Blog : Disruptive Mobile Apps

Will NFT’s disrupt the Christie’s of the world?

Will NFT’s disrupt the Christie’s of the world?

Will NFT’s disrupt the Christies, Sotheby’s, and the physical collectible market? 

NFTs are non-fungible tokens that store data on the blockchain. Through NFTs, companies and individuals are able to trade digital items — and track the trading on a digital ledger. NFTs can represent videos, audio, photos, and so forth. They can be used to trade music albums, digital art, and more.

In practice, NFTs are used to store unique, digital goods. In other words, collectibles. People are able to securely trade these collectibles with the knowledge that the item is unique. They can prove that they have the “first” of a digital item. Because of this verification, these items can retain or even increase their value — they can become investments.

NFTs are creating a fast-expanding digital collectible market. But can they disrupt physical collectible markets? Could physical baseball cards and physical stamps someday become digital ones?

Physical vs. Digital: The Advantages and Disadvantages of NFT

The advantages of NFT are clear. As Ben Kopec from OnChain Music says, “NFTs are the new digital merchandise from your favorite artists. NFTs can also be digital collectible items, with the potential to rise in value over time, or the popularity of the artist.”

The truth is that a lot of the world has already gone digital. Look at how people are interfacing with media. People are streaming music. They’re downloading videos. And they have large archives of completely digital games. But part of the issue people have with these digital products is they’re not really “collections.” They can lose their streaming access at any time. They can lose their entire archives if the system goes down. 

NFTs make it possible to really track and keep digital products with value. Someone can have the second copy of a digital album, or the only copy of a digital work of art. But there are downsides, too. Because NFTs are just token-based ledgers, they still “point” to these works of art; for instance, an NFT may just be a URL, which can eventually go down. Additionally, there’s nothing stopping someone from selling more copies of a digital product. The value is that the product is unique, verified, and first.

NFT’s Place in the Modern World: Why Now? 

Are NFTs a good investment? It’s a complicated question.

Right now, NFTs are in their infancy. That means that there’s a lot of profit potential. But it also closes out the market; only early adopters are willing to purchase NFTs. Luckily, because of the proliferation of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency, people are getting more excited about the blockchain — and technologies like OpenSea and Mintable.

Erik Spivak says, “In my opinion, physical work will always retain its value over digital. There’s something about the energy attached to an object that will inherently put it above something that can’t be held.” Thus, NFTs could be attached to physical works; they could be attacked to mystery boxes, crates, and bags, or integrated into other types of security. But, as Erik further points out, people invest in what they believe in, and they believe in a variety of things.

As long as people are interested in NFTs, NFTs are going to have some value. And because NFTs have such a low barrier to entry, it’s very possible that some of it will yield better ROI than more complex financial instruments. But this also depends on how scaling goes for companies like Mintable.

What’s next for the NFT Market?

The world is waking up to NFTs.

They’re finding NFTs now. There will be a boom; many people who don’t even understand the blockchain or its technology are going to be investing in NFTs because it’s the “next big thing.”

Whether it really has longevity is another question. Crypto currency clearly does. But there have been many experiments with the blockchain; some have succeeded, some have not.

As Andrei Jikh points out, “The fact that they are rare makes it difficult for the creators to mint more of the same token because it’s on the blockchain. Same with Bitcoin which has 21 million maximum coins that will ever exist.” In other words, there’s an upper limit to this type of technology.

It’s likely that NFTs are going to transition at least in part to more physical products. And it’s likely that NFTs are going to have some place in the digital market — people do want access to limited, collectible products. Trading card games like “Magic: The Gathering” are an excellent example of something that could easily transition into a digital arena, allowing people to collect digital items that are unique and inherently valuable.

But NFTs are very unlikely to become all-encompassing or to unseat Christies, Sotheby’s, and other physical collectibles. It’s far more likely that the NFT market will start being used to record such transactions on the blockchain. That will make it easier to verify and track the provenance of collectible items.

Most people aren’t going to need to tie NFTs into their own tech or their mobile apps. But understanding new technologies is our business. Contact Colure’s Mobile App Development Team to either discuss projects or be featured in our next series of “Disrupting Venus.”

Why Are SPACs giving Wall Street & VC Firms a run for its money? And why mobile apps like DraftKings are using SPACs as a choice of raising capital?

Why Are SPACs giving Wall Street & VC Firms a run for its money? And why mobile apps like DraftKings are using SPACs as a choice of raising capital?

Tel Aviv-based Blue Ribbon has leveraged its jackpot technology into DraftKings internet casinos and sports betting. Those are two of the DraftKings app developers’ core business competencies. Because of SPAC capitalization and direct IPO transactions, and having sold $1.15 billion worth of its convertible debt, Draft Kings has offered some of those vast proceeds for fund acquisition.

What the hell is SPAC?

SPAC stands for special purpose acquisition company. SPAC transactions are alternatives to raising capital via traditional stock market initial public offerings. In the insiders’ world of investments, SPAC transactions are essentially friendly buyouts of target companies. SPACs aren’t even real, commercially active companies. They are ventures where money is looking for companies.

How a SPAC works

High-profile investors—hedge funds, private equity and industry leaders—create a SPAC. They become the SPAC sponsors. They raise money from investors through prospectus marketing, emails, word-of-mouth, etc. The typical initial trading level is about $10 a share. 

The investment money is placed into an interest-bearing trust account. That begins a campaign where the SPAC sponsors do market research looking for a company that wants to go public via acquisition—the act of taking over or gaining at least 50% of the company’s stock.

The SPAC shareholders agree to the takeover, most often structured as a reverse merger, meaning that the target company merges with the SPAC or its subsidiary. Then the SPAC shareholders can opt to redeem their shares and take a profit or hold onto the investment in the form of shares. 

SPAC sponsors have two years after the initial public offering to find a company, whereupon the SPAC is disbanded and SPAC sponsors cash out. If the deal is successful, the sponsors can take over up to 20% of the company for an initial investment of only $25,000. That can mean an enormously lucrative return when the company can be worth millions.

So, the SPAC process is a cheaper, quicker, and easier way for a company to raise capital.  Rather than being underwritten by banks and investment firms, the target company is essentially mentored by experienced SPAC sponsors. In the end, investors can redeem their shares if they don’t approve of the acquisition.

On the other hand, investors who buy into the SPAC’s IPO have no idea of the final target. They must enter the deal on faith. Even though the prospectus might identify a specific business or industry, the SPAC is not obligated to keep its word.

Also, the two-year deadline for closing the deal means that investors must be patient. The delayed deadline could also create conflicts of interest if SPAC sponsors succumb to impatience and throw due diligence to the winds of stock market volatility and the historically weaker returns and in-the-red performance of common shares that occur after mergers.

Will SPACs disrupt Wall Street?

SPACs have the advantage of bypassing the substantial time, resources, reporting and underwriting through the traditional IPO process. But will they disrupt Wall Street? Colure’s social media manager Ivonne Tanbeh reached out to a number of movers and shakers in the SPAC industry to get their thoughts on the disruption. Here’s a sampling:

Q:  What makes SPACs so attractive to investors?

Richard Coffin, Investment Analyst at WDS Investment Management:

“They’ve been really popular amid the current euphoria of the markets, and investment celebrities (and non-investment celebrities) have been backing certain SPACs to monetize their name/reputation, but while that may attract initial demand, at the end of the day it’s how the company actually performs and operate over time that will matter.”

Ramin Nakisa, Co-Founder at PensionCraft Ltd. (UK)

“If you buy into a SPAC, it usually has a star management team. They will be interviewed constantly by the media doing ‘will-they won’t-they’ stories about which company they are going to buy. This cult of celebrity is what has propped up the active management industry long after it became clear that it is failing to deliver what it promises”

Daniele D’Alvia, SPAC Expert and Corporate Lawyer.

SPACs are the reverse of the normal IPO procedure. Instead of an operating company seeking investors, investors seek an operating company. This is clearly irresistible and more appealing than being passive. 

Q: Do you think SPACs will disrupt Wall Street?

Ramin Nakisa responded:

I don’t think this is going to disrupt Wall Street. The proliferation of SPACs is just one consequence of the huge appetite for risk following the selloff in March 2020. The traditional route of raising cash via IPOs is less attractive now because of the share price ‘pop’ the day after the company raises its money. 

Richard Coffin agreed:

“SPACs have been around for a while, so I am skeptical that they will revolutionize Wall Street. Perhaps they will become more popular, but the IPO still stands as a more established and rigorous process for companies going public.”

Daniele D’Alvia predicted the 2020 SPAC boom and was awarded the Colin B Picker Prize by the America Society of Comparative Law back in 2017. He has another perspective: 

“I do not see why SPACs cannot become the new alternative acquisition models, a legitimate alternative path to access public markets rather than the traditional IPOs. It cannot be denied that SPACs pose risks like any other investment, as risks cannot be completely eradicated. However, those risks can be curtailed through proper contractual risk allocation and enhanced governance.” So, whether SPACs will be an also-ran in the competition for investors, or a paradigm shift, they have something in common with mobile app developers: they are a threat to the giant big guys. Even though the little guy might not be all that small, disruption is what adds spice to the nitroglycerine of change. 

If you are trying to raise capital to launch a new product or service, pay attention. Remember when Blockbuster Video and Toys“R”Us ruled their roosts? Along came Netflix and Amazon, which caused a chickenshit-storm and toppled those two monopolies.

Here at Colure, we know that the success of our agency is built upon the success and growth of your business. Contact Colure’s Mobile Marketing & App Development Team to discuss your next project or to be interviewed and featured in our next series of “Project Venus”. Let’s grow!

What? Coinbase went public yesterday almost valuing the app at $100 Billion! Is it time for Crypto Currencies like Bitcoin to disrupt the world currency standard?

What? Coinbase went public yesterday almost valuing the app at $100 Billion! Is it time for Crypto Currencies like Bitcoin to disrupt the world currency standard?

In 2010, a single Bitcoin was worth about 8 cents.

Today, it’s nearly $62,000. Yesterday the mobile app known for buying crypto called Coinbase went public reaching almost one hundred billion dollar in valuation. 

Despite its detractors, Bitcoin keeps going up and up. An inherently deflationary currency — a currency that is finite — it is built to grow in value. The same can be said about a multitude of other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Litecoin, and even Dogecoin.

Cryptocurrencies were once treated as a joke. But they’re being taken seriously now. The question remains: How seriously should they be taken?

The State of the Crypto Market as of 2021

Cryptocurrency has gone from being denied on major payment processors (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) to showing up in ATMs. The cryptomarkets now support most major cryptocurrencies, with fringe candidates (such as Dogecoin) being slowly introduced. Market caps are growing. The market cap of Bitcoin stands at $1 trillion.

More companies are supporting cryptocurrency. Recently, Elon Musk stated that people could purchase a Tesla car in Bitcoin. It’s understandable. Cryptocurrency isn’t just a currency, it’s an investment. Companies make more by accepting Bitcoin and then holding it. And that is the double-edged sword.

Right now, cryptocurrency is still a relatively new technology. Ask the average person how the blockchain works, they won’t know. They don’t understand how the treasury works, either, however; they just have faith that it does. Consequently, the barrier isn’t really “understanding” the new technology. Right now, the barrier is usability.

How does someone purchase a Bitcoin? How do they invest in Ethereum? How can they turn a Bitcoin into a cheeseburger — or Ethereum into the down payment of a house? It’s these questions that need to be answered by the crypto market moving forward.

How Crypto Currency is Already Disrupting the World

As with any currency, crypto has some good aspects and bad aspects.

First, let’s tackle the bad. Untraceable currency has led to the proliferation of scams (such as malware and ransomware attacks) and a huge underground drug purchasing community (the dark net). Because it’s both currency and investment, it’s volatile. Most people don’t want to wonder if a cheeseburger is worth $10 or $1600 every morning; Bitcoin’s swings are no longer that volatile, but they used to be. While $1 trillion is a large market cap, it’s nothing compared to say USD ($30 trillion). It’s easily influenced. A single tweet from Elon Musk can send it doubling its price.

But, there’s the good. Volatility means a lot of money can be made. And the untrace-ability of Bitcoin is it working as intended; the idea is that Bitcoin being untraceable essentially means that anyone can use it for anything, true economic freedom. Even those who are in areas where they have an autocratic or dangerous government can purchase things that are important but “contraband.”  Ideally, globalizing currency will make it easier to trade and will make it less likely any one country, such as the US or China, can control trade.

Crypto currency has already significantly disrupted many markets. And it will continue to do so.

The More Things Change, the More Stay the Same – It Won’t Replace Fiat Currency

Most analytics believe that crypto will definitely disrupt currency, but it’s probably not going to replace it. “Bitcoin is way too volatile to be used as money. Imagine if you had taken out a mortgage worth $250,000 in Bitcoin last March; you’d owe the bank $2 million today.”, says Andrei Jikh.

“Personally I think we will see a wave of adaptation and adoption of this across the board until we reach a point, of it being widely accepted,” says Eric Spivak. It’s likely that crypto is going to become another payment method, alongside the currency of whatever country a person is in. But even as we move away from “cash” standards, crypto is not likely to get complete adoption.

There are some technical issues that need to be surmounted. People can “lose” their Bitcoin forever; there’s no “Bitcoin” bank that can guarantee them their currency. Because Bitcoin is untraceable, theft cannot be tracked or reversed. And because cryptocurrencies are deflationary, they are inherently volatile. No one will hold onto a dollar bill thinking it will be worth more in the future. But people will hold onto Bitcoin, which means they are extremely hesitant to liquidate and actually use their Bitcoin or Ethereum — thereby reducing usage and exposure.

Once Bitcoin starts to even out and adoption becomes more universal, the desire to keep hoards of wealth will change. But there will still be concerns relative to the technology itself that need to be addressed.

The Next Evolution of Crypto: Where Does It Go From Here?

Fern Murias points out, “Crypto has a long way to go in terms of usability, and in order to expedite widespread adoption, I think it is crucial to build a bridge to legacy payment systems.” Adding Bitcoin to ATMs, Cash App, and other payment apps is one step. But Bitcoin still has to be easier to use.

When people get used to using things such as Apple Pay (tapping their phones rather than using a credit card or cash), then Bitcoin can become virtually indistinguishable from paying with US dollars. There will still be issues of volatility, but people will find themselves using Bitcoin seamlessly; that’s when adoption will increase.

Cryptocurrencies aren’t necessarily required to disrupt the world currency standard. They can simply provide an alternative currency standard. When alternative currency standards are introduced into the mix, it becomes vastly less likely that global powers can influence the world markets — and more likely that people themselves can be in control of a decentralized currency network.

And whether cryptocurrencies remain a niche investment or become a powerful financial instrument, they aren’t going away. At Colure, the success of our agency is built upon the success of our clients. Contact Colure’s Mobile App Development team today to build your blockchain app. Let’s grow!

What is IDFA? Can Apple Disrupt the Advertising Industry? And Why is Facebook Afraid of the IDFA changes?

What is IDFA? Can Apple Disrupt the Advertising Industry? And Why is Facebook Afraid of the IDFA changes?

Why does Mark Zuckerberg want to inflict pain on Apple? 

Apple’s making some significant changes to IDFA, the utility that app developers use to get information about who someone is. Understandably, some consumers take issue with being tracked. But IDFA is essential to the way that a lot of advertising works.

Advertisers aren’t going to be able to target audiences as effectively once Apple initiates its changes; they’ll have to ask customers to provide access. 

So, Apple could really disrupt Facebook, because Facebook isn’t really in the social media industry; it’s in the advertising industry. Facebook makes most of its money through ads and the less effective ads are, the less money it will make. But Facebook is not the only company that will be disrupted it will ripple through the whole advertising industry. We reached out to Ankit Minocha at Shop2App to get his thoughts on if he thinks IDFA trend will disrupt the advertising industry, and he stated “It certainly will, what this is doing is putting all players, small or big, on a level field. Because there’s a big unanswered question of what percentage of people are going to opt-out of that data privacy pop-ups, it’s hard to say how extensive this change is going to be.”

Advertisers will have until mid-Spring 2021 to adjust to these changes. With location sharing being more opt-in, the effectiveness of ads can go down considerably. Even if ads are able to target audiences they may not be able to track their success.

Google in response to the pressure from Apple has announced similar changes, as reported by Wired that they will be phasing out third-party cookies from its Chrome browser by 2022. These IDFA and Cookie changes are both beneficial for the end user’s privacy, bit it radically changes the way advertisers and apps have historically worked.

Ultimately, the fact is that users are becoming more concerned about security and more wary about sharing data. Users are increasingly eschewing services like Google in favor of Duck Duck Go, to improve their own security and anonymity online. This represents significant disruption in how advertisers will function.

The success of our agency is built upon the success and growth of our clients. Contact Colure’s Mobile App Development Team to discuss your next project or to be interviewed and featured in our next series of “Project Venus”.

Can Progressive Web Apps disrupt the titan App Store and Google Play Stores?

Can Progressive Web Apps disrupt the titan App Store and Google Play Stores?

What does an app do if it gets kicked off the app store?

Become progressive.

In some ways, a lot of ways, the iOS and Google stores run the app market. And they have a host of requirements. A lot of apps have gotten kicked off the app stores; see, in recent news, Parler and even the video game giant EPIC, the maker of the global sensation game Fortnite.

But app stores aren’t the only answer. Apps can also be designed as Progressive Web Apps and they’re increasingly being used. Instead of a native app, a PWA is a website that operates like a mobile app.

So, it can be the best of both worlds. Users don’t have to download anything. Developers don’t have to build multiple platforms 

And, like the web, it’s not moderated. It doesn’t require any approval from the web app stores.

App stores can be notoriously difficult to get into, and there are publishing and licensing fees. This is one reason devs have been moving toward PWAs but it isn’t the only reason.

PWAs also cost less to maintain in terms of time and energy because they’re built into the website.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t downsides. They don’t have the same functionality as a native app. They can’t be used offline. But they’re also not a trend. They’ve been growing very consistently. With progressive web apps, the apps don’t need to worry about meeting specific criteria and they remain under full control for the developer.

The success of our agency is built upon the success and growth of our clients. Contact Colure’s Mobile App Development Team to discuss your next project or to be interviewed and featured in our next series of “Project Venus”.

Can One Little Mobile App Disrupt the Podcast Industry? Why did China block Clubhouse?

Can One Little Mobile App Disrupt the Podcast Industry? Why did China block Clubhouse?

China blocks their citizens from using Clubhouse as AP reports. Android users are upset that the mobile app is not in the GooglePlay Store yet. Podcasters are screaming out that the app can’t disrupt the Podcast industry because Podcast are permanent evergreens that live in the cloud forever. Hmmmmmm I think we have a case of disruption brewing. 

Where do you go for your podcasts? Apple, Spotify, and even Amazon have had a hard lock on audio media up until now, but there’s a new contender. Clubhouse is disrupting the way that media works and it’s an important watch for investors, at least those who don’t want to miss the boat on another big disruption. 

What’s the Clubhouse App and why does it matter?

An invitation only application that’s been available since 2020, most people hadn’t even heard of Clubhouse until Elon Musk used it as a platform. And he wasn’t even releasing another tribute to Harambe.

Clubhouse is a drop-in audio app, in which users are able to connect to live audio streams and broadcasts en masse. If you’ve ever wanted to connect with and potentially hate the other fans of your fav podcast, this is for you.

Why is Clubhouse the Future of Podcasts?

It’s not a terrible idea….

Imagine live radio shows with all the excitement and interactivity it implies, along with the ability to preserve the content for later. Clubhouse has been described as Medium for podcasters, letting anyone build their content and their following readily. And because it’s invitation only for now, it’s creating a high-quality platform that can only get more popular from here.

There are a lot of podcasts out there. But people are increasingly looking for more engagement and interactivity. For once, podcasts could cease being a solo and even antisocial experience and become something people enjoy together.

To investigate this further we reached out to a social media guru Nicky Saunders to get her take on this disruption. She not only run her own podcast but also is an active Clubhouser. We asked her if she thinks Clubhouse will disrupt the Podcast industry and she stated, “I think it can add on 2 it! its a great addition to connect with your listeners and extra exposure to it 2”. What about the monetization strategy once they gain mass market?  “I believe tipping speakers… access to certain rooms….. paid event will be something they can really maximize on if they play it right.” Do you think Clubhouse will eventually let users save and archive discussions? “I don’t think they will allow that… that’s was makes them unique.” More to come…. 

The Excitement of a Live Community 

Clubhouse is far more than just podcasting. It creates a live event with all the fervor that this implies. It’s a highly social experience that makes it more compelling to follow podcasts. As people look for more digital, social venues, this becomes even more important. 

But what about the curse of COVID? Confounding the valuation is the fact that it’s hard to gauge what interest will be following the pandemic and if numbers and activity could be inflated.

Clubhouse is valued at $1 billion currently after rounds of investment funding. Some have wondered if an IPO might be coming in the next year, but there are some concerns. Primarily, some worry about how content moderation may be handled, as it’s become increasingly difficult on Twitch — and no one knows whether COVID will have longstanding impact on the digital social world.

The success of our agency is built upon the success and growth of our clients. Contact Colure’s Mobile App Development Team to discuss your next project or to be interviewed and featured in our next series of “Project Venus”.