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Move aside Bitcoin and remember why you are here

Dominic McCann, CEO of BTL Group (TSXV:BTL), the blockchain technology firm, gives us his opinion on bitcoin and cryptocurrency altogether.

"As 2018 dawns it is hard to see the mania of 2017 around cryptocurrencies dwindling. More and more businesses are looking to do an asset raise via the creation of a crypto and of course the “blue-chip” crypto, Bitcoin, remains firmly in many headlines. The debate as to whether we are in a bubble fit to burst or not will continue and that debate will only get more heated if Bitcoin makes another attempt at breaking $20,000. While everyone is focused on whether it is going to reach $20, $50, $100 thousand, they are missing the bigger story about the underlying technology: blockchain (or distributed ledger, call it what you will). At BTL we really don’t care about what Bitcoin does because it has no impact on what we’re doing. Since 2015 we’ve been building Interbit, a new blockchain platform and the journey to date has been both fascinating, as the technology evolves, but also enlightening for our clients and us.

The analogy between many of the really exciting blockchain technology projects and the crypto markets is unhelpful. This is mainly due to a clear lack of understanding and knowledge of the difference. This lack of knowledge marks challenges we face regularly, as we continue to communicate what we do at BTL, which I reiterate, has nothing to do with cryptocurrencies. It is not difficult to get your head around, but several conversations with people (some are even designated technology “experts”) where I’ve explained what our Interbit platform is, have ended with them saying that it sounds like a cryptocurrency. Another was via a general enquiry where the person asked “how does the Interbit platform handle mining”. This last conversation did not last long!

It’s the inherent trust that blockchain builds within the foundation of cryptocurrencies that has led to investors flocking to them without doing very much due diligence, so we hear of crypto millionaires as much as people losing a great deal of money when buying the ones that are badly administered and see their price crash. Of course cryptos and blockchain go hand in glove, but where cryptos are created and maintained using blockchain technology, the latter does not rely on the former to exist. In fact, blockchain tech doesn’t need tokenization in any shape or form to be massively impactful.

Regardless of your view on these new digital assets however, there’s no question that if it wasn’t for blockchain technology itself, the Bitcoins, Litecoins, or Ethers of this world wouldn’t be in existence. For the past few years industry has been exploring how blockchain can help transform the transfer, validation and storage of data, whether that be in either back office or trading processes. In these few years we’ve learnt a great deal about blockchain’s hindrances and weaknesses, in particular speed and scalability. Now we are seeing solutions addressing these weaknesses by developing better blockchain technologies, using familiar software paradigms that ease adoption by in house development teams. This means enterprises do not need to rely on niche and expensive skill sets.

We believe this is a foundation technology where we are building a new, simpler, more secure way of computing, with Interbit being the next generation of blockchain."