Can you make money out of crypto-currencies and even start a new business venture?

blog header image showing crypto currencies represented as physical coins

There has been so much written about crypto-currencies over the last 10 years, from hype to speculation to informed educational pieces and it seems that everyone has an opinion on whether this new technology is good, bad or indifferent to our economy and the future of commerce.

Trying to navigate this endless stream of, often contradictory, information is a nigh on impossible task and most supposed ‘experts’ in this domain are anything but, and simply have an angle to try and push their ideas, opinions and services. It’s no wonder that much of the population throw their hands up in frustration and push the whole topic to one side into the ‘too difficult to understand’ category.

From an investment and business perspective many people have tried to navigate the choppy waters of the crypto domain to make their fortune or provide a service which contributes to this ever-growing payments and commerce eco-system.

Sticking with the maritime theme for a moment, it is true to say that the crypto currency world has its fair share of sharks and other predators hoping to part unsuspecting new fish from their hard-earned savings. If ever the expression ‘if it seems to good to be true … it probably is!’ applies, the rapidly growing and changing world of crypto-currencies is awash with endless ‘get rich quick’ schemes – which are anything but.

For all these words of caution, an important question remains to entrepreneurs and investors of whether it is possible or advisable to make money out of crypto-currencies, and even start a new business venture?

Putting aside all the hype and hyperbole written about crypto-currencies, the most practical way of addressing this question is to apply some of the core business principles previously written and published here on the nzira website – starting with, what is the business problem or opportunity you are trying to address and solve for people?

If you haven’t already read it, take a look at this post that covers the 3 basic business models and think about how you could apply these to this topic.

In this domain there are many problems and opportunities to consider, including providing effective education, offering an introductory approach to investing (provided it’s based on a solid foundation) and providing guidance on how to remain safe and secure.

Many people have offered predictions on whether the value of leading crypto-currencies, like bitcoin and ether, will go up or down in value when compared against leading currencies like the US $ or UK £. The hard truth is that no-one knows for sure and anyone who claims to know is not to be trusted on this specific topic. What can be said with a lot more certainty is that these crypto-currencies will continue to fluctuate in value unpredictably and with medium to high volatility.

Unpredictable and volatile are typically not terms anyone would associate with investing or setting up a business to deliver services – however, for those people who recognise and understand these characteristics, they present an opportunity in as much as determining a service which could be of value to a specific audience.

For example, a smart entrepreneur could recognise these characteristics (understanding the pros and cons) and provide a service which helps people get clarity on how to navigate the world of crypto-currencies to determine a lower risk approach to investing.

The underlying technology, often referred to as Blockchain or Distributed Ledger can also provide opportunities for entrepreneurs to create and deliver an intermediary service – potentially starting in the training and educational domain. For example by offering a course, one-one-one advice or perhaps by setting up a YouTube channel or Facebook group and growing a community of crypto-enthusiasts, helping beginners to understand the market.

Shifting someone’s thinking from fear, to understanding and then onto interest can be an immensely satisfying experience and, if done with care, attention and diligence can provide an added value experience which customers are willing to pay for.

Whilst a significant simplification, there are communities of highly technical and experienced people who can design, build and deliver innovative solutions in the crypto and blockchain domain but are often challenged to explain what they are doing, the human/business problems they are solving and how the layperson can benefit from these solutions.

For an ambitious entrepreneur this can present an opportunity to translate this complexity into a language a wider community of non-technical people can understand and deliver a set of services which bridges the gap, ultimately allowing more people to engage in this innovative and fast developing domain.