“For multinationals to issue their own currencies and request that their consumers purchase in that particular currency is not that outlandish,” says Blockchain Capital co-founder Gavin Brown. “So perhaps with multinationals being what they are the fact that they are able now digitally and technologically to issue their own currencies and request their consumers to use it is perhaps not a sort of an unreasonable thing to think. It may not be the whole mission short term but certainly in the medium term for sure. I mean a Facebook coin is probably the next big one I think.”
Wherever There is Potential for Mistrust Blockchain Can Be a Solution
We’re still very early in the technology, so a lot of people obviously associate bitcoin with blockchain, which is the underlying technology, which is understandable. However, the thing that most people fail to realize is that blockchain technology can obviously be applied to many different sectors and many different industries. I’m really keen, especially in the UK where I do a lot of work in my Future Economies Research Center which is a run out of Manchester Metropolitan University.
What we do there is we look at various industries where blockchain is a really good solution to manage lots of things around provenance and trust, scalability, traceability and things like goods supply chains. Really, wherever you’ve got the potential for mistrust blockchain can be a potential solution.
There Are Now Over 2,000 Cryptocurrencies
Regarding cryptocurrencies, If you look overall there are over 2,000 coins in total now. If you look at fiat currencies, the money we use day-to-day, there are 180 fiat currencies recognized by the United Nations globally. Yet there are over 2,000 cryptocurrencies most of which are trying to be some kind of money replacement. So the general play and the way I perceive it is that we will have a shakeout phase as we do with any kind of technology and we’re likely to see it coalesce around either one or a handful of winners.
Those winners will obviously win big. Identifying who they’re going to be is obviously the challenge. That’s why for most people they’ll probably want to run a portfolio inside the crypto asset space to try and maximize their chances. This is almost similar to a sort of leverage private equity-type model the way you’re running lots of different plays, where most will lose, but if you get the winner then you win big.
A Facebook Coin is Probably the Next Big One
What we’re seeing really is the democratization of money. If you and I wanted to we could create a CNBC coin and within three hours we could have it up and running and when we transact with people we could request that we do it using that particular coin. It raises the question of will people trust that coin? They will trust it if they trust your brand and f they trust your products. For instance, Starbucks has over a billion dollars worth of assets on its balance sheet of people who prepaid for coffee on their charge cards in advance. That’s because they trust the brand, they like the product, and they’re confident it will be there.
For multinationals to, therefore, issue their own currencies and request that their consumers purchase in that particular currency is therefore not that outlandish. We live in an era where McDonald’s has got a higher credit rating than the country of Ireland. So perhaps with multinationals being what they are the fact that they are able now digitally and technologically to issue their own currencies and request their consumers to use it is perhaps not a sort of an unreasonable thing to think. It may not be the whole mission short term but certainly in the medium term for sure. I mean a Facebook coin is probably the next big one I think.