As investors enter the second quarter looking for signs of growth sectors, cryptocurrencies and blockchain-related markets remain at the top of the list in potential. In particular, the advantages of blockchain technologies and their secure, immutable shared ledgers are rapidly gaining recognition in the international trade and finance, security, gaming and healthcare sectors. Several companies are advancing programs to educate the broader investing public about blockchain technology. Those companies include SinglePoint, Inc. (OTC: SING) (SING Profile), which has been aggressively making strategic acquisitions and building a diverse portfolio in the blockchain space. Other public companies pursuing opportunities in the expanding blockchain sector include Longfin Corp. (NASDAQ: LFIN), Accenture PLC (NYSE: ACN), Marathon Patent Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA) and Overstock.com, Inc (NASDAQ: OSTK).
Blockchain Going Mainstream
With an extensive history in payment technologies, SinglePoint (OTCQB: SING) is selectively building a portfolio of subsidiaries and partnerships in the blockchain sector as the technology becomes accepted by global blue-chip enterprises.
The rapid ascendance of blockchain and its growing significance to multiple marketplaces present a rare opportunity to invest in a transformational technology, somewhat akin to the early dot-com days. The buzz-phrases “creative destruction” or “disruptive technology” could easily be applied to the beneficial upheavals expected in finance, payment processing, trade, transportation and other industries as blockchain platforms become ubiquitous.
SinglePoint’s widening portfolio of blockchain assets includes:
- A letter of intent to acquire 100 percent of Bitcoin Beyond, a premier platform that enables merchants to accept bitcoin payments using existing web-enabled, point-of-sale devices (http://nnw.fm/t9zNO).
- SingleSeed Payments subsidiary is developing a proprietary cryptocurrency solution that allows cannabis merchants and consumers to take advantage of bitcoin-powered transactions using debit and credit cards. In addition to making bitcoin-backed card purchases possible in all retail settings, SinglePoint’s initiative will enable cannabis dispensaries to digitally track and manage their product inventories, performing tasks such as uploading product data, photos and descriptions. The system deducts items automatically from a dispensary’s product listings when a purchase is made (https://singleseed.com/).
- Original “Shark Tank” member Kevin Harrington as company spokesman for an innovative, compatible virtual wallet to store any type of cryptocurrency. A recognized serial and successful venture capitalist, Harrington will host a new national television and online media ad campaign featuring SinglePoint and the virtual wallet’s secure method of storing cryptocurrencies (http://nnw.fm/b8E8o).
- A blockchain platform for healthcare applications to be built with ORHub, Inc. following completion of a letter of intent. ORHub’s surgical resource management software is transforming the way hospitals handle operating-room data, thereby enabling reductions in supply-chain costs. SinglePoint will develop blockchain-based solutions with ORHub to enhance the value of data collected by the operating-room software platform (http://nnw.fm/IxwQ4).
For more information on these endeavors view the company’s shareholder update http://nnw.fm/oso7M
Recently SinglePoint moved to the OTC:QB Venture Markets. With this move the company added former Amazon general manager and current F5 Networks senior vice president Venugopal Aravamudan to its board of directors. At Amazon, Aravamudan helped run Amazon Web Services Relational Database Systems, and at F5 Networks, he is responsible for next-generation cloud services.
This additional to the team looks to open multiple new relationships and opportunities for the company.
The Future of Blockchain
As the finance and trade industries lead the way to wider adoption of blockchain technologies, it appears inevitable client industries will follow. German banking giant Deutsche Bank (DB) projects that blockchain-enabled systems will record transactions for 10 percent of global GDP by 2027 (http://nnw.fm/rTeW3).
The IT research and consulting firm Gartner Group projects a sharply rising arc for blockchain providers. Analysts state blockchain is estimated to have delivered $4 billion in business value-add or technology innovation in 2017, which it expects to increase five-fold to $21 billion in two years and soar to $176 billion by 2025. Looking out further, Gartner estimated blockchain will be a $3.1 trillion value-added industry by 2030.
By these measures, blockchain technology is still in its infancy in terms of commercial potential. If blockchain unfolds as the internet did, new applications will be found that have not yet been considered.
Other Companies in Blockchain Space
Global management consulting giant Accenture (NYSE: ACN) reported March 12 it had created a blockchain prototype with the goal of eradicating bogus pharmaceuticals from global supply chains and is partnering with delivery-and-logistics leader DHL to that end (http://nnw.fm/Cq5tb). The two companies announced they have created a blockchain-based serialization prototype with nodes in six geographic areas to track pharmaceuticals across the supply chain (http://nnw.fm/4kOt5). According to Interpol, about a million people die each year globally because of counterfeit drugs, and some 30 percent of pharmaceuticals sold in emerging markets are thought to be fakes.
Marathon Patent Group (NASDAQ: MARA) shares recently surged nearly 60 percent in a single trading day after the company announced it had commenced bitcoin mining at its new facility in Quebec. In February, Marathon announced it had purchased 1,400 Bitmain Antminer S9 miners and that it had leased space in Quebec, which is renowned for its comparatively low power costs. Marathon said it may add another 2,800 Antminer S9s as it evaluates productivity.
Longfin (NASDAQ: LFIN) is working to connect 70 FX and spot exchanges with 300 banks through its electronic market platform. The company also announced in January that its Ziddu Smart Contracts are commercially available on the Ethereum blockchain. Longfin contends that currently Ziddu.com is the only venue for decentralized smart contracts.
Overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK) launched an initial coin offering in December, and the company’s CEO told CNNMoney he may consider selling off the better-known online retail business to focus on the 10 blockchain companies it owns. In January, Polymath, a security token launch pad, reported a partnership with Overstock’s blockchain subsidiary, t0.com, Inc. (tZERO), in which Polymath is acting in an advisory role in connection with tZERO’s $250 million ICO. With a market-cap of $1.30 billion, Overstock.com said in March it is cooperating with a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry into the cryptocurrency and blockchain sectors.
While blockchain technology remains an emerging influence in world business, it has already demonstrated its potential power as a transformative means of providing security to commercial transactions, including financial processes. Blockchain appears to have the capability of becoming a disruptive market influence as it alters the way the world does business.
For more information on SinglePoint, visit SinglePoint, Inc. (OTCQB: SING).