Blockchain technology is potent of disrupting almost every industry, and it can't be dismissed anyway although there are several hurdles to cross before we can actually witness its complete transformative impact. With paramount security and restricted change, leaders of major financial institutions see an upside in the blockchain technology, which in turn, has made them more curious about investing millions in resources. They are never alone when it comes to the implementation of blockchain technology. To know more about Blockchain and ICO, I have Interviewed Nawid Habib who is the founder of ICO HeadStart.
Q. As a blockchain expert could you share insights of how blockchain is changing the world today?
Nawid: With blockchain, you have been given the opportunity to carry out financial transactions yourself, with more reliability than a bank can ever provide you. It's the primary reason why tens of millions of people across the globe are already attracted to the blockchain. The community dedicated towards blockchain will continue to cause an economic revolution. True potential value of companies and projects will be available for everybody.
Blockchain technology is used mainly in the financial and tech world, but this is just a glitch of the true potential. The blockchain is going to disrupt many industries in the coming years. In the near future, industries like healthcare, judicial or transportation will experience a lot of changes. Blockchain makes processes efficient, cheaper, more transparent and trustworthy. The potential value of the entire economy will be at the fingertips of the crowd.
Q. ICO is often associated with blockchain technology. How can it be implemented?
Nawid: Each blockchain platform is powered by tokens or sometimes referred to as coins. While these tokens stand as the distinctiveness of their particular blockchains, giving access to the solutions or services provided by their resident platforms, they also work as multiple opportunities and digital assets for investment depending on the value the community members give to them. Companies who launch an ICO build their own coin/token. A significant amount of ICOs tokenizes their business based on the Ethereum network with the ERC-20 Token Standard to get initial funds for their projects.
Q. More and more start-ups are joining the ICO world. It looks like there is this major shift happening in the start-up world. There are already tons of cryptocurrencies launched. Do you think that the ICO world will get as crowded as the App Store? What is your opinion about it?
Nawid: As the world goes crazy through ICOs, it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell trapdoor from the ladder. In the year 2016 was the emergence of ICOs, and in 2017 there was a big momentum with a total of registered funds raised of $5 billion. ICO HeadStart is going to contribute this year to list ICOs which will be carefully selected by an experienced compliance department while adhering to give the community access to the best possible ICOs and the highest security standards in the ecosystem. ICOs could become as crowded as the App Store as long as all the ICOs are legit and thoroughly screened by a team of experts. At the moment, this is not the case. ICOs are very wide-spread and complicated, and a big number of the projects are not fit to do an ICO, some of them are even scams.
Q. How do you see blockchain technology evolving in the next five years from now?
Nawid: Blockchain technology provides infinite advantages such as decentralization, smart contracts, transparency, and trustworthiness. All industries will eventually be disrupted by blockchain. The banking and payment sector are already noticing disruption. With blockchain technology, you can transfer funds instantly with little to no fees at all. Banks have started to implement this technology to make their operations faster, more efficient and more secure. In the judicial sector, for example, there will be changes in how people can vote. Momentarily, it happens in many countries that election results are being rigged. Blockchain technology can and will counterfeit these issues making the voting process fair and genuinely democratic. This counts for government systems as well.
These are mostly slow and quite susceptible to corruption. Through the implementation of blockchain technology, bureaucracy can be reduced, and at the same time, security, efficiency, and transparency can be increased. Another major industry that is ripe for disruption is the healthcare industry. Healthcare institutions are dealing with a lot of hacking and experience difficulties to store data.
Blockchain technology can ensure hospitals, for example, to store data safely and share it with authorized professionals or patients. To top it off, the technology can also be used to improve diagnosis. Blockchain technology is one of the biggest innovations of the 21st century which will have a major positive impact on society and industries as a whole.
Q. What is the benefit of having many different cryptocurrencies? Can these cryptocurrencies somehow overcome the existing world currencies and most importantly can Millennials fully adapt to cryptocurrency usage?
Nawid: Cryptocurrencies have many benefits for the users. For instance, they are entirely owned by the account holder, so no one can freeze or block your crypto wallet. Also, transparency is another advantage. The entire system works in such a way that you are unable to cheat or show fraudulent behavior without letting other users know about it. Furthermore, cryptocurrencies have the potential to become the new money without inflation, borders or limits. All of these aspects together will result in overcoming the existing world currencies.
We absolutely believe that Millennials can fully adapt to cryptocurrency usage. The expectations are that by the end of this year one of three Millennials will invest in any cryptocurrency. The fact of the matter is that about 71% of Millennials have stopped believing in the establishment and sovereign central institutions which are in power now. The trust in the current system is falling apart. Pensions as we’re familiar with now, will most likely not be around by the time Millennials reach the retirement age. Due to the combination of distrust towards financial institutions and lack of appeal, the growth of cryptocurrencies becomes inevitable. If you add the hype and media attention cryptocurrencies are getting now, you have the perfect formula for a shift from traditional currencies to cryptocurrencies.
Q. Some say that blockchain is the freedom of financial transactions, but how secure it is? Should we feel safe about it or is there something that might damage us?
Nawid: Blockchain technology in itself is reliable and trustworthy. It brings the power back to the common man. The decentralized nature along with anonymity and freedom, coupled with little to no fees is what attracts most loyalists. However, it is not the technology you should be cautious of, but the intent of the people behind it. Technology has great advantages, but can at the same time be misused or misrepresented by people with wrong intentions.
Nevertheless, the technology is absolutely something that we should embrace and continue to develop. Fraud happens in every industry, but with blockchain, you can be assured that the chance will decrease exponentially. In any case, blockchain technology is here to stay, and by taking a closer look at the broad adoption and acceptance worldwide, one can only assume that it will change almost every industry in one way or the other.
Q. ICOs are becoming a huge thing right now. What is your opinion on cryptocurrencies future? Are we seriously looking to replace our known currencies into cryptocurrencies?
Nawid: We firmly believe that it will make out a huge part of our lives. Many people around the world are seriously investing in cryptocurrencies and strongly believe that it is the future of payments. Even governments are looking into the options of having a national cryptocurrency. The digital world is still evolving at a rapid pace. Mass adoption of cryptocurrencies is already taking place as we speak. More and more established companies are accepting cryptocurrencies as a payment method. Some examples of the major companies are Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Kmart, PayPal, Subway, Tesla, Wikipedia and many more.
Q. Where do you see Bitcoin price going in 2018?
Nawid: The price value of Bitcoin has increased tremendously over the past year. One of the biggest reasons is that there is a real utility as people are actively using Bitcoin to store value and use it to pay for goods. The supply of Bitcoin is finite. This also makes Bitcoin far more attractive and effective store of value. To top it off, there is a lot of Bitcoin adoption happening. More and more countries are developing regulations on Bitcoin, meaning that it will become accepted in the legal structure. Services are also continuing to add Bitcoin as a payment method. Eventually, it’ll become a mainstream method to pay for products/services online and in traditional offline stores.
At ICO HeadStart we see also that ICOs are contributing to a value increase of Bitcoin because successfully funded ICOs need to liquidate their funds. Mostly they exchange Ether for Bitcoin. This exchange contributes to the value increase of Bitcoin. Also, backers/investors contribute to a value increase since they mainly purchase Bitcoins first to exchange it afterward for an altcoin. We believe that the price of Bitcoin in 2018 will be between 25-30 thousand dollars.