6 Ways Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Are Changing Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneur's New Year’s Guide
It's become impossible to ignore cryptocurrency and blockchain -- it's everywhere, and there is no sign of slowing down. As a result, blockchain-based exchanges of information and tokens are releasing a wave of new possibilities for entrepreneurs.
The rush to create innovative business solutions that are faster, more secure and more transparent is on. Blockchain is already contributing to real-world improvements in the world of entrepreneurship; here are six examples.
1. Increasing access to entrepreneurship education.
People of all ages and from all walks of life are becoming increasingly interested in entrepreneurship, and many simply don't have the time or resources to seek further education from formal institutions. Someone with a 9-to-5 job trying to launch his or her own business likely doesn't have time to enroll in an MBA program.
While formal education isn't a requirement, many new entrepreneurs seek flexible, reliable and affordable educational options to help them develop the skills needed to launch their businesses. SuccessLife is using blockchain tokens to offer video content, digital courses and personal coaching to aspiring entrepreneurs, covering topics such as management and investment techniques.
The token's immutable ledger and automatic smart contracts render the transactions that provide these educational opportunities reliable and cost-effective. Entrepreneurs only need an internet connection to access the educational content.
2. Unlocking crowdfunding opportunities.
One of blockchain's most newsworthy contributions to entrepreneurship is its effect on crowdfunding campaigns. In fact, blockchain startups raised $5.6 billion in funds in 2017, mostly driven by community campaigns. This blockchain-based fundraising model has proven so successful that it's attracting plenty of mainstream investment.
Despite the success of blockchain-centric crowdfunding campaigns, the traditional crowdfunding market is still extremely inefficient. Only 1.9 percent of campaign funds go to developing countries and 78 percent of campaigns fail to reach their targets. The lack of accessibility has led some innovative companies to combine blockchain with traditional crowdfunding to give power back to entrepreneurs around the globe.
Acorn Collective is one company providing a second-generation open marketplace for new ventures seeking crowdfunding. Any legal new project whose founder passes primary screening can make a pitch on the Acorn platform.
Blockchain makes the process transparent, safe and accessible from any region. On the platform, a crowdfunding engine helps entrepreneurs drum up marketing support, maximizing the chance of a successful project.
3. Providing user-friendly financial tools.
More new ventures are using cryptocurrencies in addition to fiat currencies in order to manage their financing, whether that takes the shape of a token sale or an entrepreneur raising funds through adroit trading on crypto exchanges. Managing multiple fiat and crypto accounts, however, has always been a complicated task.
Zerta is a next-generation trading platform built by a leading team of exchange technologists and entrepreneurs. The platform connects an exchange, a crypto and fiat wallet, and a bank in a single ecosystem. "We are taking the crypto-trading market up to the level of traditional markets and stock exchanges," says Paruyr Shahbazyan, co-founder of Zerta.
As crypto adoption becomes more prevalent, it is important to focus on education and ease of use, especially within financial services. For Zerta, this means personalization and customizable interfaces to help users of all experience levels trade, send and receive payments and engage with a community of like-minded people. User-friendliness is the focus.
4. Cultivating new investment opportunities.
Entrepreneurs across every industry are constantly looking for new ways to diversify their investments, and the introduction of coin-based transactions is opening up new possibilities. For example, Muirfield has decades of experience facilitating private equity investment opportunities.
Now, as blockchain becomes increasingly common across industries, Muirfield IP is rumored to be launching its own Tokenized Asset Offering in 2018. Not only do token-based opportunities open up the doors for new entrepreneurs to purchase assets, facilitating a TAO also ensures that the laws and regulations regarding security tokens are strictly followed.
5. Developing customer-loyalty platforms.
Customer loyalty is essential for all businesses. To nurture business-customer relationships, many entrepreneurs try to create customer-loyalty problems. Such programs, however, can require more technological headaches and bookkeeping hurdles, creating one more data field for entrepreneurs to track and manage.
Blockchain is an ideal tool for helping entrepreneurs develop low-stress customer-loyalty programs, rewarding repeat customers with special incentives and fostering close relationships.
Blockchain's automatable transaction ledger can keep track of customer interactions and adjust customers' loyalty status appropriately. Blockpoint, for example, allows users to quickly set up blockchain-based loyalty programs to integrate with their existing businesses.
6. Creating reliable agreements.
Entrepreneurs thrive in a network of mutually supportive relationships that allow them to launch their ventures. Many of these relationships, such as between investors and founders, take the form of official or unofficial contractual agreements. When these agreements fall through, entrepreneurs struggle. A product launch, for example, could be ruined if a deal with a manufacturer collapses.
Blockchain signatures and smart contracts provide effective, affordable options for entrepreneurs seeking reliable legal contracts. Companies such as DocTailor offer tools for users to build and customize legal agreements and smart contracts on the blockchain. Tennessee recently made smart contracts legally binding in the state, and other locales seeking to nurture tech innovation are likely to soon follow their lead.