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Blockchain Blitz — There’s a Coin For That

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ICO TRENDS MIRRORING THE RISE OF MOBILE APPS

Not too long ago in San Francisco, a center for advancement in the world of tech, you couldn’t walk down the street without overhearing someone’s idea for a new mobile application. Some were genius (can you imagine a world without Uber?) others, not so much. But the energy was high, hopes and aspirations soared for the dawning of a new age, and as is natural when a new market emerges, the cream of the crop rose to the top. Thusly, the era of “there’s an app for that” was born, and the world was forever changed because of it.

Nowadays in SF, equal ambition and vision are being poured into a rapidly-emerging space — blockchain technology. Emerging so quickly, in fact, that it looks like it’s hitting faster than the app era of the early 2000s, or even the internet boom of the late 90s. You hear it everywhere, at coffee shops, on the streets, in grocery stores — it’s as if everyone has an idea for a token, ICO, or blockchain application. And outside of our tech hub, globally, new financial markets are springing to life, while conventional ones are making major changes to embrace the rising tide; world governments are taking notice and creating new legislation. It’s safe to say that blockchain technology is here to stay, and with it, cryptocurrency.

Powering the meteoric rise of cryptocurrencies and the many blockchain initiatives they support, is the Initial Coin Offering. The ICO was introduced as a new raise structure that is true to the spirit of decentralized technology — putting the fundraising power in the hands of the community that believes in and supports the blockchain movement, and giving them a token of ownership in that project by way of a digital asset, a coin. Fast-forward past the days of the early innovators and adopters, with the industry exploding, media attention expanding, mainstream money markets taking notice, and speculative investors entering the coin exchanges in a major way, more and more people want a piece of the action — some for monetary gains, others to be part of a technological shift on a massive, global scale. New products are introduced and new projects started almost daily. Coins of all types are being created, and massive market caps are being achieved in a matter of weeks. The shear size of the coin market, $530B at the time of this publication, and unprecedented speed of its growth, much of which only occurring in Q3 and Q4 of 2017, are proof that the coming of the coin age is undeniable. Some would say it has already arrived.

the mobile app market is valued somewhere around $1.3 trillion, having reached maturity over ~10 years

THE COIN AGE IS HERE

From DodgeCoin to CoinYe, SkinCoin to PotCoin to PandaCoin, InsaneCoin to Useless Ethereum Token — yes, these last two are real things — there’s a coin for that. Not surprisingly, like applications in the app era, some ideas behind blockchain projects and ICOs have lots of potential while others fall short. Some are jokes (literally) while others seem to be meritless money-grabs. While the latter may be a bit disheartening, what it all adds up to to is strong signaling for an increased interest in the space. So much interest, in fact, that conventional companies are diving in headfirst.

Outside of the blockchain startups and ICOs launching coins for you-name-it, we’re starting to see longstanding conventional businesses taking bold leaps into the space. Long Island Iced Tea, for example, who after changing their name to Long Blockchain saw a rise of stock price to the tune of 289{e9b7b6e97581a958d2bc378a46799d644da7fe427050b58be8de8c4fdd2a2020}, according to Bloomberg , with no real explanation as to how they were actually going to be working on the tech. Or Eastman Kodak who announced their intent to launch the KODAKCoin, a currency for the KODAKone platform, analogous to Shutterstock, and backed by the blockchain. Even Overstock.com is joining the coin party with its subsidiary tZero, a distributed ledger for capital markets, which is doing a pre-sale now.

A THRESHING WILL OCCUR

At OPEN, we have no doubt that blockchain technology is world-changing. Its potential, from revolutionizing supply chain management, to communication, to international trade and much, much more, is undeniable. We are excited, to say the least, about what the future will bring, and we realize that the current coin craze is a strong indicator of its momentum toward continued mainstream adoption and widespread use. We’re not too concerned with the joke coins, moonshot ideas, and money grabbers — these are normal growing pains for up-and-coming technologies. Just like we witnessed in the app age, the meaningful ideas — infrastructure plays, projects that solve real-world pain points, initiatives that push the technology forward — will move to the head of the pack. Consumers will become more savvy as the technology becomes more widespread, backing projects that have true potential. Ultimately, a threshing will occur, whereby the useless coins and bunk blockchain projects will fall to the floor, clearing space for the ones that truly matter.

We love the current energy and enthusiasm around this awesome tech shift, and welcome global thought to push its boundaries. We look forward to working with the great minds, innovators, and doers in this industry, as together we build a bright future in blockchain — together.

Learn more about how we intend to do that here.

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