Neil here.

Happy New Year! I hope you’ve had a great holiday season, but for me, it’s about time to get back to business.

I like to take the first week or so of January to outline specific angel investing goals for the year to come. In 2021, for example, I want to invest in at least one startup each month and explore more companies outside my usual SaaS-based niche.

I’ve been perusing our forums and social media and have noticed that many of you have a similar strategy in mind. That’s a great place to start!

At The Startup Investor, we’ve spent the last couple of weeks discussing some of the industries that will dominate the next year. From fintech to cannabis (and a whole lot in between), it’s going to be one of the best years on record to be an angel investor.

But there’s something we haven’t really touched on yet that I think will define 2021 – and beyond – just as much.

It centers on tech that could completely revolutionize just about every industry in the next year alone… and investors have already thrown billions of dollars behind companies using it.

I’m talking about blockchain… something that many of you are interested in, as well.

I’m sure you’ve heard of blockchain before. Given Bitcoin’s astronomical rise over the last 10 years, it’s been hard to ignore it.

But 2021 will be an entirely new frontier for blockchain. In fact, it’s likely that over 25% of the Forbes Global 2000 will be using blockchain in some capacity within the next year.

In the simplest terms, a blockchain is a digital record that makes financial transactions safer and more transparent. Because it’s distributed across the entire network of computer systems that use it, it’s practically impossible to hack into or cheat the blockchain system.

Blockchain has the potential to become the foundation of how the world tracks and stores information, disrupting everything from banking and real estate to healthcare and cybersecurity. That’s an impressive feat, considering it was only launched 10 years ago by the mysterious founder (or founders) of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto.

Bitcoin has since exploded in value. As we speak, it’s nearing $30,000, and it could hit $50,000 as soon as the end of 2021.

There are a bunch of smaller cryptocurrencies following in Bitcoin’s steps, including these three that could be at least 20X more profitable in the near future.

But from a startup investor’s perspective, here’s why I’m so interested in the tech.

The profit potential of blockchain is endless. Since it was introduced, private funding to the space has exploded.

In 2012, for example, investment funding to blockchain-enabled startup companies was just $1 million. By 2019, that number hit over $3 billion, according to Statista.

The entire market is expected to hit almost $40 billion by 2025, and I expect it to grow even larger as more companies begin to utilize blockchain tech.

We even featured one of these companies over at the Angels & Entrepreneurs Network a few months ago. It’s a profit-sharing token that lets investors share in a leading investment portal’s success.

On top of that, one of the most anticipated IPOs of 2021 comes directly from this space. Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency broker in the United States, is expected to go public in Q1 2021.

Now, keep in mind that “blockchain” has also become somewhat of a buzzword among startups.

There are plenty of companies out there claiming to use the technology that really have no idea what it is or how to explain it. That’s why it’s important to hold each startup up against a set of specific criteria before investing, like mine.

If you’re interested in a startup claiming to use blockchain, make sure they can explain what they’re doing in a simple way, and make sure you understand what they’re talking about.

This year, I’ll have my ear to the ground looking for just the right opportunities in this space.

And based on how much the tech has grown in such a short period of time, I doubt it’ll be long before we find one.

In the meantime, if you’re looking to dive into a specific subset of the blockchain world, I’d suggest you start with cryptocurrency.

My colleague Tom Gentile has developed a formula designed to spot the next big crypto winners, and he thinks 2021 is going to be the biggest year for the space on record.

His next trade is going live on Monday, January 4th, so make sure you get all the details now before you miss out.

That’s all from me for today, but stay tuned. I have high hopes for 2021, and I’m glad you’re coming along for the ride.

Let’s make it a great year.

I’ll be back soon with another update.

Until next time,

Neil Patel