“Excitement on blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology has rapidly spread. [Blockchain] has moved well beyond the cryptocurrency realm.”
— Erin Kim, Blockchain Canada board member
Did you collect baseball cards when you were a kid?
I did, and Al Kaline of the Detroit Tigers was my favorite player. I desperately wanted his All Star baseball card.
For an 8-year-old boy, I spent what seemed like a fortune on dozens of bubble gum baseball packs, but never got that coveted Al Kaline card.
I did, however, get a Brooks Robinson card, who went on to a great career for the Baltimore Orioles. But I didn’t like him because he single-handedly beat my beloved Tigers with his magical glove.
Lots of my classmates brought their baseball card collection to school to do two things: (1) show off their best cards and (2) make trades during recess.
One of my classmates — a guy I didn’t like or trust — was a huge Brooks Robinson fan. So I agreed to trade my Brooks Robinson card for his Al Kaline card. A win-win for both of us!
Maybe it was different at your grade school. But when you didn’t trust a trading partner, there was a set procedure …
Each kid would hold on to each end of his card. We would then count down — 3 … 2 … 1! Then each would release the card at the same time, a schoolboy version of “trust but verify.”
Computers and the internet didn’t exist when I was a kid. But blockchain technology would have solved that whole trust issue in its own way.
In fact, blockchain is all about facilitating transactions between people you don’t know and even people you do not trust.
Big Savings of Time and Money
I’ve outgrown baseball cards (sort of). But there are still lots of occasions when I need an adult version of “3-2-1-release” when I do business with people I don’t know.
One example that almost all of us have experienced is buying a home. You’re always required to buy title insurance.
You pay a company to do a title search. The cost is built into your policy, and then the title insurance fee is tacked onto the transaction cost. The owners had to do the same when they first bought the property, and so did the folks before them.
Each time, the process can take several weeks and cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. But imagine the day when it can be eliminated.
Yes, you guessed it!
Blockchain technology could make title insurance virtually obsolete … save homebuyers billions of dollars each year … and dramatically speed up the home purchasing process.
Blockchain could record and verify home titles in a way that cannot be altered. There would be rarely be a need for new title searches or even title insurance.
And that’s just one of countless other trust applications for blockchain. Consider, for example …
- Producers of digital content — musicians, publishing companies, movie makers — manage their intellectual property by securing authorship data. Then, they easily control the release of that content strictly to authorized buyers.
- Doctors and hospitals securely store your personal health records in permanent databases.
- A business tracks its goods — whether avocados or pharmaceutical drugs — through each step of the distribution chain. Result: The end buyers know the pedigree of the product, and with that, they know for sure they’re not getting stuck with counterfeit merchandise.
- Mortgage brokers store sensitive financial data and share it only with lenders authorized to access it.
Blockchain allows for direct connections without a third party … reduced transactions costs … no time lag … and, thankfully, no schoolyard “3-2-1 release” procedure.
In short, blockchain is going to transform money and business. And in the process, it’s going to deliver a huge opportunity for savvy investors.
No wonder financial services companies spent $1.7 billion on blockchain initiatives in the last year, according to Greenwich
Whenever you hear the word “billion” being thrown around, you know that somebody is getting very rich in the process. And that “somebody” could be you if you invest in the companies providing the picks and shovels of the blockchain.
There are a handful of publicly traded stocks that I expect to skyrocket because of blockchain. Plus, there are already blockchain ETFs:
- Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF (BLOK)
- Reality Shares Nasdaq NexGen Economy ETF (BLCN)
- Innovation Shares NextGen Protocol ETF (KOIN)
- First Trust Indxx Innovative Transaction & Process ETF (LEGR)
And that’s just the beginning. Much more is on the way, and I’ll tell you more about it as we march along.
Weiss Ratings currently does not assign a letter grade to these ETFs. But we are adding new cryptocurrencies all the time to our close-to-100-name Weiss Crypto Ratings universe. NULS, which wants to make it easy for non-crypto professionals to create their own distributed ledgers, just joined that list. You can get on another of our exclusive lists … that is, the one to have our latest ratings and research sent to your email inbox every Thursday. Click here to see how.