The public perception that surrounds cryptocurrency is shrouded in tales (in many cases, fables) of people who have struck digital gold. On the flip side, scammy ICOs also draw media attention and, subsequently, shape a skeptical view of the crypto landscape as a whole.
What a lot of people outside of the crypto world may not recognize is that digital currencies offer more than just get rich opportunities. Some of these tokens and the companies behind them are changing the way we travel, make charitable donations, and access scientific research and health data. In fact, when it comes to possible solutions fueled by cryptocurrencies, the sky is the limit.
Many developers, writers, and entrepreneurs are already finding ways to spark positive change through the development and promotion of cryptocurrency. If you’re interested in learning more about crypto’s potential to unleash progress across industries, check out these five individuals already changing the game:
Elizabeth Stark is the co-founder of Lightning Labs, an open protocol layer. This foundation is designed to support cheap, fast, and private transactions facilitated via blockchain. Their solution is a software layered over the top of Bitcoin to increase the efficiency of sending and receiving coins. While the focus of Lightning Labs is to build a robust financial infrastructure (rather than introduce proprietary a cryptocurrency) its progression will spark the emergence of more innovative transactional solutions. Additionally, Elizabeth Stark is quickly becoming a prominent thought leader across the blockchain and crypto landscape. The lack of female representation in the blockchain and crypto communities is well documented. However, as the founder of a prominent blockchain solution, Stark is changing that dialogue and culture.
The global travel industry commanded $1.6 billion in 2016, alone. Although the industry is on a continual uptick, inefficiencies remain. Customers and merchants are at the mercy of high online travel agency (OTA) fees, and there is a vast disconnect between booking flights and accommodations, ground transportation, and local experiences.
A longtime entrepreneur within the hospitality space, Soriano recognized the need to create a seamless booking experience that would reward travelers, rather than rack up their bills with astronomical fees. Since 2014, his platform AIRSTAYZ™ has provided a connected space for travelers to book accommodations and skip the check-in line once they arrive at their destinations. Now, Soriano is taking AIRSTAYZ™ to the blockchain and launching a new proprietary STAY token, which will give travelers tokenized points that can be used for any booking need and won’t demand high international exchange fees.
Yes, that Akon. The singer and music producer is taking his talents to the blockchain. Recently he announced the creation of a futuristic crypto city in Senegal, which will run on Akoin, a proprietary digital currency. The intention behind the launch of this coin and the creation of this city is to empower civilians through decentralization. Through the development and dissemination of cryptocurrencies, people living in this area will be able to advance professionally and financially without dependence on government.
As the CEO of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong is well aware of the power and potential of digital currency. Now, the entrepreneur is leveraging crypto to launch a new, charitable-giving organization called GiveCrypto, which will distribute digital currencies to people in need. Through GiveCrypto, people can give directly to individuals, rather than sending their funds through organizations that use a portion of those donations. Cryptocurrency also increases transparency and gives recipients increased agency over their finances.
Crypto education is an essential component of industry development; the more people understand the underlying technology that fuels crypto distribution, and the potential use cases for these coins, the faster global adoption can occur. As the host of the Unchained podcast, journalist Laura Shin delves into the expansive world of cryptocurrency through her interviews with developers, entrepreneurs, and crypto thought leaders. The podcast explores regulation issues as well as the organizations using cryptocurrency to spark industry-specific solutions. From crypto novices to regular Reddit contributors, Unchained offers more profound insights and understanding of the landscape for all listeners.
There is no shortage of innovation unfolding in this space. These five individuals are carving out their own solutions and communities and represent just the tip of the emerging crypto creative iceberg.