The success of blockchain technologies in the last year has been dramatic. Disparate industries are developing new solutions for existing processes and requirements using blockchain technology, disrupting industries from cloud storage to finance to supply-chain management and logistics. Knowing this, it is no wonder that established and upstart professionals are emerging as blockchain evangelists. Here are a few of the biggest names.
Bill Gates identified the potential offering of blockchain technology as early as 2015. At this time, he stated about about Bitcoin, “Bitcoin is better than currency in that you don’t have to be physically in the same place and, of course, for large transactions, currency can get pretty inconvenient.” And he would know. Now the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has launched Mojaloop, which is an open-source, blockchain-powered, payment platform. Engineers built Mojaloop for people who do not enjoy access to commonly used payment services, particularly in developing nations. The improvements in security that blockchain allow could be revolutionary for millions of people in the developing world.
Sir Richard Branson
One of the most successful businessmen in the UK, Sir Richard Branson is also an investor, philanthropist, and the founder of the Virgin Group, which controls over 400 companies. Branson has invested in a Bitcoin wallet business named Blockchain. However, investing isn’t the only way in which the business tycoon has expressed his support. He also recently hosted a blockchain-specific meeting on Necker Island, his private island in the Caribbean, where leaders and innovators in cryptocurrency and blockchain gathered to discuss the future of the industry.
A lot of people know that American entrepreneur and business executive Kevin Harrington is the founder of As Seen on TV. They probably also know that he appeared as a guest investor on Shark Tank. But what not many people are aware of is that Harrington is also a corporate advisor. One of the companies he advises and assists has developed ShipChain. ShipChain is a blockchain-based platform that attempts to solve some of the prevalent problems in the shipping and logistics industries.
He’s the co-founder of Netscape, the co-author of Mosaic (the first popularly used web browser), and he’s on the board of directors of eBay, Facebook, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. He is also one of the earliest people to see the potential in blockchain technology. Recently, he invested in MetaStable, which is a blockchain-based fund that focuses on investing in coins instead of companies.
Ashton Kutcher isn’t just an actor! He is the co-founder of A-Grade Investments, a venture fund that has invested in BitPay, which is a payment processor that allows merchants to accept payments in Bitcoins. Interestingly, Kutcher’s foray into the field of venture capitalism in technology happened after Andreessen made him an offer to invest in Skype.
Blockchain is quietly but quickly turning heads for all the right reasons. It is only a matter of time before it takes over a number of industries we interact with every day. These evangelists are only the tip of the iceberg. The sector is growing at a rate unheard of in almost any other sector. Who knows? Next year it could be you.