When you read all of the small business stories in 2021, a few general themes quickly emerge. Inflation. Supply Chain. Labor shortages. Covid. It is all true. All relevant. All important. But all of these stories are relatively short-term. Inflation will one day be under control again. The expedition will catch up. Work will come and go. The Covid will always be there, but we will just live with it.
The reality is that there was only one small business story in 2021 that is really going to have an impact in the long run. It has received much less attention and yet it will be transformational. The story of small businesses this year is about blockchain. Because in 2021, blockchain has become the next big thing for entrepreneurs. It’s real and it happens. And smart entrepreneurs know it.
Richerd, for example, knows this. According to his CNET story, Richerd is an ‘affable’ Canadian software developer who started making cryptocurrency software in 2013 and eventually turned to buying and selling NFT (non-fungible token) art. ) in line. Richerd bought CryptoPunk # 6046 – a digital work of art – in March for around $ 86,000 and the next day – he says – was offered more than $ 9.5 million to take it away. Based on what I know about the digital art market, this story is not amazing. And if you can believe it, he actually rejected the offer, calling his art “priceless” and saying it was not for sale at any price.
OK, so maybe Richerd isn’t the smartest blockchain entrepreneur around. Or maybe he does and eventually sell CryptoPunk # 6046 for a billion. Either way, he can definitely spot the value. And he is not alone. Quietly, a growing wave of new entrepreneurs – and big brands – are entering the blockchain world in what is emerging as America’s next great gold rush. Except that all the gold is virtualâ¦ and unlike the 1870s, it really does exist and there is plenty to shop around.
For those of you who aren’t tech-savvy, here’s a quick recap. Blockchain is like an unbreakable, infinite digital ledger. It is part of a secure and dispersed database that is shared by many computers on a distributed network (many call it Web3, the next iteration of the Internet) and stores its information in a way that ensures security and individuality. of each data record.
Due to the blockchain, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether (and many others) can exist. NFTs are unique, inimitable, non-interchangeable units of data stored on a blockchain and can be associated with photos, videos, audio, and other art forms which then make these assets uniquely identified and permed. So just like there is only one original Mona Lisa, by attaching an NFT to a digital drawing, you can also make it one of a kind.
This means that if you create your own digital artwork or any similar product on the blockchain, such as products sold by online companies such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club or in marketplaces such as OpenSea, you can create your own. own company. Many smart entrepreneurs realize this. And cash. And attract money.
This is why the cryptocurrency market is now worth more than $ 3 billion and that in 2021, venture capital firms have invested around $ 30 billion in this universe, according to a recent Bloomberg report, which is more than all previous years combined and quadruple the previous record. hit in 2018. That’s why payment companies like PayPal, Block (formerly Square), and Coinbase make it easy for their users to transfer digital currencies like dollars and euros. This is why the Staples Center in Los Angeles is now called Crypto.com Arena. That’s why big brands like Nike buy digital art companies like RTFKT.
All of this buying and selling drives the need for new technologies and platforms in the digital world, and markets like OpenSea, Nifty Gateway, SingularityNET, Syscoin, Dapp, and bitFlyer are small businesses that profit from the creation of new entrepreneurs and artists. eager to serve those hungry customers. . And in the background looms the soon to be overwhelming metaverse, a virtual world of future interactions and digital transactions so important that the world’s largest social media platform has changed its corporate brand to it. to prepare.
Of course, the media will remember 2021 as the year of inflation, supply chain, social unrest and Covid. But these types of challenges have been around forever and will always come and go. The real story this year is the explosion of a digital world of transactions which, over the next few years, will spawn a new entrepreneurial economy and create billions of wealth.