Meanwhile, the conversation among blockchain entrepreneurs is filled with sunshine and rainbows. The gap couldn’t be wider.
We could take this to mean that we’ll see enormous progress with on-the-ground blockchain development, but that it will take time for those results to show in cryptocurrency prices.
As the year has progressed, this prediction has borne fruit. We see Fortune 500 companies dipping their toes in the blockchain waters, regulators carving out innovation-friendly rules, and respected venture capitalists making huge bets on blockchain startups.
In fact, Deloitte reports that 74 percent of large corporations see a “compelling business case” for blockchain development. Large corporations, mind you.
That means firms with over $500.0 million in annual sales are looking at how Ethereum or Ripple or some other blockchain protocol can work to make them more efficient.
Only someone determined to be unimpressed can shrug their shoulders at that survey, but—and I hate to say it—we haven’t seen those gains appear on CoinMarketCap. Yet.
While we wait for the market to catch up, take a look at three of the developments I’m talking about.
AWS Gives Consensys a Leg Up
“Amazon Web Services” (AWS) is making it possible for its clients to build hassle-free enterprise blockchains. The offering comes after AWS partnered with blockchain startup Consensys, a Brooklyn-based studio for Ethereum projects.
“We have been following ethereum closely as it’s what many of our customers have been exploring, especially for enterprise use cases,” Matt Yanchyshyn, the global technical lead for AWS’s partner program, told CoinDesk.
Just to be clear: AWS will not favor Ethereum over other protocols. However, it will make blockchains much more accessible to small and medium-sized companies, many of whom use AWS tools to facilitate their online businesses.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) took a similar step a few months ago by adding blockchain-building functions to its cloud computing platform. Those tools were experimental, though, meaning that companies weren’t able to implement the technology across their entire network.
Coinbase offers “custody” services
When people talk about Wall Street getting involved with cryptocurrencies, they often say things like, “Institutional investors are waiting for the necessary infrastructure to be built,” or something along those lines.
What they mean is that high finance is different from retail investing. We can simply open a trading account and buy what we want. But for the Big Fish, there are specific requirements, such as having a “custodian” for your investment dollars.
Coinbase, the leading cryptocurrency exchange in America, is looking to become the custodian for a whole spate of hedge funds and institutional investors entering the space.
Here’s how it’s explaining it:
EEA Starts to Build Common Standards
The Ethereum Enterprise Alliance (EEA) is one of the big collaborative efforts in the space, including such illustrious names as Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), BP plc(LON:BP), and hundreds of others.
For months, I’ve told readers that this alliance could transform blockchain into a legitimate force in the world of commerce and Big Business. And at a recent conference in New York, the group took a big step toward proving me right.
It unveiled “Enterprise Ethereum Client Specification 1.0”—the first in a series of common standards for Ethereum development.
“The EEA’s Enterprise Ethereum Specification is the result of 18 months of intense collaboration between leading enterprise, technology and platform members within our technical committee,” said EEA executive director Ron Resnick. “This EEA open-source, cross-platform framework will enable the mass adoption at a depth and breadth otherwise unachievable in individual corporate silos.”
Not only is this a big step for the EEA, which launched more than a year ago, it’s also a milestone for the industry at large. Why? Because it, alongside Coinbase’s custodial services and AWS’s blockchain tools, gives Big Business a roadmap to getting involved in distributed ledger technology.
Arguably the greatest investor of all time, Warren Buffett, is famed for his value investing approach to stocks: buying big name companies with huge brand recognition and good balance sheets that had fallen out of favor with the market. Quite often they were market darlings that had once been growth stories but had become staid and boring in the eyes of investors looking for the next hot tip – Coca Cola being Buffett’s most famous investment.
Although cryptocurrency investing is anathema to him it’s worth keeping in mind Buffett’s famous adage: “Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.”