Crypto good? Crypto bad? There are so many opinions out there, but in our modern, connected, so-called post-truth world it is all too easy to be led down a blind alley by seemingly knowledgeable online sources which are absolutely valueless in the long run. So in the run-up to the X8 ICO/TGE it makes sense to cast the net a little wider and look at a few differing perspectives on the subject of blockchain/crypto so as to offer our potential contributors some different input whilst ensuring that the sources remain reputable. This is the first in a series of articles looking at various points of view.
The following blogpost in italics was published on 1 November on the website of the UK-based angel investment platform Angels Den. It says a lot about blockchain which does not need to be rehashed:
The explosive growth of Bitcoin has made headlines in both the financial and mainstream press, with stories of impending collapse so far yet to materialize. The real story, however, is bigger than Bitcoin and is about the potential of blockchain, the underlying technology that Bitcoin runs on.
In essence, blockchain is a decentralized ledger that gives a list of all transactions in a peer-to-peer network. We will break this down in less abstract terms in the following key benefits, but, essentially, it is a system that eclipses the current one through superior transparency, access, speed and security.
The potential for development in blockchain some are comparing to the dawn of the internet, with pundits calling blockchain the “internet of money”. Big claim, right? Read on to find out why.
1.) No third parties – the decentralisation of information
If blockchain had one USP, this would be it. With blockchain, the need for verification from a centralised authority (like a bank) is eliminated, allowing for pure peer-to-peer transactions.
This decentralisation means that information does not exist in one place, and is instead dispersed and distributed across a network. Crucially, this means there is no single point of failure throughout the system. If a failure occurs in any part of the network, the rest of the system will continue to operate. This works in contrast to current business systems, which operate using a third-party ledger that only the third party has sight and control over – creating opportunity for delays and discrepancies.
2.) Speed of exchange and reduced transaction costs
Blockchain allows parties to deal directly with each other, and so reduces time and cost-consuming middlemen. So, for instance, the traditional business-to-customer payment model – which includes 7 steps, takes an average of 3-4 days to complete and charges 2-6% transaction fee – becomes obsolete.
With the supply chain streamlined, blockchain has the capability to provide near-instant settlements. The time and cost savings here can be huge, especially if moving large sums of money, like in inter-bank settlements where trillions of pounds are being transferred. Blockchain also has the potential to make a big difference in the world of currency exchange, as the number of transactions and the transactions costs are dramatically reduced.
3.) Transparency and accountability = greater trust
Although blockchain can be either a public system, like Bitcoin, or a private system, the common characteristic of blockchain is that everyone in a network can be given visibility of the transactions and has access to one “true” ledger. This creates a valuable transparency and clear accountability which is absent in current ledger systems.
4.) Robust security from hackers
Its sophisticated architecture and advanced cryptography have given blockchain a strong security reputation. It is almost impossible to amend anything in blockchain without record, and even if a node in the system is compromised the system would continue to operate throughout the network.
Two main cryptographic features of Bitcoin’s blockchain are consensus protocol: which validates transactions and prevents “forks” in the chain through cryptographic algorithms; and private keys: which are assigned to each user, and without which transactions cannot be made.
5.) Promising potential in finance and beyond
Due to blockchain’s applications in cryptocurrency it has been primarily associated with the finance world – but there is exciting potential beyond.
Blockchain doesn’t have to transfer money: it can store information of any kind – whether that’s medical records, intellectual property details, asset data, etc. The potential scale and breadth of use is staggering… and we are only at the start.
So that is the Angels Den view. Now, of course, they are not looking in the direction of our X8 ICO/TGE as that is beyond their horizon for the time being. Instead they are looking at matters closer to their own platform, but the key point to register from this blogpost is that Angels Den is pushing blockchain into the forefront of the consciousness of a large number of contributors ranging from the relatively modest to the corporate.
This platform has a substantial reach so a “buy” signal from Angels Den can potentially put substantial funds in the UK at the disposal of crypto businesses, not forgetting input from their subsidiaries in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Gibraltar, Dubai and Qatar.
Is this a game-changer? Not in itself, no. But the game is inexorably changing and that is a fact. When a major angel investment platform which is fully authorised by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) starts to publicly pump blockchain then we can be absolutely sure that they have done all of their due diligence. If the FCA is on the outside looking in then Angels Den will not be playing fast and loose because – and please pardon the sexual reference – in the financial world your reputation is like your virginity, you can only lose it once!
It seems that the X8 ICO/TGE is coming at just the right time as market sentiments are tilting towards a true understanding of the potential for blockchain. In fact the inherent stability of X8 may become a very large part of the game-changing experience.
We share more perspectives tomorrow.