When the concept of Bitcoin was introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto in the year 2008, followed by the working prototype by 2009 people couldn’t believe what they were hearing. A currency which is not backed by any bank or government was something no one was prepared for. Most of them classified Bitcoin as a big scam.
Six years down the line, Bitcoin has managed to survive the public scrutiny and gradually gained acceptance among individuals, entrepreneurs and tech community. This led to the creation of a number of Bitcoin related start-ups. People have come to realize the various advantages of Bitcoin and they have increasingly started adopting it for overseas remittances as a faster and more economical option in comparison with conventional services.
Until now, only a small group of enthusiastic entrepreneurs and investors from the Bitcoin community were involved in Bitcoin based companies. These small companies have been successful in gaining enough traction and customers to give the big financial institutions a run for their money. The number of people using Bitcoin based money remittance services instead of Western Union or MoneyGram is also on a rise.
In recent days, many heavyweights from the finance and fintech sector have started to show interest in the Bitcoin industry and some of them have heavily invested in the sector as well. Some of these institutional investors are more interested in Bitcoin’s underlying Blockchain technology than Bitcoin as currency. Apart from maintaining a ledger of all Bitcoin transactions over the network, it also has other widespread applications ranging from smart contracts to Internet of Things related applications.
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NYSE has invested $75 million in Coinbase, one of the leading Bitcoin exchanges in the world. It also launched Bitcoin Price Index recently. USAA, a financial services company dedicated for those who are serving or have served in the United States military and their families has also invested in a research to study the feasibility of adopting Blockchain technology for its operations. Commonwealth Bank of Australia has partnered with Ripple Network to use their money transfer facilities. Qualcomm, the leaders in mobile processors and wireless technology is one of the investors in 21 Inc. Samsung and IBM are working together to create Internet of Things applications over Blockchain with Ethereum. Even the Federal Reserve along with IBM is exploring the possibility of creating a digital version of the US Dollar along the lines of Bitcoin.
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The Bitcoin technology based ventures have attracted a lot of funding till date. It is expected to hit $ 1 billion this year. It will be a drastic threefold increase from previous year’s $314 million and $ 95 million, the year before. Now that the giants have woken up to the potential of Bitcoin and Blockchain, we can expect a rapid growth in adoption soon in the future.