Tech Entrepreneurs Should Pay Attention to the Blockchain 

Individuals who remain skeptical of Bitcoin will often note that the cryptocurrency has fallen short of its original goal: to become a widely used and accepted method of settling electronic payments. While it is true that merchants have not wholly embraced Bitcoin, it should be noted that the cryptocurrency has seen significant circulation in Venezuela and Zimbabwe, two nations where the sovereign fiat has failed. 

The decentralized nature of Bitcoin is a characteristic that central banks are not excited about; however, this has not stopped government officials in Russia and Singapore from implementing high-level blockchain solutions. The central banks of these two nations now manage electronic versions of their respective national currencies, the Russian ruble, and the Singaporean dollar. 

Major financial services providers such as MasterCard and Fidelity Investments have shown interest in the blockchain, and retail banking giant JPMorgan Chase has worked with financial technology startups that develop blockchain applications. 

Choosing the Right Blockchain Specialization 

The blockchain and distributed ledger technology hold a lot of promise in the financial technology field; however, prospective entrepreneurs should carefully consider their entry point. At this time, developing a new cryptocurrency wallet would not be a profitable idea due to market saturation. With regard to cryptocurrency exchanges, it would be very difficult to compete against the likes of Coinbase. 

What prospective blockchain entrepreneurs should be looking at are fields such as real estate and healthcare. Blockchain solutions have already been proposed to serve as land registry systems for nations such as Haiti, where land ownership is a mess due to decades of neglect and civil strife. In the case of healthcare, blockchain systems could be developed to support health information exchanges where digital medical records can be securely stored, transferred and managed. 

Looking Beyond Cryptocurrencies 

When the original Bitcoin blockchain was developed and the genesis block was mined, the founding team knew that distributed ledger systems would one day be used to develop applications other than digital currencies. That day is already here; companies like Apache Kafka provide a way to organize your company’s data and help everything run more smoothly. 

Viable ideas are needed to implement blockchain technology in the enterprise world. Entrepreneurs who have already dabbled in Big Data should take a look at blockchain startup opportunities because these two fields have quite a few aspects in common. The key is to understand why companies such as Spotify, the most popular music streaming service, are acquiring blockchain startups at amounts that they are not willing to publicly disclose. 

In the end, entrepreneurs who can "time the market" in terms of sentiment should pay attention to the trends shaping blockchain development, and they should not view digital currencies with tunnel vision; this does not mean that they should completely ignore Bitcoin and Ethereum, but they should not forget that the blockchain, just like personal computing, has quite a few potential applications that could be quite lucrative.