Business Unusual

Bitcoin, Uber and GoPro - how the mighty are challenged - Part 3

This is an update to the coverage of three subjects previously featured on Business Unusual. Typically these businesses were hailed for their ability to disrupt the market they were in and it appeared at the time that good times lay ahead.

No business gets a free ride though and their success came at the cost of the previous incumbents. As they now move into the prime position it is others that are trying to disrupt them.

This is part 3.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin is still such an outlier to the enormous traditional finance market that even the record new levels the cryptocurrency reached may still not be enough for it to make it.

When it was covered as part of the feature on Blockchain, it was one of the most volatile currencies capable of very large swings compared to traditional currencies. It was growing but from a small base and while it was performing well, there were some big questions looming about how it would fit in the traditional market and how the developer community would evolve to deal with its growing base.

China has been a big influence, not only because the bulk of the mining operations are based there.

Mining itself has turned into a very lucrative investment option for some while being seen as a bubble nearing a pop by others as the blockchain network counters the increasing mining power with ever more difficult hashing computations.

After a slow rise in 2016, it threatened to breach its record high of $1147 set in 2014. On 4 January it hit $1129 and then a new record of $1290 on 4 March. It is now back at $1185.

There will be multiple factors affecting the rise and fall, but the focus of them would also relate to how Chinese and Japanese bitcoin exchanges have reacted to news from the Chinese Central Banks which have sought to regulate the amount of cash Chinese citizens invest into the coin. It also has its and its own plans to introduce a currency of their own which could both undermine bitcoin value while also confirming its place as a legitimate form of currency.

The ides of March may offer another significant boost or potential reason to crash the virtual currency. The US Securities and Exchange Commision will rule if a Bitcoin based ETF will be allowed to trade in the US. If approved it will allow for those with no need to actually use the currency to benefit from investing in it in the same way they might buy gold. It is worth noting that the Bitcoin price exceeded the gold price on 2 March 2017.

Impressive considering it is still not known who even created it.

Interest in the potential of blockchain suggests that even if Bitcoin fails to reach maturity as an alternative store of value, a version of it will.

One of the most recent applications will see IBM and Maersk use blockchain to track containers. It could slash the amount of paperwork needed to move goods while adding almost perfect security to track the movement of goods anywhere in the world.

Now read part 1 - Uber or part 2 - GoPro

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
Two high tech weapons, one guaranteed to kill and one guaranteed it won't

Two high tech weapons, one guaranteed to kill and one guaranteed it won't

Technology promises to make everything better, but can it reduce accidental firing and ensure ethical kills?

The tools that were supposed to make life easier could be putting us at risk

The tools that were supposed to make life easier could be putting us at risk

A phone, a PC, a TV, a car - odds are you have one and odds are you have no idea how they work.

Numer.ai wants to use AI and collaboration to beat the stock market

Numer.ai wants to use AI and collaboration to beat the stock market

A US start-up founded by South African Richard Craib could be the hedge fund to watch.

Bitcoin bonanza offers SA investors the chance to make a quick buck

Bitcoin bonanza offers SA investors the chance to make a quick buck

On April 2 a Bitcoin was worth $1079. By May 2 it was worth $1428.

How the symbol for a good idea has outlived the product that inspired it

How the symbol for a good idea has outlived the product that inspired it

The history of General Electric is the history of electric lighting and after 125 years they may be selling it.

5 year-olds may never get a car licence

5 year-olds may never get a car licence

Cars might not only be autonomous by 2030, new drivers will probably not be allowed to drive.

Popular articles
Cape Town's flexi work hours an 'absolute hit'

Cape Town's flexi work hours an 'absolute hit'

Tax advisory company Grant Thornton has extended remote working and flexible staff hours since the City's announcement.

Read Spur CEO Pierre van Tonder's open letter to Solidarity's Dirk Hermann

Read Spur CEO Pierre van Tonder's open letter to Solidarity's Dirk Hermann

"Dear Dirk, I refer to your open letter published on Maroela Media on 23 May in which you make some contentious statements..."

Trade union Solidarity sets the record straight on Spur 'boycott'

Trade union Solidarity sets the record straight on Spur 'boycott'

Spur boss puzzled by union support of the boycott, but Solidarity's Dirk Hermann clarifies letter was in his personal capacity.

'DStv agreeing to pay R 22 million fine is clear admission of guilt'

'DStv agreeing to pay R 22 million fine is clear admission of guilt'

Media Monitoring Africa's William Bird explains the impact of the latest agreement between DStv and the Competition Commission.

Grade 6 pupil falls to his death at Edgemead Primary

Grade 6 pupil falls to his death at Edgemead Primary

MEC for Education at Western Cape says an investigation will be launched into the school tragedy.

Another damning State Capture report, this time by academics

Another damning State Capture report, this time by academics

Stephen Grootes says this report looks into how state capture came about going back to 2009 with the arrival of the Guptas.