Joseph Lupo agrees. Lupo is the general manager with CoinBits, which helps businesses and investors securely build, manage and protect their money in a private Bitcoin portfolio. “We see a demand for high net-worth individuals and businesses who want to invest in this new asset class,” says Lupo. “They need an on-ramp and someone they can trust because Bitcoin doesn’t have a team or headquarters, so we started Coinbits Reserve to help businesses and high net worth individuals invest in Bitcoin. We manage their investments. But we also focus on education and what this new form of digital, limited money can do for them. “
When companies consider potential business models and use cases for cryptocurrency, there are factors to consider before entering the market. Cryptocurrency is still marked by volatility and wild price fluctuations. And security and regulatory compliance concerns could slow the adoption process in more heavily regulated areas, such as finance. “Banks are moving back and forth on how they can comply in crypto,” says Xi of Prime Trust. “What’s holding them back is that understanding the rules of this space requires both crypto domain knowledge and compliance skills. To make matters worse, there are no clear rules on what is relevant.”
There is also pressure on the need to develop IT infrastructure to integrate cryptocurrencies. For example, The Pavilions Hotel relies on legacy booking engines to reserve hotel rooms online for guests. However, Toon says the system was unable to accept cryptocurrency payments. The company searched for alternatives, but in the end, Toon says, the hotel chain “was unable to find a suitable seller who was willing to allow us to place cryptocurrencies through the booking engine.”
As a result, crypto-paying guests at The Pavilion must book directly through the company’s reservation center, instead of booking online. After the call, an agent delivers an email containing a link that guests click on or scan to complete the cryptocurrency payment. It’s an extra step that Toon says could “slow down the process. People want to book right now — they don’t want to talk to anyone or email anyone. They just want to reserve themselves.”
As cryptocurrency gains mainstream acceptance, Xi says businesses will increasingly seek out agnostic IT infrastructure that allows for easy integration with a wide range of features and solutions. Otherwise, she notes, “it can be overwhelming and costly to deal with multiple vendor integrations.”
Another challenge facing organizations entering the cryptocurrency market is the lack of qualified talent – a key component in developing innovative products and services. “We all know that engineering and product talent in crypto is extremely difficult to come by these days,” says Xi. Which, she says, could lead to one of two adverse consequences: either “already large costs for staff in-house teams” or, alternatively, if a company chooses to scrap a medium-sized team, “really long” Time to go to the market to get a competitive edge and missed opportunity ”.
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This content was created by Insights, the custom content arm of MIT Technology Review. It was not written by the editorial staff of MIT Technology Review.