Although 2018 has been a weird year for cryptocurrencies, it is proving to be a boom for the blockchain. It has received several high-level endorsements from government and industry officials, and it seems to be gaining traction as a feasible solution to many of our most pressing problems.
In an interview with Fox Business, SEC Chairman, Jay Clayton, said that he “loves this technology.” His comments support the overwhelmingly positive conclusions drawn by the 2018 Join Economic Report composed by the U.S. Congress. Meanwhile, industries continue to line up behind blockchain technology believing that it can revolutionize and upgrade their current, centralized systems. It’s these sentiments that led Tapscott CEO, Don Tapscott, to conclude that blockchains “could revolutionize the world economy.”
This year, there is a pervading perception that decentralization, tokenization, and smart contracts can make just about anything better. Just follow the money. CoinSchedule, which tracks all ICOs and the amount of money raised from each initiative, discovered a surprising trend this year. Collectively, 2017 was a record year for ICOs, the technical process that launches a new decentralized platform. However, the first three months of 2018 have seen ICOs raise 35% more than the total from all of 2017.
In other words, this year has been a stampede of decentralized companies that are launching compelling platforms.
Some projects are rising above the noise. They are distinct because of their industry impact, transformative services, and compelling vision. To be sure, these are just a handful of the industry-changing blockchain initiatives that are setting the tone this year. They are representative of the innovation and creative change being instituted by the blockchain.
HomeLend: Crowd Source Your Next Mortgage
The mortgage industry is a trillion-dollar industry that can feel all-encompassing. After all, everyone needs housing. However, this industry is bogged down by outdated methodologies and inadequate technologies that slow the process and hinder is growth. This is especially true for the millions of millennials who are struggling to attain their first mortgage.
Homelend decentralizes the mortgage industry and uses the blockchain’s tokenized assets and smart contracts to implement quick and efficient data transfers. More importantly, Homelend crowdsources the mortgage process by allowing anyone to serve as a lender and by enabling borrowers to tap into a previously unexplored lending source.
This platform could not be timelier. Nearly a decade after a real estate bubble incited the great recession, The Wall Street Journal is declaring a new housing crisis: a shortage of homes and loans for first-time buyers. Homelend can address half of this problem, and it’s essential that they do.
Sirins Labs: Cell Phone for the Blockchain Age
Sirin Labs issued a digital currency, the SRN token, that’s being used to fund the first cell phone for the blockchain and crypto age. The initiative, dubbed the Finney Project, aims to create a $1,000 smartphone that includes many of the features that crypto enthusiast requires. The device has a 5.5” screen 65GB storage, 6GB of RAM, and built-in cold storage for digital currencies.
At $1,000, the Finney Smartphone is comparably priced to other top-of-the-line smartphones like Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy line. The phone runs on a variation of Android’s operating system, so it’s the hardware that genuinely sets the device apart. Customers receive a 20% discount if they use the SRN token to purchase the device.
ARK: Connecting Disparate Blockchains
In their 2018 tech trends report, research and consulting firm, Deloitte, identified blockchain interconnectivity as a necessary next step for blockchain proliferation. ARK is creating a platform that aims to create a vast ecosystem of connected blockchains. Their platform caters to blockchain users, developers, and startups that can benefit from quick and easy connections to other blockchain services.
Their native blockchain boasts eight second block times, and their open sourced technology stands to improve through continued exposure. Their platform has been around since 2016, which makes them veritable veterans in the crypto space. As a result, they have a plethora of strategic connections including CoinCentral, Yahoo Finance, NewsBTC, Forbes, and CoinTelegraph.
There are so many compelling platforms launching right now, and it’s difficult to choose just three. However, these platforms represent, in different ways, the innovation and possibility that’s burgeoning with these initiatives and others like them.