The first quarter of 2018 marked a surge in Blockchain tech investments as companies increased stakes in mining rigs and cryptocurrency payment platforms, the move may signal that cryptocurrency markets are here for the long-run.
Worldwide spending on Blockchain solutions is forecasted to double and reach nearly $2.1 billion in 2018 compared with last year, according to a recent report by IDC global market intelligence firm. By 2021 investment is expected to reach $9.7 billion, the report says.
"2018 will be a crucial stage for enterprises as they make a huge leap from proof-of-concept projects to full blockchain deployments,” said Stacy Soohoo research manager, Customer Insights & Analysis at IDC in a press release.
Several public companies that have placed bets in blockchain technology solutions in the first quarter of 2018 include Victory Square Technologies Inc (CSE: VST) , Marathon Patent Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA), NXT-ID Inc (NASDAQ: NXTD), Integrated Ventures, Inc. (OTC: INTV) and Net Element, Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE).
Public Companies Boost Investments in Mining Rigs, Payment Processing Sectors
Victory Square Technologies, Inc. (CSE: VST)
Canadian-based block-chain investor Victory Square Technologies Inc. (CSE: VST) announced last week that it will acquire 100 percent of the interest in Limitless Blockchain Technology, LLC for nearly $4 mln. The acquisition brings three anchor products to consumer markets including Limitless Hash, a data centre in Nevada, which runs more than one thousand miners of Bitcoin, Ethereum and LiteCoin; Limitless VPN, a user-based desktop miner for household use with more than 11,000 users and Limitless Audio a streaming application in late-stage development that provides artists the capability to mine cryptocurrencies in exchange for using streaming.
Marathon Patent Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA)
Marathon announced last month that it has started bitcoin mining at new facility in Quebec, Canada. The company purchased 1,400 Bitmain Antminer S9 miners ("Antminer S9s") and leased 26,700 square feet of data center space in Quebec which is expected to utilize approximately 2.0 MW and deliver approximately 19 Ph/s of ASIC mining capacity.
Integrated Ventures, Inc. (OTCQB: INTV) reported the purchase of 20 Antminer X3 mining rigs last month. Antminer X3 along with all recently purchased mining rigs: (1) Antminer L3, (2) Antminer S9, (3) Panda Miner B3 Pro will be installed at its soon to be opened, third mining facility, capable of hosting up to 1,250 units. The latest purchase combined with current (less units sold) inventory, totaling 350 units, is projected to deliver annual revenues of $2.2 million per year, based on bitcoin pricing at the time of the release the company said last month.
Net Element, Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) operates a payments-as-a-service transactional platform for small to medium enterprise companies plans to grow transactional revenue combining blockchain technology solutions and Aptito, its cloud based, restaurant and retail point-of-sale solution. The company launched a multi-channel payments platform, Netevia which connects payments across sales channels through a single integration point in February and says it will use decentralized Blockchain technology solutions to connect merchants and consumers to increase the efficiency of transactions within the ecosystem.
NXT-ID, a comprehensive platform provider the Internet of Things (IoT) technology products and services announced that it is accepting pre-orders for Flip™, a new contactless payment device that will enable cryptocurrency holders to use the value of their currency to make purchases at retail locations in February. The device uses value exchanged from cryptocurrency to make traditional payment transactions. Flip will accept value exchanged from Bitcoin and expand to other cryptocurrencies in the future the company said in its press release.