As of today, January 1, 2018, the cryptocurrency market capitalization stands at $615 billion dollars. However, what a lot of people may not realize is the underlying technology behind the cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple and others. Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that has the potential to change the society and disrupt many industries. On the surface, blockchain technology enables distributed, encrypted and secure logging of digital transactions. But the operational use cases are endless. Blockchain has the potential to disrupt information technolog in ways not seen since the Internet arrived. We are on the precipice of a disruptive and radical new way of conducting all manner of transactions over the Internet.
Blockchain is shaping up to have more societal impacts than the cryptocurrency itself. Blockchain is poised to inspire solutions to major challenges and solve problems facing us today ranging from construction management, identity management, trading carbon emissions to maintaining health records. However, this cannot happen without agreement between companies and developers on blockchain standards. Smart companies and government organizations are recognizing the potentials of blockchain. Walmart, Microsoft, IBM, Overstock.com are some of the familiar, publicly traded companies that have invested in blockchain technology. Big companies are not the only ones investing in blockchain, new innovative startups are leveraging blockchain to not only solve some of these challenges but also using it disrupt all industries that deal with data or transactions of any kind. Today, we are going to take a look at some of the promising blockchain startups to watch in 2018.
The San Francisco California-based startup, Ripple, offers a global real-time payment system that enables banks and financial institutions around the world to directly transact with each other without the need for a central correspondent. Ripple is also a real-time gross settlement system, currency exchange and remittance network by Ripple. Also called the Ripple Transaction Protocol or Ripple protocol.The company also offers FX Market Making, a solution enabling enterprises to gain access to cross-currency liquidity through a distributed network that allows foreign exchange to be externally sourced from a competitive FX marketplace or an internal FX trading desk. This minimizes FX exposure thereby lowering the volatility and counter-party risk of trades. Ripple Insights features industry updates, insider perspectives, and in-depth market analysis. The startup was founded in 2012 by Arthur Britto, Chris Larsen. Ripple (XRP) XRP is a digital asset for payments. It’s the fastest and most scalable digital asset,
enabling real-time global payments anywhere in the world. Ripple coin is currently valued at $2.25. Ripple coin market cap is currently over $8 billion according to Coinbase.
Blockchain is a London-based startup that provides web-based bitcoin platform that makes using bitcoin safe, easy, and secure for all consumers and businesses worldwide. Their mission is to re-imagine how the world transacts. They build innovative software that makes using Bitcoin safe, easy, and secure for all consumers and businesses anywhere in the world. Founded on August 28, 2011 in London, United Kingdom, Blockchain is currently the provider of the world’s most popular Bitcoin wallet, the most widely used Bitcoin APIs, the most popular block explorer and search engine, and has what is widely recognized as the strongest, most trusted brand in Bitcoin. In October 2014, they announced a $30 million Series A financing co-led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Wicklow Capital. They have experienced a rapid 2100% expansion in a year and a half as Blockchain exploded from 100,000 users to over 3,000,000 users. The startup has received a total funding of $70 million.
Power Ledger has developed a series of world-leading blockchain energy applications, such as its P2P energy trading application. Power Ledger is bringing Power Ledger’s P2P solar energy trading blockchain technology to the world. Power Ledger Pty Ltd allows renewable energy asset owners to decide who they want to sell their surplus energy to and at what price. Using blockchain technology they provide a transparent, auditable and automated market trading and clearing mechanism for the benefit of producers and consumers. Their technology enables the sale of surplus renewable energy generated at residential and commercial developments (including multi-unit/multi-tenanted) and at homes and businesses connected to existing electricity distribution networks, or within micro-grids. Power Ledger puts the power to manage the energy economy into the hands of consumers, while maintaining the value of existing distribution networks. Power Ledger has raised a total of $35 million in funding.
block.one is a new startup company that is building its own bitcoin-like operating platform (EOS.io) project. The goal is to use EOS.io has a infrastructure platform to host variety of decentralized applications. block.one designs free market systems to secure life, liberty, and property by publishing open source software that is free for everyone to use. EOS.IO is an Operating System on which scalable Decentralized Autonomous Communities “DACs” can easily be built, launched, and governed. Made possible through asynchronous smart contract communication, EOS.IO is designed to empower communities to create the next era of disruptive organizations. But unlike other operating systems like Microsoft Windows, block.one plans to only write the initial code for EOS and then release the source code publicly. The task of building or developing the platform is also handled by unrelated third parties. As a result, the EOS tokens have no relationship to the software. According to The Wall Street Journal, this is the largest initial coin offering to date, with block.one’s market value now at around $4.5 billion. The sale of the token, called EOS, has benefited from a boom in ICOs – overall, 165 firms have raised more than $4 billion in 2017 through coin offerings.
Crowdz, the Sunnyvale California-based B-Commerce Company, is the creator of the world’s first blockchain-based B2B ecommerce marketplace. Using cutting-edge blockchain and artificial-intelligence principles to traditional B2C and B2B marketplace models, Crowdz automates product search & sourcing, accelerates commercial transactions, and streamlines predictive-data analytics in ways never before possible. Crowdz’s technologies are currently covered by seven pending patents, and a beta version of Crowdz’s sourcing system is currently being used by 240 seller companies offering 1.6 million products. Crowdz was founded in 2014 and it’s headed by Payson E. Johnston, former B2B supply-chain senior manager for Cisco, and its executive team boasts more than 80 years of combined experience in B2B sourcing, supply chain, retail, and ecommerce. Crowds has raised just over $1 million.
You can use digital wallet to pay instantly from your phone and empower local businesses in your city. Colu is a new startup that create local currencies for smart economies using Blockchain technology. The Tel Aviv, Israel-based startup was founded in December 2014 by Amos Meiri, David Ring, Mark Smargon. Their mission is to change the way we create and use money. By giving people the ability to exchange digital cash directly with one another we are encouraging sustainable and equitable economic growth while supporting local businesses. Colu believes that real change begins at the local level. Through the use of local currencies, more people shop local, eat local, buy local, and live local, strengthening the local economy, and keeping the control of money in everyone’s hands. With a strong and inclusive local economy people feel more connected to one another, increasing social responsibility and social capital. The startup has raised a total of 26.6 million.
Coinify is the leading blockchain currency service provider supporting 14 blockchain currencies (including bitcoin, ether, ripple, etc.). Coinify ApS is an established global virtual currency player actively offering solutions in Europe, Asia and other regions. The company was incorporated in 2014 and is backed by SEED Capital Denmark, SEB Venture Capital and Accelerace. Coinify.com platform offers blockchain currency trading and payment processing services: individuals can buy and sell blockchain currencies; and merchants can accept blockchain payments in 15 currencies and receive payouts in fiat.
Coinify API allows trading and payment processing white label solutions for its partners: Payment Service Providers can offer blockchain currencies as payment method to their merchants; Cryptocurrency wallet providers can offer in-wallet trading; Loyalty point companies can offer rewards in the form of blockchain currency, Financial institutions can integrate blockchain currency trading in their platform, etc. The Coinify Innovation Lab provides research and development services to deliver blockchain-based Proof-of-Concepts, like in its collaboration with Nets, Europe’s largest digital payments company. It also collaborates regularly with governmental bodies, NGOs and other premier organizations.
Coinify team consists of strong backgrounds in payments, finance, risk, e-commerce, and compliance areas and experience in working with digital currencies since 2010. Coinify Blockchain Experts are active in blockchain technology advocacy and thought leadership available as: keynote speakers and panellists; media commentators; and consultants. Recent industry awards and recognitions include: Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Award: ‘Global Blockchain Financial Service Provider 2017’; KPMG & H2 Ventures ‘Fintech 100 Emerging Star’; ‘Top 100 FinTech Europe’ 2017 & 2016; Nordic Startup Award ‘Best Fintech Startup Denmark 2017’; and ‘Top 50’ Financial IT Pathfinder Ranking. The startup has raised a total of $9 million in funding.
Sensay is a Venice, California-based startup that connects humans together to transact valuable knowledge. Sensay is an AI-powered platform for chatbots. Sensay is building the knowledge graph, a better and faster way to connect to others to chat and transact human data, and get rewarded by making SENSE digital tokens. Anyone can use Sensay to connect and earn within all messengers, starting with SMS, Slack, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, WeChat and more. The startup was founded in March 2014 by Ariel Jalali, Crystal Rose. Overall, the company has raised a total of $21 million in funding.
Crypterium is a revolutionary digital cryptobank with credit subtoken and open platform. It is an integrated banking system that aims to provide a complete vertically integrated service that enables anyone to pay with any cryptocurrency in 42 000 000 stores worldwide.. This service encompasses the best ideas from the entire community of the world’s best blockchain enthusiasts. Crypterium is a contactless cryptobank for everyone. It tends to serve everything one might need in their smartphone: payments, transfers, currency exchange, instant loans. The startup was founded by Austin Kimm, Gleb Markov, Steven Polyak, Vladimir Gorbunov. So far, the company has raised about $24.3 million in funding. The company call itself “Cryptobank for Cryptopeople.”
Storj is a decentralized distributed, encrypted, and blazing fast object cloud storage, where only you have access to your data. Storj leverages cryptocurrency, blockchains, and the power of the crowd to create the world’s largest, cheapest, and safest cloud. Each year, 2/3s of all new hard drives are put directly into PCs. These drives are rarely used to capacity. By scavenging these wasted resources, Storj can provide unlimited cloud storage at a fraction of the cost of a traditional data-center. Storj was founded in 2014 by James Prestwich, Jim Lowry, John Quinn, Shawn Wilkinson, Tome Boshevski. To date, the startup has raised a total of $35.5 million.