10 blockchain ventures to watch in 2018

A growing number of ventures are harnessing the power of blockchain technology across various sectors. Coin Rivet brings you ten to keep an eye on this year. 

Storiqa

Storiqa’s blockchain platform enables you to sell and buy goods with cryptocurrencies. Using blockchain in e-commerce is a relatively new thing. But the Russian startup is aiming to push the market forwards by stripping away the uncertainty and inaccessibility that sometimes surrounds this area.

Andrian Galkin, COO and Co-founder, Storiqa, observes that many of the big players are trying to implement blockchain and cryptocurrency into their operations, such as Amazon looking into partnerships with Ripple.

“However, building blockchain into an existing platform is incredibly difficult and complex. Storiqa is in a uniquely advantageous situation where we’re catching the wave early, and we’re building a rock solid blockchain-based platform from the ground up,” he comments.

He adds that, by May 2019, his venture will have established a smoothly operating e-commerce marketplace. “We’ll be in full swing, with a large variety of goods available to buy using our fully functional multi-currency wallet, a happy customer base receiving high-quality products and any small producer able to sign up and tap into global sales with no difficulty and at low cost.”

Bevite

Bevite recently announced the Beta launch of its blockchain marketplace that helps retailers eliminate excess inventory. This allows them to turn their physical stores into virtual storefronts to share inventories with their sales partners for distributed mass sales.

Merchants can offer wider assortments, better pricing, and more purchasing options, Bevite says. This in turn increases consumer trust through product transparency in the shopping process, eliminating the need to stockpile products or charge consumers convenience fees.

In the Beta release, Bevite, whose leadership team includes Kent Anderson, former President of Macys.com and Scott McNealy, Founder of Sun Microsystems, will open its marketplace to a select number of small, medium and large retail businesses. It will use these trials to gain feedback ahead of a commercial roll-out in 2018.

Nuggets

Nuggets is a blockchain e-commerce payments and ID platform. It has been selected to join the Access India Programme (AIP). In partnership with the UK India Business Council, the High Commission of India in London launched the programme in 2017. It identifies high-potential UK SMEs using innovative technologies, and helps them establish themselves within the Indian economy. Selected companies receive a range of services, from mentorship to networking and market-entry support.

Nuggets is also making inroads into China. In April, the UK Government and the Mayor of London announced the venture would lead the UK Tech Mission in the country. The venture also took part in the recent launch of Regulatory Sandbox for FinTech: UK-China Collaboration to Promote Financial Innovation.

BlockGrain

BlockGrain, a platform that aims to connect buyers and sellers of agricultural produce and ensure traceability of products for consumers, recently launched a token sale on the Ethereum blockchain.

This followed a trial of its Beta version designed and tested over the course of the last two years by grain farmers and commodities brokers. BlockGrain aims to raise funds to develop the world’s first ever blockchain focused exclusively on agricultural supply chains and erasing inefficiencies that currently see up to 30% of cereal crops, 40% of root crops, and 20% of meat and dairy lost.

DasCoin

DasCoin recently began publicly trading on several cryptocurrency exchanges.

Michael Mathias, CEO, DasCoin, said: “Public trading is a significant milestone in the DasCoin story, and listing on these initial exchanges is a testament to the interest in our unique blockchain solutions model. It fulfils the promise of a huge amount of work by DasCoin and continues to build upon the launch of our proprietary blockchain in March last year. We are pleased to be partnering with three exchanges, some established and other new innovative market entrants as we continue on this journey. We look forward to announcing many more as we continue to expand our blockchain alliance.”

Global Blockchain

Global Blockchain has launched a service layer technology called Laser. This works by operating on top of any existing blockchain network and optimises its functions, which includes the ability to operate with other blockchains.

ObEN

Artificial Intelligence startup, ObEN, is gearing up to launch its first consumer application on the PAI blockchain.

The venture builds Personal AI (PAI), intelligent 3D avatars that look, sound, sing and behave like the individual user. Nikhil Jain, CEO and Co-founder, says: “The initial experience will allow users to create, authenticate, and customise their PAI and then they can engage in an AR experience where they can select a song and read a lyric, and our technology will convert that into the user’s singing voice. They can then create AR videos of their PAI singing and dancing, and share it with friends. In addition, we have several different verticals where we are working with strategic partners to develop integrations of PAI technology that will showcase more use cases for this technology.”

Jain reports a huge amount of interest from partners, investors, the tech community and the media. Investors include Tencent, Softbank, SM Entertainment, K11, and Vive X. “In addition to the entertainment value of having a personal copy of yourself that can sing and speak in your voice, we’re now working with strategic partners in retail, healthcare, education and entertainment to develop PAI based experiences,” he comments.

Docswallet

Docswallet recently won the public vote for best FinTech at the Temenos Abu Dhabi Innovation Jam. The venture will now will now go on to present in front of a global audience at the final Innovation Jam at the Temenos Community Forum on 22nd-24th May.

Docswallet enables users to get digitally certified copies of documents in blockchain from their official sources, store and organise them in a locker, and submit them as required. CEO Avira Tharakan says: “With paper documents containing signatures and stamps still being used in many cases for business transactions, a real cultural change is required so that organisations in the BFSI space can, and will, accept digitally authenticated and e-signed documents. Creating trust and authenticity within those documents is what our platform does. We help organisations to confidently process a loan application, open an account, and issue bank guarantees. The introduction of the Docswallet ‘Digital authentication programme’ is as much about protecting the privacy of alumni and users as it is about strengthening the integrity of the verification or authentication process.”

Zilliqa

Zilliqa, a new project by a team of researchers originally from the National University of Singapore, has announced the release of its public testnet.

This is pitched as the first blockchain platform to implement the technology of sharding, which, according to those behind it, has the potential to scale blockchain transaction speeds to match Visa.

Luther Systems

Currently operating in stealth mode, Luther Systems uses its blockchain technology and smart contract based products to solve complex large-scale business inefficiencies across a range of industries and sectors. It recently raised $1.5 million in seed financing from a group of global investors ahead of its official launch.

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