The blockchain and cryptocurrency industry can be said to have finally arrived this year. The industry which was seen previously by the majority as a fringe idea that was doomed from the start has now suddenly thrust itself into the mainstream psyche and has been one of the hottest spots for investment throughout this year. This fascinating market despite uncertain times at various points over the year has been able to multiply in value over 10 times from where it began in January. Bitcoin might be the most widely known cryptocurrency in the world but it is certainly not the only player in the field, as there are over 1200 distinct cryptocurrencies, coins and tokens each with its unique features and purposes. And as we round up the year, we will pick 7 cryptocurrencies and tokens to keep an eye on in the year to come and beyond.
Adex is a blockchain platform with eyes set on one of the juiciest business sectors in the modern world i.e. the online advertisement industry. This is a startup with ambitious plans to cause a great upset in the present state of things by turning the tables on the big advert giants such as Google and Facebook. Adex seeks to provide its users with a completely decentralized advert sector which cuts-off the middleman completely and connects the advertisers, publishers and users under an atmosphere where each derives certain benefits. Adex if successful will make advertisement costs crash, give publishers a better cut of the cash and give internet users only adverts they are truly interested in.
The blockchain technology’s reach is far from just providing a peer-to-peer means of making payments between individuals, it spans to so many real world sectors of life and business and the area of energy consumption is not immune to its pervasive tendencies. GRID+ is a blockchain startup which seeks to bring much needed sanity to the area of energy consumption in our homes by providing the user with complete ecosystem to monitor their energy usage, pay their bill completely accurately and in real-time and also allow users to buy energy and have it stored when it is very cheap and then sell when the prices go up. GRID promotes a smart energy usage where a user’s home automatically optimizes their usage of electricity using blockchain-enable IoT sensors.
With so many cryptocurrencies and tokens coming out every few days through fresh ICOs, it is sometimes impossible for subscribers of these altcoins and tokens to find a ready-made market for their holdings as most of the big exchanges are cautious of the newer currencies. This creates a marketability problem for these new outfits as buyers are afraid of having their money trapped with them. AirSwap is a decentralized exchange based on the Ethereum blockchain that seeks to do away with the liquidity problems of all newer cryptocurrencies by providing users with a completely accessible platform to exchange whatever they are holding with a willing party from all over the world. All the user needs to do is put the token or coin they are willing to exchange up in a smart contract, where any willing exchanger can accept the offer and give the user something they would rather have in return
Every new business’ dream is to hit the ground running when they open shop by arriving with that spot-on idea that the public will love. This is rather difficult and as such many startups are exposed to excruciating try and fail processes before they get it right. Wings is a blockchain startup that seeks to do away with all that and offer the startups and individuals with great ideas, a test platform where they can float their ideas to a panel of professionals who will assess its viability and give the startups an honest feedback. Wings is a sort of prediction market where the participants are incentivized to predict the success or failure of an idea with rewards given in proportion to how accurate their predictions turn out to be. Wings hopes to be that platform where startups are given the necessary assessments and tools to optimize their ideas to perfection before they go to the real world market
While most blockchain and cryptocurrency outfits take a very narrow view of the present financial industry and its vehicles, Centra is one startup that sees no harm in making the best of both worlds in providing its users with the best kind of service that will enhance their use of cryptocurrencies. Centra aims to provide users of 8 major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum a simple and convenient way of having direct and secure access to their assets using a Visa or MasterCard. Payments can be easily processed instantly by the users who now don’t have to carry different cryptocurrency wallets around in order to make their payments.
Modum is a startup which seeks to revolutionize the supply chain protocols for companies across diverse sectors of business. It is a blockchain-based company which seeks to deploy IoT enabled devices to provide companies and suppliers with a simple, impartial and highly effective way of monitoring their supply chain process without any party crying foul. Modum especially wants to target the pharmaceutical sector, where regulations about supply are especially stringent in the EU. With Modum, the company, supplier and regulatory bodies have a real-time, tamper-proof and secure way of making sure all rules are adhered to in the process of supplying drugs for example over long distances.
The cloud computing platforms that rule supreme in the world today like Amazon and Microsoft have long been criticized for having so many problems, such as being too expensive for their own good, while having a constant threat of being attacked by hackers who could easily cart away users’ sensitive info. SONM is a blockchain-based platform that seeks to redefine the sector by offering what it terms as Fog Computing, where a user wherever they are in the world has a direct, secure, and cheap access to decentralized cloud storage and computing power to do their bidding whenever they wish. Fog computing, unlike the centralized cloud computing platforms, don’t require huge data storage centers with huge needs for electricity, as its facilities are spread all over the world, with the user’s info duplicated several times over all across the network in order to ensure they experience zero downtimes.
The blockchain industry and cryptocurrencies are setting new rules for everything from banking, health, and insurance. There might be a few startups with nothing fresh to offer, but as we can see from above, there are those with a real agenda and purpose behind them. The 7 stated above if successful will truly have serious impacts on how we live and do business. These are the cryptos to keep an eye on, so watch this space!