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4 Ways Entrepreneurs Are Taking Cryptocurrency Mainstream Are you ready for this growing trend?

By Jonathan Long

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

istock_onespirit | Getty Images

The most interesting aspect of the cryptocurrency industry is the many mainstream applications the technology can be used for. Launching a cryptocurrency startup requires a product-design perspective to identify what processes in society can be optimized with blockchain. Entrepreneurs are currently rushing into this surging field with blockchain products and have triggered a flood of ICO funding.

The CEO of Credit Suisse went on record November 2, 2017, stating that people are investing in Bitcoin purely to make money, and while a large percentage of the public has seen the quick rise in value for Bitcoin and blockchain, most do not understand its underlying potential. As entrepreneurs continue to launch mainstream applications of the technology, public perception of blockchain will inevitably change, fostering wider adoption.

Since this is an emerging market with low barriers of entry, entrepreneurs need to take a careful look at the current wave of cryptocurrency startups and try to understand what makes the best ones successful. Here are some of the more innovative mainstream products entrepreneurs are developing with blockchain technology.

Related: 5 Essential Podcasts for Entrepreneurs Serious About Cryptocurrency

1. Investments

Most people do not build wealth solely from their salary. In order to achieve true financial freedom, they need to understand that investing is critical for their success -- and have access to quality investment options. Blockchain's decentralized system allows developers to create financial tools that diversify power and eliminate overhead, making it easier to empower success in finance.

REALISTO utilizes smart contracts to give investors more control while investing in real estate. Because of the highly diverse international markets, laws and networks, it can be difficult to imagine investing in real estate outside of your local market. This platform helps people across the globe invest in real estate without worrying about being defrauded. The platform also allows investors of any size to manage investments in real estate, which strips away the typical barrier-of-entry capital requirements.

2. Payment processing

Some of the biggest limitations for cryptocurrencies are the lack of available options for consumers to actually utilize the currency. Overstock.com became one of the first major retailers to begin accepting Ethereum for payment, and has been a major positive force for the crypto industry. Once more retailers start accepting the currency and easy payment processing is developed, consumers will see more value in possessing the currencies.

Dether has been making a push to develop a network of Ethereum ATMs that will allow people to buy and sell Ethereum with near-instant access to funds. This ability to quickly move value between Ethereum and a national currency allows more retailers to accept the coin for payments. With greater accessibility to cryptocurrencies, the mainstream market will be able to truly use their money and not simply try to make money off of the technology.

Related: Why You Can't Afford to Ignore Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Anymore

3. Wealth management

Wall Street has earned a negative reputation because of the influence investment banks and hedge funds have on financial markets and how exclusive these wealth-management entities are. One way to combat this trend of economic disparity is to develop rival exchanges, banks and hedge funds utilizing blockchain technology. A number of entrepreneurs have been pushing this aspect of potential products, displaying enormous potential.

Turing Capital, founded by entrepreneur Michael Karnjanaprakorn, has raised over $1 million to invest in various cryptocurrency assets. Since many individuals are not able to conduct financial analysis themselves, it can be advantageous to invest with an expert initially. Funds such as Turing Capital will likely encourage more risk-averse investors to enter the cryptocurrency industry.

4. Security applications

After the collapse of Mt. Gox in 2014 due to a hacking incident, security concerns have overshadowed the potential of cryptocurrency. While these applications require a strong understanding of security, software and the potential weak points in crypto networks, it boils down to this: If you are able to improve the security of blockchain networks, then you are able to create massive amounts of value for consumers.

No matter what products are unleashed for optimizing digital security, there will always be a need for better and more secure versions of the products. Since cryptocurrency lacks the backing of government insurance programs and holds massive amounts of wealth in digital form, people place enormous importance on security.

Related: 6 Cryptocurrencies You Should Know About (and None of Them Are Bitcoin)

Final thoughts

Entrepreneurs of all ages need to begin looking at blockchain as a technological building block, as disruptive in its field as Uber or virtual reality. These technologies all have unique elements that make them advantageous, but mainstream market adoption relies on successfully making consumer-friendly products. Take a look at where society can be improved with decentralized, secure networks and figure out ways to offer value for consumers via blockchain.
Jonathan Long

Founder, Uber Brands

Jonathan Long is the founder of Uber Brands, a brand-development agency focusing on ecommerce.

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