Blockchain technology is taking the current world by storm and expected to grow to $20 billion by 2024. A blockchain is a digitalized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. Each block stores critical records that are completed and added back onto a blockchain permanently. This means that records can be verified independently by the network, can’t be hacked, and are publically available for verification.
For startups, this technology helps create business models that are transparent, solve existing operating inefficiencies, and offer more secure transaction. Due to these benefits, startups are redefining their business models and incorporating blockchain technology into their foundation.
This has led to a rise of innovative and diverse companies built on the blockchain. Below are ten blockchain startups to watching 2018, each offering a different use case and application:
U.CASH is the original pioneer of an IBO, or initial bounty offering, to drive community engagement and network growth. The innovative approach to fundraising has led to a community of over 3,500 supporters on Telegram. Fans can earn U.CASH by simply registering for an account and doing a host of other traditional bounty activities. On a larger scale, U.CASH is helping build a global network of retail and individual converters providing cash to digital conversions to and from the U.CASH ecosystem, helping people worldwide to unbank.
The drone market is expected to grow to $12 billion in sales by 2021. Part of these sales include both commercial and civilian drones, including passenger taxis. BlockchainTaxi is using blockchain technology and historical flight data to optimize commuter air travel for safety, security, and reliability. Their official hardware partner is Passenger Drone, a company that was the first to successfully complete a manned drone flight. Beyond passenger transport, BlockchainTaxi’s technology will help facilitate emergency relief delivery, evacuations, and search and rescue missions.
Pindify is using blockchain technology to creating an online market platform for providers of music, art and media. Artists and providers can invite fans, sell content, and earn revenue in a decentralized platform which helps provide larger revenue shares. For music in particular, blockchain technology can be used to distribute intellectual property, without the use of intermediaries. This is especially important considering the top 1% of live artists make up for 68% of all live revenue. Pindex is offering a new model for artists to generate income digitally on the blockchain, something the founders hope will inspire passion to prevail in the industry.
From 2006 to 2016, it is estimated that the cost of education in the United States increased by 63%. With the complexity of the educational system spanning multiple tiers of stakeholders, the true cost of education is inflated. ODEM is looking to solve this issue by using blockchain technology to eliminate intermediary costs and connect teachers directly with students. This global marketplace will offer students customized course selections, transport, programs, and more. The goal is to make quality education more accessible and affordable for students around the world.
TraDove is unique as it is the first blockchain based startup to focus on B2B specific solutions and tokens. They look to make B2B more transparent by allowing sharing of references and endorsements for people, products, and companies. Think of LinkedIn for businesses only – all on the blockchain. Using smart contracts, TraDove is looking to impact international trade, especially in developing countries, by replacing current tedious and expensive payment methods such as a letter of credits. This is also executed using big data and artificial intelligence.
In October 2017, over $25 billion in gold was traded daily, using traditional trading methods. Aurus is changing this by using blockchain technology to create an asset backed token and marketplace catered to gold. Gold can be deposited into Aurus partner vaults and stored securely. Once secured, the gold is tokenized and audited, giving owners a tokenized asset that is liquid and tradable. This tradable token can be used to hedge common volatility seen in cryptocurrencies and used as a daily currency. Aurus will also help make gold more accessible to everyday investors and traders who would like to actively hold and trade gold.
By 2025, it is estimated that there will be over one billion people working as “digital nomads”. Digital nomads are office-less and remote workers that typically work on computers and have the flexibility to travel and live anywhere. DNX Community is catering to this growth by building out a decentralized network of digital nomad resources. This network includes chats, job board, a currency called a “nomad coin” and every other resource imaginable to cater to the digital nomad community. Due to the network being built on the blockchain, all information will be secure and scalable across the world for nomads to interact and transact.
Auditchain is developing a decentralized continuous audit and reporting protocol ecosystem to revolutionize the audit and accounting industries. Blockchain technology is used to present balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, and other reports in real-time. Not only will this significantly improve current audit and accounting inefficiencies, it will help drive compliancy, transparency and safety across the industry. Auditchain is a part of the Decentralized Continuous Audit and Reporting Protocol Ecosystem (DCARPE).
ConnectJob is using blockchain technology to revolutionize the global labor economy through a decentralized peer-to-peer marketplace. The marketplace will provide users with access to a suite of on-demand products and services. All transaction information will be mechanically logged and cryptographically encrypted on a distributed ledger. They are the first startup using this business model with blockchain technology and will help eliminate costly fees typically seen in peer-to-peer service marketplaces.
e-Chat is attacking the competitive mobile app messenger space with the innovative twist. Using blockchain technology, e-Chat offers a multitask decentralized messenger that allows everything from in-app payments to video calls with up to ten people. The technology behind the project offers 100% privacy for all interactions and even offers P2P cryptocurrency transfers supported by Ethereum and Bitcoin. This powerful application proves exactly how powerful and adaptive blockchain technology is.