Despite major cryptocurrency prices being down, key blockchain and cryptocurrency figure, Brock Pierce, believes that embedded within this space is a potential quadrillion dollar market. In the midst of a lower price market, plenty of new developments are arising from companies such as NetCents Technology Inc. (CSE: NC) (OTC: NTTCF), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSTK), Nasdaq, Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ), and even Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB).
“Security tokens are going to give birth to a quadrillion dollar market,” said Pierce in a recent interview with Forbes. “This is because we will see the tokenization of the world’s fiat money, debt market, real estate, equities, and art.”
Prior to reaching these levels, the crypto space will require leaders that can heighten mainstream acceptance of the concept. One innovator that’s rapidly expanding payment options around the world, and is NetCents Technology Inc. (CSE: NC) (OTC: NTTCF), which now supports 55 countries and 36 fiat currencies—servicing over 3 million merchants.
With prices for major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin being down, analysts such as Pierce see this as a period of greater innovation, and adoption.
“We’re going to see big things being built, multiple applications hitting a million users,” Pierce added. “I love the fact that prices are down. When prices are up, very little gets built because teams don’t stick around. Everyone is getting rich too quick and that de-motivates people. All the best things I’ve seen built in this ecosystem have been built in bear markets.”
For providers such as NetCents, the goal is to make merchant clients get rich quicker, and consumers save money on transactions. Incentivizing merchants is how to get adoption to happen quicker.
To achieve this, NetCents provides merchants with several appealing selling points, including low transaction fees (delivering a saves of 3-9% per transaction), instant settlements, and the ability to accept fiat, credit card, and/or cryptocurrencies equally. On average, a low-risk merchant typically faces a merchant fee between 3.5% to 5.5%, whereas a higher-risk merchant gets hit with a rate of 5.0% to 10.0%. NetCents’s merchant fee is only 1.99%—a savings of between 1.5% to 7.0% per transaction.
However, one major development that the NetCents team has put forth to bridge the gap for merchants, is its proprietary cryptocurrency credit card that pulls directly from the user’s NetCents wallet.
Usable anywhere that Visa or MasterCard are accepted, the unique credit card opens the world of cryptocurrency users to millions of merchant locations around the world. Mixing together everyday credit card transactions could be the perfect lead-in that the cryptocurrency world needs for mainstream acceptance.
But are cryptocurrencies still an investment in and of themselves?
CRYPTO EQUITY IS ON THE WAY
NetCents has been quietly adding new currencies to its portfolio, including a recent agreement with ILO Crypto (ILOCX), which has its own platform that allows companies to raise non-equity capital through the sale of Initial License Offerings (“ILOs”).
ILOs are a revenue-based method of raising capital, that give buyers the right to promote and or sell an underlying product or service and receive royalties based on the gross revenue of the company. ILOCX has signed 54 companies to its first exchange platform allows its companies to list and sell an ILO to raise capital and enhance sales. There are currently more than 20 companies already listed on the exchange.
“The significance of this transaction is enormous for crypto holders everywhere, this partnership is giving them high quality alternative options for utilizing their capital currently locked in Bitcoin, ETH and various other altcoins,” said CEO of ILOCX, Edward Fitzpatrick upon the agreement signing. “Hundreds of billions of dollars are sitting in crypto looking for new ways to put this capital to work, thanks to this partnership NetCents and ILOCX we can say with confidence that the era of utilization is here.”
Through the merchant agreement, ILOCX is set to use the NetCents Merchant Gateway to power cryptocurrency transactions for its capital raising services. With $300 million in deals on the exchange to date, this platform gives NetCents and ILOCX another way to tap into the hundreds of billions in crypto capital, giving crypto-holders alternative options for utilizing their capital and giving companies listing on ILOCX access to the capital they need.
BRINGING BANKS ON BOARD
With banks such as JP Morgan Chase flirting with the idea of using blockchain ledgers for transactions, there is hope for acceptance from financial institutions on the horizon. In an effort to lubricate the transition, NetCents has also launched its Crypto Banking Stack (CBS), which allows for a low-cost crypto ready processing solution to be quickly implemented without the requirement for an extended and costly development cycle.
Banking clients get benefits from the CBS as well, as it will have the ability to provide account holders with the ability to convert and move balances between their crypto and fiat bank accounts. The cryptocurrencies which will be initially supported through the CBS are Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.
Upon integration through the CBS API, financial institutions can potentially offer their customers crypto banking services accessible via their current online bank profile. These crypto bank accounts would have the same functionality as standard chequing and savings accounts.
Clients could then add various crypto accounts/wallets, transfer, deposit, withdraw, make a payment, view transactions; and the ability to link their crypto bank account to their existing debit cards—Blurring the lines between standard banking, and blockchain/crypto.
As lines blur, major companies too will look towards adopting these tech platforms that can help their businesses grow.
BIGGER PLAYERS ADOPTING CRYPTO IN THEIR OWN WAY
Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI)
Cryptocurrency within gaming is not a new concept. However, for Activision Blizzard, the makers of Call of Duty, and World of Warcraft, much of its 2018 record net revenue of $7.5 billion came from what are called microtransactions. In 2017, these in-game purchases accounted for $4 billion of its total $7.16 billion over the entire fiscal year, also a record at that time. A leading revenue driver for the company was what are called CoD Points, which are a ‘premium’ currency that are acquired with real money, and can only be spent buying virtual goods inside the Call of Duty game. At the moment, CoD Points can be acquired from third-party vendors, such as Amazon, but cannot be spent elsewhere. Should the game developer open up use of this digital currency outside of the platform, it would be interesting to see where the value of the currency would go.
Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSTK)
Massive online retailer Overstock.com has built its name providing offerings such as home and garden products, furniture, housewares and more. However, with the launch of its new security trading platform tZERO underway, the company believes a market boom for its new product is around the corner. This alternative trading system (ATS) will use crypto tokens, and could open up the securities market to a much, much larger audience of investors from around the world. In the meantime, the tZERO dream is still dealing with regulatory questions, in order to satisfy FINRA and the SEC, who want to see them working with one broker.
Nasdaq, Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ)
While not yet trading equities through blockchain infrastructure or cryptocurrencies, Nasdaq’s Financial Framework platform is now open to working with a prominent cryptocurrency ecosystem developer, called Bcause (sic). As part of its ecosystem, Bcause will use the Nasdaq platform to launch a spot trading crypto market. Through a pure technology licensing agreement, the two are working together, in what could possibly be a precursor to blockchain based equities trading. Bcause will launch spot trading on Nasdaq’s platform, with its sights set on derivatives and futures trading in the future.
Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB)
Social media giant Facebook is preparing the launch of its own version of Bitcoin, to be used in its messaging applications, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram. Dubbed the “Facecoin”, the new cryptocurrency could be the global technology giant’s breakthrough into the lucrative market for retail financial services. Very little is known about Facebook’s overall plans with the Facecoin, as so far there’s only a single company statement about a new group set up to look into cryptocurrencies. Media outlets have tipped small hints at the project, stating that the ambition is to explore multiple applications, and to establish Facecoin as a “stablecoin”. Facebook would have a fixed price, and the amount in circulation will vary.
USA News Group
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