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As we move into the middle of the year, there are more upcoming ICOs and blockchain startups are entering the market, and funds raised through ICOs and VC investments are at an all-time high.
Every new project must compete for audiences and investors in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
In other words, blockchain startups must be clear about the value their project will provide for the global community, beyond just another token. In this article, we review three 2018 blockchain projects with a long-term vision that look beyond the hype typically surrounding an ICO.
The vision of Eos is analogous to those who started paving dirt tracks after Henry Ford invented the motor car. Its mission is to roll out a platform for the creation of decentralized applications (which will be open to all developers), by limiting the number of tokens an individual developer must hold in order to use the platform.
Eos foresees the platform to be capable of millions of transactions per second, speeds that have thus far proven elusive on existing main nets. They will achieve this objective by using the delegated proof of stake (DPoS) protocol. The company also plans to integrate built-in procedures into the system, thereby allowing it to adopt new features at speed and scale.
If Eos can achieve its vision, it will go a long way toward attaining the levels of mainstream adoption blockchain so desperately requires if it is to follow the same trajectory of growth paved by the Internet in the late nineties.
Eos has admittedly been off to a slow start, with a seemingly never-ending ICO. However, with a recent flurry of activity on Github and its blog, Eos currently seems to be in a far better position to make good on its initial promise. (The Eos main net is scheduled for an initial go-live in June.)
Blockchain startups that envision themselves as the next Google or the Amazon of their sector demonstrate that their goal is not to only survive, but to thrive as market leaders long after the current ICO bubble bursts. Endor is one such company, and it describes its mission to become the “Google of predictive analytics.”
Endor is building a blockchain-based tool that will allow users to ask predictive questions and receive accurate, automated responses. The company recognizes AI as a natural partner for immutable ledgers and the decentralized nature of blockchain.
For businesses, this could mean obtaining accurate predictive answers to questions such as, “Where should we launch our next store?” or “Which of our users are most likely to be open to trying new product x?”
For personal users, questions could range from the financial (“Which crypto tokens are likely to be the most profitable in the next 3 months?”) to the social variety (“Where’s the best place to meet a date in this city?”)
The Endor platform is built on the principles of social physics, which relies on big data analytics to understand human behavior. Using AI, predictive insights are generated from data fed into the Endor engine from a wide variety of sources.
The decentralized nature of blockchain means the Endor program can track and trace all transactions, providing complete accountability and assurances against manipulation or bias for the answers generated by the tool.
Endor boasts impressive credentials. Developed at MIT and powered by MIT Social Physics technology, Endor has demonstrated a powerful level of prediction accuracy with its platform.
Telegram Open Network
Despite having recently canceled its much publicized ICO to substantial outrage from the community, the development of the Telegram Open Network (TON) remains a project to watch in 2018.
Although TOM remains tight-lipped about why the ICO was canceled, the company has already raised more than US$1.7 billion through a small pool of accredited investors from two private deals. The WSJ speculates that avoiding a public ICO will circumvent the scrutiny of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which has confirmed its position on ICOs as securities.
Notwithstanding the cancellation of the ICO, the company seems to remain committed to its wider vision, that of achieving a fast and scalable architecture that can be adopted by a mainstream audience.
With more than 200 million global users, a mainstream audience is something Telegram already boasts. The company aims to integrate TON into its existing apps, creating a secure digital wallet for its token (the “gram”) with every Telegram app download. With this approach, the ultimate goal is to attain the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies, to be used as a method of payment much in the same way as MasterCard and Visa.
TON currently does not have a dedicated website, but more information is available on its primer or technical whitepaper. Irrespective of whether TON will actually end up delivering on its grand vision, it remains firmly on the 2018 list of blockchain projects to watch.