CryptoCurrencyWire Editorial Coverage: The cryptocurrency revolution has redefined the concept of money and facilitated the adoption of the distributed ledger system known as the blockchain that makes digital money feasible. At the same time, it has presented investors in the stocks of companies linked to the blockchain revolution with the opportunity to reap substantial profits. With the market for blockchain technology projected to experience blistering growth, from $210 million in 2016 to as much as $2.3 billion by 2021, investors are identifying tremendous potential for both established and emerging companies like Victory Square Technologies, Inc. (CSE:VST) (OTC:VSQTF) (FWB:6F6) (VSQTF Profile), Overstock (NASDAQ: OSTK), HIVE Blockchain Technologies (OTC: PRELF) (TSX.V: HIVE), Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA).
The growing popularity of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, partly spurred by bitcoin’s astounding rise from around $1,000 at the start of the year to above $16,000 currently, has caused related stocks to soar, with some doubling, tripling, and even quadrupling or more as investors rush to capitalize on their potential.
Victory Square Technologies, Inc. (CSE:VST) (OTC:VSQTF) (FWB:6F6) recognized early the possibilities of the blockchain for changing transaction tracking by using a distributed network of computers to eliminate the need for third-party auditors. The company, which operates as a venture builder and technology incubator creating, funding and empowering entrepreneurs in a variety of emerging fields, made its first blockchain-related investment approximately three years ago by providing funding and business guidance to the BTL Group (TSXV: BTL) (OTC: BTLLF), the first publicly traded blockchain company.
BTL has since developed into a TSX-listed company with a market capitalization in excess of $250 million that provides blockchain solutions to multiple industries with an emphasis on the finance, energy and gaming sectors. The product BTL is best known for, Interbit, is a blockchain platform that makes it possible to rapidly develop business applications designed to boost efficiency. Today some of the largest institutions in the world utilize the Interbit platform to explore the potential of private blockchains.
A look at Victory Square’s overarching business model shows that the company invests in game-changing entrepreneurs and offers them access to a global mentor network along with distribution partners and other resources to help them accelerate the growth of their business. Victory Square offers its portfolio companies access to more than 80 business accelerators globally, and has a network of over 20 accelerator partnerships located in developing tech hubs. In addition to its investments in blockchain-based companies, Victory Square has investments in virtual reality, artificial intelligence, personalized health, gaming and film. The company’s business model enables it to benefit from monetization opportunities when its portfolio companies are acquired.
Victory Square is led by a seasoned management team with more than 100 years of combined award-winning entrepreneurial experience. The company’s CEO, Shafin Diamond Tejani, is a visionary entrepreneur and business builder with two decades of experience growing companies. In his career, he has successfully launched over 40 start-ups in 21 countries. He has been named EY Technology Entrepreneur of the Year, Canadian Angel Investor of the Year, and won the Startup Canada Award for Entrepreneur Support.
The company’s wholly owned subsidiary, FansUnite Media, Inc. is developing a new social sports betting program (http://nnw.fm/e9QtX). The division serves as a social sports data platform providing its members with relevant data to assist them in trying to pick sporting event winners using a free virtual currency. Integrating blockchain technology into FansUnite’s data platform has the potential to spur blockchain initiatives developed by associated Victory Square divisions.
The platform can be accessed by members anywhere in the world on any device, for any sport. Users of the platform can place wagers using FAN Tokens that can be purchased with the cryptocurrency Ethereum or earned via participation in various networking activities. Regarding the platform, Darius Eghdami, co-founder and CEO, said, “blockchain technology and the inherent security it provides will enable us to push every envelope we can to build the most dynamic and responsive social sports betting platform.”
Victory Square was recently admitted to the Blockchain Investors Consortium (BIC), a market-leading organization dedicated to pioneering professional investment activities for digital assets worldwide. The group has more than $2 billion of digital assets altogether among its members, who pool their expertise to perform collaborative due diligence aimed at identifying investment opportunities in promising blockchain-enabled enterprises. Investments made by BIC members include Coinbase, Tether, Ethereum’s initial crowd funding, and a number of early BTC investors.
“As an early proponent of Blockchain entrepreneurs and companies, the Victory Square team is excited to participate in this exclusive group of successful crypto investors,” CEO Tejani stated in the press release (http://nnw.fm/8VgDy).
By joining this elite investment group Victory Square gains access to promising early-stage blockchain companies, bolstering its position as a pioneering investor in blockchain companies in Canada and globally.
On Dec. 11, Victory Square introduced a portfolio company, VS Blockchain Assembly Inc., focused on providing financial, technical, and management services to assist in the development of early-stage blockchain technology companies and to help existing technology companies integrate blockchain integration to spur growth.
“Recognizing that technology companies are prioritizing the integration of blockchain into their core technology, and utilizing token generation events (TGE) or initial coin offerings (ICO) as new ways to raise capital and acquire customers and early adopters, Blockchain Assembly has been built to service this market opportunity,” Tejani said in the press release (http://nnw.fm/cuw6D). He added that the division will also help the companies it assists with their fund-raising objectives. “We are using our expertise at company building to identify, incubate, advise and invest in the best blockchain entrepreneurs, helping build the tech titans of the next century.”
Overstock (NASDAQ: OSTK) is another early adopter of blockchain-related applications. The e-commerce company’s subsidiary Medici Ventures serves as the umbrella organization for its blockchain businesses, which include tZERO, which aims to put blockchain technology to work in the financial markets. Overstock plans to launch an ICO (initial coin offering) on Dec. 18, which has helped drive the run-up in its share price. Overstock has played a part in the burgeoning trend of using cryptocurrencies for transactions by accepting bitcoin as a means of acquiring products it sells.
HIVE Blockchain Technologies (OTCPK: PRELF) (TSX.V: HIVE) focuses on cryptocurrency mining. Miners verify transactions using the blockchain, and are rewarded for their services by coins. When miners have completed verifying a transaction, it is added to the chain of transactions in the form of a block, hence the name “blockchain.” HIVE has entered into a strategic partnership with Genesis Mining LTD. for the purpose of creating the next generation of blockchain infrastructure. HIVE’s advanced digital currency mining operations in Iceland work to produce digital currency 24/7, with its low working capital requirements providing it with the flexibility to strategically sell coins to maximize its profit. The company has been rewarded for capitalizing on the bitcoin trend early – its stock on the OTCPK exchange has exploded from $0.07 at the start of the year to over $3 at one point this year, and still at $2.54 as of Dec. 8, demonstrating the potential of the cryptocurrency trend to handsomely reward investors.
Accenture (NYSE: ACN) is a less obvious play on the rise of the blockchain that is nevertheless positioned to benefit from the growth of the sector. The company is one of the largest global professional services companies, offering a variety of strategic, consulting, digital, and technological solutions. To stay on top of emerging technologies, Accenture has engaged in a number of blockchain initiatives, including overseeing a test for the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Association of Banks in Singapore of settlement functionalities for interbank payments using a decentralized blockchain-based ledger system. The report demonstrated that designs based on the blockchain can be effective in preserving privacy when conducting such transactions. In June of this year Accenture rolled out a prototype blockchain biometric identity solution developed in partnership with Microsoft for the ID2020 Alliance, which is a public-private partnership that strives to improve lives through digital identity. The company’s blockchain efforts have not gone unnoticed by the market, where the company’s stock has leaped to a 52-week high above $150 a share.
Another sector that stands to benefit from this trend is the market for graphics cards, given the substantial computing resources needed to mine cryptocurrencies. On a broader level, companies that either supply graphics chips for use with blockchain applications or improve its efficiency in some way are positioned to benefit from the intense investor interest in blockchain-related investment opportunities.
NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) has been on a roll for the past couple years, driven by the growth of the gaming, datacenter, automotive and artificial intelligence applications. After seeming to hit a plateau for a time, the company’s stock has been on a tear again recently, likely driven by the realization that the graphics processors and chips the company makes are essential to the cryptocurrency mining process. Cryptocurrency miners need advanced hardware in order to efficiently utilize parallel processing, and the graphics processing units built by NVIDIA are seen as among the best available when it comes to mining bitcoin. While cryptocurrency mining revenues are currently only a small part of the company’s revenues, that hasn’t stopped NVIDIA stock from continuing its ascent in recent months, moving from just below $150 at the end of June to over $190 currently.
With the advent of the blockchain era, investors have been snapping up the shares of companies that offer investment opportunities related to this innovative technology. The blockchain’s ability to disrupt existing practices and industries offers the potential for early adopters of the technology to gain significant market share. The increased computing power demanded by cryptocurrency mining stands to benefit firms that can help meet this demand, whether by making chips to facilitate the trend, helping design and optimize blockchain networks, using high power computing systems to mine cryptocurrencies, or by performing any other tasks that enhance the ability of the blockchain to work its magic. All of the named companies have positioned themselves to benefit from the growth of the blockchain going forward, making them worth a look by investors interested in capitalizing on opportunities in this rapidly growing sector.
For more information on Victory Square, visit Victory Square Technologies, Inc. (CSE:VST) (OTC:VSQTF) (FWB:6F6).
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