If you’re looking for one of the many articles and lists out there claiming “X token is going to 100x in 2018,” or will make you rich enough to buy 12 lamborghinis, this isn’t it. What you will find is a list of intriguing and fundamentally sound projects that are worth keeping an eye on this year.
Keep in mind, the crypto market is a fickle beast and no project is a sure shot, so conduct your own independent and thorough research before investing, and take this list as an introduction – not doctrine.
(Note: These cryptocurrencies are not structured in any specific order, and are not “ranked” by their quality or promise.)
1. GET Protocol ($GET) – $7 Million
GET Project Breakdown
Created by GUTS Tickets as a response to excessive profits made on event tickets in the secondary market (an estimated 30% of all tickets are resold at mark-up, ranging from 30% to 700%), Guaranteed Entrance Protocol (GET) is a blockchain-based smart ticketing solution, which creates a transparent ticketing ecosystem by:
- Merging both the primary and secondary ticketing market
- Eliminating scalping and fraud through authenticating GET tokens
Built on the Ethereum blockchain, GUTS envisions fairness and honesty for all, standing to not only benefit buyers (by providing them with authentic tickets), but also:
- Artists and managers: Genuine accounting of revenue and fan data, plus direct communication with fans.
- Venues, festivals, and theaters: No ticket fraud, fewer complaints, automatic refund procedure, shorter lines, and overall reliable image.
- Ticket providers and services: Future-proof, easy to integrate with existing ticketing solutions, and allows for complete control over primary and secondary ticketing market.
Why You Should Watch GET
Unlike a good portion of projects in the present crypto-sphere, the GET Protocol is actually operational, having released their first tickets on the blockchain all the way back in Q4 2016. GUTS hasn’t slowed down since, partnering with Hekwerk, an artist management group, and Modestus, a strategic management and production house, in 2017, and winning the New Dutch Wave startup competition at SXSW in March 2018.
2018 is looking to be an even bigger year, with GUTS aiming to register value flows and ownership of over 50,000 tickets at more than 75 events, while laying the foundation for 2019 festival event cycles.
2. Bounty0x ($BNTY) – $7 Million
BNTY Project Breakdown
Bringing the Wild West to blockchain, Bounty0x is a decentralized bounty-hunting platform for the tokenized economy, enabling anyone to:
- Host and manage bounty campaigns
- Search and participate in bounty listings
- Automate the task and bounty review process through “bounty sheriffs.”
If you weren’t born in the 1800s and are unsure of how the bounty process works, Bounty0x consists of:
- Bounty hosts: Party issuing a unilateral task falling under one of three categories to be completed in return for a reward:
- Simple bounty – Typically quantitative tasks that can be verified by algorithms and API’s.
- Sheriff bounty – Typically qualitative tasks that are reviewed by bounty sheriffs.
- Super bounty – Highly subjective or technical bounties that are reviewed by the project creator.
- Bounty hunters: Parties performing outstanding tasks in exchange for bounties (BNTY tokens).
- Bounty sheriffs: Parties reviewing bounty hunter performance in order to assure quality and compliance.
For example, some popular bounties listed include writing articles, finding software bugs, and following various social media channels.
Why You Should Watch BNTY
Already supporting over $1 million in open bounties, Bounty0x is decentralizing the online workforce, and targeting several key industries along the way, including:
- Software development
- Online marketing
Additionally, in a blog post from March 24, Bounty0x CEO Pascal Thellmann announced the release of embeddable bounty widgets, allowing bounty hosts to easily embed their bounty into a blog or homepage – a sizeable step towards utilizing Bounty0x as not only a platform, but a tool and network.
Bounty’s established and functional platform, coupled with its transparent team and rapidly growing user-base, make it a project worth keeping an eye on this April (and throughout 2018). To read up further on the Bounty0x roadmap, you can find information here.
3. Raiden Network ($RDN) – $82 Million
RDN Project Breakdown
If you’ve ever transacted across the Ethereum network, there’s a good chance you’ve encountered slow block confirmation times or less than ideal transaction fees, especially during the CryptoKitties peak in December 2017. At one point, CryptoKitties accounted for nearly 15% of Ethereum’s network traffic and led to a sixfold increase in pending transactions, clogging the network and causing some to wonder whether more serious, business-use applications on the Ethereum blockchain would be cast to the wayside.
Cue Raiden Network, an “off-chain transfer network for Ethereum ERC20 tokens,” and Ethereum’s answer to Bitcoin Lightning, providing a fast, scalable, and cheap alternative to current Ethereum token transfers and payments. Raiden Network eliminates:
- Lengthy block processing and confirmation times
- Exorbitant transaction fees
- Privacy concerns
Think of the Ethereum blockchain as a globally trusted, yet inefficient and expensive bank, and Raiden as its express lane, allowing customers to privately send, receive, and cash checks, all while avoiding long lines, expensive transfer fees, and lengthy wait times.
Why You Should Watch RDN
A 2016 McKinsey article placed the global payments industry at roughly $2 trillion, with an expected growth rate of 5% over a subsequent five years. Without a cost-efficient, scalable technology in place, bringing blockchain to the masses remains no more than an unrealizable dream, and our present global payment systems will remain costly, inefficient, and unbalanced.
Raiden eases such mainstream permeation, handling the latent and costly transaction times jeopardizing Ethereum’s mass adoption, and goes above and beyond the current processing framework – which handles a paltry 10–15 transactions per second (tps). Through their leverage of off-chain payment solutions, Raiden takes on the estimated 100,000,000 tps needed for a fully functioning and bottleneck-free Ethereum network, all while preserving privacy and ensuring low fees.
4. Feathercoin ($FTC) – $43 Million
FTC Project Breakdown
Initially based on the Litecoin Protocol and now one of the few projects in the crypto-sphere utilizing NeoScrypt, Feathercoin is a next-generation PoW algorithm adding an extra layer of security, encryption, and speed to the network. It is an open-source, low-cost, lightning fast, secure digital currency.
Feathercoin supports an average block time of about 60 seconds, which, compared to Bitcoin (8 minutes) and Litecoin (2.5 minutes), is considerably faster and tackles the infeasibility of GPU mining faced by Bitcoin. It achieves this through their NeoScrypt algorithm, which prevents ASIC miners from gaining a disproportionate advantage over GPU miners.
Why You Should Watch FTC
On March 21, 2018, Feathercoin’s Medium announced the forward push by Switzerland-based non-profit The Feathercoin Development Foundation to foster the development and acceptance of Feathercoin and serve as a catalyst for expanded community efforts and marketing. The Feathercoin Development Foundation is set to bring Feathercoin into the public eye and focus on securing partnerships and alternative clients, a much-needed step towards mass use.
Moreover, Feathercoin implements automatic checkpointing, a safety feature which prevents malicious users from forcing clients onto a different blockchain, ultimately ensuring the blockchain not fall prey to a 51% attack. Feathercoin’s automatic and advanced checkpointing makes it a secure alternative to Bitcoin and Litecoin and provides “a safe environment for miners and merchants.”
5. Storm Market ($STORM) – *$163 Million
*Note that at the time of writing, Storm had an $85 million market cap.
STORM Project Breakdown
Similar to the Google Play and Apple App Store, Storm Market is a decentralized marketplace and platform for tasks, where “Storm Makers” – parties posting tasks – and “Storm Players” – parties performing the tasks – freely create and accept tasks using smart contracts, all powered and paid for by Storm tokens.
Storm’s motto, “Earn anywhere, anytime, from any device,” refers to the wide array of potential earning opportunities for people and businesses all around the world, specifically, advertisers, gaming platforms, machine-learning companies, and recruiters, by allowing users to:
- Shop to earn: Users earn Storm tokens by shopping for products and services.
- Play to earn: Users earn Storm tokens by trying out new products and services, and by playing videos.
- Perform to earn: Users earn Storm tokens by performing micro-tasks, such as QA, machine learning, & P2P freelancing tasks.
Why You Should Watch STORM
At the time of writing, Storm has over 1.4 million downloads and an extremely active, and growing, user base of over 250,000 monthly users – with the majority of user growth attributed to referrals. And, with Storm boasting 1% service fees and immediate withdrawals, it’s not hard to see why earners are beginning to choose Storm over traditional task platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, Mechanical Turk, and TaskRabbit.
With two major exchange listings (Binance and Upbit) in March, partnerships with Bancor, Kyber Network, ZenCash, and Qtum under their belt, and advisors such as Bill Shihara of Bittrex, Guy Benartzi of Bancor, and Anthony Diiorio of Ethereum, Storm is set to increase overall usability and accessibility in 2018, and take the microfied task ecosystem by… storm.
6. Horizon State ($HST) – $21 Million
HST Project Breakdown
With confidence in traditional democratic and voting systems at an all-time low – look no further than the 2016 US presidential election – the process clearly needs a transparent and efficient overhaul to restore voters’ security and trust. Enter Horizon State, a blockchain-based community engagement and secure voting platform, enabling efficient, transparent, unforgeable vote casting and decision-making processes via distributed ledger technology.
Additionally, Horizon State restores government and organization accountability through immutable consensus, while empowering constituencies to vote smartly and effectively (via the HST token) and allowing voters to see, firsthand, the results of their decisions.
Why You Should Watch HST
Horizon State isn’t just a utopian mechanism, it’s a reality. Used by Australian information and polling platform MiVote, HST has facilitated the casting of thousands of votes and committed them to the Ethereum blockchain since early February 2017. Most notably, in December 2017, Horizon State locked down a partnership with the United Nations, with purpose of accelerating change and innovation through addressal of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
All of this, and Horizon State has yet to be listed on any of the top 25 exchanges (by volume). Post-ICO, HST has brought on 20 new employees and, most recently, appointed IT veteran Oren Alazraki as their CEO to further commercialize product offerings, develop key partnerships, and secure large-scale customer implementation.
7. Electrify.Asia ($ELEC) – $19 Million
ELEC Project Breakdown
Post-2016 Japanese power grid liberalization, more and more Asian countries are looking to open up their electricity markets by cutting out centralized grid operators and giving consumers a definitive voice in choosing their electricity retailers and how they want to consume it (energy). Electrify.Asia is a decentralized retail electricity marketplace targeting Southeast Asia, authorizing:
- Sourcing of energy (by anyone) from commercial energy suppliers.
- Direct purchases of energy from private producers via a P2P trading platform.
At the heart of Electrify.Asia’s electricity ecosystem are retail electricity smart contracts – secured on the blockchain and fueled by the ELEC token – ultimately, synergizing the present energy market by cutting out excessive middlemen and inordinate transaction costs while automating contract performance and execution.
Why You Should Watch ELEC
Founded by two senior executives and veterans of the Singaporean energy industry, and advised by Omise/OmiseGO founder Jun Hasegawa, Electrify.Asia is looking to lay the foundation for an already fragmented, opaque, and cost-heavy energy ecosystem. And, mixed in with the upcoming Asian energy market ascent – annual energy expenditure is estimated to be $1.6 trillion by 2035 – and Singapore’s Open Electricity launch in April 2018, Electrify couldn’t have come at a better time.
Having transacted more than 30 GWh since incorporation, with a GMV over SGD $5 million, across 12–16 Singaporean retailers, Electrify’s competitive marketplace offers an estimated 10% to 30% savings rate per energy plan, while providing a transparent, barrier-free, low-risk solution to the Asian energy sector.
8. SONM ($SONM) – $44 Million
SONM Project Breakdown
Short for “Supercomputer Organized by Network Mining,” SONM is a universal decentralized fog computing platform, designed for general-purpose computing power and qualifying miners from all around the world to rent out their unused and idle computing power.
Metaphorically, as “fog” sits closer to the ground, SONM’s fog computing utilizes common and readily available technology, allowing idle GPUs, PlayStations, and even smartphones to power buyer computing costs – with increased output quality. SONM effectively replaces cost-heavy, vulnerable, latent, and centralized cloud services with their decentralized, encrypted, cost-efficient, and time and space-flexible computer architecture (at market cost).
Why You Should Watch SONM
Post-MVP launch – Minimum Viable Product – in late December 2017, SONM has been busy fine-tuning the system core, wallet, and heavy transaction costs – striving for a friendlier interface, reasonable prices, and non-existent transaction fees. Additionally, building on several impressive 2017 partnerships (Aion and Selectel), SONM teamed up with Dbrain, a neural network training platform, providing the computing power and enhanced data processing.
9. Verify ($CRED) – $3 Million
CRED Project Breakdown
Touting itself as “the future of reputation,” Verify is a distributed reputation protocol based on the Ethereum blockchain, recording buyer and seller transactions through counterparty feedback. Verify solves 3 fundamental issues that are holding blockchain commerce back from mainstream adoption:
- Lack of consumer protection for buyers using cryptocurrencies.
- Lack of a reliable, trustworthy, and transparent seller reputation platform.
- High incidences of eCommerce fraud and chargebacks (projected at $31 billion by 2020).
Verify’s distributed reputation protocol continuously monitors and updates buyer and seller transaction performance, ratings, and feedback, providing insurance for buyers via their CRED token. Thus, it hopes to stamp out:
- Incorrect performance
- Lost deliveries
Over time, both buyers and sellers “earn reputation” by fulfilling their contractual duties, resulting in certain perks, such as advanced credit and payment.
Why You Should Watch CRED
Already boasting a “killer” application built on the Verify Protocol, Verify Payments is an application solving two core issues affecting commercial transactions – lack of buyer purchase protection and delayed payments for sellers. But how does it achieve this? Through:
- Improved checkout procedures
- Built-in escrow
- Decentralized dispute resolution
With the eCommerce retail market presently valued at nearly $3 trillion and commerce on the blockchain a growing reality, an overall bilateral protective framework and transactional safeguards both need to be ironed out before mainstream breach – all of which are remedied by Verify’s transparent and counterparty-friendly protocol.
10. Worldwide Asset Exchange ($WAX) – $75 Million
WAX Project Breakdown
Developed by the founders of the world’s leading marketplace for online video game assets, OPSkins, WAX is a decentralized platform enabling anyone to operate a “fully functioning virtual marketplace” without needing to invest in security, infrastructure, or payment processing.
WAX is set to empower millions of virtual asset traders and gamers by allowing them to create and run their own virtual stores, all while ensuring legitimacy and transparency through blockchain trust and transaction verification.
Additionally, WAX supports a DPoS consensus algorithm, where “guilds” – elected delegates – act as the confirming nodes for transactions and periodically distribute a percentage of earned fees to WAX stakeholders. Not only does a DPoS consensus allow for high network transaction throughput, it protects WAX users from unconsented regulatory interference.
Why You Should Watch WAX
Designed to serve the 400+ million strong online gamers who collect, buy, and sell in-game items, WAX cuts out the existing friction in the $50 billion virtual item market, by eliminating:
- Exorbitant fees
It’s also worth noting that WAX is building on an already functioning and thriving marketplace – albeit a centralized one – OPSkins, and has facilitated over 100+ million purchases in 95 countries since 2015.