After a record year unlike any other, it's evident that cryptocurrencies are here to stay. Not only are digital assets now a multi-trillion dollar asset class, but we've seen several notable events that have put cryptocurrencies and blockchain in the headlines. Christie's $69 million NFT sale is one such example, while the meme stocks craze led to an epic rally in Dogecoin which peaked with Elon Musk mentioning the meme coin during the introduction of the episode Saturday Night Live he hosted in May.
While cryptocurrencies themselves have still not yet become mainstream, this is the closest crypto has ever come to being part of mainstream culture. And it's fair to say that a future where cryptocurrency is part of our everyday lives now feels conceivable. In fact, it's already possible to earn and use cryptocurrencies in several real-world scenarios that simply didn't exist only a few short years ago. Here are a few examples.
According to Statista, there will be around fifty billion IoT-connected devices by 2030. And yet today's infrastructure is barely able to cope with the traffic it has already. The exponential demand for connectivity that we will see over the coming years requires massive scalability in wireless technologies. This is where Nodle comes in.
Nodle uses Bluetooth connectivity in smartphones, which is around 33x more energy efficient for the phone than the WiFi connection. When it's in range of an IoT device, a Nodle-connected phone uses the Bluetooth connection to make the phone act as a relay to move encrypted information through the Nodle network on behalf of the IoT device. In return, the smartphone user earns NODL token rewards.
Nodle has garnered significant interest from enterprise users, including HTC, which embedded the Nodle Cash app on its Exodus phones, the City of Paris, and Cisco Meraki, among others. The network has many use cases, including tracking assets and stolen goods or geo-targeting consumers using IoT-enabled street furniture.
As restaurants were forced to close during the pandemic, businesses and consumers alike turned to services such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo. However, recent research suggests that consumers could be paying up to 44% more for their meal than if they ordered directly from the restaurant, implying that customers and restaurants alike are being penalized simply for convenience.
Furthermore, the companies operating these platforms often hoard the valuable customer data generated by them, meaning that restaurants lose out on the opportunity for insights that could help them grow their business.
Bistroo uses blockchain to disintermediate the restaurant-customer connection and restore restaurateurs with control over their business. It allows merchants to choose their product selection and advertising budgets and provides access to a complete analytics dashboard along with instant payments. Consumers have access to an intuitive app, and can earn rewards by supporting their favorite eateries.
The project has been in operation in the Netherlands since 2020 and raised over €8 million ($9.3 million) from the sale of its BIST token in May this year.
Jelurida operates a suite of proof-of-stake blockchain platforms, including Ardor and its main child chain, Ignis. Over the last few years, Ardor has been making steady headway into a series of real-world use cases that also have a heavy focus on sustainability and the green agenda.
For instance, in 2020, an Austrian-government-funded project engaged Jelurida to collaborate on a pilot project called "Hot City," which aimed to identify micro-sources of waste heat for recycling. Citizens could earn tokens for participating in crowdsourcing activities.
Another example of sustainability in action on Ardor is Treecycle. It's an initiative that invites investors to purchase security tokens representing a share in a reforestation and timber sustainability initiative being run in Paraguay.
Finally, Triffic, also built on Ardor, aims to promote local economies by offering users a geocaching game where they can collect rewards when out and about in their local areas. Businesses can participate by advertising or hiding promotional freebies in the geocached rewards so that passers-by can redeem them in-store.
In the cryptocurrency community, adoption has always been one of the most critical measures of success. Twelve years on from Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency has evolved into an investment asset, rather than a payment utility. However, it's a fact that many people won't ever purchase an investment asset in their lifetimes, limiting the ability of crypto to reach a truly global audience. Therefore, if cryptocurrencies are to gain mass adoption by people from all walks of life, real-world use cases are a necessity to achieve the goal.