Imagine it is the future, and you are buying a home. Instead of signing a pile of papers in a mortgage office and paying tons of fees, imagine that the entire transaction is done online within minutes with fewer fees because there are fewer intermediaries. That is the promise of blockchain and it’s likely coming soon. Blockchain is a technology that relies on a secure shared ledger system among its users for financial transactions. The shared ledger agrees the person selling the house has authority to do so, and after you pay for it, agrees and records that the property now belongs to you.
Technology expert Jeremy Epstein, CEO of Never Stop Marketing, visited Launch Workplaces in Gaithersburg this week to educate members on this technology. And while you may not be familiar with the term blockchain, you more than likely have heard of bitcoin, the currency which resides on blockchain. Initially bitcoin might have been used for nefarious online activities but it is becoming more mainstream and it’s important for small business owners to understand how this may impact their strategies in the future. For Launch member EventBank, for example, this may mean they program bitcoin as a payment option for event attendees in their community and event building platform. For financial advisers it might mean recommending that their clients test the investment waters of this currency. Whether it becomes as popular as the internet and social media remains to be seen, nonetheless it’s better to be aware than caught off guard.