After last year's record run for Bitcoin, and the consequent increase in public interest reflecting its enormous boost in value, one might expect that attention has lessened at least in cryptocurrency. However, their ever higher profile through the media belies this hypothesis.
But while the news surrounding the cryptocurrency has been dominated by its meteoric rise, coverage has not been universally positive. Market volatility and high-profile hackings of encryption organizations such as DAO have questioned issues that have emerged.
On a lighter note, it was also recently announced that, along with words like twerk, bizjet and macaron, Bitcoin is now an acceptable word for use in a Scrabble game. The combined titles have created a constantly high profile.
This increase in public awareness has led to a penetration of different sectors and industries – making cryptocurrency not only an investment opportunity for entrepreneurial traders, but a widely accepted means of carrying out all types of transactions.
Here are five areas that have the power to bring about the use of cryptocurrency and companies that are already playing an important role in securing its future.
Not surprisingly, the financial sector is the first on our list. Although one of the fundamental objectives of Bitcoin was to eliminate the need for banks and other intermediary institutions, it would never have been a long time before they began to explore the potential of this new transactional method.
The attractiveness of the blockchain technology used by cryptocurrency is that it is a safe way to carry out transactions and lists all the exchanges that take place. Therefore, companies like Mastercard are studying how this can benefit them and their customers – with a number of other banks that are actively exploring how cryptocurrencies can be incorporated into their standard operations.
In their case, the fact that people will be able to see that official institutions are ready to use this new and relatively unknown form of payment will also do an excellent job of public relations for cryptocurrencies in general. With the financial sector at the forefront, what will stop other sectors adopting this alternative currency?
The financial sector relies on large amounts of money transferred securely, as well as the real estate industry – in the form of purchases, leases and bonds. Cryptocurrencies seem an obvious choice, thanks to the security supported by blockchains that they provide in ensuring that a transaction is authentic and will pass through.
Equally useful whether it is used within a country or internationally, cryptocurrencies would be able to offer buyers and sellers maximum peace of mind as well as potential savings on transaction fees charged by banks.
Their international use has already been put into practice by some real estate promoters, Baroness Michelle Mone is one of them. Selling a series of apartments in Dubai in Bitcoin may be about to start a revolution in the industry.
The fact that ownership is essential for individuals and businesses means that the general population would be exposed to the use of cryptocurrencies – expanding its user base and bringing it more into the mainstream. But perhaps the most important thing, the speed with which blockchain transactions can be made would be a very important feature when cryptocurrencies are used in the world of property.
Gambling operators offer a wide range of games these days – and these games are more engaging and engaging than ever before, as developers have developed their products along with improvements in digital technology.
It is an extremely competitive market. From poker to blackjack and roulette, all the major casino games are available online, as well as more slots that cover every niche. And the well-known and beloved game of bingo also shines online – as you'll see on Wink Bingo, one of the most popular online gaming sites operating in this space.
There is no doubt that the online gambling industry has been one of the biggest economic achievements of the last two decades. After rising from nothing to a value of around $ 40 billion worldwide this year – and is expected to reach nearly $ 60 billion by 2020 – even a small fraction of the revenues converted to cryptocurrency transactions would be a great leap forward.
Most online gaming operators have moved away from the cryptocurrencies of the past due to the old perception of these new payment methods. But their activity is based on novelty and innovation, and since the familiarity of cryptocurrencies has led to more widespread acceptance, more online gambling operators may be tempted to adopt this alternative currency.
Many gamblers would like to love it since it would give them the freedom to play anonymously, and for casinos – they would be able to provide faster and cheaper transactions via Blockchain rather than through banks. The only hang-up is regulation, which states that gaming operators need to know who their players are, how old they are and where their funds come from. But who knows, things could change in the future if the laws on gambling will become more relaxed.
Travel and tourism
By its nature, travel and tourism apply to cryptocurrencies as a standard payment method, especially in the digital age when multiple online journeys are booked. Not only would it mean that fast and secure payments could be made, but it would also ensure that there would be no currency conversions to potentially increase the cost of the trip.
An adoption by travel companies has already taken place, with payments for flights, cruises, hotels and even car rentals that already use cryptocurrency. If cryptocurrencies should also be used more widely around the world, it could also eliminate the need to buy money for travel before leaving, another potential money saving for the traveler.
While this may not be good news for currency exchanges, it would certainly support one of the founding principles of cryptocurrencies; create an independent transaction method free from governmental or institutional interference or controls.
Music and entertainment
Our last example is a sector that has undergone an almost inconceivable transformation in recent years and whose entire business model has had to change beyond recognition. Where musicians and record companies have had to rely on CD sales for most of their revenue and touring it was a secondary source of income for performers, online streaming has changed all that.
Now musicians rely heavily on the small but regular payments they receive from streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. This seems to be a mature payment method for converting to cryptocurrency. An additional advantage is that the secure nature of the blockchain could also help protect copyright on artists' material – an extremely pressing issue in the industry.
Several startups have begun to explore how cryptocurrency can improve the relationship between artist and fan, offering artists their cryptocurrency, so that fans can better support their favorite artists. It remains to be seen if this is widely adopted, but it is a step in an interesting direction for an industry that has traditionally been slow to adapt to change.
Of course, there are many other areas whose wholesale adoption of cryptocurrencies would give them an immediate boost, including some such as insurance, health care and information technology, and it seems that impulse is constantly increasing to make it happen. The accelerated pace of change also means that everything could happen much sooner than we think. Who knows where we'll be this time next year? It will certainly be very interesting to find out.
Disclaimer: this article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Global Coin Report and / or its affiliates, employees, writers and subcontractors are cryptocurrency investors and from time to time may or may not have holdings in some of the coins or tokens they cover. Please conduct your own in-depth research before investing in any cryptocurrency and read our full disclaimer.