This article intends to be the first of a multi part series explaining some of the key concepts I believe will help shape the future of ecommerce. If you have no idea what is a cryptocurrency is then read the pretext, feel free to skip otherwise.
What is a cryptocurrency? here is a quick explanation: 'a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.' The first and largest cryptocurrency measured by market cap is Bitcoin, nearly 8 years old with a market cap of over 12.5 million USD as of date this article was published.
A new type of marketplace
As a merchant say goodbye to expensive middleman fees from marketplaces like Ebay and Etsy with the introduction of a radically new type of marketplace that focuses on using cryptocurrencies as the main form of payment. These type of marketplaces work on the principle that no central entity ( company ) hold controls over the merchant store data which allows no restrictions on what can be offered and bought but also make it hard to stop a malicious store from selling products and services that are considered illegal.
With the increase to concerns over credit card fraud many online merchants are turning away good business. Such fraud is more common in global transactions, and so many brands do not accept international payments. With a digital currency such as bitcoin, the transfer cannot be undone once it has been made. This eliminates the risk of fraud for merchants and thus allows them to sell worldwide with confidence.
Programmable Money and smart contracts
Cryptocurrencies enable new possibilities that are simply not possible with existing monetary systems, from automated land title escrow to intelligent machine to machine payment contracts. The realm of possibility almost seems limitless with many of the world changing features still to be dreamt of. At this point in time however this area of development is still very much in an experimental phase and currently only proof of concepts exists at best.