The Growth of the Internet of Things Market

by David Whitney Consultant

The Internet of Things and blockchain go hand in hand. The IoT industry is estimated to grow around 300% over the next 5 years and will reach $1.4 trillion by 2021. Visit this link, to learn more other facts about the growth of Internet of Things.

Blockchain technology will play a huge part in this. The sheer number of data transactions, between multiple devices on multiple networks, means monitoring all these transactions is incredibly complicated, especially in terms of accountability. Where blockchain comes in is by providing a permanent, transparent and irrefutable record of transfers of both physical goods and data. If there is an error, or something goes wrong, blockchain can see where the error was made, and even rectify said error if possible.

In terms of cryptocurrency, IOTA is the largest one with a strong IoT focus. The coin has already received plaudits as well as investments from major companies such as Bosch. Focusing on just the pharmaceutical sector, Modum (MOD) is one example of the interaction between blockchain and the IoT. This specific use case has massive social benefits in the forms of lowering the circulation of counterfeit drugs and reduce the amount the industry spends on shipping logistics.

IBM is another company that has heavily focused on the IoT and blockchain interactions. The tech giant's biggest move thus far has been to invest over $200 million in it's Watson IoT headquarters, with much of this money going towards integrating blockchain solutions within the company.

IBM also recently partnered with shipping giant Maersk to launch a new venture aimed at utilizing blockchain solutions for the shipping industry. Another IBM backed project is Hyperledger, an open source project in collaboration with JP Morgan among other companies that aims to demonstrate to customers how they can use blockchain in their own business.

A smaller company, that may not be on your radar is Filament. The Nevada based blockchain firm produces microchips that can be integrated into products and automatically create their own smart contracts and verify their own transactions. These are all stored on a decentralized server, so there is no risk of tampering. This is a useful alternative to centralized cloud-based systems.

The only place where you can trade cryptocurrency and stocks at the same time

Yes, it's true, the development consumer investors have been crying out for is finally here. Stock-trading app Robinhood, known for its zero commission policy, is planning to integrate cryptocurrency trading. This move is sparked by the growing interest in cryptocurrency from younger investors, and those who don't yet have any investments of their own.

After all, 78 percent of Robinhood's customer base is 18-35-year-olds, and the app has taken a significant market share in that demographic from traditional leaders like TD Ameritrade. The initial currency pairings will be Bitcoin and Ethereum, both traded against the US Dollar.

This will be the first of its kind, stock trading and cryptocurrency in the same place. It should be noted that this is actual cryptocurrency you are trading, not futures contracts denominated in USD. The initial rollout will be in 5 states (California, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hamp-shire and Montana), with purchases limited to below $1,000. Even with these caveats, more than 1 million wannabe investors signed up for the chance to be given early access to the platform. For comparison, the last move of this kind by Robinhood was the announcement of commission-free options trading, which garnered just 150,000 sign-ups.

It's also worth noting that the new crypto venture will allow users to set price alerts for 14 additional cryptocurrencies. It will be interesting to see if these currencies are also adopted by the platform at a later date. Although many of the currencies don't have fiat pairings themselves so that could prove to be troublesome.

Robinhood CEO Baiju Bhatt stated that there are future plans to support all of these currencies, which include lesser known ones such as QTUM and Stellar. It remains to be seen if this will be via fiat to crypto pairings or a more traditional model like crypto to crypto pairings. The cryptocurrency move will not include ICOs either, which is in line with Robinhood's current model of not offering OTC stocks within the app.

The interesting development will be seeing if Robinhood can disrupt Coinbase's hold on the consumer cryptocurrency market. Coinbase has revenue of over $1 billion and briefly was the number one downloaded app on the Apple store, yet has its fair share of growing pains. Coinbase has suffered from long support ticket times during the last few months due to the sheer number of new users. Robinhood's initial 5 state rollout plan will be beneficial for them as it will help them test their internal support team's capabilities.’

There is also the debate of where Robinhood will store user's coins, and whether investors will be covered in the case of hacks. According to their website, they will be using a mixture of online and offline storage for coins, and have "cutting-edge security measures that are both processes and technologically driven to secure your coins." There are no more specifics than this at the current time, so we will have to wait and see an exact plan for investors going forwa