Why you should invest in blockchain technology

BY Sarah Hughes

17th Dec 2020 Technology

Why you should invest in blockchain technology
The buzz around blockchain technology is reaching fever pitch. Invented back in 2008 to facilitate the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, blockchain is no longer the preserve of crypto enthusiasts, cyber-geeks and economic libertarians. It has already proved to have many incredible applications that are changing the way we conduct our business. It is certainly one of the most important tech developments of the last decade, and many experts predict it could come to rival the internet itself in its impact. The solutions the tech offers are beginning to be adopted across industries on a global scale, and many are now looking at investing in blockchain to cash in on what looks like becoming a phenomenon. We’ll discuss the reasons why in this article – but you may be asking yourself, what is blockchain?
What is blockchain? 
When many people hear the word blockchain, they often believe it is just another word for cryptocurrency, or that it is tech used purely to enable digital currency transactions. Blockchains are decentralised and shared digital ledgers that transparently record and enable completely secure peer-to-peer transactions. They do this without involving the usual third parties that the transfer of assets traditionally entails (banks, brokers, exchanges, governments et al). Sounds a bit mundane on the face of it, but the potential applications of the tech across industries and businesses are huge.  Blockchain has the potential to change the face of business forever. Here are 3 reasons why you should look at investing in it. 
Blockchain’s enormous potential
It may have been devised to power Bitcoin but it does so much more. Not only can you make cryptocurrency transactions with blockchain but you can transfer and receive payments worldwide directly almost instantaneously, create and set up self-executing contracts, record and store data, manage your supply chain and prove provenance. And that’s not the definitive list! Virtually any business process can be streamlined and improved with blockchain. The tech also addresses many of the current concerns with regards to data security, privacy, identity verification and fraud prevention. A wealth of new possibilities are opening up unseen since the rise of the internet, and for industries and businesses worldwide, it would seem a case of when, not if, they make the tech part of their everyday workings.  
Major businesses are adopting the technology
Blockchain is not a technology of tomorrow, it has gone mainstream already and huge organisations in all manner of industries are racing to adopt it in their operations. They can see the potential and are starting to put their money where their mouth is and explore the possibilities. Here are a just a handful of the major companies utilising blockchain in 2020: 
  • Banking & Finance – Barclays, Bank of America, HSBC
  • Tech – Google, Microsoft, IBM
  • Consumer Goods - Walmart, Unilever
  • Healthcare – Pfizer, DHL (drug distribution)
  • Insurance – AIA Group, Prudential
  • Travel – Lufthansa, British Airways
  • Commercial Property – JLL, Westfield
Investment spend is set to boom over the next few years, even with the COVID-19 crisis leading to a contraction in global IT budgets. Figures released earlier this year by International Data Corp (1) predict annual spending on blockchain solutions worldwide will reach $14.4 billion US dollars by 2023, up from $1.5 billion in 2018. Major companies clearly understand the tech will give them a competitive edge. If they believe this is a great investment, then so should you. 
A promising future
Cryptocurrencies and the accompanying blockchain technology are already taking the world by storm. However, while it is now being adopted by businesses across the world, blockchain is still yet to fully develop and realise its potential. Some experts compare the level of development in 2020 to where smart phones were a decade ago. When they launched everything was about potential, there were comparatively few apps – but the tech led to a boom in app development and these tools are now part of virtually everyone’s daily life. Over the next few years blockchain apps will become the new normal for businesses and with technology playing an ever-larger part in our existence it will not be long before blockchain will be the new normal for the individual too. It is possible that by 2030, everyone and all their virtual and physical assets will have a blockchain identity which will be needed to buy products and services, sell and buy houses, holidays and cars. Blockchain could also be used to store all an individual’s records - birth, health, academic results, marriage, employment and ultimately could document their death. The sky would seem to be the limit with blockchain technology. 
Where to start?
If you are considering investing in blockchain, there are a few ways you can get involved. You can buy shares in the companies developing the tech or adopting it early; everyone wishes they had bought stock in Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook when those empires were being built. Buying exchange-traded funds with specific investments in blockchain developing or using companies is another option. Purchasing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin via bitcoin loophole login or Ethereum, with their direct links to blockchain, is another way of getting a slice of the action. You can even look at participating with a crowdfunded new cryptocurrency issued by a developer working on a new blockchain currency! As with all investments, make sure you do plenty of research before you commit, and remember this tech is at an early stage, so look to make this a long-term project.
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