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Bitcoin and Blockchain technology is on everybody’s lips right now. With the news of the unmasking of Satoshi Nakamoto, the technology’s originator, as Australian programmer Craig Steven Wright, the future of the currency has now become a crucial subject. The actual timing of Wright’s reveal was crucial in itself as he felt it necessary to “dispel any negative myths and fears” about the virtual currency, he further explained that “[he could not] allow the misinformation that has been spread to impact the future of Bitcoin”.
For the Bitcoin community it is of utmost importance that the direction of Blockchain and Bitcoin, in terms of its identity, is unified and clear. However, for now, it still seems largely blurry and undetermined. But for all the uncertainty of Bitcoin’s intended identity, there is no doubt that it has a lucrative future ahead of it. It has become quite clear that Bitcoin is here to stay, and already some South African industries are taking to it with gusto.
Retail and Finance will welcome Bitcoin
The two industries that stand out as early adopters of innovation are retail and finance. Innovation for retail usually means an opportunity for growth in sales and being on trend, which are key drivers for this sector. As for finance the byproducts of innovation are largely associated with convenience, higher levels of automation, and breaking grounds in security.
Bitcoin payments have already had traction locally; South Africa’s largest eCommerce store Takealot is already accepting Bitcoin payments, and it is not alone. Historically speaking – wherever retail dared to go, other sectors would be sure to follow. Finance, especially banking, could make huge leaps in progress by leveraging Bitcoin cryptography for better cyber security. Safer internet banking is paramount for banks, but even 3D secure and One Time Pins have not been able to stem the flow of cyber theft. Blockchain technology could change all of this.
Flash forward to a Bitcoin future
It is not going to be a piece of cake for Bitcoin’s induction into SA finance, but it is going to be a welcome one. With increased security and transparency for transactions and digital authorisations, online purchases will surge – giving our economy a much-needed boost. A large portion of our population are unbanked and do not shop online, Bitcoin may just be the key to capturing this demographic and luring them to digital. The reduction in cyber fraud will save banks billions in the long run, and Bitcoin may even play a role in automating the JSE. Get used to the idea of new job titles revolving around the technology, such as Blockchain Developer or Bitcoin Trade Specialist, because very soon our business landscape is going to need roles like these.
The future of Bitcoin, however you look at it, is inviting and filled with prospects for most sectors, and will definitely have a positive effect on our economy. Are you ready for an innovation overhaul like this?
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