What’s trending in Blockchain?
It is early but it’s emerging and fast. With the world ablaze with skyrocketing cryptocurrency coins, and everyone searching for the next Bitcoin or Ethereum, Blockchain is the hottest tech buzzword in ages and is driving all this madness.
Blockchain has paired a curious set of bedfellows in high tech and high finance in a way that has attracted over $1 billion in venture capital and seems to feed a massive market potential. The aim is to couple technology and finance for faster and safer transactions at a lower cost. But what does it all mean and what businesses are at the forefront of this dynamic space? Here are a few of the shining new stars (potentially) in the Blockchain universe.
It has been suggested by some that this group may transform startup fund management in much the same way that Uber transformed the taxi industry.
Using a crowdfunding mechanism where over 2,000 investors participated in an Initial Coin Offering (or “ICO”) which would be analogous to getting investors in more known language to pony up their funds to subscribe to a company’s Initial Public Offering (or “IPO”). With over 2,000 investors it is clear how the firm has offered a de-centralized alternative to the traditional fund management world. Keeping in step with this, instead of getting stock certificates or equity in another form of paper, investors get a token or ICN which replaces the former paper instrument. Over $5.5 million has been raised as of the end of September.
Investors who hold these ICN tokens will start seeing dividends on a weekly basis from profits as funds managed by the firm are launched.
Trying to tackle international payment delays, Ripple is leveraging Blockchain as a vehicle to make these payments happen securely and in real time, something today’s banks cannot accomplish. Having already raised nearly $100 million and supported by some big name banks like Accenture and BMO Financial Group they appear to be well on their way to making moving money just as easy as the internet can move information but leveraging the security features of the Blockchain instrument with inter-ledger tools that connect various Blockchains together.
This firm out of Singapore is building an online service that couples Bitcoin to corporate holdings. Bitcoin has been tied to tangible assets such as cash and gold which made a secure, digital transaction possible with these assets. Now with Otonomos’ platform, entrepreneurs will have new capability and flexibility raising funds and managing their companies as their shares are made available via the Blockchain and a digital share wallet.
With over 80% of the value in our world tied up in companies, putting this value on the Blockchain will open up new liquidity and fundraising mechanisms for these entrepreneurs.
Having raised nearly $45 million to date with almost 67% coming from the likes of Citibank, Visa, and the NASDAQ, it is clear that the Blockchain networks this firm creates are getting a good look from the industry. With a focus toward high-end applications, Chain creates tools that make the moving of financial assets less expensive, more secure and faster, their technology is making waves in the premium credit card providers and stock exchanges, such as those who’ve place nearly $30 million to date in this firm.
This California based business is leveraging Blockchain for secure identification cards. The company’s founder claims the card, like your driver’s license, is simple from a user’s perspective but is hyper-secure so that banks can trust it.
A small venture round of $1.5 million for ShoCard was raised following the firms launch in 2015 and they’ve recently formed a partnership with SITA, who provides IT services to the airlines to develop an enhanced, secure Blockchain mechanism for the airlines to manage traveler identification details.
This firm is coupling database ideology to the Blockchain construct. Their offering will be a platform for developers to create ultra-fast and scalable databases that can store a petabyte or 1,000,000 gigabytes of data in less than a second. The speed and scalability, when applied to an enterprise database, can leverage the security and identification features inherent in the Blockchain. So far BigchainDB has raised nearly $6 million from a small syndicate of investors.
SmartLedger is using Blockchain to on a direct basis to assist companies to employ the technology. Given the game-changing nature of change the technology is having on financial markets and services, they expect to be at the forefront of helping executive establish strategies for its use.