Special Report: Beyond Crypto: The Top 4 Enterprise Blockchain Stocks

Merriam-Webster defines “blockchain” as “a digital database containing information that can be simultaneously used and shared within a large decentralized, publicly accessible network.” 

But to most people, it has a simpler definition: “the thing that powers Bitcoin.” Cryptocurrency is obviously the main growth driver of the blockchain industry today. The price of Bitcoin is up nearly 6,000% in the last five years, while Ethereum is up more than 50,000%. 

Bitcoin and Ethereum Chart

One way to cash in on the growth of blockchain technology is, of course, to buy these coins. But what if you don’t want to brave the kind of volatility shown above? 

Good news: There’s more to blockchain than cryptocurrency. Allied Market Research expects the global blockchain market to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 62.7% through 2027 — and much of that growth is expected to be non-cryptocurrency-related. 

Indeed, the future of blockchain technology may well be enterprise blockchains rather than cryptocurrencies. After all, enterprise blockchains predate cryptocurrencies by more than a decade… 

A Brief History of Blockchains

There is a common misconception — one that is published on Wikipedia, among other places — that the world’s first blockchain was established in 2009 along with the Bitcoin protocol. 

In fact, the first commercial blockchain is more than 13 years older than Bitcoin.

In 1995, cryptographers Stuart Haber and Scott Stornetta founded a document authentication company called Surety. Its main product, AbsoluteProof, provides an immutable time stamp of the last time a document was modified — something that is useful in a variety of legal contexts, such as copyright protection and forgery identification. 

Haber's and Stornetta’s idea was to run their clients’ documents through a cryptographic hashing algorithm, yielding a string of seemingly random letters and numbers (or “hash”) unique to that document and its time of publication. 

If someone received an adulterated version of a document (even one with tiny changes, such as a different publication date) and tried to authenticate it by running it through the hashing algorithm, that algorithm would yield a different hash — and would thus reveal that the document was not an original.        

The Bitcoin blockchain works in much the same way — each Bitcoin transaction is fed through a hashing algorithm, and then the resulting hash is published online. The encryption keeps the details of transactions private but also provides a public record that each transaction occurred. This public record prevents the double-spending of coins and protects their credibility as a medium of exchange. 

You cannot “clone” a particular bitcoin and then spend it twice, because one of the transactions — the one where you attempt to respend the “cloned” coin — would produce a hash that would not match the hashes in the public ledger of Bitcoin transactions, revealing it to be a fraud. 

In the case of Surety, the public record prevents forgery of clients’ documents. You cannot pass off an adulterated Surety document as an original because the adulterated document would produce a hash that wouldn’t match Surety’s public records, revealing it to be a forgery. 

Of course, back in 1995, the internet was in its infancy and blockchain explorer websites like Blockchain.info didn’t exist yet — so Surety started publishing all of its clients’ hashes in weekly classified ads in the back of The New York Times. And it still does.

The world has changed a lot since 1995 — and yet Surety is still in business and still publishing hashes in The New York Times every week. That’s a testament to the demand for blockchain-based document authentication, which is one of the major non-crypto use cases for the technology (and the core business of one of the stocks we’ll discuss below). 

As you’ll see in a moment, this blockchain-as-authentication concept has lots of other non-crypto uses besides legal documents — such as food freshness

No restaurateur or grocer wants to accidentally sell expired food to their customers — but how can they verify that the lettuce they bought last week was actually harvested and packed last week? 

How can they prevent a bad supplier from slapping a fake “Packed On/Use By” label on an old, unsold package of lettuce to make a quick buck? With blockchain-based supply chain authentication.   

Almost any problem involving the authenticity or time stamp of a particular thing, transaction, event, or communication can be solved by blockchain-based authentication. Below, we’re profiling four publicly traded companies that have incorporated these kinds of non-crypto blockchain services into their business models… 

DocuSign (NASDAQ: DOCU)

Founded in 2003 and based in San Francisco, DocuSign is an electronic document management company that provides authentication and e-signature services, much like Surety.

Its shares have appreciated considerably over the last five years, although they took a nasty tumble at the end of 2021 due to weak guidance from an earnings report. 

Docu Chart

Just like its classified-ad-publishing forerunner, DocuSign uses blockchain technology to protect its clients’ documents, albeit in a slightly higher-tech form than a newspaper. 

The company has used blockchain-based authentication methods since 2015 and experimented for years with its own proprietary version of Ethereum smart contracts (automatically executed agreements recorded directly in the public blockchain ledger).

In the spring of 2021, DocuSign acquired Clause, a smart contract development startup, and plans to integrate its technology into its entire suite of document management services. 

IBM (NYSE: IBM)

Founded in 1911 and based in Armonk, New York, IBM is one of the world’s oldest and largest enterprise computing companies. 


IBM chart

As you can see above, its shares haven’t exactly thrived in recent years, but its place in the enterprise blockchain industry can’t be ignored. IBM is a pioneer in the kind of blockchain-based food supply chain authentication services described above. 

Its IBM Blockchain segment has already helped the country's second-largest grocer, Kroger, set up a “farm-to-fork” tracing system to ensure the authenticity and freshness of its wares. It also provides blockchain-based authentication services to ticketing company True Tickets and a variety of other enterprises. 

Overstock (NASDAQ: OSTK)

Founded in 1999 and based in Midvale, Utah, Overstock is perhaps best known as an online furniture retailer — and you may also know it as the first major internet retailer to accept Bitcoin for payment. 

OSTK chart

Shares of Overstock have had a volatile — but ultimately profitable — run in the last few years. 

In truth, however, the company’s involvement in blockchain goes far beyond its accepted payment methods. It is, in fact, completely restructuring its business to focus on enterprise blockchain technology. 

In 2014, the company created a venture capital subsidiary called Medici Ventures, which invests in enterprise blockchain projects across a variety of sectors, including finance and government. One of its portfolio companies, Votem, is developing a blockchain-based vote authentication system to make online and mobile device-based democracy possible.  

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) 

Founded in 1994 and based in Seattle, Amazon is a gigantic and highly diversified tech company with stellar stock performance in recent years although it’s not a pure play on blockchain technology by any stretch. 

AMZN Amazon Chart
It merits inclusion in this report, however, because its cloud computing service provides a sort of pick-and-shovel play on enterprise blockchains. 

Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers Amazon Managed Blockchain, a software suite that helps customers build their own enterprise blockchains. A variety of large companies, including Accenture, AT&T, and Nestle, are Amazon Managed Blockchain customers. 

Where to Find More Lucrative Enterprise Blockchain Stocks

These four companies are some of the biggest publicly traded names in enterprise blockchain technology — but they’re not the only ones or even necessarily the most lucrative. 

The Wealth Advisory has been preparing research on a software company that is growing quickly by integrating enterprise blockchain technology into a wide range of industries. Readers have a shot at incredible gains by getting in on this stock early. Click here to learn more. 


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