It’s probable that 2018 will be a watershed year for blockchain and cryptocurrencies. 2017 saw the breakout of this new technology from the small community of programmers and “geeks” into a much wider audience of people, looking for financial opportunities and willing to support various disruptive Blockchain concepts. 2018 will likely see the acceptance by specific industries of cryptocurrencies created for that industry.
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Ripple (XRP) is probably the most visible example of this trend. It was specifically engineered to address problems the banking industry has with international transfers. Dentacoin was designed to do the same thing for the global dental industry. Of course, some argue that Bitcoin could be just as easily used for either purpose. Those making this argument are ignoring some of the basic rules of business and cryptocurrencies.
Business 101: Control Costs
The first lesson of business is to learn how to control costs. Any industry that operates in more than one country has cost of exchanging currencies. Promoters of the Euro knew this and argued that it would smooth “currency transfers within and outside the EU and reduce(s) the costs of such transfers”. The same is true for international banking and the global dental industry.
Adopting an industry-wide cryptocurrency makes it easier for any provider in the industry, from dentists to manufacturers, to price their goods and services. A single monetary unit also allows customers in the industry, both patients and dentists, to shop more easily for the most competitive price. This will drive costs down and increase the overall efficiency of the entire industry.
Bitcoin cannot provide this benefit. Although it meets the criteria of an international currency, it is not widely accepted. The technical problems with the speed of posting transactions, the ongoing volatility of the market price and the high transaction fees all hinder universal adoption. There are other reasons that will be discussed later that show why Bitcoin is unsuitable for use as a global dental currency.
Business 102: Serve the Customer
The second lesson of business is that you do not take care of your customers, someone else will. This is why Dentacoin is going to be successful. The global dental industry has done a horrible job taking care of the oral health of the world’s population so far. 90% or more of the total spent on dental services is wasted on fixing problems that could have easily been prevented.
There are many customers in the global dental industry, including people who need to find a dentist. These individuals are served by the Trusted Review Platform, a blockchain based compilation of reviews funded by Dentacoin. Customers also include dental practices that want to attract new patients and who buy supplies from producers in other countries.
Allowing patients to earn Dentacoin by posting reviews or by using other applications promotes the goal of improving global dental health in a direct, tangible way. It does this much more effectively than payments in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies for a variety of reasons, including meeting the third most important rule of business.
Business 103: Build the Brand
Creating “brand awareness” is critical to the success of a business or any organization. Customers come to recognize the brand and associate it with great qualities. Logos and marketing slogans are an important component of accomplishing this goal. Dentacoin is engineered to become the global brand for quality dental care, equipment and supplies.
It will accomplish this goal by providing benefits for every member of the global dental health community. In fact, it will actually help create a global community, breaking down national barriers to access. A sticker announcing “Dentacoin accepted here” will one day be the universally accepted sign that the goods or services provided are recognized by the global dental community as the best the industry has to offer.
Bitcoin can’t do this. Its mission is to become a universal currency. The community it seeks to build is more diverse and varied than the one envisioned by Dentacoin. Just like a national fiat currency helps define a nation, the use of an industry-specific cryptocurrency like Dentacoin can help define an industry.
Cryptocurrency blogs and exchange analytics are still almost exclusively focused on the movement of market prices. This is likely to change over the coming year as the value of blockchain makes itself felt across the entire global business community.