As all good investors know, timing is everything. There is a distinct moment when investors can be at the brink of a new industry, while subsequently increasing the value of their portfolio. By keeping abreast of developments in the technology industry, and staying ahead of the curve, a window of opportunity can rise, and in the blockchain space, that moment is now.
Historically, and unsurprisingly, mainstream adoption of new technology is a slow-burner and blockchain investments are testament to that. However, this year, we have witnessed the tide begin to turn. In Deloitte’s 2019 global blockchain survey of 1,386 senior executives in over a dozen countries, 53% of respondents said that blockchain has become a critical priority for their organizations in 2019 — a ten point increase on last year. Enterprises are actively exploring how to utilise the technology — a move that will inevitably push consumer adoption down the line.
Facebook’s Libra announcement in June has been a pivotal part of this drive for adoption, potentially opening the technology up to more than two billion people. Projects of this scale are strong indicators that mainstream adoption is on the horizon and the opportunity for investors to find blockchain projects that will achieve critical mass adoption has never been more prevalent.
Regulation is often hot on the heels of innovation. We are gradually beginning to see governments and regulators perk their ears and turn their words into action. 2018 saw top European policymakers begin initiatives to promote and explore the technology, with the European Commission launching the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum, as well as the creation of the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP).
When investing in any venture, investors should ask: ‘Is this project providing a real solution to a real problem?’. With blockchain, the solutions are clear across a number of industry verticals.
Increased speed, security, and trust provided by blockchain can solve for many of the current inefficiencies in the world around us. If we look at the recent news surrounding financial behemoth JPMorgan and the creation of the JPM Coin, a digital token using blockchain technology enabling instantaneous transfer of payments between institutional accounts, we can see just one of many examples that show the potential of blockchain as an evolutionary technology in the financial-services sector.
As we know, it’s not just financial services that can benefit from blockchain. At Olymp Capital, we work with a wide range of companies in areas as diverse as IoT, e-commerce, and marketing, who are all exploring the potential benefit of blockchain in their industries.
Areas outside of financial services such as manufacturing and resources are also tipped to see significant growth. According to the International Data Corporation, these two industries are expected to see spending growth over a four-year period (2018–2022) with a CAGR of 77.6%.
For the modern investor, profit is not always the sole motive. The concept of investing in exciting and inventive technologies is appealing to many and blockchain provides people with a unique opportunity to drive a nascent industry forward. If traditional investors can partner with high quality fund managers and portfolio advisors, they can reduce the high barriers to entry that exist in many emerging tech industries, including blockchain. Currently the high barriers to entry, such as cost and lack of access to industry expertise, are the main blockade for investors wanting to get into blockchain — this has started to change.
As we accelerate towards mainstream blockchain adoption, for investors it’s now not a question of if this world will come about, but more one of when.