24 Mar The Blockchain Revolution: Bigger than Bitcoin
As businesses undergo digital transformations and shift their value offerings to a virtual space, the payment industry rapidly develops to meet new demands. Both consumers and businesses alike require solutions that allow money to be sent and received in the most secure, convenient, and cost-efficient manner. The creation of these new payment solutions – most of which rely on electronics for their functions – is driven by advancements in computer technology, online commerce, and telecommunications. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift from cash to digital payment options due to fears of cash contamination. According to a recent Statista study, digital payments are expected to increase by nearly 90% between 2020 and 2024, as a result, there is a unique opportunity for innovation as payment-solution providers work to meet the flux in demand.
At the forefront of digital payment innovation stands cryptocurrency which offers users an efficient way of transferring money electronically. Although Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency by market cap ($611.5B at time of writing), many other examples exist such as Ethereum ($122.6B), XRP ($11.9B), and LINK ($9.4B). While these digital assets offer a useful medium of exchange online, the infrastructure they are based on is proving even more options to the rapidly changing tech environments, in various areas.
Blockchain serves as a digital ledger of transactions where all activity – tracing back to the first transaction ever made on it – is time-stamped and tamper-proof. This technology is currently used to facilitate domestic and international payments, thus enabling companies to bypass existing credit card rails and banking infrastructure.Blockchain.com estimates the value of Bitcoin transferred on January 1st, 2021 was $6.15B, up from $692.06M on January 1st, 2020.
In this article we curated a list of companies who are leveraging the power of Blockchain to revolutionize their industries.
OpenBlocks aims to normalize digital currency usage for the everyday consumer by addressing two major challenges: convenience and acceptability. By supporting traditional payment cards with cryptocurrency capabilities, consumers conveniently gain access to digital currencies while keeping their familiar payment methods. On the vendor side, businesses can accept the payment cards through their POS terminal or Payment Gateway as normal without acquiring any new hardware or software, thus accessing an untapped market of crypto spenders.
Coti developed a payment network based on its proprietary Blockchain protocol that is more scalable and cost-effective than traditional payment systems. Built with enterprises in mind, Coti enables companies to accept all payment types, including cryptocurrencies, while processing transactions at four times the speed of traditional systems. The platform supports instant settlements, buyer-seller protection, customizable stable coins (a digital asset designed with a fixed value), and loyalty programs for each company. It also provides consumer benefits such as loyalty points and cashback rewards, access to cryptocurrency, and prepaid virtual debit cards.
Crymbo offers financial institutions a platform that provides their clients easy access to digital assets while remaining compliant with regulations. Crymbo’s use of Blockchain fosters a trusted network of institutions with an embedded mean of settlement. Tal Amram, Crymbo’s CEO, noted: “Financial institutions do not offer digital assets today, thereby leaving massive financial gaps.” Crymbo’s solution to this issue introduces new revenue streams to financial institutions while accessing an untapped market of clients who have not yet purchased digital assets. In contrast to crypto exchanges such as Coinbase or Binance, Crymbo believes that financial institutions provide higher trust, better accessibility, and a global presence with a local experience.
Although payment processing services are a large application of Blockchain, other non-financial data can be recorded on Blockchain too including medical records, titles, deeds, legal documents, and many other forms of text, video, or multimedia. This results in use cases across a variety of industries.
WaveBL is a digital courier platform that uses Blockchain to exchange non-financial data in a quick, safe, and cost-efficient way. Transferring over Blockchain enables the instant and authenticated exchange of information, while data encryption ensures documents stay secure and private. Wave uses digital signatures to guarantee validity and prevent fraud or modifications of documents. Wave has applications in industries such as financial services and regulatory compliance, while it provides additional inventory tracking benefits to logistics and supply chain companies.
Avenews-GT enables agri-businesses to manage their supply chain operations directly through the Avenews platform while building a digital economic identity for themselves. They can control contracts, invoices, business contacts, inventory, and payments while eliminating verbal agreements and paper-related costs. In addition, Avenews connects financial institutions with agri-businesses requiring financial services through a Blockchain-based digital infrastructure. Based off the businesses’ digital identity, financial institutions can offer loans, insurance, and other services, thus improving their reach to underserved rural areas previously unreachable due to high risks and lack of business data.
In the insurance industry, Blockchain solutions are driving improved customer experiences, reducing insurance placement times, and enabling new products. Complicated claims processing and archaic billing systems are being replaced with applications that sync multiple organizations, in real-time, over shared facts.
LedgerTech helps large enterprise insurance companies automate the claims and underwriting procedure using a combination of Blockchain, smart contracts, AI, and cloud computing. New products such as parametric insurance allow for automated claims detection and payment, thus speeding up the claim process while reducing paperwork and its associated costs. In addition, LedgerTech provides fraud detection measures. The solution uses APIs to integrate smoothly with existing systems and can be applied to both health and auto insurance industries.
Fraud detection is another large area of application for Blockchain technology. Although many institutions will alert you when a potentially fraudulent transaction have occurred, very few are capable of detecting fraud as it happens. Blockchain enables a person’s digital identity to be secured in a way that is tamper proof, preventing it from being used in an unsanctioned way. Only authorized parties are able to verify your information and they can only see one version of immutable truth.
Simplex is a licensed financial institution that allows merchants worldwide to accept a wide range of payment methods while protecting them against fraudulent chargebacks with their 100% risk free guarantee. The payment processing platform provides support for over 45 cryptocurrencies and offers merchants the highest conversion rates. Their latest solution, Simplex Banking, provides crypto wallets, exchanges, and outlets the ability to offer local and global payment methods while receiving the same fraud protection guarantee.
As more applications for Blockchain technology are realized, one thing becomes abundantly clear – this technology is not just for payment processing. Although the rapid transaction speeds and peer-to-peer nature of it form the foundation for a great payment system, the other features of Blockchain present value to numerous other industries.
The use cases for Blockchain will continue to increase as the technology is further adopted. Until then, it seems that Bitcoin will continue to hold the spotlight while the power of Blockchain is realized.
About the author
Nir Netzer is a FinTech Innovation Strategist, FinTech Transformation Advisor and a keen leader of the Israeli FinTech ecosystem. Nir is an expert Strategic and Financial Consultant, advising FinTech companies, global financial institutions, institutional and private investors, regulators and governmental entities on FinTech investments and digital transformation processes. Nir is a seasoned manager and speaker, frequently curating and hosting FinTech events, moderating professional panel discussions and delivering keynote performances in local and global FinTech Summits as well as serving as a desired FinTech lecturer in several Israeli Academic institutions.
Nir is a certified CPA, holds a B.A in Accounting and in Law as well as an MBA Specializing in Financing and Financial management.