Understood by few, with the potential to impact many. Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain were interesting propositions throughout the last decade that carried great promise, although they operated somewhat in the background of the mainstream.
With their impact looking to spread into new industries in the coming decade, let’s take a look at ones that cryptocurrencies have already had a significant impact on. Who are they, and in what way has the advent of cryptocurrencies changed how they do business and interact with their audiences?
The online gaming industry is one of the few to have embraced cryptocurrencies with open arms, most likely due to the heavy crossover within their user bases and communities.
The rise of microtransactions within the gaming industry and the frequency of use from developers has shown the influence of cryptocurrencies. This alternative payment method can be seen as a direct successor to token payment options used in many AAA and independently developed titles. While there is much debate around the placements of such features within games that are often targeted at and consumed by children and their similarities to gambling, it shows the impact of Bitcoin and its brethren.
Speaking of gambling, the world of online casinos is one where cryptocurrencies have been strongly adopted. Bitcoin casinos that trade solely in the most popular cryptocurrencies payment options have started to pop up, eliminating all transactions with real money in their business model.
Many of the top online casinos have begun to accept cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as regular payment options alongside traditional card and alternative options such as PayPal. These casinos have been well-received by the community and reviewed positively on major casino review websites including OnlineCasinos.co.uk.
There is an element of a natural fit here, from the always-online element of the industry to the tech-savvy makeup of its communities. Expect those who haven’t embraced cryptocurrencies to start playing catch up soon out of fear of missing out.
Cryptocurrencies in eCommerce just make sense. This newer form of payment simplifies the buying and selling of goods and allows online store owners to create their own marketplaces without any interference from third-parties.
Bitcoin’s central marketplaces with alternative methods of managing e-commerce have already begun to break into the mainstream. Avid bitcoin miners were previously faced with the question of how to use their new funds. Marketplaces that deal specifically with Bitcoin such as Forra and OpenSea, focused on physical and digitals goods respectively, have transformed the way people purchase and sell online. By comparison, traditional methods are outdated and restricted.
The question for the future is what route cryptocurrencies in eCommerce go down. Will they continue to make new marketplaces or attempt to infiltrate existing ones? Most mainstream CMS such as Shopify either already support Bitcoin or offer support for them through the use of plugins, so the groundwork is in place.
The travel market has already been massively disrupted by online strategies and developments. Cheap flights available through price comparison websites have made international travel more accessible than ever, and Airbnb transformed the hotel industry by turning booking into a place for renting people’s home, dominating the market without owning a single property.
As well as transforming who we deal with when we travel and convenience factors, the Internet of Things technology in collaboration with cryptocurrencies has led to further breakthroughs. Airbnb competitors LockTrip have one-upped their rivals by embracing Bitcoin payments early, allowing customers to pay for every element of their trip, from hotels to flights, with Bitcoins.
Cryptocurrencies are just part of a major development in the travel industry, which will see a heavy reliance on the power of blockchain and the IoT.
The charity industry is in a vulnerable position right now. Skepticism and distrust is rife, primarily concerning where donations go and the processes in place that are stopping aid from reaching the people who need it most. The impact of blockchain in the charity sector has been quite substantial, through the introduction of smart contracts for example, and cryptocurrencies have looked to streamline these processes and eliminate the red-tape that is holding back the potential of international operations.
Charities often suffer from poor management of funds, having to pay overheads and being locked in a process of waiting for approval being able to release them. With cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, funds can be directed to and released into specific projects, giving charities a more transparent path for donations. On top of this, the dangers associated with dealing solely in cash are eliminated.
For many, cryptocurrencies remain a mystery and their use in the world seems difficult to place. These are everyday industries though, used by billions, that have been massively impacted in one way or another by cryptocurrencies. All these industries still have a lot of processes to make though before their impacts enter the mainstream.