Blockchain is all the rage in startup circles these days. It’s because the technology is so versatile that it can be applied to anything from financial services to application development to the Internet of Things (IoT). Sensing the opportunity, many startups are wasting no time in putting blockchain to use for various solutions. They’re getting funding in the millions and are on a path of fast-paced growth. If you’re curious to know who the movers and shakers in the blockchain startups space are, read on.
Keywords: Smart contracts, chain link, payments
Smart contracts are the future of digital payments and services. The aptly named blockchain startup SmartContract is a leader in this space. It provides a smart contract service that already enables contracts and payments across many leading banks and payment platforms like HSBC, Chase, MasterCard, and PayPal. The advantage of using blockchain to govern contracts is that the contracts avoid the middleman and are, hence, cheaper. Also, with the contracts defined as code, they have the same clarity as traditional contracts and can be enforced automatically at every stage of the contract.
Keywords: Connected devices, industrial IoT, Blocklet
Blockchain has the potential to improve many types of applications including those in the industrial sector. Filament is aware of this and has a solution to help industrial devices communicate with each other, and be controlled better. Filament can transform a regular industrial machine into a smart device that emits messages about its performance and activities. Filament does this using a proprietary Blocklet USB device that connects with any industrial machine via USB and transmits data from the machine to the larger network. Filament has a companion Blocklet software that interfaces with the Blocklet device. It works in closed-gate on-premises systems or cloud environments. The advantages of using Filament are that the communication protocol between devices, which is based on blockchain, is reliable enough to bet your business on. Soon, Filament plans to roll out microchips that are even smaller and more efficient than the current USB-powered devices. Filament is one of the blockchain startups that brings together the best of two worlds — blockchain, and IoT.
Keywords: Tokenization, investments, ICOs, smart contracts, TrustToken
CoinList gets its name from how it started — an organizer of the initial coin offering (ICO) of a file storage startup named FileCoin that launched on AngelList. An ICO is similar to an IPO in that both look to raise funds from investors. However, unlike an IPO that happens after the product is complete and the company is trading, an ICO happens while the product is in development. An ICO gives the project owners financial support during the development of the product by allowing them to sell a stake in their company in exchange for real or bitcoin currency. These ICOs are also called as token sales, and they’ve become a popular way for Bitcoin-based and blockchain-based startups to get up and running. CoinList makes it easy to manage token sales, and to date, it has raised over $800 million in token sales for various startups.
CoinList’s ambitions are beyond cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups though. It has set its sights on bringing offline transactions online using smart contracts. Its TrustToken platform lets you assign a value to any offline asset — real estate, industrial equipment, books, music, and pretty much anything that can be sold. It encodes the value of the asset and terms of a deal in a smart contract. CoinList is looking to revolutionize how financial services happen and they are a startup to watch if you’re interested in seeing how blockchain revolutionizes the financial sector.
Keywords: cross-border payments, banking
RippleNet uses cutting-edge technology to revolutionize finance. However, it isn’t concerned with the new world of cryptocurrency. Rather, its clients are banks and other financial institutions. Specifically, RippleNet specializes in executing cross-border payments in real-time. This is a big deal because as of today, cross-border transactions cost a lot, take many days to execute, and have a high failure rate. RippleNet is out to change all this. By leveraging blockchain technology to manage the transfer, RippleNet is able to bring clarity to the payment process and ensure payments happen in real-time. While other blockchain startups may seem to wade in futuristic territory, RippleNet has its feet firmly planted in the reality of today’s banking scenarios. With many banks signed up across the world, RippleNet is already creating waves in the world of blockchain and banking.
Keywords: Ledger as a Service, tokenization, sequence
With a simple yet envious name and website domain, Chain handles all sorts of ledgers for applications. It finds application in mobile wallets, cryptocurrency apps, or even ride-sharing apps. Aimed at application developers, Chain’s promise is to let developers focus on building great apps and not have to scale and maintain their ledgers. Chain is the system of record for important information such as currency balance for each user within the app. Like all of our blockchain startups, Chain is out to solve an important and specific challenge. With a laser focus and a clearly defined target audience, we can expect to hear much about this startup in coming days.
Keywords: Application delivery, decentralized internet
Blockstack is looking to bring the power of blockchain to the way we use applications. Today, all web and mobile applications are served to us via a third-party server, platform, or API. Blockstack wants to break this mold and store all the information about the application in a decentralized way. Rather than use public services, it relies on private resources to run the app. It uses a trust-based system to authenticate users, so there are no logins. The advantages are that the application is decentralized and more resilient against downtimes and attacks. Also, users can relax knowing they truly own their data and it’s not in the custody of a third-party.
Keywords: Security, edge devices, industrial IoT, access control
Xage is bringing the decentralized approach of blockchain to secure edge devices that operate in the industrial sector. Because its platform is decentralized by design, Xage is more resilient to downtimes and has strong redundancy built in. It gives you more control and visibility into security policies by enforcing the policies at the edge to IoT devices. Xage enables access control for devices, users, and applications. Applicable to a wide range of industrial scenarios, Xage has the potential to usher in the age of IoT without all the worries about security that come with it.
Blockchain startups: Taking the technology to the next level
Whether it’s managing contracts or currency balances, helping edge devices communicate with each other, or securing them end-to-end, disrupting the banking industry with alternate payment methods or bolstering existing payment platforms with real-time transactions — blockchain is doing it all. These blockchain startups are the cream of the crop in the blockchain ecosystem. If anything, they prove that blockchain is here to stay, and isn’t just a passing fad. Unlike cryptocurrency, which is riddled with controversy about its perceived vs. real value, blockchain is a technology that’s solving real-world problems for today and is doing this across the board in a way that’s hard to ignore. Keep an eye on these blockchain startups if you’re keen to sense the pulse of the blockchain ecosystem over the next few years.
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