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From the Ablrate Blog

Ablrate and Blockchain… what we have learned 15/03/2018

Ablrate and Blockchain what we have learned

I wrote an article for the P2PFinance news that discussed blockchain solutions and how online lending could benefit. Since then there have been a number of companies that have sprung up in the online lending space, mostly lending money against cryptocurrencies.

Technically that is not a big deal, even with the volatility of crypto it would run on a simple margin call system and it may be something we look at in the future.

However, we are always interested in updating the technology on our platform for the benefit of our community. We are interested in the international solution to our business and we are in the process of scoping out how that would work utilizing blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

I wrote in the article about how Ablrate was looking to embrace blockchain and how all of the industry should as it is the future. My views on that have not changed, in fact over several conferences and numerous discussions in the last few months my views have hardened, blockchain will change the world as we know it.

I did say that I was ‘suspicious’ of cryptocurrencies and that view has been modified. I am now highly suspicious of a number of businesses behind spurious ideas that are not really applying the tech but finding a way to raise money from the unsuspecting.

The good news, however, is that regulation is coming, in fact it’s here. In a recent trip to a conference in Gibraltar I was highly impressed with the Gibraltar regulator and their approach to regulating the sector. They have brought in rules and procedures that any self-respecting legitimate business would be happy to comply with.

What my knowledge quest in the space has taught me is that the underlying blockchain technology and an idea cannot be un-invented. Whatever you think of crypto and blockchain, it is here to stay.

There are an almost endless amount of use sets of this technology to make existing systems more efficient (the land registry for example – a fast updating incorruptible smart ledger will be on its way), but what interests me is things that could not be done before will be able to be done.

This will be driven by cost reductions and efficiencies brought in by this new tech. For example, sending £1000 from my bank to an Aussie business would cost me about 0.5% – 1% in exchange rate fees and £20 – £30 in fees. That would be the same if it was £100.

Businesses such as Transferwise have made this cheaper, but still prohibitively expensive in low amounts with high volume. Blockchain tech is being used to make such transfers and movements very, very cheap. That will open up new businesses and new ways of doing things that will decimate ‘old’ style companies.

Sending cash by Western Union? It used to be at least £20 for whatever you sent, now its £2.90 (according to their website and plus the currency spread), soon (if not already in some parts) it will be a fraction of that because blockchain will make it so.

Identity management will change. Imagine not having to send passport copies and utility bills for opening accounts or for financial transactions. For those who choose to do so (or are required to do so) will be able to send money with their identity embedded in it, so whoever receives that money will know that the person who sent it is legitimate and they will be able to prove that to the regulators.

It is a tremendously exciting time. I am old enough to have sat in meetings when the dot com boom was happening and there were some CRAZY ideas then:

  • Boo.com went through $195 million of VC money in 18 months and went bankrupt a year later.
  • TheGlobe.com went public on Nov. 13, 1998, and posted the largest first-day gain of any IPO in history, a 606% increase in price. Its market cap was $840 million. The stock collapsed next year
  • Pets.com… nuff said

BUT.. we got Google, eBay and Amazon, companies who I love. The Internet has since spawned others we could not do without and new technologies we cannot imagine living without.

My view is that we are on the cusp of something very similar. It is no overstatement to say that blockchain technology is about to change the world. Whether we notice it as something different like we did with the Internet, or whether we just see it as natural progress and don’t worry too much about the underlying tech, mark my words BIG change is coming and there are thousands of businesses working on this change.

Ablrate is working on a number of projects that will enhance usage for lenders and will bring new and exciting functionality to help you with your lending.

All I can say is ‘watch this space’.

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