With lots of strong contenders, these are Chipin’s favorite picks for the top ICO startups presenting at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami..
2017 was a record year for initial coin offerings (or ICOs). Over USD $4 Billion was raised using this technique last year. And if things are anything to go by in January 2018, this action is only going to increase on a monthly basis for the near future. Not only that, but the amount of money raised per ICO is also likely to go through the roof. What will be the first ICO through the $100 million ceiling this year?
The North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami held between January 18-19 drew some of the year’s early “star” if not break-out contenders. The event is part of the World Blockchain Forum: Investments and ICOs. In 2017, the gathering drew the hottest startups, funders and strategic partners from all parts of the planet. This year, the environment is even more fever-pitched. Here are a few of the companies that Chipin thought stood out, even in this prestigious crowd.
The Best Of North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami 2018
With that being said, here is a recap of some of the more interesting ICOs during the event:
Healthcare provision – from medical records management to paying for services and obtaining medication and supply and insurance coverage – is one of the hot areas of blockchain disruption and will be for some time. There are multiple players now entering the market globally – and Solve Care is on the leading edge of them.
There are several reasons this is an impressive entrant into the market – starting with the U.S. market – which this start-up is clearly targeted on like a laser beam.
The first is the impressive list of advisors, who include the likes of David Randall, Ph.D, a resident scholar with the American Research and Policy Institute in Washington D.C, the Honourable James Moran who served in the U.S. House of Representatives between 1991 and 2015, Donald Upson, a former cabinet secretary of Technology for the state of Virginia, and Chris Peterson, who has over three decades of experience in the health sector including a stint as Vice President of Legal Affairs with the Health Insurance Association of America.
The second is the clearly comprehensive take the company has used to approach a problem that is amorphous but driving costs and complexity at every step of the healthcare provision and insurance question. This includes the integration of services, billing, records, payments and provision into health insurance and in such a way that medical and financial privacy and security is maximized throughout. Further, it is precisely the threat of unauthorized aggregation of healthcare data that has also stymied previous reform. In the U.S. this is governed in the healthcare space specifically by a law called the HIPPA.
2. Codex Protocol
Codex Protocol is building the infrastructure for a decentralized title registry for art and other collectibles. The founders intend for this to be an industry protocol on top of which other applications can be built. They are starting with biddables and sellables. Think blockchained Christie’s Auction, and you hit the mark.
To quote the Codex CEO Mark Lurie “The global art and collectibles market is approximately $2 Trillion, yet today, there is no way to prove who owned what and when. This is especially important in art and collectibles because almost the entire value is based on provenance and authenticity.”
The Codex Protocol will be powered by the BidDex Token and will be released in early 2018.
Codex’s landmark application – Biddable – will enable cryptocurrency holders to bid in auctions. Privacy and access will be enhanced for all bidders through a title-escrow system. As the first application to provide direct access to the market, Biddable will drive Codex adoption from both sides of the arts and collectibles market.
Benefits for the industry also include a technical fix to end bidders who hijack auctions and then skip town without paying. A blockchained bid system locking in all bidders will effectively end this bane of the entire industry.
Because these solutions are clear wins for the vertical, major stakeholders have already enthusiastically embraced the Codex Protocol – and across a spectrum of industry partners including collectors, auctioneers, dealers, museums and other organizations vetted by existing members.
The team on this project is also strong. CEO Mark Lurie brings a background in venture capital and an MBA from Harvard. COO Jess Houlgrave is a former equity investor with experience in the arts industry directly and an MA from Oxford. John Forrest, a former Microsoft engineer and company CTO rounds out the founder team.
3. Project Districts
Project Districts is connecting two cutting-edge technologies – cryptocurrency and augmented reality technology – in a way that is likely to be the crest of a trend driving both for the foreseeable future. That starts with the ability of developers to raise funds quickly for innovative projects but does not stop there. That said, it is clear that Project Districts intends to drive a significant part of the virtual reality market, if not increase it beyond predictions that are already astonishing. According to Forbes, Virtual Reality (VR) will be a $40 billion industry by 2020. If not more.
This start-up aims to create an environment where virtual and augmented reality projects can be hosted, accessed, developed and of course, monetized. The system will use its own proprietary blockchain as this is cheaper than using an ETH-based token.
There are many fundamental strengths to this idea, starting with eliminating the major hurdles facing most developers today. Existing projects require expert knowledge to develop and so far, this has limited the development pool. On top of that, such applications require dedicated, high-end hosting infrastructure, out of the reach of most consumers. As a direct result, capabilities and existing use cases are still very limited.
Project District aims to change all that.
The platform’s ecosystem will come with a pre-defined 3D world template with existing entities and architecture to allow users to create their own custom entities using creation tools also provided by the platform. User-defined DAPPS can easily be monetized and launched (for example a digital store). By exploiting the latent capabilities of the blockchain, this 3D world also floats on a robust peer-to-peer system which drops the costs of development and ongoing maintenance, while speeding up commercialization and community aggregation. The immersive, pre-built environment has also included, from the beginning, many opportunities for unique advertising and content provision.
On top of that, existing industry partners leave no doubt that this will be a go-to platform for all those interested in a fascinating and now faster developing “alt” world which cryptocurrency is helping make more real, and much sooner.
If anyone thought that Bitcoin or Ethereum were the last words in blockchains themselves, think again. The entire space is rife for disruption on the basis of cost, speed, scalability and engineered architecture.
It is also rife for disruption in specialized applications and verticals – starting of course with everything with a Fintech element. The team at Credits is certainly poised to present an interesting option for those looking for alternatives.
The company is clearly going after users who are looking for blockchain that is more secure, with new instruments for developers and users, and no working competition.
The comparisons with both Bitcoin and Ethereum are also pretty jaw-dropping.
In comparison with Bitcoin’s 7 transaction-a-second network volume capability and Ethereum’s 300-500, Credits comes in with a whopping 1,000,000. Transaction speeds are also blazingly different. Credits’ transaction speed clocks in at 0.01 – 0.03. In comparison, Ethereum takes between 1-5 minutes. And poor old Bitcoin chugs along at one every 10 minutes.
Credits is also clearly targeting the Fintech space. Their tokens can be used for everything from payments and bank services to cross-border trading, stocks and exchange services, and interbank payments (look out Ripple).
For those looking for an experienced team to helm such an ambitious enterprise and a well-thought out entrant and competitor in a still expanding FinTech space that has not heard the last word on core blockchain development, check out more details about the ICO, or go to Credits’ homepage which also includes many handy links to other informative documents.
According to the World Economic Forum, 48% of the retirement aged population do not receive a pension. Even more terrifying? The retirement savings gap globally will grow from $70 trillion in 2015 to $400 trillion in 2050.
To add to this confusion if not dire catastrophe, both private and public pensions are so broken that most people agree that what is needed is a radically new solution. And that is where Akropolis comes in – or at least would like to. Their mission is to solve the “pension-gap” problem and utilize blockchain to do it.
While the white paper along with a private sale is now in progress, here is what already looks interesting. The concept of a decentralized pension management system could not be better timed. The team behind it is clearly well qualified. And while strategic partners with name recognition have not been named yet, it is obvious they are coming.
Absolutely a project to watch.
To learn more about Akropolis check out their clearly expanding ICO landing pages.
We will continue updating the article with the latest and best ICO’s presenting and exhibiting at the conference.