Bitcoin Magazine’s Top six Business Stories of 2016
Bitcoin, digital currency and blockchain technology experienced another explosive year in 2016. While bitcoin breached the all-time high in USD market cap, several fresh digital currencies claimed a place in the spotlights as well, while the blockchain hum arguably peaked it all.
Of course, Bitcoin Magazine kept up with all of it. Looking back on 2016, we compiled three top six lists, with our best-read topics in technology, business and news.
These were 2016’s six top developments in business, by popularity.
6: Circle Resumes Its Stir Away From Bitcoin
In a budge that should not have come as a surprise, payments application Circle continued their pivot away from Bitcoin and toward more general, blockchain-based solutions in 2016. Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire even went so far as to claim that it’s very unlikely anyone will be using Bitcoin in five or ten years.
Shortly thereafter, Circle announced that they would no longer permit users to buy and sell bitcoin on their platform. The company still uses Bitcoin in the background for settlement purposes, albeit they’ve now also integrated other blockchain solutions. Circle users can also still use the platform as an effective bitcoin bank where the payments company stores bitcoins for them.
Allaire has noted his frustration with what he perceives as the slow speed of development in Bitcoin on numerous occasions. Circle’s stir away from Bitcoin is a story that could proceed to develop further in 2017.
For now, it secured a top six spot in our list for 2016.
Five: Santander Uses Blockchain Technology for International Payments
While the debate inbetween Bitcoin and blockchain technology has raged for a duo of years now, two thousand sixteen spotted the rollout of an actual consumer application from a big bank based on blockchain technology. In June, Santander U.K. announced the introduction of a pilot application that permits users to make international payments by way of blockchain technology.
In their announcement of the application, Santander’s Sigga Sigurdardottir claimed that blockchain technology will play a transformational role in the way the bank achieves their goals in the coming years.
The technology used by Santander in their payments application was developed by Ripple, a company in which the fintech venture capital wing of Santander Group has invested.
Four: Alphabay Integrates Monero
Some may not think of AlphaBay when attempting to come up with some of the most significant businesses in the blockchain industry, but the darknet’s largest market was able to put its own stamp on the digital currency space in 2016. Privacy-conscious altcoins are often a topic of conversation when it comes to the darknet markets, and AlphaBay brought this topic to the forefront again with their integration of Monero.
AlphaBay was the 2nd darknet market to implement Monero in 2016, albeit the other market, Oasis, emerges to have run off with their users’ money. In latest comments to Bitcoin Magazine, an AlphaBay support representative claimed Monero presently accounts for two percent of the market’s business. The support representative also claimed that Zcash (another privacy-focused altcoin) integration could make sense in the future.
Albeit some blockchain enthusiasts are not fans of the darknet markets, the reality is that they still play a large enough role in the development of this technology to merit the number-four most widely read business story on Bitcoin Magazine this year, for a top four spot on our list.
Trio: Deutsche Bank Understands Blockchain Technology’s Disruptive Potential
The year two thousand sixteen is when banks became more serious than ever about blockchain technology, and a statement from Deutsche Bank illustrated this sentiment early in the year. In a statement from February, the bank was quoted as telling, “Banks must playmate with fintech and digital currency businesses or risk disappearing altogether.”
Deutsche Bank is one of the members of the R3 consortium that has been researching blockchain technology on behalf of the member banks. Two thousand sixteen also eyed the release of Corda, which is a distributed ledger created by the R3 consortium.
Albeit Deutsche Bank mentioned digital currencies in their statement, the bank’s concentrate with financial technology has been on creating more convenient banking and payment solutions for their customers.
Deutsche Bank has been working on partnerships with various fintech startups over the course of two thousand sixteen in an effort to keep up with disruptive financial technologies.
Two: Gem Launches Health Network With Philips Blockchain Lab
In April, Gem announced the launch of Gem Health, which is a network for developing healthcare applications powered by the Ethereum blockchain. Philips was the very first major healthcare operator to join the Gem Health network.
According to the Gem website, the Gem Health network permits for the creation of global healthcare data standards that do not compromise on privacy and security. Identity schemes and brainy contract applications are executed against a collective data infrastructure on the platform. Earlier this year, Gem CEO Micah Winkelspecht told Bitcoin Magazine, “A lot of companies were suffering from these same agony points — working with siloed data that we could bridge together.”
Gem also announced a $7.1 million Series A funding round in the early days of 2016.
With that, the startup places 2nd in our most popular business developments of the year.
1: PwC Report Describes Blockchain’s Disruptive Influence on Fintech
The top business story on Bitcoin Magazine in two thousand sixteen was a PwC report that found blockchain technology may disrupt traditional fintech startups. The report was based on a survey of five hundred forty four executives and top management personnel at various financial services companies around the world.
Albeit the report also discussed the fintech industry more generally, blockchain technology was specifically mentioned on numerous occasions. The report found that “blockchain technology may result in a radically different competitive future in the [financial services] industry.” The potential value of brainy contracts was also discussed in the report.
The report identified seven hundred blockchain companies, one hundred fifty of which they deemed worthy of being tracked. Only eighty three percent of the respondents in the survey considered themselves at least moderately familiar with blockchain technology, which led PwC to conclude that a lack of understanding of this technology may lead to market participants underestimating the influence of the blockchain on their activities.