Like cloud computing, machine learning, and the internet of things, blockchain technology is on the cusp of transforming the tech world as we know it. IT research and analysis firm Gartner projects that blockchain will add $176 billion of business value by 2025, and then surge more than tenfold to $3.1 trillion by 2030.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are the most visible applications of blockchain right now, and major Silicon Valley investors are still eager to join the party. Tech venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz recently announced that it would launch a new investment fund for cryptocurrencies, and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel has reportedly invested as much as $20 million in Bitcoin.
Yet, the blockchain has serious promise well beyond crypto, and major tech companies are taking notice. IBM has partnered with the non-profit Sovrin Foundation to build a blockchain-based global identity network, helping to reduce fraud and improve trust online. Meanwhile, electronics giant Samsung is considering switching to a blockchain ledger for managing its supply chain, potentially slashing shipping costs by 20 percent.
Let’s take a closer look at three major tech companies that bet big on blockchain technology in recent weeks.
Amazon Web Services has already become one of the leading providers of cloud services, making it simple for even the latest tech-savvy businesses to enjoy all the benefits of the cloud. However, one of the barriers to greater blockchain adoption is that the technology has a steep learning curve.
This May, Amazon announced a new partnership with the blockchain startup Kaleido, so that AWS customers can find it easier to use blockchain in their own businesses. According to a statement released by AWS, the Ethereum-based SaaS (software as a service) Kaleido platform is intended to “help customers move faster and not worry about managing blockchain themselves.”
Facebook, too, is throwing its hat in the ring by launching a small team to explore blockchain technology. The team will be led by David Marcus, former president of PayPal and current vice president of Facebook’s Messenger division and will include staff from Facebook’s Instagram unit.
Although it remains to be seen how blockchain will align with Facebook’s business objectives, the most obvious use is within Messenger itself. Facebook already allows users to send and receive money during a chat, and the company may be looking to expand payment options to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Not to be outdone, credit card processor Square is looking to more closely integrate Bitcoin payments into its payment platform. Since the company began allowing Bitcoin trading through its Cash mobile app in January, Square has sold a total of $34.1 million in Bitcoin.
Square founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, also the CEO of Twitter, has revealed his interest in Bitcoin on several occasions. In a recent interview, Dorsey said that he was a “huge fan” of Bitcoin, and hoped that it would one day become the “native currency” of the internet. The end goal, Dorsey said, would be to use the Square app to purchase a cup of coffee using Bitcoin, perhaps without the cashier even being aware of it.
I believe that both Bitcoin and the blockchain technology that powers it are changing the world today. To learn more about how you can diversify your retirement portfolio with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, give one of our IRA specialists a call today at 877-936-7175.
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