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10 Altcoins and Platforms to Hold You Over in February 2018

Buy when there’s blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own.
Baron Rothschild

With a slow start to the market in 2018, spurred by heightened uncertainty surrounding Korean regulatory framework, large sell-offs in Asian countries to prepare for Lunar New Year celebrations, and several other market scares, blood is in the streets.
But, it’s only temporary.

Unfortunately, too many “investors” in crypto are looking for a quick buck, failing to research and invest in what matters most for mainstream and sustainable adoption; a project that actually fills an important need and has the capability to do so.

Below is a list of 10 innovative blockchain projects to put your mind at ease and get you through the month of February. Rest easy knowing that a fundamentally sound project, and perseverance, trumps the short-term gains, and euphoria, of a flawed and useless one.

1. Waltonchain ($WTC)

What is Waltonchain?

At first glance, one might think Waltonchain is paying homage to Walmart founder, Sam Walton, due to its association with retail and supply chain management, when it’s actually derived from Charlie Walton, the inventor of the RFID (radio frequency identification) device. Waltonchain strives to bridge the gap between physical and digital ecosystems by combining RFID and blockchain technologies to achieve a realization of the Value Internet of Things (VIoT), where businesses can effectively identify, track, position, monitor, and manage the entire lifecycle of a product via a decentralized public ledger.

At present, Waltonchain is seen as a supply chain management solution for the retail industry, but also stands to revolutionize the execution of smart contracts and real-world interconnection, and data collection and analytics, through its traceable and transparent RFID business ecosystem.

Why you should keep an eye on it

In January, 2018, Waltonchain announced an agreement to work with the China Mobile IoT alliance, with the details of a partnership still being finalized. The China Mobile IoT Alliance boasts members such as China Telecom, China Unicom, China Mobile, Huawei, and over 140 of the world’s top IoT organizations, positioning Walton for mass-scale adoption in what could be the largest-scale cryptocurrency operation and integration to date.

Additionally, for loyal Waltonites, Walton utilizes Proof-of-Stake & Trust (PoST), an upgrade of Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake. PoST rewards loyal and high quality nodes in the form of WTC, incentivizing honest and senior nodes to remain on chain, and increasing overall security. Coupled with a recent beta-wallet release just a few weeks ago, 2018 is shaping up to be truly Herculean for Walton.

2. SingularityNET ($AGI)

What is SingularityNET?

From the creators of Sophia the Robot, the world’s most expressive humanoid robot, SingularityNET is a decentralized open market and unifying protocol for “companies, organizations, and developers to buy and sell AI at scale”. As of 2018, there are still significant barriers to AI functionality and real-world implementation, including: lack of data communication channels and industry fragmentation, an unestablished marketplace for discovery, and a limited number of individuals and organizations who can actually afford to create and bring AI to market.

SingularityNET disrupts proprietary AI marketplaces by decentralizing it, allowing anyone to monetize AI. Such model reduces service costs by linking various AI services together, all while increasing communication and coordination processes, ultimately powering future AI capability and growth.

Why you should keep an eye on it

In 2017, SingularityNET received countless integration offers with various blockchain projects, multinational corporations, and leading AI developers. Most notably, they partnered with Nexus as their go-to provider of AI services, a 3D blockchain protocol, to address fundamental weaknesses in blockchain (scalability, consensus, encryption) through implementation of virtual machine architecture, a 3D chain, and satellite network.

With all signs pointing towards the future running on AI, SingularityNET, and it’s 100,000-plus strong community, are at the center of an international AI race. According to a recent SingularityNET blog post, 2018’s partnership with Nexus has potential to result in the “most scalable, censorship-resistant blockchain infrastructure in existence,” further fortifying their stronghold in the estimated $3 trillion AI economy by 2025.

3. Raiden Network ($RDN)

What is Raiden Network?

Everyone has heard of CryptoKitties, a virtual craze for crypto-pets, accounting for nearly 15% of Ethereum’s network traffic, and a major contributor to a six-fold increase in pending transactions and costs on the network. On top of kitten rearing and an easy-access introduction to blockchain technology, CryptoKitties has shed light on one of Ethereum’s core limitations, a lack of scalability.

Raiden Network is “an off-chain scaling solution for ERC20-compliant token transfers on the Ethereum blockchain,” and Ethereum’s version of Bitcoin Lightning, eliminating the need for global consensus and lengthy block confirmation waiting times, and enabling instantaneous, low-cost, privacy-preserving payments. Slow and costly transactions times jeopardize Ethereum’s wide-scale adoption, and as of 2018, it handles a paltry 10-15 transactions per second (tps). A video on Raiden’s official website notes in order to successfully permeate mainstream, Ethereum needs to be able to facilitate 100,000,000 transactions per second (tps), and avoid blockchain bottleneck, both of which are solved by Raiden’s leveraging of payment networks off-chain.

Why you should keep an eye on it

According to a 2016 McKinsey article, the global payments industry is expected to grow 5% per year over the next 5 years, an industry already generating nearly $2 trillion in revenue annually. Bringing blockchain-based payments to the masses may never fully be realized without scalable technology at a competitive price, and Raiden making strides towards doing so, partnering with one of the largest energy companies in Germany in late 2017 and Chinese tech company, SmartMesh.

And, in December, 2017, Raiden deployed a streamlined version, referred to as “Micro Raiden,” on the Ethereum blockchain, instilling confidence in their ability to meet deadlines, and generating excitement for a future full version release in Q1, or Q2 of 2018.

4. Wanchain ($WAN)

What is Wanchain?

Still yet to be released on exchanges, Wanchain is a distributed financial infrastructure connecting blockchain networks, allowing the exchange of assets cross-chain and without the need of a trusted third-party. Wanchain’s proof-of-concept privacy protection allows individuals and organizations to establish their own virtual teller to provide services such as credit payments, transaction settlements, loan origination, and asset exchanges. Think of Wanchain as a one-stop financial clearinghouse for established, and future digital assets, all at low, reasonable costs.

Why you should keep an eye on it

If you’ve heard of Factom, currently sitting at a near $300,000 USD market cap, you’ve probably heard of Jack Lu, the CTO and founder. Lu is also the founder of Wanchain, instilling a sense of confidence in established success and partnerships, leading to the “digital bridge” being hailed as one of the most anticipated ICOs of 2017.

In November, 2017, Wanchain joined the Blockchain Interoperability Alliance (IOA), furthering its goal of connecting isolated blockchain platforms, and in January, 2018, launched their Mainnet, Wanchain 1.0, offering smart contract functionality and a wallet. That’s just the first step. Wanchain’s white paper aims to release Wanchain 2.0 in June, 2018, providing cross-chain trading on the Ethereum platform with a multi-currency wallet, and 3.0 going live by year’s end, tackling Bitcoin cross-chain trading. And, if you missed the first sentence, Wanchain is still yet to go live on exchanges as of February 1st.

5. Theta Token ($THETA)

What is Theta?

Theta is a decentralized video delivery network set to disrupt the modern online video industry by providing end-to-end streaming infrastructure at reduced costs, while circulating revenue back to content creators and establishing a sustainable streaming ecosystem.

Powered by users, viewers are rewarded with Theta tokens for sharing bandwidth and other resources, ultimately acting as “caching servers” and cutting out expensive middlemen. Additionally, Theta allows for vertical DApps to be built on the platform to run music, television and movies, education, peer-to-peer streaming, esports, and enterprise conferencing.

Why you should keep an eye on it

Raising $16 million in equity funding in Q2 of 2017, and a successful pre-sale of tokens in Q3, Theta’s initial success wasn’t just a fluke. Theta boasts an established team, and more impressive advisory board, consisting of co-founder and CTO of YouTube, Steve Chen, Shoucheng Zhang, founder of Danhua Capital, and Justin Kan, co-founder of video game streaming platform, Twitch. Chen, founder of Youtube, noted the expedited rate at which the live streaming market is growing, surpassing all other video content formats in terms of revenue and an already $3 billion industry in China alone.

Also, with an already successful next-generation eSports platform established (Sliver.tv), upcoming Theta token integration into the platform in early Q1, and blockchain development starting soon, Theta has quite a 2018 ahead. Not to mention this is all leading up to the actual network launch in Q4, followed by a 2019 Theta Network debut of “premium on-demand content.”

6. Oyster Pearl ($PRL)

What is Oyster Pearl?

Billing itself as the future of website monetization and distributed storage, Oyster Pearl aims to combine IOTA Tangle (to mitigate data loss) and the Ethereum blockchain (to produce the Oyster Pearl token), enabling “websites to silently generate traffic revenue as visitors perform Proof-of-Work for a decentralized storage ledger.”

Simply put, websites are able to generate revenue without employing privacy invasive and annoying ads by having website visitors contribute part of their GPU, or CPU, to store user files on a decentralized, anonymous ledger. In reward, website owners receive indirect compensation, while website visitors enjoy a seamless, ad-free experience.

Why you should keep an eye on it

As of February 1st, 2018, Oyster Pearl announced its first major milestone and step towards anonymous, decentralized storage, in the form of a successful Testnet launch, allowing users to upload files to IOTA Tangle and retrieve them. With their exposure and reach rapidly increasing, expanding from one to four exchanges in a span of just three weeks, increased daily volume (peaking at $10 million), and recent full-rebranding of their logo and website, Oyster Pearl is an ambitious and simple solution to an age old problem, and worth keeping an eye on this February.

7. SONM ($SNM)

What is SONM?

Supercomputer Organized by Network Mining, also known as SONM, is a universal fog supercomputer, powered by the Ethereum blockchain, providing general-purpose computing power as a service. Metaphorically, fog computing, a feasible alternative to cloud, is closer to the ground (like fog), utilizing all devices and resources at ground-level, from personal computers, to smartphones, to even your refrigerator (as long as it can act as a computational unit).

As a marketplace for computing power, SONM and fog computing offer real-world value for website hosting, CGI and graphics rendering, applications and games, streaming services, and scientific research and calculations, by decentralizing data storage, keeping computational costs at low, strengthening security, and increasing output quality.

Why you should keep an eye on it

On Christmas, 2017, SONM launched their MVP, Minimum Viable Product, on the Ethereum network, containing its core infrastructure and debuting their computing open market to buy and sell resources. MVP is only the foundational layer, providing a needed framework before a functional platform-as-a-service (PaaS) goes live in the second half of the year. Once live, SONM’s PaaS will allow users to define their computing applications and have SONM automatically scale and schedule it.

SONM has also partnered with Aion, a multi-tier blockchain platform addressing the scalability, privacy, and interoperability of blockchain technology, supplying computational power for Aion’s Proof-of-Intelligence algorithm, helping deter DoS attacks and increase network security.

8. Nano ($NANO), RaiBlocks ($XRB)

What is Nano/RaiBlocks?

Created as an answer and remedy to several fundamental issues plaguing Bitcoin (poor scalability, high latency, and power inefficiency), Nanois a trustless, low-latency high-performance cryptocurrency. It boasts (1) split-second, (2) zero-fee transactions, and (3) unlimited scalability, making it an ideal and practical candidate for peer-to-peer consumer transactions.

Moreover, unlike traditional blockchains which typically distribute and share the entire ledger across all nodes, Nano utilizes a block-lattice data structure. Block-lattice effectively creates an individual account-chain for each user, which can only be updated by that respected user, allowing for asynchronous and immediate updates, and thus decreasing transaction times.

Why you should keep an eye on it

Other than the obvious rebranding as Nano, and recent listing on Binance, the artist formerly known as RaiBlocks has set its 2018 standards high, already rolling out Nanex (RaiExchange), and NanoWallet (RaiWallet). Nanex allows users to instantly exchange Litecoin for Nano, minus complicated sign up and ID confirmations, while NanoWallet keeps users in control of their private keys.

To date, Nano has processed over 4 million transactions, currently sits as a top 25 cryptocurrency by market cap, is in talks for new exchange listings, and has weathered the current market storm, leaving us to wonder whether 2018 will be their year of mass adoption.

9. Ardor ($ARDR)

What is Ardor?

Building upon the blockchain technology of NXT, Ardor is the first scalable blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform for business, allowing companies to build products and services using “child-chains,” an individual blockchain, while enjoying the overarching parent chain security and processing courtesy of the Ardor main chain.

Ardor’s unique child-parent architecture solves two key issues in the blockchain ecosystem, specifically, (1) blockchain scaling and bloating, and (2) business customization issues. Ardor addresses scalability by (1) separating security and functionality through the creation of multiple chains, with complete child chain pruning (keeping the blockchain size smaller), and (2) providing easily customizable and ready to use building blocks, similar to WordPress, to businesses.

Why you should keep an eye on it

Ardor’s blockchain-as-a-service model, and use of Java (one of the most widely used programming languages in the world), will serve as a catalyst for easier business permeation of the blockchain ecosystem, and ICO incubation. What’s noteworthy is that Ardor has already launched its first child chain, Ignis, offering a P2P asset exchange, monetary system, and marketplace. Furthermore, additional child chains are on the docket for this year, ultimately, leading to more real use cases and separating itself from other BaaS projects such as ARK, LISK, and STRATIS.

10. Waves ($WAVES)

What is Waves?

Waves platform is an open-source blockchain platform for custom token and asset issuance, allowing users to not only create and launch new tokens via smart contract, but transfer, distribute, and trade those tokens on a fully functional, built-in decentralized exchange.

Although Waves’ primary focus is the quick and easy creation of tokens, meeting the growing demand for tokenization of assets, where they go above-and-beyond other platforms is in their two-tier scaling architecture, allowing new transactions to operate as plugins, and thus, not altering the core software. This keeps transactions lightning fast and low cost. Additionally, Waves provides a platform for companies to decentralize crowdfunding and fundraising by creating their own custom crowdfunding portal.

Why you should keep an eye on it

In just one year, Waves launched a decentralized exchange, mobile wallet, numerous ICOs, acquired several strategic partnerships, and laid the critical framework for one of the most ambitious Q1, 2018, roadmaps of the projects discussed. In 2018, Waves platform is set to implement smart contracts, hardware wallets, decentralized voting, simple messaging, off-chain messaging, and Turing complete smart contracts, further readying the platform for mass-scale adoption.

Disclaimer: We are stating our vision and opinions, we are not giving you financial advice and if you invest in this project it is your full responsibility. You are investing at your own risk. Always invest only what you can afford to lose and try to diversify your investments. Finally, do your own homework and learn about the project use case, roadmap and team.