Blockchain Business

Blockchain has been described as one of the most significant technological advances in modern history, potentially on a par with the internet, leading to it being dubbed “The Internet 3.0”. Despite the incredible potential of blockchain to reshape the world as we know it, there is still little understanding of what it is, what it does and why it is so revolutionary. The Lisk Academy is going to change this.

Blockchain Uses in Business

A recent IBM study surveying over three thousand executives has shown that at least eighty percent are actively using, or planning to implement, some aspect of blockchain technology into their everyday business. While the arrival of this technological breakthrough might not be immediately considered as good news by the majority of enterprises which still often rely on a traditional, central databases to generate revenue, the bottom line is that many aspects of this technological phenomenon are due for mass, multi-industry implementation. Businesses which choose to accept its arrival and learn how the dawn of blockchain will not only change, but also improve their way of operating, will be the ones to reap the rewards as early pioneers within their respective industries. In this chapter, we will explore how blockchain will be utilized in the departments of your business in order to improve efficiency, secure processes and cut costs by removing unnecessary middlemen.

Blockchain and Payment

Within the context of e-commerce or international transfers, cryptocurrencies can be used as an alternative to credit cards or PayPal. As one of the early examples of the technology in action, many blockchain payment projects already have a well fleshed-out ecosystem and a variety of tested wallets for secure storage. This popular example of cryptocurrencies is not without its downsides, especially lengthy minimums for a single transaction to be confirmed on the network or hefty fees. However, in the near future we can expect more microtransaction-friendly startups and forks, which provide handy payment alternatives, drastically lowering costs and transaction time in areas such as pay-per-view online content consumption or brick-and-mortar retail. Within the context of online media consumption for example, future blockchain payment systems could allow news browsers to pay per article, rather than per month.

While current blockchain payment projects are already offering a practical alternative to online transactions, upcoming startups are set to disrupt the industry even more and provide services that can be applied to many aspects of a businesses’ everyday activity. Within the context of broader blockchain business applications, this innovative technology can be used to cut costs, increase trust in the system and streamline processes where there are multiple parties to a particular interaction.

Blockchain in Marketing

Since the advent of the internet era, the global advertising industry has been constantly developing new ways to reach specific groups of users, with ever more targeted messaging strategies. The industry however has been plagued by a labyrinth of intermediate parties, not always in human form – a recent estimate suggests that up to half of current ad traffic is managed and generated by bots. With the competition fierce across most ‘business to customer’ and ‘business to business’ industries, companies are paying more than ever in order to make sure their message gets in the right place, at the right time.

How Blockchain Can Change Marketing

The global advertising market has been hit hard by a multitude of murky middlemen and fraudulent behaviour, with fraud bots alone inflicting over $7.2 billion loss in 2016. Marketing is expected to undergo a significant blockchain disruption, by revolutionising martech and especially advertising. Within the context of broader blockchain in marketing, it’s easy to envision advertising platforms where all relevant performance and audience information is processed and actioned via a decentralized ledger. Adding blockchain to the equation of the overly complicated modern advertising industry removes a lot of confusion about marketing variables such as ad delivery specifics. When a business issues a request to an advertising ledger for a specific message, it can then check back once the request has been fulfilled in order to benefit from an immutable record of the ad’s delivery time, duration and performance. The decentralized nature of the blockchain in this case could help usher in a new era of transparency and efficiency to a businesses’ advertising efforts. This would reduce the risk of fraudulent traffic reports, cut out the intermediaries needed to complete the advertising request and allow for multiple ad requests to be taking place at the same time.

The rise of advertising efforts by a single business has gone hand in hand with a general sense of distrust from the general public increasing as well. Hundreds of ad blockers and privacy shields, technological quirks and browser extensions help hundreds of millions of users bypass trackers and distort usage statistics every day. While this feeling of distrust might not disappear overnight, the immutable, public option of a ledger could help a particular advertising network bridge this divide by showing consumers exactly how the data is used and who it is sold to. Blockchain technology also allows for token distributions through which the end receiver of the advertisement can have greater control over which ads they watch and, in some instances, can actually receive market-determined compensation for their attention, which would add a new interactive dimension of the world of online marketing.

Blockchain and Data Insights

When it comes to digital marketing, the return on investment of a potential advertising campaign is not the whole success story. What is even more important is the collection of huge swaths of data every potential customer produces on a daily basis. The ‘big data’ revolution has allowed businesses to benefit from an astounding amount of business intelligence and user insights, so as to better tune their advertising strategy, brand visibility and, most importantly, product development. Currently, the majority of ad traffic is centralized on social media and internet traffic giants, such as Google or Facebook, who make sure to take a hefty profit of every message that reaches their users. More so, centralization of usage data on their platform allows them to control the insights it generates and make significant revenue selling it to potential buyers. Blockchain in marketing projects poise a serious threat to traditional digital marketing avenues, by threatening to undermine the power of these big enterprises. In turn, users gain much greater control over their data and single businesses are able to reach them directly. For example, it is easy to envision a blockchain-based search engine, where users can directly choose what types of data they are ready to share with a potential advertiser. By doing so, the advertiser can buy the data directly from the user as opposed to the platform that has hosted the interaction.

Blockchain and Influencer Marketing

Rise of social media in particular has added another flavour to the exciting work of digital marketing, namely the arrival of influencers. Towards the end of 2010s, this social media phenomenon has permeated most industries – points of authority and knowledge leaders can drive public opinion and conversions across a variety of verticals, from consumer and fashion, to business-to-business and financial investment. A blockchain based, trustless influencer network can help businesses bypass hefty fees charged by nascent influencer agencies, while smart contracts can help enforce both the publisher and the performer to live up to their sides of the agreement in a quantifiable way.

All in all, the arrival of blockchain in marketing and advertising can be seen as bittersweet for the industry as a whole. This is because it might make some professions within marketing destitute as it bypasses unnecessary middlemen and third entities. For a single business however, blockchain-based advertising networks have the potential to radically improve marketing activities and propel them towards more ad delivery accuracy and user responsiveness. Here at Lisk, we’re looking forward to assisting martech visionaries in bridging the gap between the business and the end receiver, in a level playing field where both can benefit more accurate messaging.

Blockchain in Supply Chain
One reason why the modern world is seeing more and more wealth created is because the economies and markets are connected via ever more sophisticated routes of global trade. Whether be it by air, sea, or road, billions worth of goods are being taken from continent to continent every single day, in order to satisfy demand and meet supply quotas. However, while new methods of storage and route tweaks are still developed in order to further propel this vital aspect of the global economy, the sheer volume of transport information processed on a daily basis means there is huge inaccuracy of data when trying to monitor an individual product’s journey. Major business leaders depending on physical supply chains have long pushed for more transparency, price-efficiency and data insight, starting at the creation of a product to its final destination. 

Blockchain Supply Chain Use Cases

Applying blockchain to a supply chain could resolve these problems by creating a permanent history of a product. This can have many industry-spanning benefits – reducing costs, pinpointing human error and avoiding delays. All of this could potentially save years of time and billions of dollars in overhead. Vendors and suppliers could benefit from a greater insight into the manufacturing process of the goods they use, being able to use the decentralized supply ledger in order to investigate variables such as delivery or maintenance of products. For certain industries where high maintenance of goods in the supply chain is especially crucial, we can envision how blockchain can step in in order to ensure that quality targets are being met. For example, medical or aerospace science industries could easily utilise blockchain supply chain in order to ensure the parts and chemicals they use in their work come from a reputable source and have had all the necessary storage requirements met in the journey to its final destination.

Retail giants on another hand, can be one of the primary examples of blockchain use cases if we consider how the immutable, trustless nature of a supply chain can be used to crack down on the ethical implications of how some of the raw foods are being sourced, but also improve quality and investigate where the spoiled food came from and how it got on the store shelf. Insights like these help today’s retailers improve storage and farming techniques in order to raise the food standard for the end customer as well as reduce the amount of food waste that does not meet contemporary health and safety regulation requirements.

Benefiting from the insights provided by blockchain supply chain could also help level the playing the field of small to mid-size businesses against corporate giants. if we consider the reduction in costs for a company which opts for a permanent, insightful blockchain-based supply chain monitoring will be astronomical when compared to a costly supply chain or operations manager. A greater, atomised transparency for all stages of the supply chain could perhaps also have a positive effect on curbing global drug trade channels and goods theft, crime types which benefit from murky intercontinental trade lines.

To conclude, blockchain can benefit supply chain and transport industries by introducing a new level of data transparency and responsiveness that helps to improve processes and attracts potential clients. On another hand, applying blockchain to certain supply chains can benefit the end consumer, primary producer, and any other party inbetween, through better insights about how any product came to be. Supply chains of the future are poised to continue being more responsive, efficient and flexible than their contemporaries. With the global trade networks at stake, blockchain will help flesh out the correct pathways for goods to travel from continent to continent and from producer to end customer.

Blockchain in HR
Appropriate human resources presence can make or break any company. From payroll, employee development and sourcing new talent, this department is responsible for the company’s organizational wellbeing, as well as its institutional growth. However, current human resources practices are yet another aspect of modern business plagued by lack of trust, isolation of huge swaths of data, as well as an overload of middle parties. Given the nature of the modern, interconnected globe, many companies transcend borders in their activity, as well as in their hiring. In the recruitment process, both individual jobseekers and multinational corporations can be guilty of intransparency and fraud by easily hiding valuable pieces of professional information in order to leverage their position. 

As we progress into the future we can see more institutions including schools, governmental buildings and industries working together in order to provide clearer insights and transparency into the murky world of modern professional recruitment. They will do so by all providing their piece of information of a particular candidate’s journey to be stored immutably on a decentralized ledger. For example, during the educational process specific qualifications and grades can be imprinted on an individual ID of a student which is then stored on the blockchain. Opting for this early on will allow each employer to truly assess the educational progress of a candidate. Alternatively, a business entity can have its own ID where those applying can easily access vital business data, including honest labour turnover rates, Glassdoor-esque ratings, or key performance indicators. The more businesses and jobseekers choose to transfer their information on encrypted, widely accessible public ledgers of blockchain, the more the whole industry will also benefit from generating real insight and making better business decisions, while also helping to address societal issues such as gender wage gap, or real diversity.

 

Blockchain and Payroll

With the rise of decentralized workforces, specialist agencies and freelancers, many companies lose a significant amount of capital processing payroll overseas. With an army of intermediaries including banks and payment platforms, most are quick to capitalize on transfer fees and even the most minute of changes in exchange rates. Opting instead for a blockchain-based payroll system could help companies save key resources when distributing their salaries and satisfying outstanding cross-border invoices by handling all exchange mechanisms on a decentralized ledger that bypasses third parties.

It’s also easy to envision how hiring freelancers and managing contractors can be improved with the use of blockchain HR and especially smart contracts. A quantifiable verifiable smart contract can for example be agreed upon between a one-time contractor and a company, with the payout happening automatically once the job is complete. This technological tweak has exponential capabilities for improving the growing demographic of self-employed professionals and freelancers who offer their varied skills in the open talent economy of today. With the use of a decentralized, globally spanning payment network, we can also foresee how not only capital will be saved but also productivity will increase, if we consider how blockchain can be used to automate and reduce the burden of routine, data-heavy process such as VAT administration.

Blockchain HR can have radically beneficial impact on many aspects of this crucial department. On one hand, it can help out by automating and securing many of the mundane processes including payroll and tax documentation. Whatismore, the immutable, responsive aspects of a decentralized ledger can bring a new level of transparency and decision-making to recruitment, which can benefit both the corporation and the individual.

Blockchain and Accounting
When it comes to accounting, blockchain can usher an industry-wide accuracy revolution not experienced since a group of 14th century Genoan treasurers introduced double-entry bookkeeping into their financial archives. While digitalization provided significant improvement to modern accounting, industry consensus is that its disruption is still in its infancy, especially when compared to how areas such as marketing, or recruitment have benefited from digital insights and global reach that internet provides. As opposed to printed receipts, the centralized, digitized nature of most financial disclosures makes them ripe for tampering and outside interference. Fail-safe designs such as mutual control mechanisms, or checks and balances have significantly decreased the risk of fraud. However, most of these exercises are still manual and labour-intensive. As well as this, spreading isolated data across multiple databases and analog archives provides huge barriers for effective examination, while financial audits of individual companies are expensive and time-consuming. Within the context of accounting and blockchain, it’s easy to envision how companies can disclose their financial information directly onto a joint register, kept encrypted on a public ledger. The secure nature of blockchain will also further diminish the risk of falsification or evidence destruction and increased transparency within this essential aspect of everyday business.

Blockchain for Accounting as Source of Trust

Using the blockchain as a source of trust within accounting can have many beneficial effects on the accounting processes as a whole. The snowball effect of integrating many aspects of modern accounting such as audit trails and integrity assurance of individual records heralds the future of fully automated audits. Timestamping on the blockchain can be introduced at every atomised point of a financial documents’ life cycle. The trustless nature of a decentralized ledger would significantly decrease the need for any organizational or manual process to be audited for its authenticity. A particular document of interest can even be timestamped at the point of creation in order to ensure no unwanted tampering has happened between its inception and the transfer to the receiver.

By doing so, the immutability of an accounting blockchain can ensure that a particular document is transparent and accurate throughout its entire life-cycle. Similarly so, documents can then be stored in a chronological fashion on the blockchain for easy access and retro-analysis. This process can be repeated for multiple departments, companies or even industries. Introducing this radical level of transparency into a particular country’s financial regulation system could have a positive effect on proper corporate taxation or financial investment fraud.

Additionally, technological phenomena such as smart contracts could introduce a new method of documenting and meeting contractor invoices in order to streamline multi-entity cooperation and decrease the reliance on the legal system for professional disputes. For example, a smart contract could only be made available for the contractor to interact with if it deems the company has enough liquidities in order to pay for the goods or services delivered.

To conclude, blockchain and accounting go hand in hand. They provide a level of transparency is not only beneficial to a business – it is a top priority necessity with irregularities resulting in law enforcement action and legal consequences. Nonetheless, streamlining the accounting process could be valuable for corporate industries as insights are more easily generated about proper taxation policies. Within the context of a single business, blockchain can help an organization save previous hours of manual labor and fact-checking, by providing a secure, immutable alternative.

Blockchain in Business Intelligence
Within the context of data and business intelligence storage, blockchain can be used to drastically improve security and decrease dependency on central entities. Since the digitization of business processes nearly two decades ago, most enterprises have come to rely on remote databases and the interconnected devices in order to properly function on a daily basis. 

By introducing blockchain business intelligence, companies can benefit from reliable databases on decentralized, encrypted and non-editable ledgers, embracing the full potential of the technology in order to streamline and secure their data storage. The consensus required for modification of the blockchain code as well as the ledger’s distribution only serve to add to the safety and inviolability of the data stored on it. Integrating blockchain technology for cloud computing will help enterprises maintain their competitive advantage by protecting valuable business intelligence, while encrypted nature of the blockchain can be used to protect networks of interconnected devices from external interference.

In this chapter, we have investigated how technological benefits of blockchain can be utilized in many aspects of everyday business to streamline processes, cut costs, as well as reduce the risk of fraud and outside tampering. Any area of the contemporary way of doing business, whether be it outward facing marketing or internal organizational department, can find some aspect of this nascent technology advantageous. The arrival of the blockchain technology may initially be seen as disruptive and almost threatening to many traditional aspects of contemporary business practices, however, implementing this technology can only serve to boost business performance, rewarding early adopters as revolutionaries in their own fields.
Blockchain in Business

Blockchain companies are here to stay and are bound to grow bigger, but how exactly do they differ from traditional businesses?

According to a research paper by Deloitte, in 2016 there were at least 26,000 active, open-source blockchain startups on GitHub. Today, fifteen most popular blockchain startups have a total market capitalization of over a quarter of a trillion dollars. The above numbers spell the obvious – blockchain companies are here to stay and are bound to grow bigger. But how exactly do they differ from traditional businesses? The relatively new nature of this industry presents a variety of opportunities, as well as challenges. In this chapter, we will discuss the many nuances of the blockchain industry, as well as the opportunities and limitations that it creates. We will primarily focus on three key aspects that define most blockchain projects. First, we will discuss the many unique features of a blockchain community and its close relationship with an upcoming blockchain project. After that, we will delve into the world of marketing for blockchain, discussing the many organic options of marketing and communication strategies that have worked for companies in this industry thus far. Lastly, we will elaborate on the nascent regulatory environment that is beginning to form around the blockchain scene, including its pros and cons.

Building a Blockchain Community

The blockchain industry is currently receiving overwhelming mainstream attention from everyday, not specialized users. Various demographics, tech-savvy or not, are flowing into the scene and getting involved in a multitude of departments. Given that the industry is still pre-mass adoption and the technology is just beginning to permeate into real use cases, it is important to remember the grassroots beginnings of this once underdog movement. Within the context of startups, early blockchain community is one of the most important aspects of a young business’ existence. As we will observe below, the community of a particular blockchain startup can at once be its key investor, network forger, target user base and talent recruitment tool. In certain scenarios, a particular community member can be all four.

The Blockchain Community

Just like in any other area of technology, majority of blockchain startups work towards achieving mass adoption and global implementation of the product or service they offer. However, given the fact that the industry is still in the introductory stage of its life cycle and requires a set of skills and knowledge not attainable easily, it is often the case that the blockchain community also doubles up as the prime target audience for a startup’s proposition.

Community as Network Forgers

In order to properly function without interruptions or delays majority of contemporary blockchain ecosystems depend on a decentralized network of nodes validating blocks of transactions. Becoming a network supporter requires relative technological expertise – including anything from purchasing and setting up a physical server base, to, in some cases, keeping up to date with network updates so that the node is fully integrated with ecosystem at all times. Therefore, becoming a network miner, or forger, can be both time- and resource-consuming and requires real ideological investment in a particular project. Most fledgling networks source their first network supporters from within their own blockchain community.

Community Recruitment

Just as the community’s affinity and understanding of the product often result in them becoming the target audience, a large pool of tech-savvy individuals who not only comprehend but also engage in the technology, serve as a useful recruitment pool for potential developers, marketers and a variety of other positions. In the case of Lightcurve, most dedicated and results-driven employees first began as online blockchain community members or early ICO investors. Bart Stassen for example joined the community very early on and is now one of the Lead for Lightcurve’s Website Development. Lastly, Marrusz Serek is one of our earliest community code contributors and Lightcurve Backend Developers. While the Lisk Foundations benefits from having the Lightcurve in one centralized location, the advantages of contemporary technology allow for more practical solutions for young projects. The interconnectedness of the modern world and alternative, cryptocurrency-based payment initiatives spell a new chapter for the decentralized, global workforce.

Community Funding

The final and one of the most distinct functions of the blockchain community ties in closely to the issue of blockchain funding. The most popular and media-worthy method of blockchain startups to raise capital is to conduct an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). The easiest way to understand this phenomenon is to see it as a combination of crowdfunding and venture capital. In an ICO, an investor usually receives a so-called ‘token’ in exchange for his contribution to the overall sum required. While we will explore the intricacies of ICOs, token uses, or how to trade them in the following chapter, it is important to understand this vital role of the community. In most traditional companies, an organization needs to go public in order to be able to sell shares to the general population. This process on average can take a company many years and milestones before it can engage in this new level of capital raising. As opposed to this process, the decentralized, grassroots nature of the blockchain industry allows for most companies to be able to crowdfund their funding straight away, with sums gathered going up tens (if not hundreds), of millions. Apart from holding the tokens, they have bought ICO participants do not have any legally binding control over the direction of a particular project. This combination of no legal ownership and financial investment perhaps explains the close-knit, often scrutinizing nature of a particular blockchain community. When technological passion and financial investment meet, great things can happen!

How to Promote Your Blockchain Project?

So far, we have observed how engagement with the broader blockchain community is essential for a young startup’s survival. We have also discovered how the functions of the community stem beyond the traditional relationship between a business and its target audience. It is also important to note that with its unique set of priorities and demands, as well as distinct internet presence and content consumption patterns, blockchain in business opens up new opportunities, as well as challenges in refining successful strategies for blockchain marketing and communications.

Blockchain Marketing and Trust

In a sea of aspiring blockchain projects and their fraudulent counterparts, it is more important than ever for a young company to establish trust in its technology and organisation straight away. Many prominent blockchain projects grow their clout by creating educational content explaining their technological and business propositions. In most, this initial piece of content comes in the form of a White Paper. It is important to note that the definition of a white paper within the blockchain industry differs greatly from the academic or legislative interpretation of this concept. In Academia or governmental processes, the white paper mostly focuses on explaining a complex issue in a concise, almost scientific way. Within the context of blockchain marketing however, the concise explanation of the technological proposition is there, but it only constitutes a portion of the document’s content. As well as this, it needs to satisfy many non-technological questions, expanding on issues such as distribution of the token supply, or company roadmap. While the White Paper is often the prefered choice, not all successful blockchain projects have to necessarily follow this route.

Blockchain Marketing and Social Media

Blockchain marketing often aims to establish the same degree of trust and technological expertise through a variety of other organic marketing channels. A blockchain community’s activity revolves around a variety of mainstream social media platforms. Websites such as Twitter or Reddit are traditional social hubs for tech-savvy demographics, influencers and media representatives. These traditional social media channels serve as a useful tool in both keeping up to date with industry discussions and contributing value to them yourself. On Twitter and YouTube, one can also connect with vital influencers and collaborate on educational content in order to inspire audiences not yet familiar with blockchain industry. On Reddit and Discord, one can create community platforms and participate in broader industry talks in order to divert attention to their own project. It is important to point out that the unique nature of the blockchain audience requires a totally new approach in messaging and brand positioning – on one side the blockchain community does not entirely fit a business-to-consumer approach of focusing on evoking an emotional response around a specific product or service. On another, a wholly corporate approach of a traditional business-to-business strategy can be met with a high degree of cynicism. Given their ideological, technological and financial investment, blockchain audiences require and deserve honesty, humanity and professionalism in the communications of an aspiring project.

Blockchain Development Platforms

For an overwhelming majority of contemporary blockchain startups, an open-source approach to development is a key indicator of professionalism and reliability. Development-focused platforms such as GitHub and Gitter play an important role in allowing a particular organisation to flex its developer expertise, openly display large segments of the code for community scrutiny and communicating progress, or allow for third party developers to follow, comment, or even directly contribute to code. This open approach to brandishing process has become industry standard for the majority of contemporary blockchain projects. Lisk for example is often cited as having the most commits, pull requests and the general quality of code development on GitHub on social media and relevant coding media.

Chat Apps in Blockchain

In order to foster a sense of community in real-time, many startups also create their own messaging channels, such as Slack, or opt for encrypted messaging groups on instant messaging mobile apps like WhatsApp. As communities grow, it may become cost-effective to choose open-source chat platforms such as Rocket Chat. This option also allows for more flexibility with customizations and plug-ins. If privacy is a sensitive issue, applications such as Telegram offer free encrypted messaging system with an easily accessible user interface.

PR and Communications

Within the context of blockchain communications, a noteworthy blockchain startup can benefit from a growing feeling of public interest. Establishing good relationship with relevant media can reap organic benefits for any fledgling tech brand in a much more cost-effective way than digital advertising and other paid-for marketing fields. Success stories of most popular blockchain startups have created a definite feeling of interest among the general public, a sentiment mainstream media was quick to capitalise on. From US cable giants such as CNBC creating a Cryptocurrency-specific news channel, to start-up industry insiders TechCrunch including blockchain industry leaders on their events rosters, global media players are starting to pay attention. An aptly communicated and well regarded blockchain startup is sure to attract attention of general interest, far-reaching media channels, a feat not so easily achieved in more established industries. On another hand, we are also witnessing the beginnings of a global, specialized media players, with platforms such as Cointelegraph and CoinDesk providing daily news related to strictly blockchain industry developments.

All of the aforementioned marketing and communications channels can be utilised in conjunction to mobilise, expand and engage one’s blockchain community. Given the financial, ideological and technological investment of individual members, it is important to implement transparency, professionalism and a human tone in the project’s messaging. What defines most successful blockchain projects is that marketing channels are used to foster the ongoing sense of trust in the expertise and the overall well being of the project, something that is especially important when a company is developing its product.

Blockchain Regulations

While we will discuss the intricacies of blockchain financing in the following chapters, the point stands that a huge amount of capital currently flowing through this industry attracts a significant amount of attention, both positive and negative. A significant flight of capital from mainstream economies and traditional securities has attracted the attention of global governments and intergovernmental bodies. The industry has also been marred by several stories of fraudulent behaviour causing legal entities to consider imposing stricter regulations to protect the consumers and investors.

Until recently, a blockchain startup could benefit from an environment of legal ambiguity. However, this legal vacuum is changing fast as mainstream legal entities catch up with this encroaching phenomenon. While the legal developments themselves are fast evolving and vary from region to region, a more definite governmental response will undoubtedly affect future ICOs limiting the speed of innovation and disruption in the industry. Such future regulations need to be closely monitored and taken into an account when starting a blockchain business.

One of the legal areas revolving around blockchain organisations is the question of how funds are gathered by young projects. Long gone are the days of straightforward crowdfunding campaigns. For example, more and more countries and ICO platforms are now bound by stricter investor registration requirements. We will explore this particular aspect of regulation in more detail in the folllowing chapters  of Business Academy.

On the positive side however, many countries are becoming more favourable in helping existing blockchain projects find a place to call home. With some areas of Switzerland paving the way in the early days of the recent blockchain boom, we now see many more places in Europe and beyond adjusting their business and taxation practices in order to facilitate the rise of their own nascent blockchain industries.

Unfortunately not all countries around the world are taking a welcoming, or at least ‘do not harm’ approach to this upcoming technology. Some are taking this stance in order to protect the seemingly harmful effects these new avenues of capital would have on central banks and their financial industry. In more specific cases, certain states have ever murkier reasons to not fully embrace this phenomenon. If we consider the disruptive consequences of blockchain technology, many authoritarian states are not keen on allowing this industry to take hold in their country. Some rogue countries, such as Venezuela, go even further by using the technology to bypass economic sanctions and be able to gather resources in order to fund illicit activities of their regimes. Misunderstood stories of destructive, fraudulent behaviour and mishandling by ill-willing power structures serve to downplay the potentially beneficial effects of embracing blockchain technology. These arguments often become ammunition for sceptic traditional industry and political leaders.

While this may change in the future, the current outlook for blockchain remains positive. Most of the developed economies have doubled down on not interfering or curbing the overall growth of the global blockchain industry. This was perhaps due to the fact that the rise of the blockchain ecosystem has proven to be much more industry-friendly than previously expected. With the rise of market caps and an influx of non-blockchain natives within projects in roles spanning from development, design to marketing and advertising, industry priorities and attitudes slowly change from idealism or pessimism to pragmatism. As the industry matures further, we can expect new legislation which cover crucial areas such as funding, as well as new blockchain industry practices that protect participants and prevent malpractice. As the space evolves and new businesses join with their own propositions, we can expect the scene to grow even further, both in respect to regulations and new organisations, created according to already pre-existing conditions dictated by their respective legal body.