Major bitcoin players include names such as Bitreserve and Circle.

Bitreserve serves as an online portal to convert currency from one form to another. In the beginning, users had to deposit their currency in bitcoin form, and could then convert their bitcoin into 25 other world currencies or four different types of valuable metals. Circle at first only allowed use of its transfer services — amazingly quick money transfers to anyone, anywhere — to be done in bitcoin money, including the process of depositing, holding, and sending of currency.

Many of the companies who started off using bitcoin as their main currency are changing to focus on blockchain as a whole. Bitreserve changed its name to Uphold and has since allowed depositing of currency in any form, and Circle has changed to allow use of credit and debit cards to be used for deposit, holding, and sending of money worldwide.

Many startups that were created with a focus on bitcoin are changing to accommodate alternative currencies and to let others know that they are not nearly as bitcoin dependent as before for what seems to be a similar reason to the one banks use: that bitcoin has a negative connotation to it, and since blockchain is the hot commodity now, it seems like a smarter idea to tie the business to that. They hope that, as more businesses and users adopt the blockchain technology, their use of it will also allow them to gain in popularity and use.

For players in the financial sector, the best thing to do right now would be to seriously consider the advantages of blockchain. While bitcoin is the most top of mind for the general public, blockchain is attracting the biggest forces in the finance sector with its clean reputation. More than that, blockchain offers the opportunity to revitalize modern value transactions as we know it, and those who get their stakes in before that happens will have the best chance to shape what happens after. It’s business management 101: first-mover advantage!

Is it crazy to change course of your company to try something so new, something so different from what you have has been accustomed to. Maybe so. But as Steve Jobs very rightly noted when thinking about changing the world, financial or otherwise — it’s usually the crazy ones who do.

Originally published at on January 25, 2017.