In an exclusive interview with INN, Blockchain Tech Ltd. CEO Guy Halford-Thompson shares the top blockchain investing trends for 2017.
Guy Halford-Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Blockchain Tech Ltd. (TSXV:BTL) shared his thoughts on the blockchain market and speculated about the direction the market will take in 2017.
Exciting times lie ahead as blockchain emerges from practice mode; “2017 is really the year where blockchain moves out of pilot and into production.”
A look back at 2016
Last year the remittances market and digital asset management topped his list of industries that would benefit from blockchain technology. On a broader scale, he saw widespread “acceptance and adoption”, so were these the two most salient descriptions of the market in 2016?
Halford-Thompson acknowledged that previously “You would say blockchain and people would hear bitcoin.” This year, however, blockchain started to emerge from the shadow of bitcoin as individuals and companies began to see standalone potential. Banks and financial institutions adopted blockchain and BTL were in on the action. They are working with Visa Europe on settlements between banks.
Top blockchain investing trends of 2017
According to Halford-Thompson finance is only scratching the surface of the possible applications of blockchain; “we’ve still got a long way to go in FinTech”. He recognizes that “transactional type industries are designed to see the impact and potential cost savings of blockchain”.
He is looking to the energy sector, applying their Interbit platform to the energy trading process.
He is also looking to areas where trust is vital. Firstly, the healthcare space, where privacy, integrity and “control over access to data is paramount and critically important”. Another “industry is the online gaming or gambling…you can have a casino game that operates on a blockchain.”
Fantasy 6 Sports reaps blockchain benefits
The fantasy sports industry can be revolutionized with the technology. BTL is partnering with Fantasy 6 on a “platform called SecurePlay, which is designed to integrate pretty seamlessly with existing operators”. Transparency is the buzzword here; “the fantasy sports industry has been marred with a number of scandals where essentially players’ trust has been betrayed and sites have been operating essentially behind the backs of players and not providing trustworthy and accurate information and from an operator’s standpoint its very easy to hide that”. So far luck has been the only factor in sourcing the scandal; now technology can eliminate corruption.
Halford-Thompson says their most important milestone was announcing the pilot with Visa and six of their member banks. He credits their support in the blockchain space. Indeed Visa has announced another project they’ve been working on in the US with a company called Chain, piloting as a product this year, called B2B Connect.
Blockchain’s greatest challenge
Education is the biggest challenge facing blockchain and there is a steep learning curve ahead. Implications for companies and industries are misunderstood but Halford-Thompson knows this is to be expected; “the early adopters are always going to be the ones that understand the technology faster”.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Emma Harwood, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.