When someone says the word blockchain, what comes to mind?
If you’re like me, it’s investors pulling out their hair, rending their clothes, or regretting the day they ever heard of cryptocurrency.
And if you’re been paying attention to the markets as of late, there hasn’t been much in the way of recovery. Staying away is a viable option here because that’s what everyone else has been doing. It’s a safe bet, except for the notion that nobody ever gets rich by playing it safe – well, nobody worth talking about anyway.
So where does that leave us? Is blockchain still dead?
A quick glance at the blockchain market produces mostly headaches and little promise, but notice I didn’t say “no” promise.
The early promise of blockchain was it was going to change the way financial markets and big data and healthcare and insurance and home-based artisan apple cider businesses were going to work.
And it still will. We’re just not tossing billions of dollars at any long-haired Eastern European Kraftwerk cover band that says they code blockchain apps in their spare time anymore.
There are some shiny rocks in the bottom of this deep pool, but the pool is murky and, let’s be honest, full of terrors. One of those particularly shiny rocks, though the market hasn’t figured it out yet, is Blockchain Foundry (BCFN.C).
BCFN has some serious potential. This isn’t a crypto mining operation that’s going to go south when their power bill comes in. Blockchain may have taken a serious hit in the past year, but there are a handful of holdouts eking out meagre existences close to the bottom that are definitively worthwhile to keep in your crosshairs – and, increasingly, it looks like BCFN might be one of them.
Why? Mostly because of their selective partnerships.
Their most recent partnership is with LAVAcoin (or LAVA Blockchain Technologies Inc.), who have been busy working on manufacturing a global, decentralized, blockchain-enabled membership community, and have taken a serious step towards that by putting out a Community Card program that promises to make every day shopping a breeze, while sending a kickback from the transaction fee back into members pockets. It’s a respectable partnership with an admirable goal, if not a little ho-hum in the details.
But that’s not really what lends Blockchain Foundry its lustre, and that’s where its second most recent partnership comes in.
In October of this year, Blockchain Foundry partnered up with the LODE Community. These folks call themselves a “Collectively Organized Community of like-minded silver enthusiasts with members from more than 90 countries,” which at first glance doesn’t tell you a single thing about them, except that they like silver and they’re, well, spread throughout the world.
But what they are is a company that seeks to develop the first two-token cryptographic commodity-backed monetary-system, specifically tied to secure, vaulted, and pure 99.9 percent silver.
Tied together with Syscoin’s platform, it will allow LODE to make fast, permissionless transactions, and give individuals the power to perform cryptocurrency and fiat transactions that are encrypted and therefore secure.
That all sounds most excellent.
Counterpoint: For some blockchain enthusiasts, an exchange tied to a physical asset is likely to be a turn-off. What is this, 1917?
Ignore your strange anarcho-capitalist friends for a moment and listen up – they’re entirely missing the point that these companies (and those folks who invest in them) are doing so to directly profit from the weird times the United States are presently enduring, and which could potentially deepen in the coming years.
When there’s political instability, the tendency is for the more stable commodities, like Gold and Silver, to see an uptick. That could spell good times for LODE, which would spell good times for Blockchain Foundry, and therefore possibly translate over to the profit margin of anyone invested in the company.
But that all depends on whether or not politics goes even more sour for our neighbours to the south than it has. Riots? Armed revolution? Dogs and cats living together?
There’s something a little unsavoury in hoping for the worst, but that’s exactly what we’re doing here so let’s save our karma and more on.
Another potentially big turn-off is that Syscoin and Blockchain Foundry haven’t found a solution for one of the biggest issues common to all blockchain technology, including crypto, exchanges and everything else.
I’ll reiterate a common point to explain: Visa (V.NYSE) processes about 2,000 transactions a second, while Bitcoin manages only 3-7 and Ethereum gets up around 7-15. The boys at Blockchain Foundry don’t have an answer for that yet because, well, nobody does.
As was reported earlier (here), they’re hard at work on it, but until that gap is covered, the competitive edge remains with Visa and more traditional means of shopping. That could keep mainstream attention away from sites and services such as this, and could put a technological ceiling on any potential profits in the future.
The next few months will tell if BCFN and others of their ilk are on a highway to mainstream acceptance or are being choked out.
Blockchain, as a sector, is scraping bottom, and if it did have a little run, there’s no saying whether it could get smacked again.
But companies doing real blockchain business, they’re yet to see a return on that value because they’re so tied in with all those errant crypto miners, and so remain a low priced asset despite their deals and partners and revenues.
If we’re betting on who rises up from the primordial murk, crawls up on land and learns to breathe the air post-2018, for right now, companies like Blockchain Foundry have some good ideas, some solid direction and could be making the opening steps to becoming the next stage in the evolution of this technology.
But they’re not there yet. They haven’t proven it yet. As with all of these things, only time will tell, and those looking for value make their bets before the wheel stops spinning – not after.
— Joseph Morton
Full Disclosure: Blockchain Foundry is a equity.guru marketing client.