Blockchain in Energy Sector: IOTA to Offer Decentralization, Scalability, No Transaction Fees

Blockchain in Energy Sector: IOTA to Offer Decentralization, Scalability, No Transaction Fees

  

With motor vehicles becoming an ever increasing luxury around the world,

pollution levels are increasing but the Blockchain could help to reduce the transportation industry’s contribution to global warming that promises a cleaner and energy efficient future. In an article written in December by Carsten Stöcker, Senior Manager in the Machine Economy Innovation Lighthouse Lead at German energy firm, Innogy SE and Thomas Birr, Senior Vice-President of Innovation & Business Transformation at Innogy SE, the future of transport will change through 'Blockchain-enabled secure peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions that eliminate or minimize the need for centralized authorities such as banks or ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft.'

Blockchain and energy transactions

Through the Blockchain, trip charges will be deducted from the passenger's Blockchain-enabled digital wallets or charged to their credit card, with payment going straight to the vehicle owner. As noted by Stöcker and Birr, Blockchain-enabled mobility transactions mean that consumers and providers can take part in the transportation system, setting the terms, conditions, and pricing they choose.

"Automotive OEMs want to collaborate with us in order to participate in building a Special Purpose Decentral Platform for Mobility Transactions,” said Stöcker, speaking to Cointelegraph. "We are also now engaging with many owners of EV charging assets around the world in order to bring charging poles to one Blockchain platform." Yet, while the Blockchain can have a significant impact on how energy transactions are conducted, there are issues with it, such as scalability, transaction costs and offline transactions, that limit its effectiveness. The IOTA Tangle is attempting to fix this by addressing many of the shortcomings with today's Blockchain technology by delivering secure, practical and scalable applications.

Transferring value without any fees

The IOTA is a digital currency with the goal of establishing itself as fuel for efficient machine-to-machine and Internet of Things (IoT) transactions. Instead of using a regular Blockchain, the IOTA uses its IOTA Tangle, which validates transactions in a Directed Acyclic Graph structure (DAG). This is a revolutionary new blockless distributed ledger, that is scalable, lightweight and makes it possible to transfer value without any fees. Stöcker, who is also an IOTA Foundation member, which was founded by David Sønstebø, said that instead of achieving consensus through an expensive mechanism, which can lead to centralization, those within the IOTA network are active in the validation of transactions and consensus.

"When a device makes a transaction and broadcasts the transaction to the network, by protocol or 'by default' it has to validate two previous transactions," he said. "So, it's a real peer-to-peer network by machines for machines." He adds that this new concept has immediate advantages: decentralization, scalability and no transaction fees. With all IOTA tokens pre-mined, no mining is required. Not only that, but given the fact that 2779530283277761 IOTA were created, this enables transactions with a little value attached to them. For instance, micro-transactions, which can be beneficial within the energy industry.

Deploying the IOTA in the real world

Of course, in order to deploy the IOTA in the real world, adoption needs to be achieved in a development friendly ecosystem, which is being undertaken in its IOTA Development Roadmap. With the IOTA Tangle designed less rigorously, it means transactions can be made in an offline environment, which copies the IoT, where devices use different networking protocols such as Lemonbeat, Bluetooth LE, LPWAN, or ZigBee. "As such, IOTA is the first permissionless distributed ledger that achieves scalability, making Machine-to-Machine payments for the IoT possible," said Stöcker.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange: Blockchain is Most Innovative Technology For Digital Transactions

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange: Blockchain is Most Innovative Technology For Digital Transactions

   

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADSM),

a stock exchange in Abu Dhabi with a market cap of $135 bln, considers the Blockchain as the most innovative technology in finance and digital transactions. In 2008, the government of UAE released the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, a 22-year-long strategy and roadmap for the country’s economic progress. A major component of the agenda drafted and implemented by the UAE government was the development of a sufficient and resilient infrastructure capable of supporting anticipated economic growth. Rashed Al Baloushi, the CEO of ADSM, stated that the development of Blockchain technology is an important part of the company’s vision derived from the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.

Baloushi stated:

“Blockchain is the most innovative technology in digital transactions. It represents the second generation of the internet and has enabled ADX to join the elites of top 10% of institutions globally who have already taken steps in adopting this technology.”

The global banking and finance industries currently lack an efficient and secure infrastructure for digital payments and transactions. The settlement of cross-bank and cross-border transactions is expensive, slow, opaque and insecure.

Latest development

To meet the expectations of the UAE government and to follow the economic roadmap laid out for the private sector, local banks and financial service providers including ADSM have already begun to look into various technologies such as the Blockchain.

Upon the evaluation and analysis of Blockchain technology, researchers at ADSM perceived a great potential for the technology in the finance industry and particularly in the digital transactions market. Since their initial discovery of the Blockchain, ADSM led the development of several Blockchain projects, including a Blockchain platform for e-voting at an annual information technology exhibition held in Dubai. Maintaining its momentum, ADSM plans to demonstrate the applicability of Blockchain technology in the realm of finance and digital payments in their next projects.

Baloushi reaffirmed that the company will collaborate with emerging startups and innovative developers in the Blockchain industry to ensure that ADSM and the rest of the finance industry adopt a revolutionary technology such as the Blockchain to optimize operations and reduce operating costs.

Strategy

“Abu Dhabi Plan is what inspires us to accomplish our strategic goals. ADX is committed to creating a business environment that is both competitive and flexible. Accordingly, adopting Blockchain technology in our projects comes in alignment with the digital transformation of Abu Dhabi’s government services as we constantly strive to introduce new ways that ease the process of doing business in the Emirate,” said Baloushi. Previously, Cointelegraph reported that Dubai aimed to become the first Blockchain-powered city by 2020, with the help of local authorities and startup incubators such as 1776. With Abu Dhabi joining the Blockchain race, UAE seeks to see a rapid development and growth in its local Blockchain industry.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

What is Bitcoin?

What is Bitcoin?

   CryptoCoins

               

Bitcoin is a virtual or digital currency also known as a cryptocurrency

created by the mysterious (and unknown) Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin is like other currencies: it can be used to purchase items locally and electronically. However, bitcoin differs from conventional money in that it is decentralized and fully independent. No institution controls the Bitcoin Network and it is not tied to a country like the US Dollar. The entire network is maintained by individuals and organizations referred to as Bitcoin Miners. Bitcoin miners process and verify bitcoin transactions through a mathematical algorithm based on the cryptographic (hence the name cryptocurrency) hash algorithm SHA256.

Bitcoin is Decentralized

No central authority controls Bitcoin or its network of transactions. A community of Bitcoin miners make up the network, processing the transactions. If any changes are made to Bitcoin by a developer or developers using GitHub, a 51% majority of the miners hashing power must agree upon it. This insures that, in theory, no individual can steal your bitcoins or print (create) more.

How Can One Change Bitcoin and Bitcoin’s code?

Everyone can contribute to and edit the Bitcoin source code since the Bitcoin protocol is open source. The Bitcoin protocol is viewable for all making it easier to spot weaknesses and provide suggestions for improvement. However, if a developer edit the Bitcoin code, that edit has to be accepted by more than 51% or more of the Bitcoin miners that runs the Bitcoin network. Bitcoin can be seen as a democratic currency where the majority always decide what will happen next with the Bitcoin source code.

Bitcoin Wallet and Transactions

                                                                Is Bitcoin Anonymous?

Though each Bitcoin transaction is recorded in a public log called the block chain, names of buyers and sellers are never revealed – only their Bitcoin wallet addresses. Each wallet address is unique and can’t be linked to anyone unless the creator of that specific bitcoin address reveals himself.

1Lst6Ro8r5C7QrxAuoZg1LJAuQtP3W9uV2 is an example of a unique bitcoin address used for receiving and sending bitcoins. To send, receive and create Bitcoin addresses you must have a  Bitcoin wallet . A Bitcoin wallet is a software that’s essentially your bank account for bitcoins. Your wallet can hold as many bitcoins and Bitcoin addresses you’d like, and you can own as many wallets you want. While bitcoin can be anonymous, that doesn’t mean it is. If you purchase your bitcoins on a Bitcoin trading platform or exchange that has your information, the bitcoins you buy can be tied back to you.

Bitcoin is Transparent

Every Bitcoin transaction that has ever happened is stored in detail in the public ledger known as the block chain. By using the block chain, anyone can see how many bitcoins are stored on a particular address, and they can see the deposits and withdrawals to that address, but they will be unable to know who owns the address.

Bitcoin Transactions Can not be Reversed

When you send bitcoins to a Bitcoin address, you can not reverse the transaction. Unlike credit cards where transaction can be disputed or reversed, bitcoins are nonrefundable. Bitcoin can not be replaced either. If your wallet is stored on your hard drive and not in a  “cloud”, you could lose your bitcoins if you are hacked, get a virus or if your computer dies. These lost bitcoins can never be retrieved. That’s why it is so important to take regular backups and implement measures for Bitcoin wallet security. Furthermore, merchants cannot initiate charges on you as they can and do with credit cards. Each transaction must be initiated by the wallet holder, further underlining the advantages of the Bitcoin system.

   Bitcoin is Secure

Proponents of Bitcoin tout its formidable security, and with good reason. In theory, unless 51% of the system is controlled by one party, Bitcoin is virtually unhackable. For instance, in order for someone to change a transaction or double spend a Bitcoin, they would have to obtain majority control of the system and modify every miner in this majority. When there is a disagreement in the block chain, the system overrides the minority with the data agreed upon by the majority.

However, there have been concerns that different mining companies and mining pools should be able to reach 51% of the Bitcoin hashing power and perform a so called 51% attack on the Bitcoin network.

How are Bitcoins Created?

Bitcoins are created through a process known as mining. Mining is the term used by those who contribute to processing transactions. Miners process and secure the network using specialized hardware that “mine” for new bitcoins. As “payment” for their contribution, they are awarded new bitcoins. This is how new bitcoins are generated. New coins are created at a fixed and decreasing rate that is predictable. The number of coins created each year is halved over time until 21 million bitcoins are in circulation. At this point, bitcoin miners will be rewarded by transaction fees.

When a miner has successfully created a new hash, the block is sealed off and added to the block chain. 25 bitcoins are awarded to the miner who discovered the new hash. The number of bitcoins rewarded per block is cut in half every four years. Blocks are solved an approximate rate of 6 per hour.

Why use Bitcoins?

Bitcoins are attractive to a large number of people of an equally large number of reasons. Bitcoins can be anonymous, near instantaneous and offer a level of control over your money like no other traditional currency. There are no banks that can take away your money, and Bitcoins are deflationary in nature, while e.g. USD is inflationary where your money depreciate over time. Bitcoins are also speculative in nature drawing the attention of investors.

Merchants are drawn to Bitcoin because of the low fees. Merchants typically pay 2-3% fees from credit card processors, whereas many types of transactions are free with Bitcoin. Transactions are free if several conditions are met. Any transactions that don’t meet thee requirements are charged 0.1mBTC (0.0001 BTC) per 1,000 bytes. Typical transactions are 500 bytes but do not meet the priority requirement and thus are charged a 0.1mBTC fee regardless how many coins are transferred. You can view the live Bitcoin price here.

How to Obtain Bitcoins

There are several ways to obtain bitcoins. The most common way is to purchase them on a Bitcoin exchange. You can also purchase bitcoins on Ebay locally through e.g. LocalBitcoins.com. Bitcoins can also be obtained by becoming a part of the Bitcoin network and start mining for bitcoins. Before the days of ASIC miners, individuals could set up their computers to mine and earn bitcoins easily. Those days are long gone due to the difficulty to mine Bitcoin, the difficulty level of Bitcoin, has risen enormous making it harder and harder to earn bitcoins with the same equipment. Becoming a miner and seeing positive ROI would mean a substantial investment and is now left to the big companies and wealthy investors. For most individuals, purchasing your Bitcoin through a Bitcoin Exchange is the best option. You can also find ways to earn free bitcoins.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

 

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Blockchain Secures Your Data Like No Other Technology Ever Did

Blockchain Secures Your Data Like No Other Technology Ever Did

  

Blockchain Secures Your Data Like No Other Technology Ever Did

When it comes to most technologies, we know about the basic function that they perform. But, a sizeable portion of the users never express any interest in understanding the technology in depth. For example, when we talk about sending an email, we all know that the data we send is received by the recipient unless the transfer fails, which leaves us with the obvious option of clicking the “Retry” button. But how many of us know about the various protocols and the technicalities involved?

Similar is the case with Blockchain. We all know that the data is immutable, transparent and the entire system is very tough to hack. But how many of us know the reason why Blockchain is so secure? In today’s world, as the number of cyber attacks is constantly on the rise, security is paramount as most of our data is digitally stored. Now let’s try and understand some of the features that make Blockchain an extremely secure option of storing your data.

A completely trustless system that you can trust

The most noteworthy feature that makes Blockchain secure is that it is based on a completely trustless system. The permissions to read and write the data on the Blockchain are equally distributed among all the users connected to the network. No user is given any special privileges when it comes to making any decision. Before Blockchain, the sharing of information in real-time without the requirement of trust was not possible.

The advent of Blockchain successfully solved the ‘Byzantine General’s problem’, a name given to a problem concerning the major drawbacks of a distributed consensus system. In the Byzantine General’s problem, it is assumed that the General commanding multiple units (five, in our case) is about to launch an attack on a city. If all the General’s units launch an attack at the same time, they will win. If any unit defects or retreats, the attack fails.

The messenger sent by the General needs to deliver the message to the five units under his command. Now a traitorous Commander, third to receive the message, that we’d call ‘X’ might change the command sent by the General without the knowledge of the messenger. The two Commanders receiving the message after ‘X’ believe that the message is in the words of the General. But in fact, it is the edited message sent by ‘X’. This would lead to a failed attack due to poor co-ordination between the various units.

Blockchain successfully solved this problem by introducing a concept called the ‘Proof of Work’, which made it essential for each message sender to attach a history of all previous messages and ‘spend some time’ on the same, which is fixed at 10 minutes. The purpose of ‘spending some time’ is to ensure that the sender has put in some effort in writing the message and to make it easy to identify malicious or incorrect data.

Blockchain makes it easy to identify malicious or incorrect data

A very basic example in the case of the Byzantine General’s problem would be where each Commander is required to write the numbers 1-500 before confirming and sending the message to the next Commander. It would certainly take some time to write the numbers but the verification of the same would be quick and easy.

Now, since the time each Commander can spend on the message is fixed at ten minutes, ‘X’ would have to change his message and the messages the two Commanders who attested to the message before him because the ‘Proof of Work’ concept requires a history of all previous messages to be uploaded too. Now, to successfully change the message, ‘X’ would have to do twenty minutes of work plus his own ten minutes, amounting to a total of thirty minutes’ worth of work in the ten minutes allotted to him. This way, altering the attested data is practically impossible as even if ‘X’ does upload an incorrect message, the rest of the Commanders can ignore the incorrect message and follow the one attested by most Commanders.

The benefits of decentralization

The decentralized structure of Blockchain also adds to the security it offers. No single user or organization is given supreme control of the database. Having a decentralized design, it does not have a single point of failure. Even the loss of power or the total failure of a few devices connected to the Blockchain network won’t have any effect on the data stored in the entire Blockchain database or some parts of it are stored across all the devices connected to the Blockchain network.

Since Blockchain is decentralized, it cannot be controlled by the government. Government intervention usually results in some domains and websites being shut down as the government believes such websites are not working in accordance with the established rules and regulations. The most famous example in recent times being the search engine Torrentz.eu. At present, torrent sites are the closest thing to a decentralized system on this scale.

Ensuring privacy through Blockchain

Also, the data stored on the Blockchain is cryptographically secure and the public-private key cryptography used ensures that the data is received only by those it is intended for. The cryptographic techniques also help the users maintain privacy by allowing them to remain pseudo-anonymous while sending and receiving data across the network. Due to its decentralized architecture and the cryptographic coding used in its design, the Blockchain network is mathematically very tough to hack into as the cost of hacking such a system skyrockets where the data stored on each node is properly synchronized with the entire database.

Permanent data storage on a Blockchain

All the above features make Blockchain a practical option for a user who wishes to store his data digitally without the risk of losing it. The data stored on a Blockchain will always be there and it cannot be edited or tampered with in any manner. New or updated data can only be appended onto the Blockchain later. Realizing the plethora of advanced features of security offered by Blockchain, many companies have started investing heavily in the research and development of Blockchain-based applications. Blockchain is slowly being integrated into our daily lives as companies are exploring both fintech and non-fintech applications of this wonderful technology which might completely change the way we look at digital data storage.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Telecom Breakthrough: Blockchain to Stop Big Brother From Watching You

Telecom Breakthrough:
Blockchain to Stop Big Brother
From Watching You

  

Telecom Breakthrough: Blockchain to Stop Big Brother From Watching You

Ensuring privacy and security is perhaps one of the key issues in the era of the Internet. Advancements in technologies allowed us to access information faster, communicate easier and at the lower cost. However, the same technologies allowed third parties to collect our personal data. “The Internet is the most liberating tool for humanity ever invented and also the best for surveillance,” said John Perry Barlow, the cyber rights activist, “It is not one or the other. It is both.” Cointelegraph spoke with Roman Nekrasov, CEO and Co-Founder of Encrypto Telecom, an intriguing project in the Blockchain and cryptocurrency space setting out to transform telecommunication industry.

There is a lot to be changed in telecom industry

Roman came to Blockchain industry with Bitcoin mining. In late 2012, following his friend’s advice he set up a Bitcoin farm using four Radeon 7970 video cards. As the Bitcoin price was rising, he got more and more interested in the technology behind Bitcoin, how cryptocurrencies work and what are the reasons of such an obsession about cryptocurrencies nowadays beside mining. In 2014, working in the local telecom company, Roman encountered a bunch of issues ranging from absolute lack of interest in customers’ needs, inconvenient user interface of personal accounts, topped with vulnerability of customers’ personal data.

He says:

“It was the time I came up with the idea to start a project which could solve some of these problems through integration of Blockchain technology. This is how we created Encrypto Telecom. My partners supported the idea, and agreed that we had everything we needed to create a service we imagined – convenient, secure, protected and at an adequate price.”

So insecure, so vulnerable!

It is a scary thought, but our personal data is being monitored constantly. It is collected by a range of organizations or individuals, ranging from state agencies, harvesting data for the purposes of ensuring national security, to business corporations, wishing to learn more about customer’s habits. The safety of collected data can never be fully guaranteed – high-profile hacks and leaks of millions of users’ accounts details, passwords, credit cards information, home addresses take place with frightening frequency. Besides, hackers and malicious organizations can purchase this data to defraud its owners.

There is now a whole bunch of applications for communication through instant messaging, voice and video calls. Some of them are placing privacy and security at the core, however, there are applications still relatively insecure. Thus, even if the content of the call is not intercepted, it is still possible to collect metadata and other details posing a risk to the security and privacy of those making a call.

Ensuring privacy of communications

EncryptoTel has developed a platform that enables users to communicate securely through existing applications such as Zoiper, X-Lite, etc, ensuring full encryption of voice and video calls and financial privacy through integration of cryptocurrency payments tools. EncryptoTel’s suggests integration of a virtual private branch exchange (PBX), which can be rolled out for businesses easily and quite fast. It will enable businesses to deploy a secure Internet-based telephone network, which could be connected to the external phone system. Many offices are already using PBXs or IP-PBXs, EncryptoTel aims to develop this model further significantly improving privacy and making it more cost-effective.

Nekrasov told Cointelegraph:

“EncryptoTel is more than just another PBX system. Besides offering a range of services for businesses, we are also aiming to extend these services to individual customers, who wish to communicate not caring too much about the privacy of their personal data.”

Currently, there are no competing companies in the space offering similar model. “Well, there are giants like Twillio and DIDWW, but we don’t consider them as our competitors, as our approaches differ a lot,” Nekrasov explains. “We are aiming to take the maximum benefit from integration of Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Moreover, we are planning to collaborate with these companies to expand our services and numbering capacity.”

How the platform works

EncryptoTel uses the most innovative digital technology solutions, including encryption through open, trusted algorithms, and Blockchain technology. The company has developed services for a basic user, businesses and marketing agencies. EncryptoTel’s PBX allows transferring incoming calls to any number, including mobile and stationary phones. It is possible to carry a fully automated distribution of calls with the help of specially created schemes and scenarios. Once the complex setting up of the call queue and incoming calls transfer schedule is completed, it becomes easy to distribute calls among let’s say company’s employees, therefore significantly simplifying tasks of a secretary.

Platform also offers a number identification feature along with hiding/substitution of the number. The most reliable traffic encryption protocols are used to ensure privacy of all conversations. All data is effectively protected inside the network and only the user can have access to it through a personal account. Roman says that the interest in EncryptoTel is already huge, however, there is a number of challenges the team had to encounter. Thus, there is no clear understanding among users what is the PBX and how it functions, not even mentioning the understanding of Blockchain technology, but EncryptoTel team members are always ready to address all the questions and requests from customers.

Roman says:

“We would like to expand our services, attracting more and more customers but the project is currently financed through our personal savings, as well as with the support of friends and community.”

On April 24, EncryptoTel launches an ICO, which is going to last for 37 days. The team is expecting to raise at least $100,000, which would allow building a stable and fully-functional PBX. In case the ICO attracts more than $250,000, company will embark on development of a native traffic encryption protocol based on Blockchain technology. If investments exceed one mln. EncryptoTel will start a huge campaign aimed at international expansion in B2B, B2C, B2G sectors. The EncryptoTel team has successfully completed development of the majority of platform’s features of a working BETA version of the platform.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Should You Accept Cryptocurrency In Your Small Business?

should you accept cryptocurrency in you small business

Should You Accept Cryptocurrency In Your Small Business?

 

Despite the controversy and challenges that occur — small-business owners are embracing cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin. The main reason, according to the more savvy entrepreneurial-types, is that by using the latest technology they can stand out from other businesses.

Does that mean that accepting cryptocurrencies is the right fit for your business? It actually depends on your business’s particular situation and needs, but for the most part, cryptocurrencies can offer the following advantage for business owners.

In years past U.S. merchants have had to pay over $78 billion in credit and debit card processing fees. Since cryptocurrencies are decentralized, meaning that they don’t require a bank to verify each transaction, you can eliminate those transaction fee which normally cost 2 percent up to 5 percent for each transaction.

In other words, it costs almost nothing for your customers to transfer funds to you. As for you — as a business owner — don’t have to share your hard-earned revenue with that third party financial institutions.

More privacy and security for your customers.

According to a research by Statista, 17 percent of shopping cart abandonment is over payment security concerns, with another 18 percent is due to excessive payment security checks.

With cryptocurrency transactions, customers don’t have to share personal data when making purchases because they rely on a send-only protocol, meaning that counterfeiting and identity theft are decreased because there aren’t any number for hacker to steal.

Transactions are processed quickly.

Waiting for a funds to become available in your bank account isn’t just frustrating, it can negatively impact your cash flow. That’s not the case with cryptocurrency transactions. In most cases, these transactions occur in real-time because there aren’t multiple banks holding-up the payment process.

Even if it’s not that quick — funds are typically available in just a couple of minutes.

It’s an international currency.

If your business exports goods and services, or purchases supplies or materials from other countries, then cryptocurrencies like bitcoin can help you get around those expensive foreign transaction fees, exchange rates, or currencies.

Since eCash, like bitcoin, is a global currency and it’s not tied to any single government or company. In other words, it ignores border restrictions. So as long as both parties accept bitcoin, you’re good to go.

No fraud, no chargebacks.

 

Cryptocurrencies are similar to cash, in that you either have it or you don’t and all transactions are final. This is because transactions are added to the blockchain via a complex system called mining.

This system verifies funds and makes it pretty much impossible to spend more than you own. Also, since both parties must approve the transaction, there aren’t any disputes to worry about it. This means that chargebacks don’t occur and are a thing of the past.

Acquire new customers.

There are serious die-hard fans of cryptocurrencies. Having your customers already familiar with cryptocurrencies is a plus and can be a major assist for your business since they actively seek out businesses that accept digital currencies.

Of course, that’s a niche market. However, as a general rule of thumb, when you offer more payment options the more customers you’ll be able to attract. In fact, it’s been found that up to 28 percent of shopping cart abandonment is caused by the lack of a payment option a shopper prefers to use.

We’re moving away from paper.

Both cryptocurrencies and digital wallets are continuing to grow. In fact, both the blockchain and bitcoin had banner years in 2016. Bitcoin was the top currency in 2016 and is being valued at around $1,000.

It’s expected this trend will continue in 2017 and and began a high growth beyond 2017 as people become more familiar with this digital currency.

Instead of resisting this change, it would make more sense for your business to become an early adopter and embrace cryptocurrencies so that you can set yourself apart from your competitors.

The bottom line.

While accepting cryptocurrencies can set you apart as an innovator and an early adopter of fintech. Cryptocurrencies are faster and cheaper than processing traditional payments, and are relatively secure.

As yet, cryptocurrency is not equally regulated. Some countries are working to restricted cryptocurrency use.

If is not considered as stable, yet. Cryptocurrency isn’t as regulated as the price of eCash and it can fluctuate suddenly.

Limited scaling. The system is designed to only process so many transactions at this time. However, the fintech revolution is solving many of the issues surrounding the scaling.

Lack of applications. There aren’t as many applications to process virtual currencies as compared to apps that can process credit or debit cards. However, several companies are in the race to come up with the MVP app for cryptocurrencies.

Security. While identity theft and counterfeit can be greatly reduced with this type of system, there’s no system in place to prevent human error, technical glitches, or fiduciary fraud. (Of course, there never has been anything to stop those very same issues in traditional banking, either. Cryptocurrency still remains the most secure banking method as a result of the blockchain process.)

Makes planning more challenging. Since cryptocurrencies are decentralized, and 100 percent digital, it can make preparing financial statements, determining taxes, and figuring out your prices difficult.

If you do decide to start accepting cryptocurrencies after weighing the pros and cons, you can easily get started by using digital wallets like Due and Coinbase.

There’s also POS systems like XBTerminal that allows customers to pay from any mobile bitcoin wallet by using NFC or QR code.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

This article was originally published on Due.com.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member