In 2017, startup funding trends have taken a whole new direction thanks to the introduction of blockchain-based crowdfunding methods known as an Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). Since the beginning of the year, ICOs have picked pace overtaking early-stage venture capital funding.
According to William Mougayar, an advisory board member at Ethereum Foundation and the author of The Business Blockchain, around $560 million flowed into the ICO space in June 2017 alone. This is $10 million more than the average amount raised monthly through angel and seed stage investments.
With the growth in ICOs, the number of blockchain platforms through which they are issued is increasing by the day. This means that startups looking to raise financing through ICOs must evaluate the different available options before settling on one.
We have been analyzing the different players in the market and have come up with a list of what we believe will be the best blockchain platforms for ICOs in 2018.
If Bitcoin is the mother of all cryptocurrencies, then Ethereum is the mother of all ICOs.
According to cryptocompare.com, nearly 70% of all projects that have launched an ICO have issued their tokens on the Ethereum platform (ERC20).
Ethereum tokens are quite popular because they are supported by almost all crypto-exchanges and wallets. Also, the platform’s ability to marry the power of decentralized transactions with a touring complete contract system ranks it ahead of other platforms in regard to ICOs.
As the smart contract technology continues to advance, startups looking to raise financing through an ICO in 2018 should have their eyes on the Ethereum (ERC20) platform.
The Waves project is the second most popular platform for ICOs after Ethereum. According to investinbitcoin.com, the platform has the answer to all of blockchain’s biggest problems including speed, scalability, and user experience.
Since launch in 2016, the Waves project has been identified among the fastest growing decentralized blockchain platform. So far, a total of 7,566 tokens have been issued on the platform totaling a market cap of more than $1 billion.
Apart from ease of use, Waves has been termed as the fastest blockchain platform in the world today. A recent stress test on the network reveals that the platform has the capability of processing around 190 transactions per second. Ethereum can only process 20 transactions per second while Bitcoin can only do about 3 per second.
In 2018, the Waves growth is expected to skyrocket as the team behind the platform gears up to roll out more advanced features to address other challenges in the industry.
BlockStarter is another blockchain platform that is expected to revolutionize the ICO industry in 2018.
The platform has recently unveiled a user-friendly interface to allow non-tech savvy entrepreneurs to issue ICOs without much hassle.
Unlike other platforms, the BlockStarter platform allows users to save drafts while creating their ICO campaigns. Users can also share their campaign with their team for corrections, additions, and clarifications.
NXT as a blockchain platform for ICOs has been performing exceptionally well in 2017 and is expected to do even better in 2018. Some of the features that make the platform popular among investors include a decentralized asset exchange, decentralized voting and governance systems, a manageable blockchain, and phased transactions.
The NXT platform is among the few that allows users to register funds using multiple cryptocurrencies.
In January 2018, NXT will be launching a blockchain-as-a-service platform known as Ador to help users utilize their blockchain technology through the use of child chains. The platform is expected to improve the blockchain performance by reducing bloat and solving the blockchain scalability problem.
Launched in 2015, NEM is among the most innovative blockchain platforms today. In August 2017, NEM.io Foundation announced that it is developing a custom cryptocurrency exchange to directly support the expanding NEM economy.
The goal of the exchange is to provide a dedicated platform for ICOs and trading of NEM based tokens. Investors looking to buy and sell XEM, the NEM cryptocurrency, will also have an option to do so through the exchange.
According to Lon Wong, the president of The NEM Foundation, the step will help prevent the proliferation of scam tokens which have become a challenge in totally open and decentralized exchanges. 2018 will be the year when the impact of this new technology will be experienced fully.
EOS is a new blockchain platform designed to allow large corporations, banks, and governments to build decentralized applications.
The speed per transaction of major blockchain platforms such as Ethereum and Bitcoin is usually limited when it comes to hosting enterprise level solutions and EOS aims to eliminate this problem.
Even though the platform is in its infancy stages of development, there is high hope that on completion, it will emerge as the biggest advancement in blockchain technology since Ethereum. Its ICO is scheduled to continue until 3rd July, 2018.
Bitshares is among the most popular blockchain platforms for ICOs according to cryptocompare.com.
The platform boasts of supersonic transaction speed, low cost, and high-level security.
Other features include a user-friendly hosted wallet interface, a developer-friendly and extensible codebase, financial smart contract features, and a robust testing infrastructure designed to prevent bugs and regressions.
In 2018 Bitshares 2.0 will dominate the ICO market as investors continue to put more value in speed and security when choosing a blockchain platform.
Founded in May, 2017, CoinList aims to bring a more structured way for startups to raise money for their token-based networks.
The goal is to clearly define the nature of an ICO hence minimize the possibility of violating regulations such as those set by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
2018 will be the year when regulators will strongly crack their whips on ICOs meaning that the blockchain platforms which fail to adhere will perish. Apart from investing in having a clear legal standing, CoinList has upgraded its technology to match the industry leaders.
Launched in September 2017, KICKICO is a blockchain platform built using Ethereum-based smart contracts.
The platform claims to be the first to simultaneously offer comprehensive solutions for ICOs, crowdfunding, and crowdinvesting using the blockchain technology.
In 2018, the project is expected to take off as new features continue to be rolled out to improve the existing infrastructure.
When it comes to innovation, Stellar is among the industry leaders.
The platform was founded by Jed McCaleb, a serial blockchain entrepreneur and the co-founder of Ripple.
One of the key advantages of this platform is a built-in distributed exchange that allows users to list tokens as they issue them.
This is different from other platforms where listing is done on third party exchanges. Listing on a third party exchange not only takes time but is costly.