What’s the value of blockchain to consumers?

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A distributed ledger that relies on no central authority and is tamper-proof. That definition of blockchain, the technology that underlies Bitcoin, will appeal to anyone who has had a taste of the sorry state of centralized models of business and networking.

Wall Street is abuzz about blockchains because blockchains can make financial transactions faster and cheaper. Cybersecurity experts believe blockchain can prevent cyber attacks and maintain the integrity of data and online identities. Blockchains can bring transparency to supply chains and fight voter fraud in elections. I can go on about the applications of blockchain in different industries.

We know very well how to pitch the industrial and business value of blockchain. But when it comes to explaining blockchain to consumers, we’re saying all the wrong things. Continue reading

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Here’s why you should be wary of ICOs

In tandem with the surge in value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), the new form of investment that relies on blockchain (the technology underlying Bitcoin), are also gaining traction. Blockchain startups are raising millions in ICOs without going through the tough and cruel Silicon Valley VC process, and every major media outlet is talking about them.

When we first covered Initial Coin Offerings on TechTalks past December, we weren’t very sure about their future. At this stage, they’re still widely viewed with skepticism (as is everything else that relates to cryptocurrencies). But it looks like ICOs are here to stay, unless they bubble as some have predicted. Continue reading

Blockchain’s promise for the gaming industry

Elder Scrolls Skyrim

Over the past decade, the gaming industry has gone through immense revolutions and transformations. The old model of paying once with cash and buying games of the shelf is slowly giving way to platforms such as Steam and app stores where you buy games online or pay as you play.

Games have now become full-fledged commerce platforms and markets, where players spend money to pay for services, access expansion packs and extra levels, or buy and exchange in-game assets and resources with other players. Continue reading

How blockchain can disrupt the music industry

music industry guitar blockchain

The business models that supported the distribution and sale of music in a disconnected world no longer sustain the fluid landscape of file sharing services like DropBox, Google Drive and MediaFire. That’s why since the advent of the first file sharing platform, Napster, in 1999, the music industry has been in constant upheaval.

The introduction of streaming services such as Spotify only made things more complicated. Continue reading

What is an Initial Coin Offering (ICO)?

bitcoin cryptocurrency ico initial coin offering

Just as blockchain, the technology that underlies bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, continues to show potential in transforming many industries, it is also showing its potential in the crowdfunding and investment domain.

Initial Coin Offering (ICO) has become a popular way to raise funds for projects that are based on blockchain and cryptocurrencies. An ICO is a cryptocoin crowdsale, where a blockchain-based project allows enthusiasts and supporters to invest in the project by purchasing part of its cryptocurrency tokens in advance. ICOs usually take place in the early phases of a project, and the raised funds are then used to pay development and launch expenses. Continue reading

The blockchain’s potential for revolutionizing the supply chain

Supply chain

At the time of its invention, the supply chain was an ingenious idea, made to streamline and facilitate the journey of raw goods as they made their way from their source to factories and ateliers, were turned into products and consumables, and were finally shipped to retailers and consumers.

But that was more than a century ago, before our economies became as globalized and fragmented as they are now. Continue reading

What is blockchain?

blockchain-logo

Blockchain is a term you see fairly much when browsing tech—and non-tech—sites these days. It is widely known as the technology that constitutes the infrastructure of Bitcoin (what’s bitcoin BTW?), a mysterious cryptocurrency created by a mysterious scientist in 2009. Some even confuse it as a synonym for bitcoin. But the reality is that blockchain is a disruptive technology that has the potential to transform a wide variety of business processes. Continue reading