For all the visibility of the ongoing cryptocurrency bear market, there's a second, less noticed tier of related digital technology that's thriving, irrespective of the grim pricing news surrounding Bitcoin and its alt-token peers. The number of companies successfully leveraging blockchain technology and using cryptocurrencies in marketing campaigns for profit keeps growing.
For those unfamiliar with blockchain technology it acts as a decentralized ledger, recording all data simultaneously across all nodes on its network. Because of its transparency, many see blockchain as a game changer for supply chain management and complex corporate logistics.
Indeed, a broad array of multinational software companies have been using blockchain to track and monitor products and deliveries throughout their supply chains. These marquee names, including IBM (NYSE:IBM), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), SAP (NYSE:SAP), Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE:HPE) and Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), have each been edging toward blockchain integration within their proprietary enterprise software and cloud services.
Separately, mainstream brands have found marketing-related uses for proprietary, as well as publicly-traded cryptocurrencies. Photography giant Eastman Kodak (NYSE:KODK) created its own digital currency KODAKCoin, which works on the Ethereum network, It could ultimately become a mainstream way for customers to make payments in the world of digital imagery.
For a limited time at the beginning of 2018, KFC Canada (NYSE:YUM) used Bitcoin in a marketing campaign, allowing customers to buy their fried chicken with cryptocurrency. Burger King Russia (NYSE:QSR) launched WhopperCoin at the end of August, as part of a customer loyalty initiative. With each purchase of the chain's signature sandwich, customers receive a WhopperCoin, which are deposited into a digital wallet issued by the fast food chain. The token is powered by the distributed ledger network developed by WAVES, an Ethereum rival.
Are any of these corporate undertakings viable for the long-term? Or are they primarily stunts, ways in which to ride the blockchain and cryptocurrency zeitgeists in order to gain attention and signal the company has some cutting-edge technology chops?
Going Long Blockchain
Cobus Kruger, CEO of Stackr thinks all of these efforts are the real deal.
“Blockchain technology—although arguably still in its infancy—has persistently shown promise as to providing solutions to multiple problems faced today. As companies comprehend this fact, many will strategically shift to generate more efficiencies in their product offerings by harnessing blockchain.”