For most people, the benefits of blockchain technology is a complete mystery. If they understand the blockchain concept at all, it’s as the underlying core of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. They may even be aware that certain kinds of data or services can be “tokenized,” but how that translates into a functioning business model just isn’t clear. Are all of these exciting new Silicon Valley blockchain startups just launching new tokens to raise money like an ICO, they wonder, or is there something else going on that may actually live up to the hype?
In this post, we’ll take a look at five blockchain-supported startups that are already changing — or even completely disrupting — the standard way of doing business for established industries.
1. Rice Exchange: The global rice market is notoriously complex and opaque, with countless middlemen and corrupt officials taking their cut of the profits at every step along the way. It’s an incredibly inefficient way to do business, and a perfect use case for blockchain technology. Founded in the cryptocurrency-friendly city of Zug, Switzerland, the Rice Exchange (aka RiceEx) has built a blockchain-powered trading platform with the goal of bringing “transparency, security and liquidity to the $450 billion global rice trade.”
2. Ocean: Demand for AI-powered solutions is growing by the day, particularly for large companies looking to gain actionable insights from their massive storehouses of existing data. Unfortunately, handing over that data to a third-party firm for AI analysis is risky, and securing it properly is a serious challenge. That’s where the Singapore-based startup Ocean comes in, creating a tokenized service layer over this sensitive data, ensuring that only those with the right cryptographic keys can access it. Better yet, Ocean uses the well-understood Ethereum ERC-20 standard for their service token, making it easy for firms to develop compatible analysis and verification tools.
3. Shipchain: Freight shipping and logistics is a huge industry, representing over $8.1 trillion in global annual value. It’s also a highly fragmented industry, with poor visibility for customers at each stage of the process. The California-based startup Shipchain is hoping to change the status quo by using a dual-blockchain tracking system that can be applied to everything from regional trucking deliveries to international ocean freight.
4. Madhive: One of the biggest problems in digital marketing is getting reliable data from publishers. There are countless ad networks that promise great results, but their reports and source data are often proprietary and unverifiable. The New York-based startup Madhive is looking to change this by creating a blockchain-driven platform that can independently verify ad impressions and other data to prevent fraud and misleading results.
5. Mifiel: As more businesses move to digitally signed contracts, it becomes increasingly important for those digital signatures to be legally verified. One country on the cutting edge of this new contract technology is Mexico, which uses the Advanced Electronic Signatures (AES) format. This government-issued cryptographic signature system is biometrically linked to the signer, providing a high-degree of fraud protection. To add an additional layer of security, Mexico-based startup Mifiel integrates AES with a smart-contract enabled blockchain, allowing for instant, secure verification of digital contracts.