Cryptocurrencies, arguably the hottest story of 2017, are set for a resurgence. Or are they?
Ethereum’s price jumped 4% on Monday, adding some 8% over the last week, to trade at highs of $210. This is significantly less that it’s price of $1247 seen in January this year, which highlights the volatility of this space. Although some experts believe that as blockchain — the technology behind cryptocurrency — becomes more widely adopted in enterprise, the stock and reputation of these virtual currencies will also increase.
Influential technology expert, Ian McLeod of Thomas Crown Art — the ‘world’s leading art-tech agency’ — shares this view and predicts that Ethereum will experience a “monumental, defining global breakout” when smart contracts can accept outside data.
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McLeod commented: “Ethereum is back in bull territory and is on track to enjoy considerable gains before year-end.”
“I maintain that we can expect Ethereum to hit $500 by the end of 2018 and go on an overall upward trajectory throughout 2019.”
“However, what will be the monumental, defining driver for its global breakout? Oracles.”
“Oracles link Ethereum-run smart contracts to the real world and will be responsible for the digital currency to enter an entirely new phase of mass adoption.”
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Oracles are trusted data feeds that deliver information into the smart contract, thereby taking away the requirement for smart contracts to directly access information outside their network. Typically, oracles are usually supplied by third parties which are authorised by the organisations that use them.
“Oracles are a massive step forward in the practical utilisation of smart contracts,” continued McLeod. “They allow smart contracts to accept outside data to decide upon an action – and this has a myriad of highly-demanded, real-world use-cases in almost every sector.”
“For instance, they can help insurance companies with pay-outs on flight delays, sports betting firms with result information coming from various trusted sources, and can help us in the art world by conclusively proving the provenance of artwork quickly and easily.”
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Blockchain technology can be applied to every industry. It is now a case of waiting for enterprises to change their mindset and allow the technology to help address the problems they face.
In the art world, for example, “using a blockchain to authenticate artwork is an ideal use-case for smart contracts,” said McLeod.
“They provide the ability to store a permanent, immutable record of artwork at the point of creation which can be used to authenticate registered works. Oracles will further enhance this concept and lighten smart contracts’ work processes.”
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“When Ethereum-based smart contracts are fed a robust and reliable information through oracles to make precise and correct judgements, Ethereum’s price will explode.”
“Ethereum is already light years ahead of Bitcoin in everything but price – and this gap will become increasingly apparent as more and more investors jump into crypto,” concluded McLeod.
Last month, Mcleod noted: “We can expect Bitcoin to lose 50% of its cryptocurrency market share to Ethereum, its nearest rival, within five years.”