Three companies and their significance to the future of cryptocurrency
Thursday 24 April 2014
It’s an exciting time to be a cryptocurrency enthusiast. Every day, there are a growing number of companies choosing to operate in this space and what’s more, these are some of the best business and engineering teams in the world. They can succeed in almost any other industry, but they recognize the special opportunity that bitcoin and alt coins represent.
Given their relative talents, the business models that they adopt portend to what is to come in the world of cryptocurrency. In other words, we have a lot to learn from these pioneers.
Blake Cantrel takes a look at three of them:
Would you work for Bitcoin? Coinality is betting you will. The online job board allows companies to post listings for employment opportunities. They can then label each one with different tags, including everything from “bounty” and “internship” to “freelance” and “full-time.”
The platform is still very much in its early stages – there are only a handful of new listings each week – but its very existence points to future of cryptocurrency. For bitcoin or any of the altcoins to truly succeed, we need more than just consumers, merchants, speculators, and miners. Above all, we need workers – people who are willing to be compensated in cryptocurrency.
This is a matter of both practicality and pride. If a person is getting a significant portion of their income paid out in a particular coin, they will more likely spend it at any one of the many vendors that accept it. In doing so, they are encouraging the growth of the cryptocurrency economy.
On another level – which I will collectively call pride – there is no better testimony for a cryptocurrency than to have people willing to trade in their time, talents, and energy for it. For the non-believer, this may be the greatest proof that Bitcoin and alt coins are here to stay.
This company makes mining products, and they are a marvel of research and development, engineering, and design. They have three forthcoming products, all of which mine at a blazing speed for their relative cost: Pandora (Bitcoin at 3 TH/s), Medusa (Bitcoin at 1.2 TH/s), and Apollo (Litecoin at 180 MH/s).
But what truly separates LSM Labs from other similar companies is that they strive to innovate beyond the technological specs of a mining product. They want to make the process of buying a miner a whole lot safer, easier, and more convenient. This is especially welcome given that the process of obtaining a miner is commonly seen as a major pain point.
What is this pain point exactly? In a word: delays. Mining manufacturers are notorious for delaying delivery on their products. LSM Labs understands that delays may occur and that time is money, so they offer a delivery guarantee on their Pandora and Medusa products.
If a customer orders either product by May 7th and the company does not deliver by May 21st, the company gives you a 20% discount. This helps offset, mitigate, or even make up any loss that would come with the opportunity cost of not mining sooner. Customers can even elect to have a full refund. This kind of service points to a future when all companies in the Bitcoin space – not just mining manufacturers – are as customer oriented as they are technically oriented.
Many people predict that bitcoin and alt coins will change the way that everyone uses money. Yet – as of the moment – cryptocurrency remains a fixture of a very small demographic. Most people who use these coins are educated, tech-savvy enthusiasts from the developed world.
What is exciting, then, about Mobile Shop is that it hints at the future everyone says is coming. Mobile Shop allows a person to use bitcoin or litecoin to load their mobile phone with credit. Why is this a big deal? The people most likely to use pre-paid cell phones are those in the developing world, where post-paid plans are often prohibitively expensive or not even available at all.
Mobile Shop thus uses the bitcoin and litecoin protocol to provide value to the less fortunate segments of society. On the most overt level, the company allows people a more convenient way of crediting their phones. On a deeper level, this platform also provides value in that it shows users how cryptocurrencies can help them.
Mobile Shop is among the first in a wave of companies that cater to those in the developing world or poorer groups. In doing so, they show that cryptocurrencies can do more than just enrich a few – they can uplift us all.
Preview Image by fdecomite, Flickr
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