Introducing Blockchain, the technology that powers Bitcoin
Stories about Bitcoin seem to be everywhere, here Angus Campbell of Stature PR introduces blockchain, sometimes referred to as distributed ledger technology, which is the foundation of the cryptocurrency
It is important to differentiate between the two as many of the blockchain solutions that have or are being built have nothing to do with Bitcoin. However, so far it is the finance and payments space that has seen the focus of blockchain attention and majority of investment.
Blockchain works whereby rather than having a centralised counterparty to an exchange of data (e.g. clearing houses for asset transactions or depositories for records of ownership) where there is an inherent lack of trust between the two transacting counterparties, you have a decentralised network of participants that must agree before the transfer of data occurs.
The technology can vastly reduce the time it takes to bring the exchange of data to a consensus. The record of this data is immutable due to the nature of the network that it sits on, so it is very difficult to hack or corrupt, certainly by the standards of technology we use today.
Slowly but surely industry after industry is testing how blockchain technology can streamline many of their internal process, significantly reducing costs.
As with any technological advancement blockchain faces plenty of challenges, particularly people’s attitude towards it as it is a significant innovation that can rapidly transform the way many systems work and rapid change is often met by resistance. Advocates of blockchain technology believe the benefits vastly outweigh the risks and many test pilots have proven this, in some of the largest companies in the world.
‘a significant innovation that can rapidly transform the way many systems work’
For example, blockchain technology has the power to reduce a simple piece of computer programing that may currently use 10 lines of code to process, down to just 1 or 2 lines of code.
It is this sort of innovation that has the potential to transform the way many data processes and system architectures work, thus potentially saving not just businesses, but whole industries many millions of pounds. The next greatest challenge for blockchain is to go from test stage to commercialisation.
So, if you are interested in investing in blockchain opportunities there are a few listed entities that exist but many blockchain technology companies out there that you would normally read about in the press are privately owned.
Below is a handful of stocks that are involved in or looking at the blockchain space in some shape or form. From here you can do your own research:
|BTL Group||TSX Venture||BTL||2.90||$50m|
|Blue Star Capital||LSE||BLU||0.14||$1.4m|
* Approximate at the time of writing March 2017
Angus Campbell is Head of Corporate & Financial at Stature PR. With knowledge of and huge interest in the financial markets I advise clients how best to engage with investors and the financial media by devising and implementing strategic corporate and financial communications strategies.
This article does not contain and should not be construed as containing, investment advice or an investment recommendation or an offer of or solicitation for any transactions in financial instruments. Any opinions made may be personal to the author and may not reflect the opinions of my employer.