which we can conclude that gold can’t fill bitcoin’s shoes. Apart from industrial usage, the arguments in favor of using bitcoin instead of gold are all arguably superior. Hedging with gold forces the investor to trust multiple parties, given how difficult it is to transact with, transport and store gold. The gold game exposes the investor to a myriad of risks, including the nationalization of their wealth. Bitcoin is completely trust-less and governments would find it extremely difficult to take away from its owners.
Now that markets are catching up to this reality, it is not difficult to see why gold prices can’t keep up with those of bitcoin. The troy ounce of gold could well be bound to trail the price of a single coin from now on. Eventually Bitcoin could become as universally acceptable as gold even if it is not as culturally significant. Nevertheless, if any investor is looking for an asset that can keep them safe while competing with gains in other traditional markets, then Bitcoin should be their choice. Ultimately, gold has shown it can’t keep up with traditional markets, let alone Bitcoin prices. So, it is time to stop using the cliché, and start giving bitcoin the credit it deserves.
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Original Post: Here Is Why Gold Can’t Keep Up With Bitcoin
Universities Are Now Offering Blockchain Courses
As a way of trying to keep up with demand, and to demonstrate just how popular cryptocurrencies are, many university across the globe have started to offer specific blockchain courses to create enough experts to meet the demands of this constantly expanding market.
Why we can’t keep up with demands…
In less than ten years, cryptocurrency has taken the world by complete storm. Regardless of what your takes are on it, there is no denying that there has definitely been a surge in the demand for blockchain professionals. In fact, data from LinkedIn; a professional networking site show that blockchain related job postings have in fact tripled in the last twelve months.
Universities have recognised this increase in demand for blockchain specialists and added to their fields of study, tailoring specific courses to this high demand; however, there is still not a large enough supply of workers to meet the increased demand.
Many people are simply unaware of the blockchain technology, which is why many universities around the world have been implementing Blockchain and cryptocurrency-related course to adequately prepare students for jobs in this specific industry.
Schools, colleges and universities across the whole world are embracing this. In the US, NYU Law, Princeton, Stanford and UC Berkeley are among those who are now offering blockchain courses.
In Europe, the University of Cumbria, B9 Lab Academy, IT University of Copenhagen and University of Nicosia are just a handful of the higher-learning institutions that offer courses relating to this field, with Edinburgh University most recently adding a course specialising in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
Both students and scholars have taken an interest in the field of blockchains, so it was the natural leap for universities to launch their own courses related to the topic. There are many students who are setting up cryptocurrency clubs at their place of study, and taking the initiative to spread knowledge that will be essential to the future of this technology.
Why the sudden interest?
The interest is less sudden, and more that the popularity of different cryptocurrencies has increased, and therefore the demand for knowledge has also increased. Traditional monetary transactions are quickly becoming dated, with some countries striving to become completely cashless, so it is only natural that we would be moving on; however, to move on with a sophisticated blockchain technology, it is important that there are people who have been properly educated on this matter.
What does the future hold?
The future looks good for cryptocurrency, with many experts predicting that it will soon be used to purchase goods and services. More companies are already accepting Bitcoin – the oldest of the cryptocurrencies for some time now, so it is only natural that others will follow suit.
No institution will want to be left behind, so if major corporations are adding a blockchain technology into their companies, others will likely follow suit. But, in order to keep up with one another many large companies are looking for blockchain experts, which is why these courses are so important to keep up with the demand.
References and Further Reading:
- The CoinTelegraph; Blockchain Courses in Universities: A New Supply for a New Demand
- Financial Times; Universities add blockchain to course list
- The CoinTelegraph; Which Universities Are Offering Blockchain Courses?
- The Memo; University of Edinburgh launching Europe’s first blockchain course
- Bitcoin Magazine; More Universities Add Blockchain Courses To Meet Market Demand
- TrustNodes; The Best Universities To Study Blockchain Technology
Original Post: Universities Are Now Offering Blockchain Courses
Is Sweden Set To Become The First Cashless Society?
Despite launching a new set of bank notes just last year, Sweden is now in the running to become the first entirely cashless society. This should not come as a complete shock, as according to research carried out by Visa, cards are the main form of payment, with the public using them three times more often than the average European. Swedish buses for example, have not taken cash for a number of years, and you cannot use cash to pay for metro tickets. Even more so, by law, retailers have the right to refuse coins and bank notes.
So, what does this mean for crypto?
Well, for the most, this is seen as very good sign for digital currencies, namely Bitcoin; however, it does bring an element of privacy concerns, due to the fact that every transaction is monitored and surveyed.
Many feel that it could see a huge increase in Bitcoin investments, as fewer and fewer establishments accept cash that more people will turn to other forms of virtual currency. According to the Central Bank, Riksbank, cash transactions made up just 2% of all payments made in Sweden for the entire year, and they predict that this figure will simply keep dropping, until eventually, they will become a completely cashless society, which is estimated to happen within five years.
Over half of Swedish bank branches no longer keep cash, or will even accept cash deposits, and many areas no longer have ATM’s. The circulation of Swedish Krona has fallen from 106 billion to just 80 billion in seven years.
One of the main benefits for turning to Bitcoin as a solution is that it does not requires its users to have a bank account, like other forms of cashless payments do. Users can spend their money anonymously, increasing security and privacy, which is again, an improvement over other forms of cashless payments.
Are there any profits to going cashless?
The use of cash lacks harvestable personal data, and has to be physically managed. Not only does this take more time, it also means that companies make no profit from the use of cash at all. This is one of the main reasons for Sweden leading the way in cashless transactions.
Due to the aforementioned decline in cash, particularly from banks in the country, the Central Bank was left wondering whether it would be more beneficial to introduce a digital form of government backed money, and Bitcoin is the leading choice for a solution.
Completely cashless society?
We have already mentioned that Sweden is partly there when it comes to operating a cashless society. Cards are the main form of payment, along with Swish, which is a mobile app that uses phone numbers to allow anyone with a smartphone to transfer money from one bank account to another. Despite this raising a number of security and privacy concerns, it has proven to be a very popular way of paying for items.
Although Sweden is fast becoming the first country to become completely cashless, other Scandinavian countries are quickly following suit. The Chamber of Commerce of Denmark has already proposed that the majority of retailers should ensure that all financial transactions are carried out electronically in order to eventually ban cash. The Danish Government have even set themselves a deadline of 2030 to completely eliminate paper money.
What comes next?
We have already seen that other Scandinavian countries are following suit, but what is next for others? Is the UK likely to follow?
Like many other countries the UK has seen card, and contactless transactions are increasing, seeing a raise of 200 percent in just one year alone; however, cash is still heavily relied upon, and it would be harder to introduce a completely digital currency, as on average, 2.2 million people still rely exclusively on cash for everyday transactions. It has also just released new polymer bank notes, perhaps suggesting that cash is very much here to stay, for the UK at least.
Reference and Further Reading:
• The Coin Telegraph; Sweden Poised to Become Leading Scandinavian Cashless Society Through Bitcoin
• The Guardian; Sweden leads the race to become cashless society
• Forbes; Cashless Society: Is This What An ‘E-Krona’ In Sweden Could Look Like?
• Independent; If Sweden becomes the first cashless society, could the UK be next?
• BBC; Why Sweden is close to becoming a cashless economy
• The Local; Sweden predicted to be a cashless society by 2030
Original Post: Is Sweden Set To Become The First Cashless Society?