i3 - November/December 2017 - 22

Raskin cites the growth of cryptocurrencies
and the underlying blockchain technology as
vital factors in the evolution of payments. She
says some automakers are looking at ways to
monetize every seat in future self-driving cars
like route information for the "driver" or entertainment fees for backseat passengers looking
at a video screen - using digital micropayments to cover the charges.
"This is more than just a change in technology," Raskin says. She also sees extensive
opportunities for hardware, especially "a new
life for PC sales" as people buy into cybercurrency mining - the term for using high-powered computers to approve cryptocurrency
transfers in exchange for a sliver of payment.
While mobile payments will play a big part in
the evolving financial ecosystem, there are
countless other factors also in play.
Although cryptocurrencies have been
around for nearly a decade, updates inevitably
require explanation. See the "Cryptocurrencies
Explained" sidebar.
Internet pioneer, now tech-investing mogul,
Marc Andressen, describes the process as
enabling "one internet user to transfer a unique
piece of digital property to another internet
user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be
safe and secure, everyone knows that the transfer has taken place and nobody can challenge
the legitimacy of the transfer."
Not surprisingly, some of the first U.S. merchants to accept bitcoin for payments are digital-centric companies, including DISH, Intuit,
Microsoft, Overstock.com and PayPal.

CRYPTOCURRENCIES
EXPLAINED
PURPOSE
Digital or crypto (encoded)
currencies allow users to
exchange online credits for
goods and services.

1. Bitcoin
2. Ethereum

$64B
$26.6B

3. Bitcoin Cash

$7.6B

4. Ripple

$7.1B

5. Litecoin

$2.7B

22

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017

CAPABILITIES

Cryptocurrencies involve
a decentralized technology,
which removes the middleman (such as banks or
financial institutions) and,
according to advocates,
improves transaction efficiency and lowers costs.
The features can speed up
the retail supply chain and
add greater accuracy.

Core capabilities of the
system are authentication
(who are you?) and authorization (for example, do you
have sufficient funds for this
transaction?). The architecture to confirm these factors requires a distributed,
peer-to-peer network that
can handle recordkeeping
and security.

Overstock was one of the first large online retailers to accept bitcoin in 2014,
according to The Motley Fool, which also noted that Microsoft has accepted
bitcoin as a "currency" in its Windows and Xbox online stores since the same
year. Microsoft has adapted its Excel 2017 to enable users to calculate, format
and analyze bitcoin on the platform, as well.
DISH customers began using bitcoin in 2014 as payment for content services. At Intuit, the company's QuickBooks accounting software accepts bitcoin
and has integrated a PayByCoin service in collaboration with BitPay, enabling
next-day settlement into customers' bank accounts. PayPal accepts bitcoin as
payment via its integration with Braintree. Entrepreneur Richard Branson said
that his commercial space flight venture will accept bitcoin as payment. Other
online retailers, including Newegg, Tigerdirect, the Apple App Store, Dell,
Target and Home Depot let customers make purchases by using bitcoin,
although the value and volume of such transactions are not available.
Meanwhile, EY, the consulting arm of Ernst & Young Global Ltd. is setting
up "Tesseract," a blockchain venture to make it easier for groups of individuals
or companies to share vehicle ownership and access. The car-sharing project
uses blockchain technology to record vehicle ownership, log the use of vehicles
and apportion insurance costs and other transactions to each "owner."
"Cryptocurrencies are facing the same baby steps we saw in the evolution of
the internet," says Barbara Bellafiore, principal consultant at Bell
Communications, a Connecticut firm that advises media, ecommerce and
technology clients. She says the initial response to the blockchain explanations
range from "fascinating" to "Are you kidding me?" Bellafiore describes the
$64B
BITCOIN

THE LARGEST
CRYPTOCURRENCIES
Ranked by Market Capitalization
Top 10 Value about $116.8 Billion

EFFICIENCY

6. Dash
$26.6B
ETHEREUM

$7.1B
RIPPLE

$2.5B
DASH

7. NEM

$2B

8. IOTA

$1.6B

9. Monero

$1.5B

10. OmiseGO
$2B
NEM

$2.5B

SOURCE: CoinMarketCap,
September 2017

$1B


http://www.Overstock.com

i3 - November/December 2017

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