No matter what you feel about all the new talk of blockchain and cryptocurrency, there’s no denying the facts. Blockchain technology – and the first moving blockchain startups that are introducing it – is going to be huge. The projected value of the industry is extreme. New reports by the Market Report Center estimates that the global blockchain market will grow to a $60 billion industry, up from the measly $300 million industry it was in 2015.
With huge projections come huge investments. This year alone, blockchain startups have already raised over $1.3 billion to bring their ideas to the masses.
Big VC investment means the ability to introduce new technology quickly. While many only know blockchain as the technology behind Bitcoin, blockchain companies are now set to disrupt over 42 big-time industries including real estate, healthcare, internet advertising and more. All facts considered, it’s no wonder that many blockchain technology advocates are claiming it to be the next big thing since the internet.
Before we introduce several blockchain startups that may just change the world, we’ll explore the concept of blockchain, the process behind it, and figure out why it’s such a big deal.
Blockchain: A Simple Introduction
Blockchain can be extremely complex, and it could take years to really learn everything there is to know. Let’s not make things more complicated than they need to be – here’s a simple explanation.
A blockchain, like the name implies, is simply a chain of digital blocks that contain specific data. Each one of these blocks include the following three elements:
- Specified Information: This can be any mix of specified information that is needed to suit the requirements of the blockchain. For example, in a Bitcoin blockchain, a block stores important information such as sender name, receiver name and the amount transferred.
- Hash Code: A hash code is a unique code that identifies a specific block within a blockchain. Like fingerprints, each hashcode is completely unique; no two are the same and each has its own individual identity.
- Hash Code of Previous Blocks: Each block also holds the hash code of the previous block attached to it. This is how a chain is linked and formed in a blockchain.
This structure of organizing and storing data is what makes blockchain so secure, so flexible, and so different than other technological advances that have preceded it.
The interesting part of a blockchain is that it isn’t managed by a single person or organization. Instead, blockchains are distributed in a P2P network that anyone can join. Once a user joins a network, they receive a full copy of the blockchain. This means that on a P2P network like the Internet, there are millions of identical copies of blockchain stored in users’ computers.
Finally, there’s the security aspect, which is a key element of blockchain. To change the information in a blockchain, a user must possess the corresponding digital key – a heavily encrypted code. Once changes are made, a certain number of users in the P2P network must accept that change in order for it to be accepted as valid.
When these changes have been accepted, a new block is created within the blockchain which includes:
- The new information
- A new hash code
- The hash code of the previous block before it.
A new copy of the blockchain is then distributed throughout the whole P2P network.
If someone tries to make changes to the block without having access to the digital key, two things will happen:
- The hash of the block that has been tampered with will change and the next block after it (which stores the hash of the previous block) will be unable to identify it – essentially, breaking the entire chain.
- Because it has been tampered with, the blockchain will no longer match other copies on the P2P network, ultimately rejecting the change.
Since blockchain offers a new level of security in storing data, blockchain startups are using it to introduce new solutions that completely change how many industries operate. In this article, we’ll take a look at 10 awesome blockchain startups that may just transform how their industries function.
Could These Blockchain Startups Change The World?
1. Poet: The Startup Determined To Help Content Creators Take Back Control Of Their Content
Po.et is a blockchain startup that wants to transform the digital publishing industry. The mission of this unique blockchain company is to:
- Give content creators and publishers more control over their content – and protect it from being claimed, modified or reused without permission.
- Provide a safe marketplace where publishers can buy (and content creators can sell) original content without having to worry about whether it is unauthentic or unauthorized.
- Prevent content from being stolen by giving everyone the ability to track the ownership, attribution and modification made to each piece of content throughout the blockchain network.
Po.et’s plan is to give creators and publishers the ability to store their content in its decentralized network. Users can timestamp their work and add metadata to documents so that anyone can easily trace the content’s ownership to its rightful owner and/or creator.
Using this same blockchain network, Po.et also wants to make creators’ content more easily discoverable and streamline their ability to license their work. Transactions between publishers and creators are made inside the blockchain network, ensuring complete transparency regarding who owns what content.
Last June, the blockchain company secured a seed funding round of $1 million, with another $10 million raised a few months later through their successful ICO (Initial Coin Offering).
2. Lucidity: The Startup That Wants To Eliminate ‘Fake Traffic’ For Advertisers
As the online advertising industry continues to grow, the concern about the potential of fraud and non-transparency grows in parallel. In 2017 alone, malicious activities such as fake clicking, domain spoofing, and attribution theft cost advertisers over $19 billion.
Blockchain startup, Lucidity, has a solution to potentially solve this problem for digital advertisers around the globe.
By using the Ethereum blockchain network, Lucidity has created the ‘Lucidity Protocol’; a process which allows anyone publishing an ad to submit data to the blockchain network, protected by cryptography and free from inconsistencies.
This way, publishers and advertisers get a single version of the truth about the performance of ads; a truth that is agreed upon by everyone within the blockchain network.
Through this protocol, Lucidity ensures that advertisers only pay for genuine clicks; that publishers get paid their fair amount; and that fraudsters are unable to cheat the system with fake traffic and bots. If successful, Lucidity could truly transform the advertising industry and save them from billions spent in wasted advertisements.
Lucidity was named the top blockchain startup by Blocks, an annual awards ceremony held at the Blockchain Expo which is attended by over 8000 visitors.
3. Covee Network: The Startup Connecting Talented Workers To Projects They Actually Want To Work On
A high percentage of American workers are dissatisfied with their jobs because they aren’t interested in the projects they work on, or feel as if they aren’t being compensated fairly. As a result, organizational morale is down across many companies and productivity is diminished by demotivated employees that deliver the bare minimum of what is required of them.
That’s why Covee Network, a Berlin-based startup wants to change how we work, and how we are compensated for the work we deliver. By using a blockchain network, Covee hopes to connect talented and like-minded people to work on projects that interest and inspire them.
This process creates a win-win situation for both organizations and employees/freelancers. Organizations on one hand, are given access to a pool of talented individuals who actually want to work on their projects; while workers are able to access interesting projects and receive a fair compensation.
With Covee, compensation is awarded based on how much an individual has contributed towards a project. In general, contribution is decided by the project initiator and the other team members. The system is designed so that honest feedback amongst team members provides benefit to everyone involved. Thus, the person who had the highest contribution receives the biggest share of the fee.
The entire process is managed inside the blockchain network where an individual’s reputation, contributions and projects are stored and cannot be tampered with. In addition, transactions between clients and workers are also transparently stored to avoid fraud and unfairness.
The bootstrapped company recently raised a €1.35 million round to further develop the solution. This round was led led by LocalGlobe, Atlantic Labs and several other prominent angel investors.
4. Open Mineral: The Startup Eliminating ‘Middlemen’ From The Commodity Industry
The commodity trading industry deals with the purchasing and selling of physical materials like aluminum, zinc and etc. These raw materials are shipped from miners to suppliers, and from suppliers to consumers around the globe. The value of this industry today is estimated at an upwards of $80 billion.
The main issue this industry faces is the many layers of middlemen; which delays the speed of transactions and drives up the prices of commodities.
Open Mineral, a Swiss-based blockchain startup hopes to improve this ancient industry by implementing blockchain technology; making transactions more transparent and connecting buyers directly with sellers. Ultimately, the startup’s main objective is to provide the required technology to completely eliminate unnecessary middlemen from the commodity trading process.
This blockchain startup makes trading easy by simplifying the process down to the following steps:
- A request to sell or purchase a product is specified.
- Sellers or buyers get invites and offers for the product.
- Offers can be compared and counteroffers can be made.
- Buyers or sellers pick the best terms and start the transaction.
In addition to cutting out the middleman, Open Mineral also removes the involvement of banks so that anyone can make and receive payments within minutes through their blockchain network. This way, trading is more profitable for all parties involved since tenders, negotiations and all payments are stored transparently within the blockchain.
Having just received a funding round of $2.25 million, Open Mineral is one of the top blockchain startups in Europe; with plans to soon expand into other commodities including gold and silver.
5. UNBLOCKABLE: The Startup That Wants To Digitize Sports Card Trading
If you’ve ever been interested in buying and trading sportscards, a new blockchain startup called UNBLOCKABLE is coming to take your favorite pastime to the next level.
The biggest attraction to sports card trading is the scarcity factor. The rarer the card, the higher the that card’s value will typically be. UNBLOCKABLE plans to release limited ‘tokens’ for every single athlete from different leagues and sports. These tokens can be collected and traded with others. The value of the associated coin changes in real time based on the popularity of the athlete and their performance on the field. Just like sports cards, these coins can be stored or traded as they accumulate value.
UNBLOCKABLE tokens are stored in the blockchain, and similar to Bitcoin, the sports tokens cannot be duplicated or stolen. This is because all of the transactional data is stored in the decentralized blockchain network to ensure transparency and to prevent fraud.
UNBLOCKABLE is currently being led by CEO Jeb Terry, a former Fox Sports executive. Additionally, the Company recently raised $5 million dollars from Shasta Ventures to help the startup progress forward.
6. Bext360: The Startup That’s Helping Farmers Produce Value for Produce
Coffee, cocoa, palm oil, seafood and etc. – these are the commodities that rule the world. People can’t live without them; yet, the small-time farmers around the world who produce them often don’t get paid fairly or on time for their work. A blockchain startup called Bext360, has an innovate strategy to address this issue.
Bext360 plans to use blockchain to make the whole commodity supply chain completely transparent. More specifically, it allows anyone to view the complete ‘journey’ of a specific commodity; from the farm where it was produced to the company that delivered it as a consumer product.
Here’s how it works – take coffee, for example:
- The beans are first scanned ‘optically’ through an AI enabled machine (referred to as a “BextMachine”) that is provided by the Company. This will automatically scan and display the weight, consistency and quality of the beans to both the farmer and the buyer. This same scanning process will also be used with other commodities to judge their value.
- Using the Bext360 app, both parties can negotiate a fair price for the batch based on weight and quality. This gives farmers the opportunity to get paid more for higher quality yields.
- Each batch is assigned a token. As a batch of coffee moves through the supply chain, its value is reflected in its token. These tokens can then be used as digital currency.
With this technology, Bext360 plans to make payments fairer (and faster) to both farmers and companies; reduce dependency on middlemen suppliers; and provide each customer with the opportunity to see whether their product was ethically sourced or not.
The company just raised $3.35 million and plans to increase the number of commodities that it can analyze; extending the process to other goods including cotton and timber. At the rate in which they are currently progressing, Bext360 could soon become one of the world’s top blockchain companies.
7. EON Foundation: The Startup That’s Changing How Developers Bring Games To The Market
No matter how awesome a game is, game developers often find it difficult to effectively grow their user base. In a typical scenario, game developers spend nearly 50% of their revenue on ad networks to attract new players.
EON Foundation, a new blockchain startup focused on the gaming industry, plans to use blockchain technology to effectively address this challenge.
EON hopes to cut out the mobile game industry’s middlemen like Google, Facebook and the App Stores. Specifically, the technology will connect players directly with customers to eliminate unnecessary distribution and reduce the astounding marketing costs incurred by game developers.
To do that, EON is creating a decentralized blockchain marketplace that’s attracts new players through a referral system.
Here’s how the system will work:
- Game developers can distribute their game for free on the EON blockchain network.
- Players can discover these games and pay for them using the EON token.
- Game developers can offer incentives (tokens) to players who recruit new users to the game.
This brilliant concept allows both players and game developers to directly communicate and facilitate with each other without depending on app stores and ad networks.
One of EON’s games, Crypto Alpaca, recently hit 200,000 registered users and the company hopes to use this momentum to become the world’s number one blockchain games publisher.
The startup received $5 million in seed funding to bring this gaming marketplace to the public. If you know how to create an app or a game, the EON gaming network may be exactly what you need to get your game into the hands of users.
What’s Next For These Blockchain Startups?
While the potential seems fantastic, there is a caveat – blockchain technology is still in its infancy. With the exception of a few blockchain companies, most find themselves taking small baby steps to grow and turn their visions into reality.
That being said, you can expect that the growth of blockchain technology will soon bring many interesting app ideas to the market. Right now however, the majority of these companies are focused on their initial coin offerings (ICOs) and creating a stable blockchain network.
If any of these blockchain startups have caught your attention and you want to support them, head over to Binance and grab a few (or a few hundred) tokens and see where it takes you! On the other hand, if you have a blockchain idea that you believe will change the world and you need some help bringing the technology to life – contact our app startup experts to see how we can help!