What will bring blockchain to the mainstream?

We are sure at this point you are familiar with blockchain.

Blockchain is the digital, public ledger where cryptocurrencies occur. Through a blockchain, everyone in the network can see every account balance. Every transaction includes a file with a sender, recipient public key, and the number of coins involved in the transaction. The transaction is sent with a private key by the sender in the form of cryptography.

A blockchain is decentralized and is constantly growing with completed blocks. The most recent transaction is added in chronological order, which allows the blockchain participants to keep track of the transactions without central recordkeeping.

Blockchain was created by the same developer who invented Bitcoin in 2008. Since the creation of cryptocurrencies, while the digital money may not be embraced by everyone, blockchain technology has grown in popularity, along with many other financial technology innovations.

This technology has so many uses that go beyond cryptocurrencies. It is being developed for uses in accounting, managing business operations, and by major banks everywhere. What will be the first major use of blockchain by consumers? Many are saying it is non-fungible tokens.

What Does Non-Fungible Mean?

In order to completely understand a non-fungible token, let us look at what it means to be non-fungible. Something that is fungible, in our example, a token, can be replaced by something identical and is easily interchangeable.

Money is a great example of a fungible item. When one lends another person a bank note of a certain value, let’s say $1, when the money is returned, it does not have to be the exact same dollar that was loaned. Another dollar has the same value as the initial currency. The same can be said about a single bean or an apple.

When an item is non-fungible, it means that while two items may look identical, each has a unique attribute that makes them irreplaceable or impossible to trade. For example, plane tickets look the same but you cannot simply trade them with another. They have unique characteristics like seat number, passengers’ names, departure times, etc.

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or fungible tokens. If a person gives another Bitcoin and receives one back, there wouldn’t be a noticeable difference and each token would have the same value, depending on the current value of the coin, that is.

What is a Non-Fungible Token?

A non-fungible token, or NFT, is a digital collectible and is predicted to be the first big consumer use of blockchain. They possess unique digital characteristics that make them different and digitally scarce.

Non-fungible tokens are the digital equivalent of baseball cards. Each token varies in information and level of rarity.

One example, and the origin of the term “non-fungible token,” was CryptoKitties created by Dieter Shirley. CryptoKitties were digital cats that rose to popularity in early 2018. The digital collectibles were so popular, and were transacted at such a high rate, that the Ethereum blockchain slowed to a crawl! Each digital cat had a unique appearance and personality, with genetic material being stored on the Ethereum blockchain. Some were rarer than others. Sales of CryptoKitties hit $12 million by the end of 2018 with the most expensive token being sold for $120,000.

The reason Cryptokittes was so iconic was because it was the first use case for blockchains, that was not currency, that created value for users and built an entire ecosystem.

What can give a non-fungible token value? To be considered a non-fungible token, it must meet all five criteria:

  • Uniqueness- An NFT must be unique and irreplaceable.
  • Scarcity- Everyone can know how many of an NFT there are because it is capped in numbers in the code.
  • Accessibility- A non-fungible token must be accessible to the public through the blockchain.
  • Durability- Non-fungible tokens must exist as long as the blockchain is alive. Even if the creators of CryptoKitties are gone, the cats still exist on the blockchain.
  • Extensibility- The tokens can be used and combined to make new assets and experiences, such as KittyHats that are available for the cats.

What’s the Future of NFTs?

Non-fungible tokens are gearing up to penetrate the over $1 billion gaming market, finding its way into existing games as well as new games that were not possible before blockchain. For example,  after seeing the popularity of the digital cats, some fantasy games are quickly following by allowing for fighters can be collected after battles.

This will increase the growing gaming market and also create ownership of their digital goods in their games. Many experts think this will be the gateway for mainstream crypto adoption.

Beyond gaming, some are seeing a more social use of NFTs. Imagine going to an event, such as a concert, and receiving a verified crypto token that can only be received at the event. Attendees can display the token on social media and the NFT them becomes a social symbol. Collecting tokens can lead to more valuable coins, creating a symbol of status. Reaching a certain status with the coins may then grant access to content only accessible to people at that status.

Major League Baseball in the U.S. even plans to launch a game where baseball cards will be traded on blockchain.

In the end, developers aren’t trying to replace our current systems but rather creating new ways to interact with them.

Beyond Blockchain

The shift we are seeing is that of a digital age. Tech-savvy individuals are seeking easy access, convenience, efficiency, and speed in every part of their lives, including their finances. Having the ability to make transactions from the convenience of a phone or other electronic platform is what is creating this strong push towards different for every country, each with their own timeline, regulations, and requirements. Some require a minimum income while others may just require an investment in real estate, businesses, or job creation. Other countries grant dual citizenship quite easily. Some achieve dual citizenship simply because their grandparents were born in a different country.

Below we explore the easiest dual citizenships to obtain. When you are ready to take the leap, contact Alpen Partners below.

  1. Italy

With Italian citizenship, individuals can live and work across the 27 EU member states without a visa, vote in Italian Parliament, and easily purchase properties in the country. Additionally, Italian citizenship is automatically transferred to all children under the age of 18.

If an individual is looking for an inexpensive dual citizenship or second passport, Italy offers citizenship to those whose ancestors were born in the country. Other countries, such as Ireland are known for this way of getting easy dual citizenship.

The qualifications can be somewhat tricky but does not seem to cause many issues. Male ancestors usually pass on citizenship to family without limitation but woman can only pass on citizenship to individuals born after 1948.

The application process for Italian citizenship only costs $25!

  1. Ireland

Ireland is often heralded as one of the easiest ways to gain a dual citizenship. An individual can gain jus sanguinis citizenship, or citizenship through the blood of ancestors. The only requirement is that one of the individuals grandparents was born in Ireland. This grants free Irish citizenship.

With Irish citizenship, individuals can work and live in EEA or EU member countries. They can live in the country for 280 days every two years. Any longer and they become a tax resident.

This is a very popular citizenship as many individuals have ancestors in Ireland. The country has over 14 million passports in circulation even though it only has a population of four million.

  1. Dominica

Who doesn’t want to live in the Caribbean? Not only is citizenship in Dominica easy to get, it also has some great benefits. As a Commonwealth nation, citizens of Dominica get special privileges in the UK, including visa-free travel to 50 countries.

The minimum investment is only $100,000 plus fees. For additional fees, you can be represented by an Authorised Agent that will prepare all of the required documentation and ensure all forms are completed properly.

Once all documentation is submitted, individuals will have an in-person interview as well as submit a medical examination.

The entire process typically takes between five to fourteen months to get full citizenship in Dominica, which is relatively short compared to the amount of years it can take in other locations.

  1. Canada

It can be quite easy to obtain citizenship in Canada as long as you are serious about residing in the country. The main requirement is proof of outside income, unless the individual already has a job in Canada. An individual must prove to have at least CAD $12,669.

Once one has permanent residency, they will have to live in the country for 1,460 days in a 6- year period or at least 183 days each year in a 4-year period.

After meeting these requirement for four years, an individual can apply for citizenship. Applicants between the age of 14 and 65 will also need to prove proficient English or French language knowledge and take a citizenship test.

  1. Singapore

As the world’s fourth leading financial center, Singapore’s passport will not only earn you visa-free travel to over 150 countries, citizens will also benefit from a diverse culture that plays an important role in global finance and trade.

The country is no stranger to immigration, with a population of almost 5 million people that is made up of Chinese, Malay, Indian, other Asian descents, and Caucasian immigrants. Foreigners make up nearly 42% of the population, where they work and study.

To earn permanent residency in Singapore is simple. An individual can establish a business, obtain employment, or marry a citizen of the country. After two years as a permanent resident, the individual can obtain citizenship.

Alpen Partners and Dual Citizenship

Does dual citizenship sound like exactly what you need for the life of freedom you’ve always wanted? Get your international life started with the expatriation services of Alpen Partners . Tap into new markets, legally lower your tax bill, and go on an adventure.

With partnership with respected law firms in various regions of the world, Alpen Partners is advising its clients on every step of the expatriation journey. There is increasing tax pressure globally and professional mobility, expatriation has become one of the most efficient tools for asset protection and estate planning. Dual citizenship clearly has its benefits, so what are you waiting for?

There are benefits that can affect your taxes, your investment portfolio, cost of living, and your lifestyle completely. As the cost of traveling becomes cheaper, the benefits of expatriation for financial reasons are more easily obtained.

Taking the leap and leaving your home country can be a big decision with tons of personal and legal steps. The hassle of navigating the legal process of expatriation can be reduced with the guidance of Alpen Partners . Each step requires assistance, including getting the passport, making sure everything is completed correctly regarding taxes, acquiring work permits, making investments, and more.

Our expatriation and relocation services take your goals and current situation to hand craft a unique plan for you.wealth.com/us/insights/introduction-to-fintech/”>Fintech.

Looking beyond blockchains, we are seeing technology have a hand in simple things such as payment and holding money, and more complex life aspects like investment advising. Some companies are even developing ways artificial intelligence can assist in hedge fund managing!