On January 12th, 2009, a mythical figure by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the universe to a revolutionary innovation: digital money.

And by digital money I mean Bitcoin.

What makes Bitcoin so revolutionary? Blockchain technology.

Since that day, blockchain adoption has slowly unfolded:

  • Ethereum has processed over 500M transactions
  • Facebook created their own cryptocurrency
  • Donald Trump, The President of the United States, tweeted about Bitcoin

But how did we get here? How did we go from the idea of digital money to a US president tweeting about Bitcoin? What will the future of this paradigm shift look like?

Internet = Digitized Information

As we try to figure out where the blockchain revolution is headed, we must begin by time travelling back to an era older than Satoshi himself… the pre-internet era.

Before the internet, communicating with anyone you didn’t see on a regular basis was a high-friction experience. Conversing via telephone or written letter was difficult + time consuming and information had to be learned via television or print.

The internet made it dramatically easier to communicate and share information. As a result, human knowledge started to increase exponentially. The majority of human social and cultural interactions became digital via blogs, email, and social media, searchable by Google. 90% of all information that has ever existed has been created in the past 2 years.

Blockchain + Crypto = Digitized Money & Assets

Similar to how communicating used to be a high-friction experience, transacting economically has also been a high-friction experience. Verifying your identity, gaining access to credit, or sending money to another country is expensive, slow, and inefficient.

In most cases, dealing with money is a pain in the ass

 

It’s still extremely early in their development, but public blockchains and crypto have dramatically lowered the cost of economic transactions. For a company, the process of offering equity to retail investors via an IPO usually takes 6-9 months and costs millions in fees. The same process in crypto takes less than a month and costs 10x less. 

Blockchains make digital economic transactions really easy

As the crypto ecosystem evolves and costs continue to fall, we predict that the number of digital economic transactions will increase exponentially.

Blockchain Adoption: Where and When?

Innovative technology is only as valuable as the benefits it offers. Each application of blockchain has to be measured on a case-by-case basis.

Does the modern world need a blockchain to pay for a movie ticket? No. 

Visa and Mastercard are fast and free (if you pay your bill on time). Since user friction is low, crypto would have low value in this situation (given current crypto technology).

We believe the first high-value mainstream crypto networks will target two things:

1) High-friction experiences

2) High-value industries

We’ve seen this trend happen before with other revolutionary technologies. 

Before the internet, finding and sharing information was difficult, but Google and Facebook made it 10x easier. 

Before the iPhone, the taxi and hotel industries were painful and expensive. Once everyone owned a mobile phone, Uber and Airbnb created software to connect riders with drivers and travellers with landlords. Fast, easy, cheap.

That was with software half as powerful as blockchain.

Blockchain will revolutionize the economy in ways we can’t even imagine today. The more interesting question is: which industries will come first?

Financial Services

Operating in the legacy financial system has historically required a large degree of trust. We trust our bank, which is why we deposit our money with them and trust it will be there when we come back. 

However trust comes at a cost.

Interacting with financial systems is an extremely high-friction experience. Cross-border payments can take up to a week, with fees as high as 7-10%. Gaining access to capital, credit, and other financial derivatives is often impossible for billions of people around the world who remain unbanked.  

Blockchain enables users to trust open-source code instead of having to trust the financial system. Code that is open to the whole world, including the unbanked, and isn’t susceptible to the rules that traditionally govern global capital markets. 

We’ve seen this with projects like Ripple that have enabled cross-border payments at a fraction of the cost of the legacy financial system. Another example is UMA, a platform that introduced an index token that gives anyone in the world exposure to the S&P 500, regardless of financial, social, or geographical status.

Although financial services will definitely be reshaped by projects like these and many others, global regulators will likely delay adoption significantly as they adapt to the future of financial markets.

However, there’s another industry that blockchain will revolutionize sooner than financial services…

Sports Betting

A high-friction industry dominated by old, centralized monopolies – sports betting is ripe for blockchain disruption. We won’t overwhelm you with details just yet, but current sports betting sites charge high fees, offer no transparency, and systematically ban their users.

A lifetime ban for a professional sports bettor is a like a career-ending injury for a professional basketball player. 

Now imagine the NBA was intentionally administering career-ending injuries to their best players. 

That’s what centralized sportsbooks do to their best bettors.

Sports bettors deserve better. Blockchain is here to give them what they deserve.

Interested in finding out how SportX is going to use blockchain technology to revolutionize sports betting?

Keep Reading: The Future is Here: Decentralized Sports Betting Exchanges