Ethereum vs Bitcoin in 2017

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One of the questions I often get asked is this: will Ethereum outperform Bitcoin in 2017? It is very interesting, because right now it appears that Bitcoin is still King of Crypto. But in my opinion that might all change by the end of this year, and if not, then we will surely see some dramatic changes in 2018. I’m not the only person who thinks this; most of the cryptocurrency analysts also share this view.

It is true that Bitcoin has the advantage of being a ‘first mover’ in the crypto market, and the coin that introduced blockchain technology to the market. It also made blockchain more widely accepted; for example, Goldman Sachs has just created a microsite dedicated to explaining the advantages of blockchain technology.

Bitcoin’s value has also seen a meteoric rise of over 500 percent in the last five years, which appears to make it unassailable, but the emergence of Etehereum, Litecoin and Ripple is challenging Bitcoin, because the others are gaining in popularity with both investors and the corporate entities. For me, Ethereum is particularly interesting and it’s the blockchain product with the most potential right now to outperform Bitcoin.

Some say that Ethereum got a helping hand when Vladimir Putin met the founder of Ethereum to create a Russian cryptocurrency. Even if that wasn;t the case, there are still many observers who believe it can perform better than Bitcoin this year. The key reason for this is its platform.

Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum is much more than just a cryptocurrency. It is THE platform for smart contracts and presently, Ethereum is leading innovations in the digital currency world. In fact, there are three reasons to be enthusiastic about Ethereum’s prospects:

  1. It aims to create decentralised software applications. Its system allows for simultaneous operations worldwide. This unique feature could lead to the creation of a new generation of decentralised businesses. This decentralised environment could ultimately challenge the status quo in finance, government, manufacturing, and much more.
  2. It is the platform for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). 2017 is the year in which the crowdsales that fundraise for startups really took off, and Ethereum is the technology behind them all.
  3. It has the potential to replace stock markets with peer-to-peer applications and it can develop a real sharing economy. In this respect it will outperform disruptive businesses like Uber.

In my opinion, because Ethereum is so much more than just a cryptocurrency this factor will enable it to outpace Bitcoin. It has the potential to revolutionise the way a multitude of businesses operate globally, so if you take the long view, Ethereum is the one to really watch.

 

Why I’m a Fintech entrepreneur

I’m a serial entrepreneur who believes in leveraging my many years at a senior level in IT into new opportunities as they arise. I have designed a VOIP system that led the vanguard in this field, developed a Global SIM solution on a travel platform and created a unique platform for online advertising using a ‘One Click Solution’. I’ve also worked on mobile/web apps based on proximity and geofencing.

With my extensive IT experience, it seemed logical to me, as well as exciting, to move into Fintech, particularly the development of new platforms based on the blockchain. This is the field that really inspires me, because I see so much potential in the whole world of the blockchain technology.

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What is Fintech?

Some people still aren’t sure what Fintech is when I talk about it. I define it as the segment of the technology startup scene that is disrupting sectors such as mobile payments, money transfers, loans, fundraising and even asset management. It’s a growing business: a recent report by Accenture found that “global investment in Fintech has skyrocketed from $930 million back in 2008 to over $12 billion by the beginning of 2015.” And, in terms of regions where Fintech has made the most gains, Europe is leading the way, according to Accenture.

As I said, my special area of interest is in the blockchain and how that can disrupt specific financial areas, such as money transfer, personal loans and fundraising for business startups.

Crowdsourcing and fundraising for startups

For example, Initial Coin Offerings, or ICOs as they are usually called, have made it possible for new businesses and some well-established entrepreneurs as well to raise the funds to take a product to market within a matter of weeks, or minutes in some cases. These ICOs use a combination of crowdsourcing (or some call them crowdsales) and the blockchain technology to raise the money. In the past it typically took months of presentations to venture capitalists and banks before funds were available to take a business forward – now an ICO cuts through all that red tape and the investors in the ICO, which can be anyone, not just accredited investors, can make a return on their investment. You could say that ICOs bring power to the people and allow everyone an opportunity to get involved in investing.

Fintech offers efficiency and lower costs

Fintech also allows businesses to work in more efficient and less costly ways. The major banks are slowly, but surely realising that blockchain products like Ethereum and Ripple can enable them to work faster and smarter and reduce costs. Ripple, for example, has been designed to replace the bank Swift system for international transfers. Instead of it taking days to send money from one country to another, it can happen in minutes.

The Ethereum platform

Ethereum is also of particular interest to a wide range of businesses because its platform includes a ‘smart contract’. Unlike a ‘physical’ contract, the smart contract is programmed in a way that removes any chance of fraud or third-party interference. Its role will become even more prominent as new startups begin to demonstrate the agility of using the Ethereum platform in a traditional market.

What’s next?

Right now I’m working on a project that taps right into a market that has been in existence every since man created money as an exchange for goods. The blockchain is undoubtedly the next step for this particular market, and as an entrepreneur with the right background to understand the technology, I simply had to get into Fintech. I’ll be writing more about this entire field over the coming weeks, so stay tuned to discover more about it and my specific project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ICOs will be the future of fundraising

If you haven’t heard about Initial Coin Offerings, or ICOs as everyone calls them, then you must have had a break from being on the Internet. They have been around for a few years, but in 2017 this form of raising funds for new startups has really blasted off and although there are questions about them, it seems to me that this is a tide that won’t be pushed back.

Search for information about ICOs and I guarantee that the next time you go on Facebook or read a newspaper or magazine online, you’ll see endless adverts for a whole host of new ICOs. Why are they so popular? The short answer is that an ICO enables a company to raise money fast and without having to pay fees to middlemen.

It isn’t just new businesses that are using ICOs; it is well-established companies, and whilst China may have drawn even more attention to them by banning them, the rest of the world is continuing to support the platform. And, with institutional investors starting to invest in them, this is a strong indicator that this new approach to crowdfunding has a strong future.

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How does an ICO work?

How does an ICO work? It is a crowdsale mechanism built on the blockchain open-source technology; the same blockchain that supports Bitcoin and Ethereum as well as other cryptocurrencies. ICO investors buy ‘tokens’ that they pay for with a crypto or fiat currency. The tokens are like shares and investors hope that the values and prices will rise as the project achieves success.

Another way to look at an ICO token sale is this: the token can represent some sort of value or be of value itself, or an ICO might attribute equity to a token. Quite frequently, the token issued in an ICO gives a person access to the features of a particular project. For example, tokens are used to pay for goods and services from the company offering the ICO instead of having cash or Bitcoin. You could say that these tokens are similar to a store’s loyalty points. So, there are a number of ways that an can ICO operate, and this is another part of their appeal for both the businesses starting an ICO and investors.

More confidence in the blockchain

A number of startups, some with a well-known name behind them like that of Paris Hilton, have raised millions in minutes, showing that the public’s appetite for this form of investment is very strong. This is largely because Bitcoin and Ethereum have had excellent results during the last year and more people have confidence in cryptocurrencies. It is also due to the fact that there is greater understanding of the blockchain and why a decentralised platform works for the benefit of the average person who is often cut out of the investment world by bigger corporate entities. And, there is trust in the blockchain as people become more aware of its security mechanisms.

ICOs in 2017

Currently, an average of about 20 ICOs hit the market every month. According to Autonomous NEXT, more than $1.2 billion in cryptocurrency was raised through ICOs in the first half of 2017, which is well above $300 million made in the previous years.

The advantages of ICOs

There will probably be much discussion in the coming months about ways in which ICOs might change in the future, but they will certainly be a part of it thanks to their inherent advantages, such as: they provide efficient and low cost funding to startups and are accessible to any participant in any geographical location. They also provide an opportunity for investment in a new and disruptive technology and for financial gains based on the future potential of blockchain. We are witnessing another new step in the revolutionary power of the crowd and ICOs are one of its most powerful tools for change.

 

 

The craze for ICOs explained

Initial Coin Offerings, which are usually referred to as ICOs, are the hottest trend in the financial world. This is the amazingly innovative tool that businesses are using to raise funds rather than use the more traditional routes of banks and venture capital.

ICOs are proving especially popular with startups as a way to raise cash for projects, because it is more democratic, transparent and faster. It also uses a digital currency or a token, which is a term you’ll hear used by companies launching ICOs.

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Tokens or digital coins

So, how do they do it? An ICO typically involves selling a new digital currency, or token at a discount. When the cryptocurrency succeeds and appreciates in value, the investor has made a profit. These tokens are often exchanged against digital currencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum and the new tokens can easily be sold and traded on existing cryptocurrrency exchanges.

Ripple and Ethereum set the trend

The first cryptocurrency to employ an ICO was Ripple, which is a payment system that promises to supplant the current SWIFT transaction procedure used by international banking. Its developers issued 100 billion XRP tokens, and the sale of these funded the development of the Ripple system, which is now finding traction with major banks.

The most prominent ICO, however, has been Ethereum. In mid-2014 the Ethereum Foundation sold ETH coins against a 0.0005 Bitcoin value for each one. This gave them nearly $20 million, which served as the capital base for the development of Ethereum, which is one of the biggest newcomers to the blockchain.

2017 – The Year of the ICO Trend

But 2017 is the year that ICOs really took off. And just to show you how hot the ICO trend is, look at these two examples: Gnosis raised $12 million in 10 minutes, and a new web browser, created by the founder of Mozilla, raised $35 million in 30 seconds. Yes, that’s right, not even one minute.

We are seeing new ICOs being announced every day. For example, a hotel booking company based in Bulgaria that will use blockchain to save its customers from paying expensive booking fees is promoting its LOK tokens via social media. It has the potential to become the next Booking.com, and if it does, then the people who have bought the LOK tokens at the pre-sale price, which is discounted, will stand to make an excellent profit. Just look at the figures for Ethereum and Gnosis and you will get a good idea of just how big these ICOs go, and how fast.

For example, if you had bought ETH, the Ethereum ICO coin, when it was sold at 0.0005 Bitcoin and that value is now 0.05 Bitcoin., you would have made substantial gains. Successful, ICOs can provide gains to their investors of anything from 100 to 500 per cent.

We’ll be bringing you more information about ICOs and how they use smart contracts, another blockchain innovation that is set to enter the mainstream thanks to Ethereum. This is truly an exciting time for startups, because ICOs offer a truly revolutionary way to raise funds for a business dream.