Technology is never a sector to shy away from hype, and in 2017 one technology has received more than its fair share: blockchain.
Blockchains store information across many parties rather than on one central server, and can only be updated with the consent of the majority of participants. Information on the blockchain cannot be removed, meaning it offers a verifiable record of digital events.
A growing number of startups are starting to harness the power of blockchain technology for a plethora of different purposes.
Naviaddress claims to be ‘disrupting 150 years of addresses’. It is built on the blockchain and provides a unique, numerical ID that adds a location to any place or object in the physical or virtual world, using a combination of geolocation, latitude and longitude. The startup is already working with companies like Uber and DPD to boost the accuracy and usability of the addresses in their systems.
The problems it aims to solve include the fact four billion people around the world lack an address and 20 percent of addresses are not verified (resulting in problems with last-mile delivery).
Naviaddress was founded by Mikhail Gamzin and Dmitri Moiseev in Moscow in February 2015.
2. Simple Token
Elliptic tracks illicit bitcoin flows and provides information to financial institutions and law enforcement agencies. For example, they could tell you who made money out of the Wannacry virus. It was founded in October 2013 by Adam Joyce, James Smith and Tom Robinson. The trio all boast PhDs from Oxbridge and Imperial College London. Elliptic raised $5 million in its Series A round in March 2017 from four different investors, led by Paladin Capital Group. яндекс
Elliptic tracks illicit bitcoin flows and provides information to financial institutions and law enforcement agencies. For example, they could tell you who made money out of the Wannacry virus. It was founded in October 2013 by Adam Joyce, James Smith and Tom Robinson. The trio all boast PhDs from Oxbridge and Imperial College London. Elliptic raised $5 million in its Series A round in March 2017 from four different investors, led by Paladin Capital Group.
4. Guaranteed Unique Ticketing System
The Guaranteed Unique Ticketing System (GUTS) hopes to lead a revolution in the ticketing industry by making it impossible to re-sell tickets illegally or at a higher price.
It works by registering ownership of SMART tickets which you use on your phone, instead of paper tickets. You can resell your ticket, just not for a profit. Its initial coin offering (ICO) on 13 December raised €6.3 million. The startup has already sold more than 10,000 tickets for 50 events in the last year, and is projected to sell over 1 million tickets in 2019.
5. Smart Valor
Smart Valor is a blockchain startup set up to ‘reinvent private banking’. It provides a blockchain-enabled platform for investors, asset issuers and facilitators to exchange values globally.
It hopes this will build bridges between traditional and crypto finance. Smart Valor was founded in February 2017 by Olga Feldmeier in Zug, Switzerland with an initial investment round of CHF £1.5 million (£1.1 million).
Billon has created a platform for financial transactions, using the distributed ledger to exchange currencies.
This platform ‘allows you to send and receive money in real time, wherever and whenever you want’, the startup claims on its website. Billon received €2 million in July 2017 from the EU’s research and innovation program ‘Horizon 2020’. The company has offices in the UK and Poland. The founder is CEO Andrzej Horoszczak, who first began work on the startup in December 2012.
AidCoin, backed by fundraising platform Charity Stars, uses the Ethereum blockchain to track transactions, cryptocurrencies to transfer funds and smart contracts to ensure donations are spent correctly. It aims to boost trust and transparency in the charity sector.
AidCoin raised over $4 million in its pre-sale in November 2017. Charity Stars was co-founded in 2013 by Francesco Nazari Fusetti, Manuela Ravalli, and Domenico Gravagno. It is headquartered in Los Angeles, with offices in London and Milan.