When Bitcoin first emerged it was one of a kind, supported by the underlying yet pivotal blockchain technology. As the crypto space has evolved, many more blockchain startups have been coming to the forefront.
With so many to choose from it can be difficult to pinpoint any in particular that are worth keeping an eye out for. In this guide we cover five blockchain startups that should be on your ones to watch list.
Mimblewimble, Grin and Beam
There have been two crypto projects in particular which have implemented Mimblewimble: Grin and Beam.
Mimblewimble aims to do three core things:
- To provide an answer to scalability. It achieves this through blockchain pruning, which shrinks the size of the chain.
- To drastically improve privacy. This is done through blending transactions into one by removing any addresses and intermediary information.
- To enable the entire blockchain to be verified without having access to the majority of the blockchain’s historical data.
Theta is another one of the blockchain startups to watch out for.
Theta is a unique project and recently launched its mainnet. Theta was founded in early 2018 and is backed by the e-sports streaming and Twitch competitor Sliver.tv.
In short, the Theta project has designed a blockchain which revolves around streaming data, alongside sharing data through nodes. The Theta project aims to provide high quality streams through a tokenised bandwidth-sharing system. It utilises an off-chain ‘Resource Orientated Micropayment Pool’ that has been built specifically for video streams. Users will be able to withdraw from the micropayments pool through using off-chain transactions. The system is also resistant against double spending attacks.
Theta Fuel (TFUEL) is used to fund the network, just like how the Ethereum network relies on ‘gas’ for support. Sliver.tv has already begun giving TFUEL tokens to Fortnite Showdown winners. The Sliver.tv platform is host to an impressive three million monthly active users with more than 500,000 users sharing bandwidth. The corresponding transactions have occurred on the Theta testnet blockchain.
ICON is another one of the blockchain startups to keep an eye out for. ICON is a South Korean-based platform which allows external companies to build on ICON’s native blockchain. It has been dubbed as the ‘Ethereum of South Korea.’
Originally ICON launched as an ERC-20 token, but it was later migrated to ICON’s native blockchain. It is an ambitious project that aims to unite different blockchains into one ecosystem.
It is effectively aiming to become a decentralised network of blockchains.
Through the use of smart contracts, different blockchains will be able to interact with each other. In doing so, ICON hopes that through a united network of blockchains it will become a platform in which users from a range of sectors can coexist in cohesion. It has already attracted backers from major companies such as Coinsilium, Kenetic Capital and Pantera Capital.
There’s a common theme among blockchain startups which is that many of them want to develop a platform which can be built upon by others. Neo is no different in this regard. Neo’s life began as AntShares – which has been referred to as ‘China’s first blockchain platform.’
It prides itself on being developer friendly, eco-friendly and community friendly. This means that Neo is accessible in multiple languages, has no energy waste and supports Neo-based projects. It’s a blockchain-based protocol which is focused on building a digital economy centred on decentralised smart contracts.
The network functions through a ‘delegated Byzantine fault tolerance‘ system. In short, this means people can designate a ‘bookkeeper’ to ensure the minimum balance of the network is maintained. The ‘bookkeeper’ will then verify information on the blockchain – if two thirds of the nodes agree with the bookkeeper then consensus is achieved and the information will be validated. If consensus is not reached, a new bookkeeper will be designated to reach a decision and the process will be repeated.
The POA network is another blockchain startup worth paying attention too. The POA network is a side-chain implementation for Ethereum – however it was originally designed to be its own public blockchain. Since it was designed to be its own public blockchain, it also has its own consensus method ‘Proof-of-Authority’ (PoA).
The PoA consensus method differs to other consensus methods because it uses a notary system. This is used to solve issues relating to trust. To become a ‘validator’ on the POA network, you must first complete a ‘Know-Your-Customer‘ (KYC) test. You must also be registered on the public notary database and this identity must align with the identity you are using on the platform.
This takes away anonymity but in theory brings added trust since validators are less likely to want their reputation soiled when they are made public.
Concerned third parties can also cross-validate a validator’s identity using open source data. However due to the nature of the system, the network is not decentralised – but this is a sacrifice the POA network made to bring more trust to its system.
It pays to do research
We do not recommend any particular cryptocurrency, project or company and as such it would be wise to conduct your own research before making any decisions.
The crypto space is notoriously volatile and is infamous for people losing money. Ultimately you are responsible for any decisions you undertake.
Interested in hearing more about blockchain projects? Discover more about the IOTA protocol with our guide on the project.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.