Why OST is best positioned to deliver mass-market blockchain usage in 2019

From exhilarating all-time market highs to unexpected and excruciating lows, 2018 has been a rollercoaster year for emerging blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies.

The silver lining: The recent market downturn will force-focus the industry on delivering results and 2019 will be the year real mass-market blockchain use cases begin to emerge.

I am confident that OST is best positioned to lead this charge.

The recent crypto market downturn has provided a healthy wake-up call and reality check for a nascent industry that has all-too-often leaned on hype and speculation in absence of real results and usage.

Make no mistake: blockchain will be one of the most transformative technologies of our lifetime. It will empower new economies, disrupt and reinvent long-standing institutions, and unleash massive improvements and step-changes in customer experiences.

But, it will take time for these benefits to materialize. And it will especially require focus on delivering blockchain solutions that meet the real needs of businesses and consumers.

In 2017 and 2018 many of the most interesting blockchain projects often felt more like science experiments than businesses. When the market was hot and teams were flush with funny money there was patience for building technology in search of future use cases. Now that the market has cooled, it’s time to get serious. Playtime is over.

Several lessons for this next phase of crypto can be gleaned from the burst of the dotcom bubble in 2001: Easy-money goes away, hangeroners stop hanging, and weaker projects will stagnate or die off. Meanwhile, true long-term builders keep building, actual usage & revenue growth rules the day, and smart projects will shift from technology in search of use cases to use cases in need of technology.

The hype phase of crypto is over. The usage phase of crypto is ready to begin.

As one of the leaders of OST — a blockchain project that has been customer-needs driven from day 1 — I could not be more excited for this next phase of crypto, when usage is the #1 metric that matters, not noise and hype.

OST has been building and preparing for this moment from our inception.

Today, OST’s mainstream development partners reach more than 300 million end users. We are laser-focused on bringing their first pilots to market in early 2019.

OST is best positioned to bring blockchain to the mainstream because it’s in our DNA.

OST was founded on two counter narratives to the then prevailing blockchain market sentiment.

First, in mid 2017 — when the market had reached peak ICO euphoria — we theorized that 99.999% of companies should not, cannot, and will not ICO. We foresaw a tightening of the ICO market. This led us to build blockchain infrastructure and tools to enable any business to benefit from having their own branded tokens to transform their communities into thriving economies, but without the legal, regulatory, and technology costs and risks involved with ICO’ing. We developed blockchain infrastructure and developer tools to enable businesses to easily deploy branded tokens as stored value on auxiliary chains, sans ICO, backed by staked value on Ethereum.

Second, while the rest of the industry jumped immediately to building DApps (distributed applications) and platforms and technologies for DApps, we theorized that while DApps are part of an exciting future, they will take many years to materialize and gain traction, especially while user experiences lagged consumer expectations. We also saw that too many DApps were taking the “if you build it they will come” approach to growing audience, rather than building distribution into the product strategy. Instead, we envisioned that mainstream companies with large existing user bases could create the first mass-market blockchain big wins.

This led us to create turnkey blockchain technology for mainstream apps with millions of users. Internally we call these mainstream apps “Mappys” (mainstream apps) vs. “Dappys” (completely decentralized apps). I’ll write more about Mappy, Happy, and Dappy personas for blockchain development in my next post.

Building for Mappys required us to solve a wide range of challenges around the usability of blockchain that Dappys largely ignored, such as:

  • SaaS dashboards, APIs and SDKs for non blockchain developers to easily deploy, integrate, and manage token economies without learning how to write blockchain code
  • Decentralized key management solutions for end-consumers — solving for the usability of blockchain for the mass market
  • Methods for scaling blockchain economies to internet-grade transaction volumes on today’s proof of work systems
  • Economy stabilization services
  • KYC as a Service on behalf of our clients
  • Simple graphical interfaces for programming smart contracts

While the rest of the industry went immediately down the Dappy road, only to find Dappy adoption to be elusive, OST currently has a massive head start on preparing to launch Mappys on public layer-2 Ethereum blockchains in 2019.

The OST technology stack and roadmap has been entirely informed through our ongoing collaboration with Mappys.

The result is that OST has emerged as the blockchain technology partner of choice to Mappys.

Companies like Unsplash, Hornet, Animoca, Passkit, and Metaps — businesses with tens of millions of users — chose to launch on OST versus other options because OST is the only full-stack and full-featured blockchain platform for mass-market app tokenization that lets them deploy and test at-scale in 2019 with low risk so they can focus on their core business rather than becoming blockchain experts. Importantly, OST will take on any regulatory and licensing burden on behalf of our clients and their end-users, which would otherwise be a huge gating factor for mainstream companies.

As the market matures, it’s now put up or shut up time for blockchain. 
Crypto projects will need to either prove meaningful usage and results in 2019 or fade away.

We’ve been preparing for this moment at OST for two years and team OST could not be more ready nor more excited for the usage phase of crypto to begin.

About OST

OST blockchain infrastructure empowers new economies for mainstream businesses and emerging DApps. OST leads development of the OpenST Protocol, a framework for tokenizing businesses. In September 2018 OST introduced the OpenST Mosaic Protocol for running meta-blockchains to scale Ethereum applications to billions of users. OST KIT is a full-stack suite of developer tools, APIs and SDKs for managing blockchain economies. OST partners reach more than 300 million end-users. OST has offices in Berlin, New York, Hong Kong, and Pune. OST is backed by leading institutional equity investors including Tencent, Greycroft, Vectr Ventures, and 500 Startups.