The 12 blockchain companies to follow

These are the projects we loved in 2018 and are keeping an excited eye on

Image by Rachel Skiba

When the dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s, lots of speculation was dissolved regarding the Internet Revolution. Many feel that shakeup however defogged our ability to predict where the internet was going to take us in terms of innovation. This year’s collapse of many ICOs and crypto presents a similar opportunity to better understand which blockchain players and use cases have what it takes to bring us to the real decentralized future.

Here are some blockchain actors we think you should be paying attention to:

Binance

https://www.binance.com/en

This cryptocurrency trading platform announced the released the demo for its new decentralized exchange. This comes after earlier this year Binance purchased Trust Wallet, the open source, anonymous, and decentralized wallet that supports over 20,000 different Ethereum-based tokens. The trading platform (which has since become a somewhat household name among crypto traders worldwide) also joined other companies backing a new venture: The world’s first blockchain-based bank with tokenized ownership.

Atomic

https://www.atomic.org/

This Israeli startup has taken aim at solving solve some of blockchain’s most infamous and significant pain points by offering transaction approvals in less than a second, TPS greater than Visa & Mastercard combined, and support for all types of tokens. In addition to all this, Atomic is implementing a non-custodial solution for users who seek to maintain ownership and control of their collateral. The company has already been seen hard at work on their alpha version this year and is set to release the beta during Q2 2019.

StarkWare

https://www.starkware.co/

“STARK” is a zero-knowledge proof protocol developed by another Israeli startup, Starkware. Its full proof stack is meant to improve the scalability and privacy of existing blockchains: The protocol provides cryptographic proofs that according to the company are said to be “zero-knowledge, succinct, transparent and post-quantum secure”. Starkware recently raised $30M in series A from Paradigm and Sequoia Capital among other prominent investors.

Spacemesh

https://spacemesh.io/

Israeli blockchain infrastructure company Spacemesh is a community of academic researchers and open-source developers collaborating on a ‘blockmesh operating system’ using a proof-of-space-time (PoST) consensus protocol. The company has announced the closing of a $15 million Series A financing round led by Polychain, and has certainly gotten my attention.

BEAM

https://www.beam.mw/

BEAM is a decentralized currency promising strong privacy, fungibility, and scalability. According to the company, its transactions are private; there is no need to store the entire transaction history for validation, which can improve the concept’s scalability. BEAM is based on the “Mimblewimble” protocol which uses Pedersen Commitment scheme for full anonymity and zero-knowledge range proofs to ensure the validity of transaction amounts. And unlike some similar ventures, BEAM is governed by a NFP foundation and is backed by treasury (no ICO).

Terra

https://terra.money/

Four of the world’s largest crypto exchanges have already invested $32M in Terra, a large-scale project developing a new stablecoin for e-commerce: Global exchanges Binance Labs, OKEx, Huobi Capital, and Dunamu have all poured capital into Terra (in the form of a token-based investment), representing the first time global exchanges have come together on such an ambitious blockchain operation.

While stablecoins are arguably still at a theoretical stage, Terra and its investors, believe mass adoption of its token will prove the concept, and plan to stoke this adoption via e-commerce in the Asia market.

Banx

http://banx.one/

Banx.one is the first physical and digital asset-backed global trading platform that converts non-liquid assets into tradable security tokens. By using unique smart contracts to program government regulations into each of the tokens, Banx.one enables anyone to create and launch asset-backed tokens compliant with local law and regulations. Their ecosystem gives asset owners the ability to finance any project, and global investors to access and exchange any asset in a reliable, regulated and transparent way.

Basic Attention Token

https://basicattentiontoken.org/

Basic Attention Token (BAT) was created as a new barter means between advertisers and audiences, so that internet users (read: people) can decide what ads they wish to be exposed to, and get paid doing so. Completely skirting the middleman (i.e ad platforms and agencies who currently cut a large chunk of the deal) can solve many major annoyances of present-day internet advertising paradigm; many today are so fed up with data abuse and other invasive commercial tactics that they opt for ad blocking software which hurts advertisers. Enabling this type of fair, open ecosystem for ads makes for an exciting and probable use case for blockchain. The team is comprised of internet veterans of the highest caliber, spearheaded by people like Brendan Eich, creator of Javascript and co-founder of Mozilla & Firefox.

Omisego

https://omisego.network/

Omisego is a blockchain company building an open payment platform and decentralized exchange running on the Ethereum public blockchain. Founder of Ethereum Vitalik Buterin sits on the Omisego board, and the company is a member of the Ethereum Community Fund (EFC) which was put together to fund the growth of Ethereum (ETH) infrastructure. The company raised over $20M during its TGE and has reportedly turned down much more than that.

CryptoKitties

https://www.cryptokitties.co/

One of the first blockchain based video games ever released, CryptoKitties is a mix between Tamagotchi and selective-breeding simulator. On the platform developed by Axiom Zen, players can purchase, collect, breed and sell virtual cats which have been generated bred by the users. While CryptoKitties is one of the earliest examples of blockchain technology being deployed for purely recreational purposes, it has sparked several copycat platforms and will likely inspire many more such decentralized games.

0x

https://0xproject.com/

This San Francisco Blockchain company has one of the more qualified teams we’ve seen in this space: 0x, or the 0x Project, is powering decentralized exchange by building an open, permissionless protocol to allow for crypto tokens to be traded on the Ethereum blockchain. Founded in 2017, the platform is already being used to trade with ERC20 tokens, but the founders are working towards a V2 of 0X which will allow for any asset to be freely exchanged (including fiat currencies, stocks, bonds, commodities, debt instruments, real estate, video game items, digital collectibles, and even software licenses).

Last month they released Instant, a platform offering “simple crypto purchasing in any app or website.”

GroundX

https://groundx.xyz/

Headquartered in Japan, GroundX is the blockchain subsidiary of Korean communications giant Kakao. They are presently building a blockchain infrastructure with the goals of introducing blockchain to the general public with easy to use, practical applications. CEO Jason Han suggested that unlike Ethereum, GroundX may put pure decentralization on hold if needed while his team build the first real publicly demanded use case for blockchain, to then evolve into a full decentralized ecosystem when ready.