David Drake

January 16, 2018 Article

Why Combining Blockchain with Messaging Applications is a Smart Idea

There are reports that Telegram is launching a landmark initial coin offering (ICO) in upcoming months. The company plans to set up a blockchain platform, known as Telegram Open Network (TON), to facilitate payment via its messaging app. Some industry players view the integration of blockchain into a messaging app as an attractive model that users will appreciate.

Vasily Kozlov,
Connectius founder and CEO, says, “In light of the colossal increase in the amount of users of Telegram messaging services in 2017, the idea of integrating blockchain solutions for user exchange in an app with closed source code becomes increasingly more attractive. The platform’s founder, Pavel Durov, expressed an interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology long before the release of the app. This could potentially be the most global ICO company, considering the success of Canadian messaging service, Kik.”

Through TON, Telegram will develop a cryptocurrency payment system similar to the Chinese platform, WeChat, that has now grown to offer more services other than messaging apps. For many Chinese users, WeChat is a default payment platform through which they make fast payments. But, unlike WeChat – whose system is largely centralized – the decentralized nature of TON could make it possible to offer users more resilience and heightened security. According to Marcus Vandea,
Playfold‘s CEO, this could disrupt big players in the messaging space.

“The communion between the crypto world and Telegram has long been known. They are the ideal candidate for a good mainstream money transfer app using blockchain. This has really the potential to disrupt some big names, as in the future messaging apps will be broadly used for money transfers,” Vandea says.

Telegram will use Gram cryptocurrency to transact on its blockchain platform. After establishing the network, users will be able to hold both Gram and fiat currency in their Telegram digital wallets. Telegram differentiates itself from other blockchain platforms by not relying solely on the ‘proof of work’ concept to set up its cryptocurrency. Instead, the company plans to utilize a new approach that consumes less energy than that originally applied by Bitcoin to mine its cryptocurrency.

Despite this advantage, some players in the cryptocurrency space feel it would still be an uphill task for Gram to compete with traditional cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum and Bitcoin.

“Although Telegram is an industry benchmark for crypto, it is infeasible that its cryptocurrency will outrival Bitcoin or Ethereum. At least in the long-run. Fundamentally, Gram won’t be much different from any other company’s coin listed on Coinmarketcap. Private international money transfers can now be made in bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. Altogether, the projected hype level around Gram will be enormous, so it won’t be surprising if it ever pops up in top 5 cryptocurrencies by market cap,” notes Alexey Burdyko, CEO of
Play2Live says.

Built on the third generation blockchain, TON will be an established ‘proof of stake’ network with strong fault tolerance and secured by different parties. It’ll be able to handle smart contracts, ID storage and facilitate payments.

Disclaimer: David Drake is on the advisory board for most of the firms mentioned or quoted in this article.

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David Drake

June 8, 2018 Article

Are Companies Ready for a Decentralized Future?

Survey results presented by Deloitte during the recent Consensus event show that corporations are changing momentum and opting to explore the possibility of blockchain to build practical business applications. According to the survey, 74% of large firms see a compelling business case for this dynamic technology.

The survey was conducted between March and April of this year in seven countries including France, Canada, China and the US. More than 1,000 executives drawn from industries such as healthcare, technology, media and finance participated in the survey.

Almost half of them expressed interest in this “
trustless ecosystem” and mentioned their firms already have a blockchain system in place while 41% aim their technology to be operational next year.

Inevitable Growth

According to Juan Imaz, CEO and founder of
Profede, application of blockchain technology has already started in some industries.

He says, “Throughout various industries from healthcare to finance, blockchain’s breakthrough technology is already being implemented and investigated to improve and enhance the way institutions and organisations function. From Fortune 500 companies to startups, blockchain is making its way.”

Imaz proceeds to highlight Western Union and Airbnb as examples of corporates that have already began using blockchain.

He says, “Western Union conducted a blockchain-based payments trial with Ripple. Airbnb bought ChangeCoin which is a bitcoin startup and also acquired a team of blockchain experts. For its data tracking and management processes, retail giant Walmart is now using blockchain.”

On his part, Navjit Dhaliwal, CEO of
Iagon feels the survey results reflect an imminent boom of blockchain in corporations.

He says, “In my opinion, we are currently at the stage of enhanced innovative capabilities and as Blockchain technology begins to be widely adopted, it seems as though this is the moment in which, yes, we are looking at the inevitable upsurge of Blockchain adoption and implementation within the corporate realm.”

Further, Dhaliwal highlights several companies that are considering blockchain. He says, “As seen with Salt Lake City-based Evernym, Brazil-based ConsenSys and UK-based Electron, when considering the impact that the enhanced acceptance of blockchain technology with corporates will have on the growing cryptocurrency industry, it is undeniable that, by corporations adopting and implementing Blockchain tech, the cryptocurrency industry will experience similar growth.”

Just an Overhype

Although many companies are shifting their views to adopt a pragmatic mindset, almost 39% stated that blockchain is “
overhyped”. Interestingly, 44% of American executives who were surveyed shared the same sentiment.

Nonetheless, the report shows that more companies are demonstrating interest in blockchain. This is a definite improvement to the
2017 Deloitte survey, where almost 40% of those surveyed have limited or zero knowledge of this technology.

According to Reginald Ringgold, founder of BlockVest Decentralized Exchange & Index Fund, HSBC is the largest crusader of CDM, which is the key to enabling blockchain become a reality within the derivatives space.

He says, “HSBC says it’s made the world’s first trade finance transaction using blockchain. Couple that with the U.K-based bank Barclays recently setting up an internal CDM adoption working group, and will be presenting its vision for how smart contracts can be combined with the concept Thursday at ISDA’s annual meeting in Miami, Florida.”

Ringgold further adds, “It’s a pivotal time for the project, as ISDA is expected to release the first iteration of the blockchain-compatible version of CDM early this summer. If the capital markets transition to the Common Domain Model, then this will open up a world of opportunities to standardize data structures, lifecycle events etc. Enlight of this we are definitely staring at a upsurge of use in Blockchain Technology within the financial worlds Derivatives markets as well as international trade. This will definitely boost the future growth of the cryptocurrency industry as more institutional money flows into the sector.”

Imaz believes this is just the beginning for blockchain. He adds that, “Once big giants use this innovative technology to improve their efficiency and costs, we will see widespread knowledge and growth of blockchain-based technology being used in the future.”

Ringgold further comments, “BlockVest, HSBC & Barclays will all benefit immensely from the advancement of Blockchain Technology within Derivatives markets and a transition to a Common Domain Model (CDM). As it is supposed to fix the inefficiencies and cut the costs of derivatives trading.”


 Disclaimer: David Drake is on the advisory board for most of the firms mentioned or quoted in this article.

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