3 Payments ICOs to Watch in the Coming Week
This article first went out in the Token Report newsletter, Friday, announcing the beta launch of Token Tracker, a comprehensive and up-to-date information service for open and upcoming token sales. Token Tracker beta is the first product to come out of our database of more than 150 past, current and upcoming token sales.
Looking ahead seven days, there are three that we’re especially keeping an eye on: TenX (PAY), OmiseGO (OMG) and Nimiq (NET). All are in the payments industry. After token sale transactions clogged Ethereum’s blockchain this month, all face questions as to how their networks will handle transaction volume at scale. Here, we offer a brief on each, comprising their idea, the market context they’re entering and the developers’ scalability plan.
TenX aims to develop a payment platform that allows anyone to use any digital currency in the real world. The developers plan to offer a mobile wallet and Visa/Mastercard debit card to be used with any digital currency and convert to fiat at the time of transaction. TenX completed a $1 million USD seed round in March 2017 and reached its pre-sale target of 100,000 ETH in 36 hours in June. The TenX wallet has been live and working since the beginning of the year and is set for an iOS, Android and web app rollout this month. TenX distinguishes itself from competitors like TokenCard, Wirex and Monaco by supporting multiple blockchains other than Ethereum and Bitcoin, and by giving card holder incentives on every purchase, as well as zero transaction fees.
Will it scale? TenX’s scalability solution relies on a separate project called COMIT, undertaken by three of its co-founders. It’s a “super blockchain network” for off-chain transactions. COMIT has its own white paper and is set for an “initial release” in the fourth quarter, with Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchain integration set for completion in the second quarter of 2018, according to the website timeline.
OmiseGO is a blockchain-based payments project of Omise, a four-year-old, venture-backed payment gateway for businesses, based in Thailand, serving the Southeast Asian market. Venture backers include several Asian venture firms: Ascend Capital and East Ventures, to name two. The developers aim to build a novel blockchain that integrates with the Ethereum mainnet and supports a variety of transactions including remittances, payroll deposits, B2B commerce and asset trading. Owners of OMG tokens will be able to earn fees for validating transactions across currencies and asset types; a white-label program is aimed at digital wallet providers in industry verticals.
Blockchain eWallet projects have been hot as of late, with major financial institutions, such as CitiBank, and governments, such as Dubai, testing new services. Upstarts like Wyre (San Francisco) and Coinify (Copenhagen) have seen some success with venture capitalists. Thailand, meanwhile, is showing some signs of a crypto bubble, with more than one scam hitting news outlets.
Will it scale? OmiseGO plans to build their own blockchain and use a Lightning Network hub to process transactions off-chain.
Nimiq’s token sale will raise funds to build a web-native, peer-to-peer payment protocol allowing end users to exchange cryptocurrency to fiat and complete transactions both on and off the blockchain. Nimiq’s product, which includes a mobile wallet, enters a space already fairly crowded with exchanges, like Coinbase and ShapeShift, and wallet providers, like MetaMask and My Ether Wallet. Nimiq aims to distinguish itself by making transactions instantaneous and simple. For example, the developers do not plan to require any external plugins or downloads. The mainnet launch is set for December 2017, after the blockchain infrastructure is completed in the fourth quarter of this year. The token sale will issue Nimiq Exchange Tokens (NET) to be bought with ether and eventually exchanged into the blockchain’s currency, NIM.
Will it scale? Nimiq is based on the Bitcoin Lightning Network and uses Hashed Timelock Contracts (HTLC) to support payment channels for off-chain transactions. Users in Nimiq’s Slack channel have raised transaction time issues that came up on Nimiq’s testnet; the developers have assured users their off-chain solution will make transactions instantaneous.
Token Report is an independent news and research company founded by Galen Moore and Peter Vessenes. Galen is a financial journalist with a background in startups, venture capital and launching news sites. Peter is a co-founder of the Bitcoin Foundation, and launched the first VC-backed Bitcoin company in 2011. He is managing director at New Alchemy, a boutique consulting and investment group based in Seattle, Wash., that is making a pre-seed investment in Token Report.
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