The business potential of cryptocurrency
In December 2017, entertainment platform Steam stopped accepting payments with Bitcoin as the currency was seen as too volatile to bank on. While the cryptocurrency is in flux at the moment, there is potential for businesses to take advantage of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Here, Jake Fox, CEO of independent online gambling resource, Casinopedia, explains how your business could benefit.
While Bitcoin continues to fluctuate, it can be difficult to see how cryptocurrencies will change our lives, let alone our businesses. However, an easy way to think of Bitcoin is to compare it to gold, rather than to a flat currency.
Bitcoin is governed by the decision of developers to limit its production to a fixed amount of 21mn bitcoins. So, just as there is a finite amount of gold in the world, there are also only a finite number of Bitcoins. However, unlike gold, Bitcoins are a new frontier, so the market hasn’t had chance to level out yet.
Bitcoin has risen in value by 600% since the start of 2017, and in November the cost of a single Bitcoin exceeded $11,000. Bitcoin’s market capitalisation now exceeds the annual output of whole economies, being valued higher than the GDP of New Zealand.
Investors who bought even a small fraction of a Bitcoin have seen massive financial gains. For example, one early investor, who purchased Bitcoins for just $115, recently treated himself to a rare Lamborghini for $20mn. It’s noteworthy that this savvy gentleman also completed the purchase using Bitcoin — so there was no need to move funds around.
It’s easy to see how you can benefit from cryptocurrencies for investment. But what about the day-to-day activities in your business?
Show me the money
Bitcoin has been an investment opportunity without precedent so far, but it is a currency. So, ultimately, people are going to want to use their coins to purchase things. Businesses cannot afford to bury their heads in the sand when it comes to cryptocurrencies, they must start and assess how they can facilitate customer demand as well as leverage the currency for themselves.
Price fluctuations may put businesses off using Bitcoin, but these can be largely mitigated by converting from flat currencies to Bitcoin and back again. In addition, UK and European governments are considering how cryptocurrencies should be regulated, which will go a long way to help stabilise the currency.
The biggest benefit for businesses is the ease with which funds can be transferred using Bitcoin. Sending money overseas, to pay suppliers or wholesalers for example, can be costly and slow. Bitcoin surmounts many of these obstacles, allowing money to be transferred in around 30 minutes and negates the need to perform multiple currency calculations.
Once the Bitcoin lands in the recipient’s Bitcoin wallet, they can withdraw the funds in the flat currency of their choice or use it to purchase other products or services.
The cost of a Bitcoin transaction peaked at around $5 earlier in 2017 and has since lowered. Even at $5, this is still substantially lower than the cost of a traditional international money transfer.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. As cryptocurrencies become more regulated and are used in the mainstream, they will become more stable and even more opportunities for business managers will open up. However, the key to getting us to that point is for businesses to start and incorporate cryptocurrencies into their process, rather than following Steam’s example and pulling support.
Jake Fox, CEO, Casinopedia
Ericsson: 5G will be fastest adopted mobile generation in hi
Ericsson’s June Mobility Report projects that nearly 600 million 5G subscriptions will be active by the end of 2021, making it the fastest adopted mobile generation in history.
The longer range forecast is for around 3.5 billion 5G subscriptions and 60 per cent 5G population coverage globally by the end of 2026.
China, the US, Korea, Japan and the GCC (Gulf states) will lead deployment, with Europe lagging behind. The latter got off to a slower start and has been mired in infrastructure battles over the provenance of hardware.
North East Asia is expected to lead 5G deployment with an estimated 1.4 billion subscriptions by 2026, while North America is expected to account for the highest 5G subscription penetration.
Key findings of the Ericsson Mobility Report, June 2021
5G remains on track to become the fastest adopted mobile generation in history with subscriptions increasing at a rate of about a million per day
China, North America and the Gulf Cooperation Council markets are leading the way on subscriber numbers, while Europe is off to a slow start
5G subscriptions with a 5G-capable device grew by 70 million during the first quarter of 2021 and are forecast to reach 580 million by the end of 2021
5G ready for 'advanced use cases'
Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president and head of networks, Ericsson, said, “We are in the next phase of 5G, with accelerating roll-outs and coverage expansion in pioneer markets such as China, the USA and South Korea. Now is the time for advanced use cases to start materialising and deliver on the promise of 5G. Businesses and societies are also preparing for a post-pandemic world, with 5G-powered digitalization playing a critical role.”
Photo credit: Ericsson