3 Ways Cryptocurrencies Could Affect Your Business in 2018
Last year, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology were in the headlines of not only of tech news outlets but also financial websites. Entrepreneurs, technologists, financial analysts, and governments have recognized the long-term effects and benefits of cryptocurrencies. Although analysts predict that cryptocurrencies — particularly Bitcoin — will soon enter a bubble, there are lot of people still investing in them. Last year, Bitcoin reached its highest price mark at $17,500.
The popularity and use of cryptocurrencies will continue into 2018 and economists believe that they will change the landscape of businesses forever. Below are three of the likely scenarios that may happen to companies and businesses if cryptocurrencies become more prominent in financial transactions.
“Accepted payments: Cash, Credit Cards, and Cryptocurrencies”
Today, thousands of merchants are accepting Bitcoin as a legitimate form of payment. One art gallery in London now accepts digital currencies, and this concept of “old meets new” may soon trickle down to more businesses. Some of the biggest companies today that accept Bitcoins are Microsoft and Shopify. If cryptocurrencies continue to be used as a viable currency, it is likely that in the near future they will be widely used in the retail industry.
Contracts made through blockchain
One of the biggest breakthroughs of cryptocurrency is blockchain technology. Blockchain smart contracts work like this: once both parties agree to the set of conditions, the mutually agreed upon cryptocurrency payment will be transferred. Once a smart contract has been submitted, it cannot be altered, and copies will be given across all the nodes of the blockchain.
FXCM suggests that the system used by cryptocurrencies are immutable, meaning that once the transactions are recorded, they cannot be erased. Since blockchain is both decentralized and immutable, it protects merchants from those who would seek to cheat the merchants.
Smart contracts are gradually being introduced with Forbes reporting that by 2020 smart contracts could be used by more than 25% of global organizations. IBM and Microsoft are already offering “blockchain solutions to enterprise clients”. In the near future business could be offering secure contracts without the need for lawyers or middlemen.
The emergence of fiat cryptocurrencies
Quartz predicts that 2018 may be the year of fiat cryptocurrencies. The basis for this is that in 2017, cryptocurrency markets brought some interesting developments from Russia, China, and the UK in terms of regulating digital funds. In 2018, the news site expects for real initiatives to move forward with several countries that embrace the new and revolutionary such as Estonia, Singapore, and Japan. Economists believe that more retailers and service providers will accept cryptocurrencies in 2018. Because not everyone is tech-savvy, some influencers may launch fiat cryptocurrencies that make offline payments easier. If that happens, your business could be dealing with several forms of currency very soon.