Although cryptocurrency remains the foremost implementation of blockchain technology, hundreds of companies have begun adapting the technology to other use-cases.
Now, blockchain can be found intersecting with practically every industry, ranging from e-commerce, humanitarian aid and anti-counterfeiting, to online advertising and social media. Despite this, however, most blockchain projects are just rehashes of old ideas and do little to really stand out.
With that in mind, we took a look at the seven companies we believe are doing the most to distance themselves from the competition, while bringing to market a potentially disruptive product.
The KaratGold Ecosystem
Arguably one of the most well-developed projects on this list, the KaratGold product ecosystem looks to blend the cryptocurrency and gold industries to help make both more accessible than ever before.
KaratGold Coin was previously mentioned as one of the 10 companies to watch in 2019 by Forbes, for providing arguably the first platform to make interconverting between gold and cryptocurrency simple.
Part of this KaratGold Imperium is KaratBars International which allows anybody to buy small units of gold in the form of so called CashGold. Moreover, the ecosystem offers a novel payment solution through K-merchant—which allows stores to securely accept KBC, Bitcoin and Ether as payment.
These are supplemented by Karatgold Coin (KBC), a cryptocurrency linked to gold, and Karatcoin Bank (KCB), a token which will merge with the former by the end of this year. This new mainnet token will be tradeable on a variety of exchanges, plus the platform’s own exchange KaratBit.
If that wasn’t enough, KaratGold has also been busy working on the world’s first voice over blockchain protocol (VOBP) smartphone, promising to shakeup the smartphone industry.
The Dock protocol aims to unravel basic data hoarding issues present on centralized platforms. Dock achieves this by implementing a protocol that incentivizes data exchange between platforms.
The Dock protocol enables users to gain control of their date and exchange it between various applications on the Ethereum blockchain, secured with data encryption and a native token model. At the same time, the Dock token model incentivizes applications to exchange data by creating an environment for transactions that are beneficial for both parties of a transaction.
Both the users and also the applications primary demands are considered and implemented. As a consequence, users get full access and control of their personal digital traces, and applications receive fair compensation for exchanging information. In 2018, the Dock project has raised around $20 million in an ICO.
Launching in Q3 2019, Epic Cash has the ambitious goal of providing a fast, scalable and private cryptocurrency to anybody, anywhere.
Epic Cash takes the radical step of incorporating sound economics with innovative technologies like the MimbleWimble and Dandelion++ protocols to bolster blockchain privacy, defending it against deanonymization attacks.
By using Mimblewimble, Epic Cash is hugely scalable and much more accessible to miners, ensuring the blockchain is as decentralized as possible.
Similar to Bitcoin, Epic Cash has a maximum supply of 21 million Epic, with an emission schedule that expands rapidly for the first nine years, before synchronizing with Bitcoin in 2028.
However, what separates Epic Cash from most other cryptocurrencies is its fair distribution method, allowing ASICs, GPUs, and CPUs to mine Epic without compromising the integrity of the blockchain.
Although the project is still in its very early stages, it has already garnered significant support in the cryptocurrency community and aims to become a pre-eminent transactional and privacy-protecting cryptocurrency.
ECOMI is a digital ecosystem that enables users to buy, sell and trade licensed digital collectibles using Distributed Ledger Technology. ECOMI launched its IEO (Initial Exchange Offering) in May 2019 and managed to raise $10 million in less than 12 hours.
The ECOMI collect app is the main product of ECOMI and allows users to trade unique, verified and licensed collectibles in the form of NFT’s (Non-Fungible Tokens). Additionally, ECOMI offers a secure wallet which can also store other cryptocurrencies and tokens.
The team behind the project includes notable figures including Alfred Kahn, known for licensing huge and popular IPs like Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The traditional digital goods market was worth around $80 billion in 2017 and ECOMI is looking to revolutionize this massive industry through its innovative ecosystem, DApp marketplace and secure storage of personal data.
Ecomi is also one of the few recent IEO funded projects to be generating revenue, despite completing its token sale less than three months ago.
After being acquired by the TRON network in mid-2018, BitTorrent launched an initial exchange offering (IEO) on the Binance Launchpad and raised $6 million in less than a minute.
BitTorrent works by allowing torrent users to bid for files to be seeded on the network using BitTorrent tokens (BTT), ensuring that files remain available for longer while providing an incentive for rare files to be shared.
Beyond this, the recent announcement of the BitTorrent File System (BTFS) and plans to expose BitTorrent users to the TRON ecosystem indicate that BitTorrent could be pivotal in the growing adoption of decentralized applications.
With plans to leverage the more than 100 million regular BitTorrent protocol users worldwide, BitTorrent (BTT) could be one of the first blockchain projects to truly market itself to a substantial audience.
BTT is self-described as the token that enables mass adoption, and since so many people are already familiar with BitTorrent, this seems like a reasonable assertion.
Initially conceptualized in 2017, 2key is looking to revolutionize the way links work, by leveraging the 2key protocol to fuse smart contracts and traditional links together into smart links.
2key works by allowing anyone to create a 2key link and define the goals of their referral campaign. Anybody who forwards this link and participates in a chain that leads to conversion is rewarded, producing an intricate web of collaboration.
This allows anybody to accurately track and reward those helping to generate conversions in a referral campaign. With each campaign tied to a smart contract that automatically rewards participants, campaign creators can spend less time worrying about tracking conversion and more time working on their product.
2key recently launched its test-net on the Ropsten Ethereum network and plans to launch the full network product later in 2019.
Dacsee is a ride-sharing platform that uses blockchain technology to empower members of the community to develop their own network of passengers and drivers.
The concept behind Dacsee is similar to Uber and other well-known ride-sharing platforms, however, Dacsee is looking to solve some of the problems that traditional apps like Uber are facing. For examples, the unsustainable business model, lack of loyalty privileges and the inability to select a preferred driver.
By improving the way users ride, drive and socialize together and providing a better income model and more features for drivers, Dacsee hopes to make a name for itself in a booming new industry.
Though the ride-sharing business model is still relatively new, it has been projected to grow by almost 15% per year between 2019 and 2023. With Dacsee looking to expand its business in China, and aggressively promoting its service elsewhere, it may not be long before Dacsee is a household name.
A Look Ahead
Although we have listed just some of the numerous blockchain projects that have the potential to shake up their respective industries, there are always promising new technologies on the horizon that enable ever-more inventive projects.
However, despite blockchain-based competitors to traditional companies seemingly cropping up every day, it remains to be seen whether the technology will really benefit many of the industries it is being applied to, or if it’s simply a fad.
Whatever the case, many of the examples listed here prove that blockchain technology is, at least in some cases, a potential game-changer. Because of this, we are looking forward to seeing what the next generation of blockchain companies bring to the table in the near future.
Which of these seven projects will you be keeping an eye on this year? Which project would you add as #8? Drop your thoughts in the comments below!
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