Argo Blockchain, a crypto mining company, is likely to become the first blockchain firm to be listed on the LSE (London Stock Exchange). LSE, one of the world's oldest stock exchanges, has supported this claim by approving Argo's listing. Argo Blockchain released a statement this Monday putting forward their intention to raise around $26.8 million (£20 million) via IPO (Initial Product Offering). The IPO is scheduled to come after the company has been listed on LSE, and it is expected that Argo's value will go to $53.3 million, or £40 million. Argo Blockchain received a significant investment from private investors earlier this year, valued at around £1.9 million, or $2.5 million.
Recently, a luxury hotel called the Seehotel Jagerwirt in Turrach, Austria found that all of its electronic doors were locked by hackers and could not be opened unless the hotel made a bitcoin payment to the hackers. As hackers become more sophisticated, we'll see the constant battle between legitimate businesses and criminals, each one trying to leapfrog the other's technology. Bitcoin is useful for criminals and people involved with them. In spite of its dark character, bitcoin is important because of the technology that makes it work. That technology is called blockchain computing and you'll be hearing more about it.
The blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) are two cornerstones of the new computing movement. The blockchain offers a secure yet transparent way of handling big data. Moreover, the blockchain points the way toward a decentralized computing future, where power is held in the hands of the masses rather than a few ultra-powerful computing elites. AI, on the other hand, seeks to replace traditional human intervention or clumsy handwritten algorithms with smart coding that can learn and adapt from the information it collects. The synergy between these two powerful computing movements is turning out to be greater than the sum of its parts.
The concept for bitcoin was published online in 2009, written under the still-unidentified pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin was groundbreaking because it can be sent or received without the need for a central administrator, such as a bank. The underlying technology that allows people to transact with one another directly is called the blockchain.
Blockchain is growing in importance. Increasingly organisations have to explore what this revolutionary technology will mean for their business. Marc Andreessen from the well-known VC firm Andreessen Horowitz calls it as big an invention as the internet. Last year, in my Big Data Trends prediction for 2016, I already foresaw that 2016 would become the year of the Blockchain and now also Gartner has included in their Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies.