From telegraphs to the internet to this…
Monday, 23 October 2017
By Bernd Struben
- Beyond bitcoin
- Tamper proof diplomas
‘Innovation is taking two things that already exist and putting them together in a new way.’
— Tom Freston
There are times in history when human innovations are far and few between. And times when they come fast and furious.
As innovations tend to feed off each other, you’d be correct in saying the pace of modernisation is heating up.
But we’ve been through periods of rapid revolutionary advances before. Advances that saw some companies rise to be world dominating industries. And others relegated to the rubbish bin.
The mid-nineteenth century is a great example. Particularly over in the US.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Samuel Morse. Or at least Morse code.
In 1844, Morse first succeeded in sending coded messages over an electrical wire. By 1860 — just 16 years later — telegraph wires connected the US from east to west.
No longer did it take days, or even weeks, to get a reply to messages sent to distant towns.
Businesses who recognised the opportunity early, had a huge edge on their competitors. A company, for example, could order new inventory and have the order acted upon immediately. And there was no risk their order would get lost in the mail.
But perhaps the biggest impact was on the railway system. In a brilliant move, the railroads allowed the Western Union Telegraph Company to string wires along their tracks in exchange for free telegraph service.
Instant communication made rail transport far more efficient and safer. Station masters were able to coordinate the movement of trains in ways unimaginable a few years earlier.
Enter Cornelius Vanderbilt.
By that time, Vanderbilt had already made millions with his steamship line on the Hudson River. But in the 1860s he bought up most of the railroad lines linking New York to Chicago. When he died in 1877, he controlled over 7,200 kilometres of rail line. And he was one of the richest men in the world.
The telegraph also enabled precise time zones to be set up in the US for the first time. Until 1883, each town kept its own time. And these times could differ by several minutes — or more — from neighbouring towns.
But to ensure efficient shipping, the American Railway Association — not the US government, mind you — set up the four time zones that remain in existence today.
These are just a few of the remarkable impacts of Morse’s invention.
And we haven’t even touched on Alexander Graham Bell’s ‘speaking telegraph’. Bell first demonstrated his telephone in 1876. And he created the Bell Telephone Company just one year later. Right after the world’s first intercity phone call between New York and Boston.
The telegraph and telephone are great examples of how innovation works. As US business mogul Tom Freston says, ‘Innovation is taking two things that already exist and putting them together in a new way.’
The telegraph didn’t just revolutionise the way we send messages. It revolutionised the way we travel and ship goods. And much more.
I bring this to your attention for a reason.
There’s a new technology, less than 10 years old that could unleash the same level of rapid innovation today. And the same level of wealth creation that brought us the likes of Cornelius Vanderbilt.
More after the markets.
Over the weekend, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 165.59 points, or 0.71%.
The S&P 500 gained 13.11 points, or 0.51%.
In Europe, the Euro Stoxx 50 index finished up 3.01 points, or 0.08%. Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 was flat at 0.00%, and Germany’s DAX index gained 1.18 points, or 0.01%.
In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index is up 226.96 points, or 1.05%. And China’s CSI 300 is up 0.04%.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 is down 2.69 points, or 0.05%.
On the commodities markets, West Texas Intermediate crude oil is US$52.16 per barrel. Brent crude is US$57.97 per barrel.
Gold is trading for US$1,276.02 (AU$1,633.20) per troy ounce. Silver is US$16.98 (AU$21.73) per troy ounce.
One bitcoin is worth US$5,981.56.
The Aussie dollar is worth 78.13 US cents.
Just as I’m sure you’ve heard of Morse code, I’m confident you’re familiar with bitcoin. And, if you’re like me, you wish you’d bought some this time last year, when it sold for US$648.40!
You’ve likely also heard of blockchain. Bitcoin — and every other cryptocurrency — is based on this technology.
A person (or persons) going by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto, developed blockchain about a decade ago. It’s what’s known as a distributed ledger system. One that allows digital information to be distributed…but not copied.
Now bitcoin may offer some big gains yet. Even from its current US$5,981.56. In fact, crypto experts Sam Volkering and Ryan Dinse are convinced it will still more than double in value. Though it won’t go up in a straight line. (Details here.)
But blockchain, the underpinning technology, is the real game changer here. And it’s where early movers could make some of the biggest gains.
Just as the telegraph put a rocket under the transportation system in the late 19th century, blockchain is set to revolutionise the way multiple industries do business.
Companies that miss the boat will probably no longer exist in five years. Companies that understand what’s at stake — and have the right people and resources in place — are set to thrive.
These are precisely the types of companies Ryan Dinse has been working overtime to uncover. Businesses that could see their share prices go up 10-times or more, over the next year. Or much sooner.
Ryan tells me there’s no time to waste.
That’s because a significant change to blockchain technology is set to be unveiled next month. Crucially, this change will allow data to be used in calculations while keeping that data private.
Now if that sounds like a small change to you, think of the possible uses in the finance and health sectors. To name only two.
Many companies are set to benefit from the coming change. Some, of course, will benefit more than others. A lot more.
And that’s what’s been keeping Ryan up at night. Finding what he believes will be the three Aussie companies set to gain the most from the coming explosion in blockchain related technology.
As Ryan wrote in Money Morning today:
‘The smart money is beginning to see what’s coming. The opportunity remains for you to get in at the ground floor of this new investment theme.
‘A theme that I think will define markets for the next decade.
‘It’s that big…
‘This event coming soon is likely to link blockchain technology to every single one of these massive investment trends.
‘And the implications will be astounding.
‘But you can only benefit if you understand the full ramifications of this moment.
‘And if you invest accordingly.
‘This is what I have been researching, testing, modelling and writing about for the past three months.’
Tomorrow, Ryan will unveil everything his research uncovered. As well as the three stocks he believes are set to skyrocket. Stocks perfectly positioned to use blockchain technology to drive their businesses to new heights.
Keep an eye on your inbox tomorrow for details.
Tamper proof diplomas
Speaking of blockchain, MIT just launched an innovative pilot program to issue students with digital diplomas.
As CoinDesk reports:
‘The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has used bitcoin’s blockchain to issue digital diplomas to over 100 graduates as a part of a pilot project.
‘In an announcement, MIT explained the certificates were issued through an app called Blockcerts Wallet, which allows graduates to securely share a “verifiable” and “tamper-proof” digital version of their diplomas with prospective employers and others…
‘According to Chris Jagers, co-founder and CEO of Learning Machine, MIT is among the first universities to have “issued official records in a format that can exist even if the institution goes away.
‘“People can own and use their official records, which is a fundamental shift,” he said.’
For decades technology has been steadily eroding our privacy. Now, it seems, technology may be swinging the other way.
As the innovations continue, one thing is certain. Investors who get in on the right side of this breaking trend could make life changing gains.
Some may even find themselves written up in the history books.