Although you may not get an explanation of how bitcoin actually works, you will now find it very difficult to find anyone that hasn’t heard of it!

However, the unexpected monetary heights of late 2017 have since retracted southwards. This has led to various commentators arguing that “the bubble is about to burst”. This brief article will pinpoint five reasons that would suggest otherwise!

First US blue-chip company to release their own cryptocurrency

If you are 20 years old or above and you remember the days before smartphone technology, then you have probably taken a photograph using a Kodak camera!

The photography manufacturer was a leading player before the introduction of smartphone cameras; however, it failed to grow with the times and subsequently lost a large section of their consumer base.

Nevertheless, Kodak is making sure that it does not make the same mistake again. It is in the process of releasing its own cryptocurrency called the KodakCoin, which will allow photography enthusiasts to trademark and sell their original content through blockchain technology.

When the news was initially announced in the public domain, Kodak’s share price tripled within a week! Even though there is a lot not to like about this particular project, it is indicative of larger acceptance of cryptocoins even with behemoth dinosaur brands such as Kodak.

Bitcoin scaling technology attracts heavyweight backers

You’ve probably heard about the scalability issues of the underlying bitcoin technology, right?

In a nutshell, bitcoin is only able to process seven transactions per second, its block confirmation time remains stagnant at 10 minutes, and transaction fees are getting more and more expensive!

However, fintech start-up Lighting Labs claims that it is inches away from releasing its Lighting Network technology.

If successful, bitcoin’s scalability concerns will be a thing of the past. The project has some highly reputable investors, including none other than Jack Dorsey (Twitter CEO), David Sacks (PayPal COO) and Charlie Lee (Litecoin founder)!

Corporations can’t resist joining the cryptocurrency craze

Amazon, who recently overtook Alphabet to become the second-most valuable company in the world, have unintentionally created widespread speculation that it is about to build a cryptocurrency of its own.

Some really smart and attentive cookies discovered that in early 2018, the organisation purchased three domain names linked specifically to blockchain assets.
These included:

• amazonethereum.com
• amazoncryptocurrency.com
• amazoncryptocurrencies.com

Although Amazon has remained tight-lipped about the URL registrations, it would make perfect sense for consumers to have the option of paying for goods using a cryptocurrency, especially when one considers the global nature of Amazon’s customer base.

Interestingly, accessing Amazonbitcoin.com redirects you to the Amazon homepage!

Uncanny appetite for ICOs

Not only was 2017 an astounding year for the growth of bitcoin and its alt-coin alternatives, but it was also a remarkable period for initial coin offerings (ICOs), with the cryptocurrency equivalent of $5 billion being raised.

Although the late successes of 2017 have since been reversed, this has not affected investor demand for a piece of the ICO action.

In fact, to be precise, one company is involving itself in a 2018 ICO claim to have already raised $1.6 billion in pre-round funding.

Telegram, which has more than 200 million people using their messaging app, is confident it will meet its $5-billion target. According to ICO Box, 2018 is on course to break the $20-billion mark for total ICO investments.

Major financial institutions look to adopt blockchain technology

One of the many benefits of the blockchain phenomenon is the invention of distributed ledger technology. Global banking partners have since realised that the current cross-border remittance infrastructure is not fit for this purpose.

Bizarrely, for an industry that processes more than $5 trillion dollars in inter-bank transfers per day, the system still remains slow, expensive and fraught with red tape.

To illustrate this appetite for change, financial institutions such as Barclays, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and even JP Morgan have all expressed interest in adopting the underlying blockchain concept to their payments network.

Aleksey Losev is the chief executive and co-founder of KVANTOR.

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