As the Blockchain economy continues to evolve, the emerging players in this uniquely disruptive industry have some big decisions to make. Perhaps the most significant choices for up-and-coming companies are whether to define themselves as platform providers or software providers and whether to provide public or private services.
Blockchain platforms are comparable to existing tech platforms such as iOS or Facebook, offering independent developers the ability to construct applications via open APIs, SDKs and standardized protocols.
Blockchain software providers, on the other hand, build packages for internal corporate use, restricting access to third party developes.
The majority of companies are currently categorized as either a public platform, like the myriad public ‘cryptocurrency’ Blockchains such as Etherium and Bitcoin, or as private software operations like Chain.
These definitions, however, are highly fluid. Chain has transitioned into a platform, having constructed a permissioned protocol alongside 10 partner operations, taking its place alongside private platform providers such as Ripple and Blockstream.
In a multi-billion-dollar venture capital marketplace, therefore, businesses with the potential to grow into platforms are highly sought-after investments and the smart money is looking far and wide for truly scalable propositions.
Although the U.S. dominates the field at the present time, the renowned high-tech hub of Israel is also seeking to establish itself as a leading light in the Blockchain arena.
Legendary investor, media maven and tech expert Saar Pilosof is just one of the new wave of heavy hitters behind the surge in Israeli Blockchain innovation. He explains how the local Fintech scene is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the new reality.
“We’re currently at a pivotal stage in the Blockchain revolution,” he says over coffee at a Tel Aviv beachside restaurant. “There are now five times as many fintech companies here as there were eight years ago and many of them have been working closely with the big banks in order to benefit from the funding, advice, and introductions that only major institutions can offer.”
He’s referring to programs such as Bank Leumi’s “Elevator” Innovation Hub and the strategic partnership between Bank Ha’Poalim and Microsoft Ventures. That makes Israel a very different ecosystem from other hotspots, like Sweden and the Netherlands, where the Wild West spirit of independent pioneers that brought the Blockchain into the modern-day lexicon, lives on.
“That’s not to say Israeli start-ups lack the rugged individualism of those in other countries. Far from it,” he elaborates. “But it’s testament to the forward-looking nature of the financial establishment here. Regarding my own portfolio, I always seek out firms with the potential to profit from collaboration with the biggest global powerhouses. It’s really the ultimate win-win.”