A little less than a decade ago, the term ‘blockchain’ meant nothing to people all over the world. However, with interest in crypto-enabled technologies soaring in recent years, blockchain has become a key driver across a whole host of niche domains such as AI, machine learning, supply chain management, etc. This is because investors have started to recognize the monetary potential of this future-enabled tech.
Some core facets of blockchain worth highlighting:
- Big-name players such as IBM, Microsoft, Airbnb, Netflix have shown an increasing amount of interest regarding this technology as well as towards cryptocurrencies in general.
- As per several studies released recently, the blockchain industry will most become a multibillion-dollar sector within the next couple of years.
What is Blockchain? Why is it becoming so popular?
To put it simply, one should not think of Blockchain as a singular piece of technology, but rather as a broad term that encompasses several different technologies. For example, blockchain can be used across a host of industries such as healthcare, logistics, video games, advertising, etc.
If that wasn’t enough, some of the world’s most prominent developers to are making use of blockchain to create open-source projects. Then there are those people who are using the technology within corporate frameworks. The point here is that, as the use of blockchain continues to grow, players from different spaces will continue to utilize this novel tool to gain a competitive market edge.
The Best Blockchain Stock Options for this Year
Payment processor Square might be best known for its fiat offerings, however, in recent years the firm has become a leader within the blockchain/crypto market. Not only that, but Square has also become a leader within other niche domains such as business lending and peer-to-peer payments — thereby making it one of Venmo’s biggest competitors today.
Concerning why crypto enthusiasts should consider buying Square's stock options, the company has created a special app only for digital currencies called Square Crypto. This platform aims to help people facilitate their crypto-fiat, crypto-crypto transactions seamlessly.
Last but not least, it is worth mentioning that Square processes approximately $100 billion worth of gross payments every year — a figure which many analysts believe will keep growing as the use of crypto continues to increase.
Nvidia has had a special relationship with cryptocurrency miners as it is one of the biggest GPU (graphic processing unit) makers in the world and has been a company that has done extremely well in providing the necessary gear for the growth of bitcoin and crypto assets worldwide.
There are many reasons to be bullish about the future of NVDA stock as the need for chips regarding artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), and blockchain (DLT) will not be going away anytime soon. Be on the look out for an innovative company like Nvidia and their ability to adapt, adjust and accelerate the emerging blockchain industry in more than one way in 2020 and beyond.
Grayscale Investment Trust (GBTC)
One of the biggest names in the crypto market today, the Grayscale Investment Trust came into existence back in 2013 and is one of the few publicly-traded companies that store bitcoin as its primary asset. Additionally, it bears mentioning that over the years the firm’s overall reputation has grown steadily — with the company even holding an SEC-compliance certificate.
Lastly, from a monetary standpoint, the Grayscale Investment Trust has in its coffers, a total of $2.16 billion in assets under management (figures accurate as of September 2017). Also, to make use of the company’s services, individuals need to invest a minimum of $50,000 with the firm.
For more than three decades now, the name Microsoft has been at the forefront of cutting edge computer innovation. In this regard, the tech giant is also currently focusing a lot of its efforts on matters related to blockchain dev. For starters, Microsoft’s Azure cloud uses blockchain technology, while the firm’s BaaS platform is also being used by established players like Nasdaq, AT&T, etc.
To be a bit more technical, it is worth pointing out that the company’s Azure platform has been devised atop the Ethereum blockchain — which means that as ETH continues to grow, Azure’s overall usability will also increase.
Since the end of 2017, the folks over at Mastercard have been working to create novel blockchain-based monetary pathways that can be used by traditional payment processors. As per a spokesperson for the firm, the use of blockchain technology will not only allow Mastercard to increase the speed of its native transactions but also lower transaction costs and minimize the risk of fraud greatly (it is worth pointing out that the company loses over $23 billion to fraud per annum).
Last but not least, Mastercard’s core dev team has created APIs that allow users to create their very own blockchain-related apps in a highly streamlined manner.
CME Group (CME)
As most of our readers are probably well aware of, the CME Group is one of the leading names when it comes to buying/selling bitcoin futures. In this regard, it bears mentioning that the CME Group was one of the first entities to allow investors to speculate on the future price of bitcoin — that too in a fully regulated environment.
And even though bitcoin futures account for a small fraction of the company’s general trading operations, it has been reported that the CME Group continues to rake in significant profits through the sale of its bitcoin futures alone.
Everybody knows that IBM is one of the biggest players in the tech market today. However, over the last 3-4 years, the company has delved deeply into the domain of blockchain technology — particularly concerning how this new tool can be used to serve clients from diverse industries such as data management, cloud security, BaaS, etc. Additionally, from a financial standpoint, IBM currently boasts of the largest blockchain patent portfolio among all publicly traded companies. This has given the multinational a clear lead when it comes to issuing long-term licensing deals, etc.
Last but not least, the folks over at IBM recently revealed that they are currently involved with a total of 500+ blockchain projects — including the IBM Food Trust platform (which is currently being used by Walmart).
Bank of America (BAC)
Even though a lot of people may not think of Bank of America as being an active player within the global tech arena, the financial institution currently holds a massive portfolio of blockchain patents. To put things into perspective, BAC is currently in possession of more blockchain patents than Google or Microsoft — two of the biggest companies active within the tech industry today.
With that being said, many experts believe that the BAC might have hoarded upon so many blockchain patents primarily as a way to generate revenue for itself in the future by dishing out licensing deals.
Alibaba Group (BABA)
Even though Alibaba operates mostly within domains that are not directly linked to the blockchain, the company has made significant investments into this burgeoning technology. For example, by the end of 2018 alone, the company had filed more than 100+ blockchain-related patents.
If that wasn’t enough, Alibaba is also making use of different blockchain solutions across a number of its subsidiaries — such as Lynx International (Alibaba’s logistics division) and T-Mall.
Other points worth highlighting
- Alibaba has recently come together with the Chinese government to deploy blockchain tech within the nation’s healthcare sector.
- In the coming few years, it is expected that Alibaba’s healthcare blockchain solutions will be used by more than 1.3 billion individuals globally.
- Alibaba has teamed up with payments provider Ant Financial, to provide people residing in HongKong with a highly efficacious blockchain remittance service.
- News media outlets have reported that Alibaba has made a serious mark on the Asian BaaS market in recent years.
From the early days of Peter Thiel or Elon Musk, PayPal may seem like a direct competitor to cryptocurrency or fear the presence of bitcoin in general, but PayPal has been no stranger in making strategic investments into blockchain-based companies, brands, and projects.
Back in April 2019, PYPL got involved with the Cambridge Blockchain project via a Series A investment round where the global payments giant funded the startup that helps institutions and payment companies make transactions on distributed ledger technologies. They followed that up within March 2020 by adding on experts in the blockchain industry to help discover financial fraud and crime prevention too.
Fujitsu is a Japanese firm that has focused a lot of its financial resources on blockchain-related research. For those of our readers who may not be aware of how big the firm is, Fujitsu is currently the seventh-largest IT services provider in the world. And in terms of its blockchain development efforts, the company was recently chosen as one of the prime vendors for the development of a transfer settlement system for the Japanese Bankers Association’s (JBA) Collaborative Blockchain Platform.
Last but not least, Fujitsu also recently created its very own Blockchain Innovation Centre in Belgium. The institution has been tasked with the creation of various blockchain projects — both big and small.
HIVE Blockchain Technology (HIVE)
Known formerly as Leeta Gold Corp, the HIVE Blockchain Technology is a Canadian firm that has partnered with several prominent companies as well as crypto mining operators. For example, one of Hive’s current partners includes Iceland-based Genesis Mining Ltd.
From a technical standpoint, it is worth mentioning that since 2017, HIVE’s native stock prices have doubled in value.
Even though the name Broadridge might ring a bell for a lot of people, the popular company has partnered with several prominent financial entities that are currently making use of blockchain technology (such as the Northern Trust and JPMorgan). In addition to this, Broadridge also offers several DLT solutions of its own — including proxy voting protocols.
Coinsilium Group (COIN)
Coinsilium Group is one of the world’s foremost blockchain developers that came into existence in 2014. Even though the London-based company operates primarily within the UK, it has partnered with some crypto firms all over the world. As things stand, the company’s shares can be acquired via the NEX Exchange Growth Market. Alternatively, Coinsilium shares can also be bought/sold via a host over the counter markets (OTCMKTS).
Innovation Shares NextGen Protocol ETF (KOIN)
Many of our readers may not know that Innovation Shares NextGen Protocol ETF (KOIN) is one of the world’s first blockchain ETFs. Despite its high expense ratio, the fund recently showcased good market growth — reaping a dividend ratio of around 1.5%.
Lastly, it is worth pointing out that some big-name companies that have invested in the fund include Intel (INTC), Microsoft (MSFT), and Salesforce (CRM).
ING Groep (INGA)
Dutch banking giant ING Groep has been all-in on blockchain tech since the start of 2017 — a time when the term was just starting to gain mainstream prominence. Also, the financial entity has partnered with Easy Trading Connect (ETC), a platform that allows investors to trade a wide array of commodities.
Not only that, as things stand today, but ING is also working on 50+ blockchain concept projects — including platforms related to client data privacy, collateral lending, debt tracking, etc.
Reality Shares Nasdaq NexGen Economy ETF (BLCN)
Simply put, BLCN is a highly attractive investment option these days due to the simple fact that it is one of the few ETFs that allow investors to benefit directly from the blockchain. To be a bit more specific, the company has witnessed a lot of growth over the last 2-3 years — offering dividend rates of up to 2%. From a financial standpoint, it is worth pointing out three of BLCN’s top investors include Microsoft, Fujitsu, and AMD.
First Trust Indxx Innovative Transaction & Process ETF (LEGR)
Quite like the option above, LEGR too is an ETF that routinely invests in technology stocks. Additionally, it needs mentioning that LEGR deploys a blended financial strategy — wherein it invests in both growth and value stocks.
BitFarms is a Canadian company that is currently in possession of various mining farms throughout Quebec — a region where, not only, is the real estate cheap but even the electricity rates are extremely affordable. As per the company’s annual profit reports, BitFarms was recently able to provide its clients with dividends up to 18% (an impressive number, to say the least).
Hut 8 (HUT)
Another Canada-based crypto mining venture, Hut 8 is currently listed in the stock market under the ticker TSX. The company’s farms are based out of Alberta — primarily in towns like Drumheller and Medicine Hat. Over the past couple of years, the firm has entered into partnerships with several prominent crypto entities such as BitFury.
When it comes to computer devices, AMD is considered to be somewhat of a household name. Even though the firm is known primarily for its high-quality motherboards, graphics cards, etc, over the years, the company has started producing its very own crypto miners and GPUs.
Riot Blockchain, Inc. (RIOT)
Despite Riot Blockchain’s stocks plummeting quite heavily over the past couple of years, the company has continued to offer interested individuals with a host of quality investment options. Essentially, the firm deals with the creation of blockchain platforms and has partnered with several companies like Coinsquare, Verady, and TessPay in the past.
Want to learn more? head here to read more about the Investment of the Decade.