2017 was the year of the bull for cryptocurrencies, experiencing a market growth from 17M to 580M at the time of writing, based on coinmarketcap.com. With this growth, we have seen some impressive projects surface, introducing new ways for value and information exchange with the use of cryptography. However, due to the overwhelming information and countless cryptos to choose from, we decided to create a list of promising cryptocurrencies based on upcoming roadmaps, adoption possibilities, foundations set in 2017, and practicality in use-cases. With 2018 right around the corner, here are some projects we project to do extremely well in the upcoming year.
5. Request Network
Often referred to as the PayPal 2.0, Request is a decentralized network that allows anyone to request a payment (a Request Invoice) for which the recipient can pay in a secure way. All of the information is stored in a decentralized authentic ledger. This results in cheaper, easier, and more secure payments, and it allows for a wide range of automation possibilities. The Request team has also gained a lot of credibility due to their previous experiences (created Moneytis, a money transfer company), backing by Y Combinator (one of the largest accelerators in Silicon Valley, backed companies like AirBnB, Coinbase, Dropbox, etc.), as well as the regular and transparent updates rare to encounter in the cryptosphere.
In Q4 of 2017, Request also came out with a minimum viable product, which functions surprisingly well and shows, in a snapshot, how big of a problem they are set out to solve. What is also important to know is that Request is not just “payment processing”, but also includes benefits such as efficient and automated invoicing, identity protection, smart auditing, fast and cheap value exchange, and cross-currency transactions (meaning that you can pay in whichever currency you want, and the receiver gets the currency they desire).
With one of the most needed and viable use-cases in the financial industry, highly anticipated 2018 roadmap, and impressive backing, Request Network is expected to grab a significant part of the highlight in the coming year.
OmiseGO is set out for success due to extensive industry connections and strong demand for what they aim to accomplish. The parent company, Omise, has a team of over 130 staff members across multiple countries, while the project is endorsed by notorious names like Vitalik Buterin and Gavin Wood to name a few, both of whom serve as advisors for the team.
So what exactly is their purpose? “Unbank the Banked” is the slogan of OmiseGO, with which they aim to revolutionize the financial dynamics between a multitude of currencies. They are targeting individuals and businesses of all sizes by improving the current financial system that is slow, outdated, and inaccessible to most “everyday” people in SEA. With their online exchange, OmiseGO seeks to enable instantaneous and efficient cross-currency transactions, which will act both between fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies. Upon success, you will not need to exchange money when travelling the world or convert money for international wires – just send the currency of choice and the recipient receives his/her currency of choice (maintaining low fees and near-instant transactions). With their platform, they can revolutionize the way global finance works, by eliminating all restrictions and adopting a single click/swipe/scan mechanism for all transactions.
OmiseGo has already been building partnerships in the SEA region and recently partnered with McDonald’s and Credit Saison. With a capable team, impressive 2018 roadmap, and extensive connections, OmiseGO can become one of the forerunners of the coming year. For more information, read the full article about OmiseGO.
IOTA is an open-source distributed ledger protocol launched in 2015 that goes ‘beyond blockchain’ through its core invention of the blockless ‘Tangle’. The IOTA Tangle is a quantum-resistant Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG), whose digital currency ‘iota’ has a fixed money supply with zero inflationary cost. The goal of IOTA is to improve the issues of blockchain solutions through a transaction validation network that is not subject to PoW/PoI/PoS, while removing scalability issues by actually getting faster as more people use it, not the other way around seen with coins like BTC and ETH. You also don’t have to subsidize miners, so there are no fees on transactions.
Instead, when issuing a transaction in IOTA, you validate 2 previous transactions. This means you no longer outsource validation to miners which requires wasteful amounts of computing power and usually a large stake of coins. These required resources are, in effect, centralizing the currencies which many believe were created to be decentralized in the first place. With a hard-working, dedicated and capable team, the project has been able to charm interest and participation from giant global companies referenced HERE, some of which have already partnered up with IOTA. The consistent progress, strong foundations and the ability to secure impressive partnerships validates the need and use-case of IOTA, making it set for success in 2018. For more information, read the full article about IOTA.
NEO claims to have learned from Ethereum’s mistakes and implemented various technical differences to be positioned as the world’s premier smart contracts platform. One differentiating factor is the variance of programming languages supported, while Ethereum relies on its own developed language that developers must learn before contributions. Moreover, NEO has built its own consensus mechanism called dBFT, which is a lot faster and already allows staking and voting in order to involve people taking part in the consensus process. Additionally, with NEO, you don’t have to pay your share in the network to get access to services, because there is a “dividend” that NEO generates, called GAS. GAS is used for all system fees, as they believe a transaction coin should be de-coupled from a share coin (similarly as you don’t pay for a MacBook in Apple shares).
With an extremely capable and credible in-house development team (focused on developing the platform), development communities such as City of Zion, NEOtracker and PeterLinX (focused on developing dApps on the platform), as well as countless projects launching on their blockchain in the coming year, NEO has positioned themselves to become a real powerhouse in 2018. For more information, read the full article about NEO.
Waltonchain is a unique project aimed at creating a complete ecosystem of RFID Chips, readers, and mother+childchains. The benefit of such system is to achieve full automation and transparency in value and information exchange through bridging the physical and virtual ecosystems, creating a world based on the improved Internet of Things, referred to as the VIoT (Value Internet of Things). By introducing a decentralized transaction record and storage technology based on cryptographic principles, Waltonchain is set out overcome the current limitations of IoT, meaning that all objects and information can be interconnected without centralized actors. Waltonchain is also projected to have no scaling issues due to the integration of limitless child-chains, as well as removes restrictions of not being able to combine real-world live data with blockchain. While there are various other IoT based blockchain projects, none are currently comparable to arguably the strongest technical teams, innovation, extensive partnerships, practical use-cases for real-world usage, working product waiting for integration, the world’s first one-click PoS+PoW miner/wallet, and more.
To add to that, Waltonchain is already contracted by multiple Chinese provinces and municipalities to offer IoT + blockchain solutions for their cities and industrial zones (please refer to the summary of current Waltonchain’s partnerships). Put simply, we live in a world built on companies competing for data, and Waltonchain can help boost this operational efficiency and automation. With a main net release in Q1, one of the strongest use-cases in blockchain currently, wide range of partnerships, as well as already working hardware and software solutions for companies, Waltonchain has the potential of surprising everyone as the biggest project in 2018.
For more in-depth information, read the full article about Waltonchain.
Bonus picks: Ark & RaiBlocks
Ark has a goal of bridging the gap between all of the world’s different cryptocurrencies, most of which currently run on different technologies and are not designed to be compatible with each other. To solve this problem, Ark created their SmartBridge technology, which is a bit of code added into the blockchain so that Ark can communicate with it directly. Ark did not make the list YET, because there are a lot of valid concerns that it might not be feasible to attempt a one-stop solution for all blockchains. Furthermore, it can become a time race with projects like Request and OmiseGO, because if they are able to provide an efficient product and penetrate the market first with instant, low fee cross-currency transactions, then Ark might be overshadowed by their dominance. Despite that, Ark can still have a huge role to play in the future, and if they are able to deliver on the extremely ambitious goals, the project can be a real force to be reckoned with. For a more detailed look, read the full article about Ark.
XRB is everything BTC was set out to be – instant, free, decentralized, borderless, permissionless and evenly distributed. However, one of the main weakness of XRB is the competition they are trying to overcome. For instance, if IOTA is able to improve, it can also become feeless, high tx/s, as well as introduce benefits of privacy, smart contracts, etc (similar case with NEO). Another competitor is lightning network enabled Bitcoin, especially if it is everything people needed/expected, which could introduce mass adoption sooner than we think. Also, since XRB has not been stress tested yet, we don’t truly know if it can perform similarly under heavy load and increased popularity. It might just become a case of XRB playing catch-up, however they are at a big disadvantage due to the inexperience and numbers in regards to developers. All in all, XRB is an amazing wild card that might surprise all of us, but first needs to face the test of stress and time.