In recent years, there’s been a lot of talk about the growing prevalence of blockchain, the digital cryptocurrency that lives online as a collection of shared, transparent records, has no central authority (like a bank) or transaction fees and makes everyone who participates in a chain accountable for their actions.
Even as society has moved from exchanging cash and checks for goods and services to e-commerce transactions, which in itself seemed radical not that many years ago, the blockchain model, which first appeared in 2008, has completely reinvented how transactions take place.
Now, many of the biggest players in the corporate world—Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft, among them— are exploring how they can incorporate and leverage blockchain technology. Blockchain, used as an alternative to credit cards, can make online transactions easier for both companies and their customers. It’s a fast, easy way to pay for goods and services online that streamlines the process at both ends of the transaction.
The outlook looks bright. Bitcoin, the dominant player in the blockchain world, has seen its stock price rise 200% this year alone. And now, there’s lots of talk about companies introducing their own branded digital currency.
CurrencyWorks, based in Los Angeles, is an experienced partner that has developed branded digital currency ecosystems for brands like RYDE Holding’s KODAKOne and for other large online marketplaces. The company enters into joint ventures with established brands that have large online communities to launch and develop branded corporate digital currencies.
Cameron Chell, CurrencyWorks co-founder and chairman, said Bitcoin’s price surge is evidence of the mainstreaming of the cryptocurrency, and that CurrencyWorks is taking a leadership role in the branded currency market.
“CurrencyWorks is positioned for the long term in helping brands to redefine the transaction value chain for customer attraction, engagement and retention through the creation & implementation of their own digital currency,” said Cameron Chell. “Our value is not based on the price of Bitcoin, but on how we reduce transaction costs for our customers and increase customer adoption and engagement.”
As the adoption of digital cryptocurrency continues to expand, global brands are creating models for other companies to follow, as they, too, build and implement their own branded currencies.
Case in point, JPMorgan Chase’s new digital coin is changing how the banking industry approaches blockchain and cryptocurrency. “JPM Coin” is facilitating the instantaneous transfer of payments between institutional accounts and can only be used by some of the bank’s corporate customers. The adaptation of bitcoin could force other banks to follow in JP Morgan’s footsteps.
“More banks will take it seriously,” says Param Vir Singh, professor of business technologies at Carnegie Mellon University.
Since blockchain typically allows banks to clear payments faster and more securely, implementing the technology can reduce the need for third parties to get involved with transactions.
John Velissarios, expert in blockchain technology agrees: “There are only so many ways you can optimize payments. The tokenization of cash is certainly one of them.”
One advantage to implementing branded digital coins is that while they work similarly to existing currencies like Bitcoin, it’s said that most, if not all, of the newly minted branded coins will not be affected by investment volatility.
The reason for this is simple. Branded coins aren’t publicly traded. Rather, they’re privately owned by the companies that use them for transactions, and exist to make transactions between them and their customers more efficient.
Branded digital currencies are a significant development, not only in blockchain but across e-commerce retail. As more brands continue to embrace blockchain in the future, branded digital currencies will only further secure transactions and the way we do business online.