Amongst blockchain fanatics, the year of 2017 was largely remembered as the “year of the ICO,” and during this time speculators were expecting that 2018 would become the “year of utility.” As we begin the second half of 2018, many projects have begun to release their minimal viable products (MVPs) on testnet and mainnet, so we decided to create a small list of our current top 3 favorite projects that currently have working products released for public use.
The coins in this list already have working products which can be used today. However, we have chosen projects whose products provide utilities that extend further than crypto payments. We also have not included products that help store crypto coins, such as altcoin wallets.
Most importantly, we believe the coins on this list are those with the strongest potential to continue growing far beyond their current value, as the platforms they power are creative, innovative, and very much needed.
Continue reading for our overview of these 3 projects, and a brief walkthrough on how to get started using their products.
1. Basic Attention Token (BAT) — Brave Browser
The team behind the BAT token is trying to create a revolution within the online advertising industry through their integration with their web-browser product, Brave.
The Brave browser is designed to be a competitor to web-browsing giants such as Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Brave can already boast page-load times that are 2x quicker than Chrome. It is available on Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, and the mobile Apple Store.
The BAT token is integrated into every Brave browser and acts as a flow of value between content creators, advertisers, and viewers. The Brave browser was designed with privacy in mind, and therefore blocks trackers and cookies instantly on first use, without the need to download a third-party software.
BAT plans to change the entire ad industry by blocking all adverts and paving the way for a new system of adverts based off of user attention, rethinking the way that adverts are delivered. The BAT token will act as the currency to facilitate the sale of advertising space to content creators.
Users don’t have to feel bad about blocking certain adverts and possibly affecting content creators’ earning power, as the Brave browser will allow them to donate BAT tokens to their favorite content creators each month automatically.
Brave browser also claims to save money for its users, saving on average $23 per month in mobile data bills from not loading adverts. Alternatively, if users do wish to view ads, they can receive compensation in BAT for viewing certain sets of adverts when the team releases this feature in the upcoming ad trials. The BAT team has stated that users that view ads may receive up to 70% of the revenues created from the adverts.
The Brave browser can be downloaded at www.brave.com
After the simple installation process, the Brave browser opens and asks if you would like to make Brave your default browser. We can immediately see how clean and refined the browser looks.
Heading straight on over to the Preferences page, we can see that Brave packs many of the features that rival browsers also supply, including plugins and extensions.
The Payments page displays the integration of the Basic Attention Token (BAT) into the browser. From this page, the browser allows the user to set their monthly BAT budget for donating to their favorite content creators or verified publishers. You can also top up your BAT balance here.
The New Tab page displays statistics about the performance of the Brave browser. The page shows the number of trackers blocked, number of adverts blocked, number of HTTPS upgrades, and the estimated time saved from the faster load speeds.
Overall, the Brave browser feels like a professionally created and refined piece of software. This is to be expected from the co-founder of such a great project such as Mozilla Firefox.
BAT is currently ranked 39th in terms of overall market cap across the entire industry, with a total market cap value of $354 million. At the time of writing, the coin is trading hands at $0.35 per token.
Currently, there are around 3 million active users that use the Brave browser regularly. There are over 16,000 verified publishers and around 11,000 YouTube content creators already signed up. For more information about BAT, refer to our “What Is BAT” guide. You can also read our review of Brave browser.
2. The Golem Project — Decentralized Processing Power
The Golem Network was created to become a decentralized supercomputer. Through the process of combined computing power, renters are able to donate their computers’ spare resources to the Golem Network and in turn receive rewards in GNT tokens.
Users of the Golem Network can then come and rent this computing power to help process their projects. The Golem Network currently only allows for assistance with the Blender application and LuxRender, but it has plans for more additional use cases in future updates as they are currently ironing out proof of concepts relating to CGI rendering.
The Golem Brass application serves as the Golem Network’s MVP, and it was made available for public beta testing in April.
The Golem Brass application can be downloaded at https://golem.network/rendering/download/
Upon installing the software, you are greeted by this friendly robot who informs users which ports need opening to access the Golem network.
Users are then required to agree to the terms and conditions stating that Golem is a developing project, so you’re using it at your own risk.
After creating and backing up a password, the user is then instructed to create a node by inputting a username.
The initial starting screen of Golem shows pretty much everything the user will need to know. The user interface is clean and well thought out. We are presented with a slider which we can use to choose how much of the computer’s resources we would like to dedicate to the Golem Network. After sliding to the desired amount, the user is then free to hit “Start Golem” and begin renting their resources.
That’s it! All we have to do now is wait to connect to other nodes to become a part of the network.
As Golem Brass has just recently been released, the user pool of people requesting to use the Golem Network is understandably very small. As a result, renters are struggling to find enough users to make it profitable to keep their machines running.
However, as the Golem Network grows in popularity and more use cases are integrated within the supercomputer, the user base requesting to rent will also grow exponentially.
Golem is currently ranked at 45th in terms of overall market cap, with a value of $285 million. The GNT token is currently exchanging hands at $0.29, at the time of writing.
Overall, the Golem team have done an extraordinary job with Golem Brass. The product has been proven to work, and we look forward to further integrations within the network for more use cases.
3. FundRequest — Open-Source Development Marketplace
FundRequest released their first alpha version of their product back on September 27, 2017 and has since advanced development updating the platform since.
Led by Karel Striegel, FundRequest was intended to “harness the power of open source developers,” creating a blockchain, integrated with GitHub, that would allow users to request development bug fixes from open-source developers.
On May 31, 2018, FundRequest officially launched their platform. It is built to incentivize the open-source development space, as many projects are left unfinished due to the lack of incentive for developers to continue working on them. With FundRequest, open-source developers can be rewarded for the work they do on projects, therefore providing them an incentive to take part in the open-source space.
GitHub has a total of over 24 million users for the FundRequest platform to be able to grow within. There is a large amount of bugs that need fixing on a regular basis within the development world, and FundRequest has provided a platform to turn this into a functioning economy.
For a more detailed overview on this project, check out our “What Is FundRequest” guide.
If you have a bug that need fixing or some code that needs auditing, you can head straight to https://fundrequest.io and click “Get Started” to begin the easy process of posting a job.
Alternatively, if you are a developer, you can view the available work that needs doing by clicking “Browse.”
Clicking “Browse” will take you to the market platform where you can see all the jobs available.
If we scroll down, we can see the list of jobs that have been posted and how much the reward is in both USD and FND tokens. We can see that the FundRequest team themselves have posted some jobs. Other projects such as Augur and Brave have also already posted particular jobs for coding bugs and errors that need fixing, as well as other general improvements such as “Homepage improvements.”
Clicking one of the available jobs will bring up more details about the development work that needs doing. The project owner that has posted the job can include information for the developer about what they’re signing up for.
Clicking the “Details” tab will bring up more information on who posted the project and how much reward is available.
Clicking “view on GitHub” will take the developer to the GitHub repo where the code is located. We can see that in the history of the specific repo, the FundRequest bot posts the job here for developers to see.
After a developer has completed a bug fix, the FundRequest bot will post another message on the GitHub repo describing how to claim the reward.
Overall, FundRequest is a relatively unknown crypto product. However, as the team’s marketing effort grows and development continues to improve the platform, it will inevitably draw the attention of many open-source developers. FundRequest currently has a very low market cap value of only $1.3 million, giving it the most room for potential growth amongst this list.
It is important to note that investing at such early stages of any crypto project is a very huge risk. So be sure to do your own research in the above cryptocurrencies, and only invest in products you’re confident in.
Any other projects with working products that you support? Let us know in the comments!