Blockchain is bringing Intelligent Technologies to Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises

Chatbots

As Blockchain technology is getting into the mainstream of large enterprises, I have been contemplating on how micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME aka SMBs) can benefit from Blockchain. Let me explain what I mean by this.

I looked into the data on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the United States at International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group) website (http://www.ifc.org ). As per IFC consideration, Microenterprise has <10 employees, the small enterprise has 10 to 100 employees and medium enterprise has 100 to 500 employees. The latest data from IFC totals to more than 6 million MSMEs in the United States. Based on the scale and size, the technology adoption in MSMEs is driven by three factors – lower costs, ease of usability of technology and more importantly demand and advantage from new-age technology to their consumers/users. I would like to describe few scenarios before landing on to Blockchain advantage for MSMEs.

  • Scenario I: Blockchain can offer a substantial value by easing and expediting SME Lending process. Blockchain (i.e. Distributed Ledger) technology based SME lending Platforms could address information asymmetries and collateral shortage in aninnovative way and is applicable to any SME digital asset transaction performed online bypassing the need of any middle-man or the risk (and cost) of enforcement.
  • Scenario II: Chatbots have made a progression to successful use cases at large enterprises. Look at examples of  Allstate Business Insurance Expert (ABIe), Capital One Financial’s Eno, Domino’s pizza chatbot, a real estate bot like Apartment Ocean and list goes on. But I never come across a chatbot in interacting with a local restaurant, a childcare center, a mom and pop shops to state few examples from MSMEs. The reason being an initial capital cost and annual maintenance costs difficult to break-even with MSME financial models. Adding new-age advancements in AI, NLP and Machine Learning further enriches the power of chatbots. There exists a real opportunity in bringing the efficiency of chatbot to MSMEs by taking over tasks for which humans are not essential
  • Scenario III: Mobile Apps and monetization opportunities. Both Google’s Android and Apple’s mobile apps got exploded in recent times (7+ Million total apps as Aug 2017). According to the Small Business Mobile Apps: 2017 Survey by Clutch, 85% of micro-enterprises with fewer than 10 employees do not have a mobile app and whereas for SMEs in the lower fifties. There exists a significant business opportunity enabling MSMEs access to mobile apps.
  • Scenarios IV, V, & VI: SMS/USSD messaging, e-commerce/direct-to-consumer websites and instant messengers are other scenarios that would enhance MSMEs capability in addressing gig economy consumers. The technology is available to MSMEs in these scenarios, but development & customization needs, and costs are slowing down the adaptability.

Blockchain backed Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) offer real opportunities enabling multiple channels like chatbots, mobile apps, SMS/USSD messaging, e-commerce/direct-to-consumer websites, and instant messaging to MSMEs and as well enable Omni channel capabilities. Blockchain decentralized autonomous platform (BDAP) can connect MSMEs, technology providers, developers, marketers, crypto ecosystem, and marketplace offering minimal transaction fees, competitive prices in the open and transparent marketplace, ensuring secure transactions, easing the channel access and simultaneously create the Omni-channel customer experience.

  • First, Blockchain (BDAP) platform takes-out the initial capital investments to access new-age technologies enabling multi-channel capabilities, establish a distributed ledger technology offering peer-to-peer financial system, smart contract to execute secure transactions and an exchange for MSME tokens, and platform that enhances exceptional customer experience.
  • There is an opportunity for sellers (tech providers/developers/marketing firms/startups) to play Business Integrator role creating MSME tokens and made available in the marketplace for MSMEs, Developers, Marketing & Content Firms, and Technology Providers.
  • MSMEs buy tokens for fiat and cryptocurrency. Developers, Marketing & Content Firms, and Technology Platforms decide the price of channels and determine token equivalents. This gives an opportunity for sellers to form a partner syndicate for creating Omni-channel AI Agent experience as an additional value-add.
  • Once tokens are received sellers of various forms (developers, marketers, media firms, technology partners etc.), MSME channels (chatbots, mobile apps, e-commerce/direct-to-consumer websites, instant messengers etc.) gets launched per purchased token volumes.

What MSMEs get out of BDAP is an asynchronous participation of ecosystem players offering a decentralized platform to access channel capabilities otherwise tied to higher capital and ongoing costs. Another key advantage to MSMEs from Blockchain enabled decentralized ledger is while MSMEs ensures their product quality building a trust/brand evaluation system, BDAP helps MSMEs scale to reputation evaluation system leveraging the platform.

You can reach me @ kishor.akshinthala@gmail.com for a deeper mindshare on this topic.

 

 

 

Monetizing Online Engagement & Services with Blockchain

Untitled

As Blockchain technology is getting closer to reality, the adoption across industries is gaining popularity. In this blog, I am presenting another Blockchain use case that is being experimented in monetizing online engagement and services covering the ecosystem of publishers, advertisers and consumers. In hyper-connected world leading to heavy consumerization, brands and publishers are creating/publishing events, polls, debates, insights, quizzes, interactive charts aiming to gain higher consumer engagement that leads to services monetization. With latest advancements in creating better user experience with state of the art user interface, artificially intelligent systems collecting data and analyzing patterns, publishers and brands are in search of a platform for payments that could engage consumers offering cost efficient and secure transactions creating next-level value in “engagement services” domain.

As we follow the development in this space, Blockchain is sailing through a wave of pilots, with introduction of crypto-currencies/tokens for events, advertising, engagement etc., The Blockchain enabled platform can establish a new type of relationship, where key players including Consumers, Publishers, and Advertisers gets motivated with proper incentives. Distributed Ledger Technology with Blockchain ecosystem can offer a platform enabling business models to authenticate users with various services offered via smart contracts and underpinning commissions for such services. Blockchain platform can deepen engagement easing online user experience that consumer’s want and enabling publishers to serve as much advertising as possible to make their business model work.

Let us visualize an online engagement and services monetization framework with Blockchain Decentralized Autonomous Organization (BDAO). A schematic is provided below for ease of understanding.

  1. Blockchain (BADO) platform can establish a backbone for online engagement and services offering tokens to facilitate transactions, a distributed ledger technology offering peer-to-peer financial system, smart contract to execute secure transaction and an exchange for token exchange and incentives/points redemptions.
  2. As a central player, publishers creates the engagement & services tokens in conjunction with a crypto player and/or online advertising platform provider. These tokens are made available in the marketplace
  3. Clients (brand, agency or an individual) can buy tokens for fiat and crypto currency. Tokens could be also earned via engagements. Publishers decide the price of services and determine token equivalents.
  4. Publishers captures the clients request the engagement / services in collaboration with advertisers. Advertisers offer forte of engagement models and services that could include ads, campaigns, surveys, user conversion widgets, events, paid insights, proximity marketing etc.
  5. Advertisers gets paid for their services as aggregated and presented by the publishers. Leveraging the BDAO platform, publisher make clients pay tokens for engagement & services in accordance with the current exchange rate of the token in a typical peer-to-peer distributed network
  6. Once tokens are received, services (ex: campaign/surveys) gets launched per purchased volume of impressions and targeting, all driven by platform and its campaign/survey management system. The individuals who start their engagement anonymously as they decide to register in order to earn tokens and, at some point, to redeem them.
  7. Upon completion of service, in this scenario after a campaign/survey completion, an automatic report can be generated and delivered to the client.
  8. Similarly incentives and points can be calculated and converted to token equivalents such that the receiving player gain them in the lifecycle as appropriate. Tokenization can make the point system more materialistic and leverage advanced gamification based on engagement and contributions.

In summary Blockchain platform connects services, such as advertising and hyper-tagging to audiences and is essentially serving as a backbone to facilitate many marketplaces and many competing offerings coming from these marketplaces. Using Smart Contracts for such operations makes the platform operation robust and transparent and therefore putting it on the public decentralized ledger is the best approach to grow the business. With a fast growing set of Blockchain-based services, applications, and technologies, it makes a lot of business sense to have it utilized not only for the immediate monetization opportunities, but also for future online engagement and services use cases.

I am available at kishor.akshinthala@gmail.com for further discussions.

Future Value of Cryptocurrencies (BTC – $44k+, ETH – $1100+, LTC – $220+)

Bitcoin.pngDisclaimer: Publishing this blog to highlight true potential of Bitcoin, but not to go with the flow on soaring prices of cryptocurrencies right now.

I am taking a mid-path of highly statistical GARCH estimation models and guesstimates based on global money supply, backed by rigorous follow-up and research on cryptocurrency fluctuations caused by

  • Scaling (SegWit2X, Byzantium)
  • Economic and political uncertainties (India demonetization, Venezuela crisis)
  • Increased inflow of institutional money (Sweden’s regulated bitcoin investment, Bitcoin going mainstream in Japan etc.)
  • Emotional trading tides, etc.

Combing the above focus and curiosity on future of cryptocurrencies, I have developed an estimation model offering a framework to extrapolate future value of cryptocurrencies.

Starting point: Analysis and estimation is limited to 3 cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin

  • Global supply of money: Analyzed the current global data on Coins/Notes/ Bank Reserves, (Savings + Time) Deposits, Time Deposits (24+ Hours to Liquidate), Gold + Diamond + Other Assets. As shown in the chart a total global supply of $93 Trillion is considered which dictates the current Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) of the globe.
  • # Coins currently mined: Captured the data on # Coins currently mined, which is ~16.6 million Bitcoins, 95 million Ethereum, and 53.5 million Litecoin
  • # Coins – known maximum: Captured the data on current known maximum # Coins potentially mined, which is capped @ 21 million Bitcoins, 210 million Ethereum, and 84 million Litecoin

Scenarios: Providing 3 scenarios covering the perspectives of last one year known lows, current market peaks and exploratory factor analysis based near future value computations. The near future can be considered as 3 to 5 years period starting November 2017. Each scenario depicts the % total global USD supply, volumes, price and market cap of each of 3 cryptocurrencies.
Am I encouraging to invest in Bitcoins? – Probably NO
Am I encouraging you to develop your model of estimation? – Absolutely YES

  • Scenario A: Looked at lowest known prices of 3 cryptocurrencies over last one year (i.e. starting October 2016) and developed the Scenario A.
  • Scenario B: Looked at the known maximum market prices hit by 3 cryptocurrencies and developed the Scenario B.
  • Scenario C: Developed an estimation model based on exploratory factor analysis (EFA) computing the potential future value of cryptocurrencies in in next 3 to 5 years. The factors considered include, step crypto rates of appreciation based on historical values. probability and share of global currency in circulation replaced by cryptos, percentage treatment of crptos as assets compared to gold, real estate and others, weights of crypto funds – futures and options, quantum of government regulated investments, convertibility into other tokens, etc.

The following are the future estimates of 3 key cryptocurrencies, 

  1. Bitcoin: $44000+
  2. Ethereum: $1100+
  3. Litecoin: $220+

I have estimation models developed for other large cryptocurrencies as well. Reach out to me for further discussion on estimation model and considerations.

Betting on Crypto-currencies

With the significant returns on cryptocurrencies over the past one year or so and the recent split (SegWit) of Bitcon into two (Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash), led to a lot of attention on investing in Cryptocurrencies.

Is it worth now investing in crypto-currencies?

What is the true intrinsic value of Bitcoin?

Let me articulate a perspective here for future investors.

The size of global economy in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP)is >$110 Trillion. The size of crypto currency market is ~$100 Billions. Hence there is a very high potential for blockchain based crypto currency in terms of future potential of proportionate intrinsic value. Looking back over centuries, goods exchange was norm of trading, then gold norm, followed by currency notes(physical money). Countries printed their currencies in proportion to their measured gold wealth.

Then cards, one of the first forms of soft currency was introduced. Soft currencies are pseudo currencies and tied to the real currency and assets. Soft currencies became convenience for transactions. Corporations/Banks made money by commissions, fees and interest rates. That means soft currency is one of the first vehicles exploited the purchasing power of consumer that cumulatively led to imbalance of asset to circulated currency imbalance.

If cards were successful, why not crypto currencies which is another form of soft currency. The only lag measure is how soon the crypto currency gets tied to real assets. That anyway is happening by virtue of altcoins promoting the material transactions with crypto currencies and ICOs monetizing assets.