Cryptocurrency value is in the ‘proof of work’

Bitcoins at the online coin dealer Bitcoin Commodities in Berlin. AFP PHOTO | NMG
Bitcoins at the online coin dealer Bitcoin Commodities in Berlin. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Everyone in the financial services world has been on edge in the past few weeks as the world’s most valuable and visible cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, continued in its hockey stick trajectory, punctuated only by a few brief dips.

How long it will sustain this bull-run is not known. But the value has most definitely been driven by a feeding frenzy from laggard consumers and investors who are afraid of missing out.

In my opinion, by the time an enduring and advanced trend is spotted, the early adopter opportunity is long gone.

The long tail remains one of minimal or zero return on risk or investment taken.

I would much rather look at the true opportunity that the cryptocurrency madness has opened up.

The process of obtaining this digital gold is called mining — just like in the physical world where you have to move loads of earth to get to valuable ore. In this case certain mathematical questions have to be solved and verified for which the reward is a digital asset that can then be traded.

The question then remains, where else can we apply this? Where can we make use of the underlying blockchain technology to scratch a real itch up and above mining and speculative trading?

The Housing Market

You are most likely a renter, and have probably moved once or twice in your adult life. What was the experience getting your deposit refund from your landlord or agent?

The lending space

What is your take on giving loans to friends? Is there a way to maintain relationships outside the lender-borrower dynamic?

Contract Payments

While SMEs are the backbone of the economy, large corporates and even governments are the leading cause of their death from financial starvation where payments takes months, sometimes years; yet cash flow is the lifeblood of these enterprises. 

One can design and issue their own cryptocurrency targeted at the myriad of problems where we need to decentralise trust, by pass gatekeepers, red tape and perchance even corruption.

Proof of work verifiable by independent distributed entities to unlock agreed value is where the game is headed.