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What does the future hold for cryptocurrencies?
Cryptocurrency is going mainstream, as analysts project that the crypto market will grow exponentially over the next few years.
There’s a lot to unpack about the reality of crypto going mainstream as the global adoption of cryptocurrency continues to increase. For one, the nature of crypto has always been at odds with many of the institutions we associate with “mainstream” big players such as governments, central banks and venture capitalists.
At the heart of crypto is decentralization, which also means transparency, immutability and security. Crypto was built on the heels of an economic crisis, meant to give back financial power to the people and avoid total economic reliance on fiat money and centralized banking.
Today, the push-and-pull between regulatory bodies and crypto organizations proves that crypto is indeed going mainstream. Regulation isn’t bad, but it’s intriguing to see how centralized institutions are trying to inject a bit of centralized order into the seemingly unruly and rebellious world of crypto.
With more and more countries legalizing cryptocurrency, and even some looking to follow El Salvador’s footsteps in making crypto legal tender, it’s clear that crypto will never fade into the background anytime soon.
Needless to say, the future of crypto is inextricably woven into the future of business, technology, and society in general. At the rate things are going, analysts project that the cryptocurrency market will have tripled in size by 2030 at a valuation of around $5 trillion.
Using cryptocurrency for business equity
A lot of modern businesses nowadays give employees early shares of the company’s profits as equity.
In the future, equity shares will likely come in the form of company cryptocurrency. This way, each business can form its own ecosystem that employees can participate in.
The use of company cryptocurrency will also enable businesses to bypass the fees such as floatation costs associated with more traditional equity-sharing models, so that’s another plus.
It’s still the early days for company cryptocurrency. But, as crypto adoption continues to increase, we can expect to see more and more businesses adopting it.
Crowdfunding with a dedicated blockchain wallet
Online platforms are already being used widely to raise money for different causes and projects.
Early hesitancy in the practice of investing money in new ideas has lowered, thanks to the increased availability of secure platforms.
We can expect this to continue well into the future, especially since crypto allows people to make smaller lower-risk investments without the fear of losing money. Small businesses and crypto projects looking to raise capital can continue to do so via methods that allow traders to invest in new blockchain projects.
Crowdfunding using a dedicated blockchain wallet allows the process to remain transparent, increasing the accountability of both traders and crypto companies to conduct their business securely. Fundraisers can also avoid paying third-party platforms’ fees without sacrificing donor confidence.
Crypto as a viable form of payment
Crypto has long been criticized for its lack of inherent value. However, the shift toward contactless transactions amid the pandemic has emphasized the value of digital currencies and blockchain technology in the modern world.
For this reason, merchants have been slow to adopt cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. As it gains widespread usage, however, we can expect to see more businesses accepting crypto in the future.
The global pandemic has changed the way a lot of us do business. The shift away from cash and face-to-face transactions toward digital cashless ones has introduced many people to the convenience of paying digitally. So, it’s no surprise that crypto is starting to gain traction as a viable payment option — one that will only continue to evolve.
While still in the early stages, large platforms such as PayPal, Visa and Mastercard have already started allowing clients to purchase and transact crypto through their platforms. PayPal can now be used to buy and transact crypto like Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC).
Meanwhile, Visa allows users to conduct transactions with stablecoins on the Ethereum Network. Mastercard also announced the launch of its crypto card in late 2021 and is set to support most digital currencies in the years to come.
Merchants who are still on the fence about accepting crypto can rest knowing that it is here to stay. The cases for and against crypto as a form of payment are slowly evening out, and more businesses will likely start accepting it in the near future. In addition, businesses can save on transaction fees when using crypto as a form of payment.
Structuring as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO)
The concept of a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, is also something that will likely factor into the future of organizations.
From governments to corporations, structuring as a DAO gives benefits that traditional organizational structures cannot provide.
DAOs, for one, can streamline complex workflows with the help of blockchain technology. Smart contracts can be used to facilitate tedious processes that require long paper trails, like filing permits, granting approval and so on.
DAOs can also dramatically cut red tape in companies and corruption in governments. Because every transaction will be encoded into the blockchain, records will be available to the public for their scrutiny at any time.
The way we work has already shifted, and it’s not far-fetched to imagine a future where companies are structured differently. A DAO is a fascinating concept that has the potential to change how we do business and should be watched closely in the years to come.
Raising debt via DeFi platforms
The advent of decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms that facilitate loans with more manageable terms for both lenders and borrowers has opened up new opportunities for people and businesses to raise debt.
In times of crisis, debt is often seen as a necessary evil. Debt can provide short-term relief and help businesses stay afloat in difficult times. Currently, a few platforms allow businesses to raise debt via decentralized finance. These platforms include Dharma, dYdX and Compound.
Debt raised on these platforms is often used for working capital or covering operational costs. Since the interest rates on these loans are much lower than those offered by traditional lenders, businesses can benefit from the significant savings.
DeFi lending is likely to become even more popular in the coming years as businesses look for ways to get back on their feet post-pandemic. The ease of use and competitive interest rates make DeFi lending an attractive option for businesses looking to borrow money.
Creating communities around NFTs and cryptocurrencies
One of the most exciting aspects of crypto is the ability to create and trade digital assets, or nonfungible tokens (NFTs).
These tokens can be used to represent anything from physical assets to digital artwork, as well as collectibles like trading cards and sports merchandise.
NFTs have the potential to create thriving communities around them. For example, there are already a few games that allow players to trade and collect NFTs. These games include CryptoKitties, Gods Unchained and Axie Infinity.
The success of these games shows the increasing demand for NFTs and that people are willing to invest time and money into them. As more games and platforms that allow for the creation and trading of NFTs continue to be created, this trend will likely continue.
New use cases for NFTs are continually being developed and they have the potential to keep revolutionizing the way we interact with digital content. On Decentraland, for example, people can purchase real estate NFTs to own a patch of land in the Metaverse.
NFT communities will likely evolve into tribes within the Metaverse as people learn to navigate identities via avatars and virtual spaces.
Access banking services with cryptocurrency
Over two billion people worldwide are currently unbanked, making access to banking services a luxury.
For people in areas that may have less stable economies, using cryptocurrency can be a way to bypass traditional banking systems.
Several startups are already working on banking the unbanked via cryptocurrency, especially in countries with unstable economies. Kotani Pay and Leaf are examples of platforms that allow the underbanked in Africa access to essential financial services.
Cryptocurrencies can be used to send and receive money, pay for goods and services and more. They also offer security and privacy that traditional banking systems cannot provide. In the future, more platforms will hopefully be able to provide essential financial services in developing countries and war-torn areas through cryptocurrency.
Using cryptocurrencies for employee compensation
Several companies have already started paying employees in crypto.
There are several advantages to using cryptocurrencies for employee compensation, especially for companies with a global workforce. First, cryptocurrencies are borderless, which means that crypto can be used to pay employees anywhere in the world.
Second, they are secure and irreversible, reducing the risk of fraud. Finally, cryptocurrency can be easily converted into local currencies, making them convenient for employees wanting to use them for everyday transactions. As more companies adopt this payment method, the use of cryptocurrencies as employee compensation will likely increase.