While it may not seem like the most appealing moment to be investing in ICOs, rest assured, there are still worthwhile projects out there. And if you’re approaching cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology as a true (and long-term) overhaul of nearly every major traditional institution and mechanism in place, then there’s even less of a reason to sweat the current bear market.
As ICOs have historically availed themselves to snake oil salesmen, illusory promises, and impractical and unrealizable projects, we strongly recommend you do your own research before investing in any. Furthermore, recognize that your entire investment could be lost, so don’t gamble with more than you are willing to lose.
Once you’ve accepted the aforementioned risks, here is a list of 5 ICOs that we think are bringing value to today’s saturated blockchain ecosystem.
This article should not be taken as investment advice, and the below 5 ICOs are not ranked in any particular order.
5 ICOs to Watch in Q4 2018
Tackling the $150 billion cyber-security industry (where an estimated $1 trillion is lost to cybercrime annually), Cryptyk is a low-latency, hybrid (and encrypted) decentralized cloud storage and management blockchain platform, supported by an immutable blockchain ledger, which enables:
- Online data storage
- File sharing
- Document editing
- Encrypted email and chat
- Cloud-based applications
Specifically, Cryptyk is a sort of “Frankenstein’s monster,” being a combination of 2 decentralized security platforms: “Vault” and “Sentry.” Think of Vault as the bank vault, where data and files are encrypted, divided into 5 various pieces, re-encrypted, and then distributed and stored across 5 major independent cloud storage providers: Amazon, Google, Box, IBM, and Rackspace.
Sentry is as its name implies: a watchful guardian and auditing platform that acts as an enterprise security manager for network administrators (to protect against both internal security threats and surveillance threats).
Simply put, Cryptyk’s dual security not only protects against internal and external threats to cloud storage, but viral, operational, and surveillance threats – making it the first complete cloud storage and security solution for enterprise.
Why You Should Keep an Eye on Cryptyk
First off, why is cloud storage security in need of a major overhaul?
Well, for starters, for every $1 spent on cloud storage, $4 is spent on security to protect the storage. Moreover, for every $4 that is actually spent on security to protect storage, roughly $25 is still lost to cybercrime and other hacks/attacks. As mentioned above, this isn’t small scale. This is a $150 billion industry (cloud security and storage).
And, if you’re forgetting why exactly centralized cloud storage entities aren’t cutting it in this day and age, here’s a little refresher:
- Lack of control: user data and files are placed in the hands of a third-party, which may be manipulated, deleted, or otherwise “held hostage.”
- Unreliable: it’s not unheard of for cloud storage programs to go offline or crash, denying users and enterprises access to important data and information.
- Exorbitant costs: substantial overhead, including security and data backup, power and cooling, management fees, and other costs (e.g. Amazon S3 charges $23/TB/month).
Finally, Cryptyk was the only blockchain company to be named one of Enterprise Security Magazine’s “Top 10 Enterprise Security Startups 2018, an important step forward in solidifying Cryptyk at the forefront of the entire enterprise market.
If you’d like to learn more about Cryptyk and participate in their ICO, we recommend you head on over to their website and check out their white paper. Cryptyk’s pre-sale round (allotment 2) is currently open and set to end on November 23, 2018, followed by their public sale round, which will commence on November 28 and run until December 21.
“Solving the problems of the shipping industry,” CargoCoin is a smart-contract platform based on the Ethereum blockchain, linking the “physical world of trade and transport with the blockchain” through a unique, one-of-a-kind transportation ecosystem which enables parties to:
- Communicate: Connect and exchange information on cargo, transport, and supplemental services
- Document: Record and govern the entire process via smart contract (from offer all the way to delivery)
CargoCoin’s scope extends to everything transport-related, from the shipping industry (containers, bulk, etc…) to inland transportation (railways, trucks), to air cargo (drones, airplane transport), all the way to pipeline transport and space cargo.
Think of CargoCoin as the glue holding highly fragmented transportation industries together, authorizing infinite functionality and cooperation between commodities and cargo traders – all on a global scale, at reduced cost, and in real time. Finally, CargoCoin’s platform is highly flexible, sanctioning parties to easily select terms relevant to their transportation mode and contract by offering standard and customizable negotiated terms, forms, and conditions, all while eliminating daunting language barriers.
Simply put, CargoCoin’s transparent smart contract platform acts as a secure storage and transfer mechanism, as well as a payment provider for cargoes and transport services, ultimately reducing fraud, minimizing delays, increasing trust, and lowering costs.
Why You Should Keep an Eye on CargoCoin
With the global value of seaborne trade over US$12 trillion (according to the WTO), the shipping industry stands as one of the largest global economic sectors. However, there’s one glaring problem… It’s also one of the least technologically advanced, with parties heavily relying on paper documents, traditional and costly financial transfers, frequent delays, and rampant fraud.
For reference, below are just a few financial statistics comprising the modern-day, $12 trillion shipping industry (which is also responsible for the carriage of roughly 90% of world trade):
- 1.2 million seafarers of nearly every nationality,
- 50,000 merchant ships,
- 8.5 billion tons of bulk, break bulk, and liquid bulk
- 1.8 billion tons carried in assorted containers, and
- USD $380 billion in freight rates – or 5% of total world trade.
Additionally, it’s estimated that payment delays associated with the shipping industry result in over $19 billion per year in losses, making it an industry ripe for overhaul and optimization.
CargoCoin’s 4th ICO phase is set to end October 31, 2018, with a 5th and final ICO phase slated to end on December 3, so make sure to head on over to their website and check out their white paper and one-pager.
Imagine being able to actually see a cryptocurrency with your own two eyes, or even touch it. Cue Platin, a secure, verifiable, lightweight, decentralized and “blockchain agnostic” Proof-of-Location (PoL) protocol enabling anyone to geo-locate digital assets (think cryptos, images, documents, etc…) anywhere on earth and in real time.
Now, through privacy-preserving zero-knowledge proofs, any digital asset may have its own, fixed location and place on the map, meaning businesses, organizations, and individuals may tangibly interact and move digital assets.
Still confused by what exactly Platin is?
Based on game theory models, Platin is a compilation of cooperating and intersectional subsystems which permit assurance location credentials to advance and incentivize value proposition for nearly everyone.
For example, for end users, Platin manifests itself as a mobile application (the Platin Pocket) which authorizes users to feel, see, and exchange cryptos via location anomaly detection. An end user utilizing the Platin Pocket may view a Platin coin on the side of the road by way of augmented reality, subsequently wave his or her phone at it (in a motion similar to Pokemon Go), and attempt to gain possession of it and later store it in a wallet for personal use.
Furthermore, Platin can be used by businesses to earn and increase revenue, track activities, and monetize existing infrastructure and mechanisms through custom-tailored location behavior uses (e.g. issuance of a discount to rental car drivers should they visit a specific tourist location or site).
Why You Should Keep an Eye on Platin
Plain and simple, physical assets are easy to grasp. And, before the mass adoption and use of cryptocurrency and digital assets (regardless of their moral excellence and advancement), the general public is going to need something they can physically grasp, not mentally conjure and imagine.
Platin alludes to what they call the “grandmother test,” noting the countless questions and concerns about digital assets proffered by the everyday person. Basically, Platin holds that the “need to locate something or someone” is a basic human instinct and at the heart of every activity and industry. Let’s take a look at a few examples of how Platin may be used to incentivize economic activity:
- Insurance: Owen’s insurance company is set to issue Owen a discount if he makes his exercise routine visible to them. Through Platin’s zero-knowledge cryptography, an immutable record of Owen’s fitness history is stored, which may then be used to give assurance to the insurance company that Owen was meeting his weekly or monthly exercise and movement goals – all while omitting highly invasive and unnecessary personal details about his actual location.
- Humanitarian Aid: the fair and even distribution of airdropped crypto assets to persons and countries affected by natural disasters and other catastrophes, cutting out inefficient aspects of government and eliminating malicious/corrupt third-party middlemen who siphon such funds and aid before it reaches those in need (think of large organizations like the Red Cross failing to deliver the promised value to a community in need). Note that Platin has already signed letters of intent with several international aid organizations to explore humanitarian airdrops.
- Customer Incentivization: the ability for a restaurant, coffee shop, or other business to issue their own “branded coin” on Platin’s blockchain, where tokens are “dropped” at the doors of one’s business (e.g. 3 times per day) and may be collected by customers who in turn spend it in stores at discounted rates.
Based on the Stratis blockchain platform, Ephelants360 (e360) is an all-in-one platform and ecosystem for streamlining both television and film content creation, production and distribution, and investing.
Ephelants360’s software solution developed on a hybrid distributed ledger, applies machine learning to maximize the selection of profitable screenplays (via various algorithms), investment opportunities (tailored to personal risk parameters), and recruitment production team building (across a searchable database and job board) – all while enabling innovative new monetization and reward schemes for the film and television community.
Mix in project management and budget DApps geared towards efficiency, production time, and cost savings, and e360 is a one-stop shop for every step of the film and television content production cycle.
While e360 is set to provide the functions a traditional film and television studio would, it won’t actually function as a studio, as it’s completely autonomous and decentralized, merely providing the framework and tools for a self-executing production ecosystem. Specifically, Ephelants360’s overarching goal is to increase consistent work quality and profitability, and is aimed at benefiting 3 core actors in the film and television industry:
- For Producers: empowering screenplay analysis by way of algorithm (at a fraction of the time it would take a human), investor recommendations, automated job postings, and content distribution.
- For Investors: matching investors to producers and writers, as well as scripts (along with their projected likelihood of success).
- For Writers: connecting writers to community members, directors, and producers looking for new scripts.
Ephelant360’s white paper sums itself up in the form of a math equation:
data driven decisions, predictive analytics, and maximization of profits (via AI) + project incubation, talent sourcing, and collaboration + project funding and a recommendation system + project distribution and marketing = e360.
Why You Should Keep an Eye on Ephelants360
With a combined revenue of over US$66.3 billion in television and video revenue in the US and Canada alone, over $240 billion spent per year on content purchases and broadcasting, and a market growing at an average rate of 10% annually, there is bound to be a strong demand for a platform that can create high volumes of quality content, at a cheaper price, and more efficiently.
That’s not even mentioning that China’s box office is set to overtake the US in revenue by 2020.
Furthermore, present film industry barriers to entry are relatively high (large amounts of manual effort for content acquisition), overly complex and ambiguous (ineffective and non-transparent investor agreements and unverifiable expenses), and risky (expensive brokers and rights distribution), resulting in a slew of missed opportunity and profits. And let’s not forget all the paperwork associated with screenplays and scripts.
With content hailed as “king,” the entire television and film industry (and its core participants) would enjoy larger profits and quicker production should they move away from traditional and outdated business practices and integrate onto the blockchain.
Ephelants360’s pre-sale is geared to end on November 21, 2018, with their main token sale commencing on November 22 (ending January, 2nd 2019). To read more about e360, head on over to their website and check out their white paper and light paper.
Easing the legal, technical, and regulatory procedures and requirements for the very subjects of this very piece (ICOs), Mobu is a decentralized blockchain platform and end-to-end solution for ICOs looking to launch compliant security tokens on the blockchain.
Specifically, Mobu is geared towards businesses looking to raise capital through security tokens. They provide an abstract smart contract and protocol, containing necessary code and commands for the facilitation and release of compliant security tokens, ultimately leading to a more trustworthy ICO investment ecosystem.
At its very core, Mobu consists of Reg S, Reg D, and Reg A+ compliant security token offerings (backed by real assets), with the added value and ability to select from cross-jurisdictional legal counsel and vetted tender process for service providers, easing ultimate deployment while ensuring transparency and immutability.
Furthermore, Mobu introduces a new and innovative escrow method, protecting ICO investors by empowering them to exit the ICO post-crowdsale at a pro-rata basis should the ICO project and issuers fail to adhere to its overall goals and roadmap – meaning ICO projects won’t actually have instantaneous access to the full amount raised.
Why You Should Keep an Eye on Mobu
There’s no debate that the global regulatory nature and infrastructure surrounding ICOs is still up in the air, making for an extremely challenging landscape to navigate for projects, investors, backers, and buyers looking to raise capital. Today’s present ICO market has no guaranteed standard of quality for ICO providers. It’s expensive and slow moving, legally complex and confusing, and ripe with fraud.
Through the issuance of already regulatory compliant security tokens, Mobu is poised to enable regulation bodies and governments to identify and treat digital tokens and assets just as one would a normal share of a company, allowing for ease of movement and availability of institutional money across the blockchain industry (in a trusted manner).
Furthermore, the MOBU token heightens overall security of highly sensitive personal information and other data, guarding against malicious and high-profile hacks through its decentralized and isolating storage of each security token – a more efficient and scalable system compared to the SEC’s highly centralized and vulnerable EDGAR system in place, which processes over 50 million document requests and 17 million electronic filings every year.
Mobu’s ICO will begin December 1, 2018 and run until January 31. To read up more about Mobu and how it is enabling the seamless deployment of regulatory-compliant security tokens, head on over to their website and check out their white paper.
While crypto’s overall market capitalization has nearly retraced to that of one year ago, take solace in the fact that there’s been a palpable shift towards refining product and emphasizing fundamentals, instead of the overpromises and delusive marketing which we saw at the end of 2017 and early 2018.
If you have a bit of gamble in you and are looking for 5 projects tackling traditional institutional failings and inadequacies, we recommend looking into the above projects further.
And, once again, remember to do your own research and never invest more than you’re willing to lose.
We’d love to hear if you have any ICOs you think are worth keeping an eye on in this current market, if you think we missed any, or any other upcoming ICOs you think are worth watching this 2018 and early 2019. Let us know in the comments!