Today we already know that the finance industry will certainly not be the only one using blockchain technology. The list of areas that can improve the blockchain over time is getting bigger and bigger and more sectors of the economy are added to it. Logistics and supply chain management are areas where blockchain is becoming increasingly important and can significantly improve processes. FedEx is already working on implementing its own solutions. At sea, Maersk in cooperation with IBM is also testing blockchain in maritime transport.
IBM’s Vice President of blockchain, Bridget van Kralingen, recently stated that the blockchain will have more and more business applications. Improving document flow and making it more reliable is just one of the possible applications they are working on. Another automotive giant, Toyota, is working on the use of blockchain in payments between unmanned cars, and Samsung is working on improving its white goods and supply chains.
Demand for blockchain programmers is growing dramatically. LinkedIn shows that blockchain is at the top of the list of most desirable skills in 2020. No wonder, after all, giants such as IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, or from the banking sphere such as JP Morgan or Goldman Sachs are looking for specialists to implement blockchain solutions in their own backyards. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) – one of the largest banks in the world, wants to create a transaction channel based on a chain of blocks and today it is no longer a novelty.
Practical use of blockchain
The Bakkt platform, used for Bitcoin futures, which had many market enthusiasts waiting for its launch, did not bring the expected results. From a longer perspective, it is an important step in the further adoption of digital currencies, and concerns that are either working on blockchain (Microsoft) or considering accepting payments in cryptic currencies (Starbucks intends to accept BTC) have invested in it.
We are constantly receiving new news about where to pay and what to settle for in crypto. In 2019 we received news that in Argentina it will be possible to pay for city transport with a card from BTC.
Today we will pay for coffee or lunch in many cafes and restaurants around the world. Twitter is considering adding the possibility of giving tips to users and existing cryptocurrencieswould be used for this purpose.
Prepaid cards that can be reloaded with cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly popular. Such a card works with popular payment systems and is no different from the traditional one issued by banks.
Companies providing accounting services are developing more and more rapidly in the field of tax law related to settlement with cryptocurrencies. Some of them even went one step further and accept payments in cryptocurrencies as the preparation of settlement.
The number of bitomats is constantly growing. At the end of 2019, there were over 6 thousand of them all over the world. North America (77% of all machines) is definitely the leader in this category. In Europe, there is about 20% of the total supply.
Blockchain and crypto adjustments
In November last year, the German government passed a law that will allow banks to provide their clients with cryptographic management services. From 2020, every German can buy Bitcoin from its own bank. In addition, they can set up a wallet there and store it in accordance with the security standards observed in financial institutions.
In France, abroad, a project to issue the CBDC (the digital currency of the central bank) is planned to be launched. It is to be a virtual version of the euro available only to institutional customers. The French economy minister stated that exchange transactions for cryptocurrencies will not be taxed. The sale for FIATs will instead be taxed.
In the British islands last November, the Supreme Court declared that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are “owned”. This is very good news for digital currency advocates, as it means that the law protects the holders of a crypto as well as the holders of ordinary traditional currencies. It turns out that the UK is also taking decisive steps to regulate the blockchain industry and giving the green light to the development of this technology.
In China, blockchain adoption is getting better and better. Although it is illegal to use and trade in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies there. The blockchain situation looks good. The Chinese authorities are introducing blockchain technology into their financial institutions. Among them is the People’s Bank of China, which is implementing this technology to increase transparency and tracking of transactions.
In addition, the People’s Bank of China is aiming for a digital yuan, which is the best evidence of the serious treatment of blockchain in China. In an interview for Cointelegraph, CEO of RR Mine, which provides cloud mining services, said many steps were taken in 2019 to further regulate the industry. He emphasized that the regulations are to support companies operating in the area of artificial intelligence, blockchain, fintech and the Internet of things.
It is in China that mass adoption solutions will be tested. A billionaire society open to new technologies will be a good trendsetter in adoption.
In the Middle East, last July, the Iranian government passed a law on cryptocurreny extraction. The new law classifies mineral activities as industrial activities for which a licence is issued. Unfortunately, miners pay more for electricity, so digging may not be profitable. It is also puzzling that paying with cryptocurrencies in this country is prohibited, but their digging is legalised and regulated.
Across the ocean, regulations in the United States vary slightly from state to state. Surely you can say that the law in the U.S. is quite favourable to the blockchain industry at the moment. In 2019 the state of Wyoming passed a law that divides cryptoactics into three categories. These include digital consumer assets, digital securities and virtual currencies. The latter will be treated on a par with traditional currencies and will be subject to taxation and supervision.
Which way will blockchain go?
More and more people are talking about tokenization of assets, i.e. transferring their value to digital media. The area of tokenization is still in its infancy, but there are more and more voices that one should go in this direction. Tokenisation makes it possible to divide every possible asset in the world into smaller units. In such a situation, everyone will be able to stock up on whatever they want and sell tokens to raise capital.
An innovative idea to use digital assets was shown by a Polish crypto sympathizer Szczepan Bentyn, author of the personaltokens.io service. He believes that in the future each person will have his own token, which he will pay for purchases in the shop.
However, this is probably a long way to go. This year, we should certainly pay attention to the development of the Libra project from Facebook, which may be a milestone in the mass adoption of blockchain. Digital yuan – an idea of the People’s Bank of China – will also join the game. These 2 digital currencies may soon compete strongly with each other, fighting for influence on world markets.
The adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrencies does not go hand in hand with privacy.
In recent days, we have also written about 5AMLD, which may result in the end of users’ privacy cryptography in favour of market regulation. Unfortunately, there are many indications that adoption and privacy are mutually exclusive factors.
It is not difficult to notice that economic powers are warning their fangs about upcoming changes in the business and Internet world. It can be said that we are on the eve of the beginning of the Cold War on the financial and technological ground, in the context of streamlining processes. We recommend to fasten our belts and watch carefully what is happening on the market.