Atmosphere Inspires is our regular curation of news and views from the digital sphere; the lead stories that are affecting you and your business. In this edition we’re taking a look at the current buzz around blockchains and initial coin offerings (ICO’s). Both can be complicated concepts, so before you read on we’ve found a handy overview which provides a useful summary on blockchains, ICO’s and cryptocurrencies.
Antshares was one of the earliest Chinese blockchain projects to trade digital assets: they’ve recently rebranded themselves as NEO. NEO has introduced a number of new technology led features and upgrades to further its blockchain capabilities. A flurry of interested blockchain startups are now flocking to join NEO’s new venture, all looking for a piece of the pie. Rebranding and reshaping your business to take advantage of the future is going to be important: if businesses can be ready to lead and shape the way ahead, they may find themselves first in line to take advantage of new technology concepts.
This week Sony has been exploring ways of storing educational information via the blockchain (the product will be commercialised next year). This could completely revolutionise the way in which businesses recruit future employees: a streamlined process will help the right business find the right employee efficiently and effectively. When a big player like Sony explores a new and innovative approach, it won't be long before others follow, so it's worth keeping an eye on this one. It's also a good reason for businesses to examine the efficiency and effectiveness of their own recruitment processes.
Microsoft’s new Coco framework (due 2018) will be a trusted area for blockchain code to trade on an open framework. Coco will also establish governance around the blockchain network which will allow voting decisions to take place. As blockchain technology evolves quickly, it raises questions and concerns, particularly around regulations - so we expect good things from Coco: any kind of established governance and order is going to be welcomed by the regulators.
This week Singapore’s central bank issued an ICO warning outlining a number of risks: mainly fraud and a lack of market liquidity. Blockchain and ICO technology is still evolving: they’re new, unregulated concepts and have already been classed by many as a serious disruptor to business. So it’s no surprise that as we move forward there will be concerns, resistance and challenges. Experience tells us that this won’t be enough to stop progress, these concepts will simply evolve and adapt to address these concerns as they continue to grow.
We love the forward thinking in this article where it suggests that a bet on blockchains may be provide a critical step toward solving worldwide problems. The article acknowledges that there’s a fair dose of idealism going on here, but we’re really drawn to the concept that utopian visions and “outside of the box” thinking can only lead to better and improved outputs for the future.
Next month Viberate, a Slovenian blockchain based marketplace will release a public crowd sale via an ICO. Cryptocurrency “vibe” tokens will be offered to help match event organisers with unsigned musicians. As sales of digital assets increase, this is good example of just how vast and relevant ICO’s and blockchain are becoming across a vast range of industries. This should send a strong message that both concepts are here to stay, and businesses would be wise to review and update their digital strategies to see where this technology might take them.