In some ways it seems like cryptocurrency finally broke into the mainstream in late 2017–Bitcoin’s dramatic price increases brought it into national newspaper headlines, and financial behemoth Goldman Sachs announced plans to open a dedicated crypto trading desk. But Bitcoin’s price drops have been almost as dramatic as its surges, leading many to conclude that the blockchain world is simply a bubble.
The cryptocurrency world may have more price fluctuations to work through, but blockchain, the technology underlying Bitcoin and most other cryptos, is unquestionably here to stay. Thanks to their decentralized data recording abilities, blockchain solutions are being explored for pressing global issues ranging from climate change to financial inequality. Plenty of companies are looking past cryptocurrency get-rich-quick ideas to find sustainable and effective blockchain-based tools. Here are eight of those companies to watch in 2018:
Crypto trading is a growing sector of the financial world, but in many ways, it’s still very separated from the greater securities economy. Many cryptos can only be traded on dedicated exchanges, and a large share of cryptocurrencies (almost half of all Bitcoin transactions, according to a recent Australian study) have been involved with illegal activities, a fact scaring away most investors and traders who don’t already identified as crypto enthusiasts. Securrency is changing that with their unique trading platform, which allows any kind of asset–including cryptocurrencies and traditionally illiquid ones–to be exchanged through dedicated Securrency tokens. Securrency has already built layers of KYC/AML compliance and transparency into their platform, making them a perfect resource for investors who want to explore crypto without risking a future SEC crackdown on the more fast-and-loose ICOs. They’ve also recently announced a partnership with Blockchain Intelligence Group (BIG) that will integrate BIG’s BitRank Verified software into the platform, preventing funds used for illegal purposes from entering the exchange.
Nano Vision plans to combine the power of blockchain and AI to revolutionize the healthcare data world, a landscape that’s been long-plagued with data silos, incompatible record systems, and inefficient or nonexistent analytics practices. These problems have held back the pace of medical innovation for far too long. The Nano Sense platform is built onto dedicated microchips manufactured in partnership with Arm, one of the world’s top semiconductor companies. The chips gather molecular-level data while minting dedicated Nano Tokens. A machine-learning, constantly improving AI program can then sift through the data to analyze connections, detect trends, and point the way towards healthcare breakthroughs.
Deedcoin is a great example of a blockchain company that sprang up around a major existing market inefficiency–real estate commissions. Most home sellers pay about 6% of the sale price to their realtor. Zillow reports that the average selling price for U.S. homes is currently $229,200, which makes that 6% about $13,752 of lost value for sellers. Deedcoin offers home sellers the option to pay commissions using a dedicated cryptocurrency to licensed, Deedcoin-approved realtors. Realtors accepting Deedcoin only take 1% of the sale price rather than 6%, while saving money on advertising and customer outreach costs by joining an exclusive network. That means sellers using Deedcoin can save a whopping $11,460.
Most people who have experienced even a small degree of financial comfort are eager to give back to their communities. Charity Navigator reports that US donors gave $390 billion in 2016, and 72% of those funds came from individuals. That’s a powerful financial engine for making the world better. But too often, the way philanthropies use their funding is obscure or even unethical, driving down trust in the charity world and subsequently hamstringing donations. Utopi uses blockchain technology to bring transparency back to nonprofits. When donors give using a Utopi coin, the blockchain ledger allows them to see exactly when and how that coin is spent.
Muirfield Investment Partners is one of the East Coast’s premier private equity real estate investment firms. They operate across all real estate sectors and focus on providing high-quality, flexible investment options. Which is why it’s rumored they might be launching a blockchain-based ICO to facilitate smart real estate investment and development. By combining the transparency and immutable data ledger of blockchain technology with the low-friction qualities of digital crypto trades, they’re poised to change real estate investment forever.
Bloom is tackling the worldwide credit crunch facing users who are underbanked or otherwise disenfranchised. Rather than relying only on traditional credit scores such as FICO, Bloom uses blockchain technology to confirm identity and credit risk. Users receive a BloomID that provides them with a globally usable identity. Historical debt and risk factors are tied to their ID as they develop and help contribute to their BloomScore. Organizations assess user identities and credit histories by using BloomTokens.
Green energy is unarguably the power source of the future. Statista reports that the size of the global renewable energy market is predicted to hit $777.6 billion in 2019. But before this market can reach its true potential, renewable energy infrastructure has to be constructed, and finding capital for these projects is still a challenge. WePower allows renewable energy producers to issue tokens that represent increments of the power they generate. Token purchasers can apply the energy value they accrue to their own energy needs or sell it to other individuals who want to use clean power. By using blockchain technology, WePower proposes to fundamentally improve the efficiency of financing green power projects.
In an increasingly globalized world, more and more consumers are concerned about supply chain issues, and demand to know where their purchases came from and how they were produced. But the supply chain is a complex and opaque thing, and it can be difficult to capture and share accurate information about what happens at each step. Already in use in the food industry and poised to launch a platform that can be used for virtually any supply chain, OriginTrail uses the blockchain ledger to record immutable data about products’ origins and how they got to the consumer. Their existing accomplishments have already made them the first blockchain company ever to win Walmart’s Food Safety Innovation Spark Award, and they only have more applications planned.
Do you think blockchain will change the world? How?
Article by channel:
Everything you need to know about Digital Transformation
The best articles, news and events direct to your inbox
Read more articles tagged: