From the capital markets to trade finance, private equity and mutual funds, the blockchain technology is taking over the financial industry at an exponential rate. According to a 2016 Fintech survey by the CFA Institute, blockchain is expected to be the second most disruptive technology in the financial services industry by 2020.
However, with the robust growth witnessed in 2017, there are high chances that the impact will be even bigger than anticipated by the survey. Here are top blockchain innovations that have issued very successful ICOs in 2017 or are expected to do so in 2018.
Bancor is an Ethereum-based platform that uses the smart contract technology to allow users to raise financing by creating cryptocurrencies based on their own rules. The project aims to increase liquidity in the global cryptocurrency markets and therefore boost their adoption and economic growth.
The cryptocurrencies created through Bancor can appreciate in value depending on the underlying project and can be liquidated at any time and in any place. The project’s ICO broke the record last year by raising $153 million in less than three hours.
TenX's goal is to enable cryptocurrency holders to convert and spend their virtual currencies anywhere, anytime. For this purpose, the platform provides a highly secure wallet and a card with 0% spending and exchange fees.
The card can be used to buy goods and services in stores that accept cryptocurrencies across the globe. Withdrawals can also be made in all ATMs that accept the TenX prepaid card. In June 2017, TenX joined the list of record-breaking ICOs by managing to fundraise $37 million in about 7 minutes.
Salt Holdings owns and operates more than one line of business: SALT Lending and SALT Blockchain Asset Management.
The SALT Lending platform enables crypto-asset holders to use their holdings as collateral for fiat money loans.
This means that users can access the value of their assets without liquidating or triggering capital gains, all while they continue to appreciate.
The loan approval process is straightforward and fast, and there is no credit history requirement to qualify.
Swarm is a fully decentralized capital marketplace that provides cryptocurrency investors access to private equity funds backed by real-world assets. The project achieves this by enabling individual investors to pool their resources together to meet the asset level required to invest in high return, institutional style investment funds.
Investors are required to buy the Swarm Fund tokens to participate in the fund. These tokens are backed by real assets, meaning that their value appreciates and depreciates in relation to the fund's performance. The token holders are allowed to participate in the election of board members and can liquidate their holdings at anytime by selling their tokens in the open market. The Swarm Fund ICO took place in October last year, managing to raise $5.5 million.
OmegaOne provides a solution to the security problem associated with having your crypto-assets held in an Exchange by moving control to your hands through a decentralized smart contract on the blockchain. Also, the project ensures maximum liquidity by aggregating demand across all exchanges. This means that a huge buy or sell order is fulfilled by amassing multiple open positions from different Exchanges.
The exact OmegaOne public token sale dates have yet to be announced, but the company has said that it will be in Q2 of 2018.
NeuFund aims to build a community-owned fundraising platform by bringing together the worlds of venture capital and blockchain. The project uses smart contracts to enable companies to tokenize their regular shares in ways that are legally and technically secure.
Investors looking to sink their capital into a given company are required to buy its equity tokens through the platform. The equity tokens are as liquid as a currency and increases or decreases in value based on the growth of the underlying shares. The NeuFund token sale happened in December last year, managing to raise over $14.7 million.
CrowdWiz is a decentralized platform that enables users to create a democratized fund, announce it to the world, then raise financing through an initial fund offering.
Investors can then buy the issuer's tokens to become part of a crowd-managed crypto fund. Even better is the fact that through the smart contract technology, the investors in a given crypto-fund can participate in decision making by voting.
The project aims to eliminate intermediaries in investment processes by placing the power and control in the hands of investors. The CrowdWiz ICO is ongoing and ended on January 31st, 2018.
BrickBlock utilizes the blockchain and smart contracts technology to simplify investing in crypto-assets as well as in brick and mortar assets. The goal is to eliminate go-betweens and therefore reduce the cost of financing to boost returns.
With BrickBlock, investors can trade tokenized real estate, ETFs, and coin funds in a secure marketplace. The project’s ICO ended in November last year, managing to fundraise over $5 million.
Hedge aims to bring diversification in the cryptocurrency industry by providing a platform where investors can trade a myriad of crypto products, including Crypto Traded Indices. The platform will also be on the forefront in the provision of crypto market information such as market research and valuation reports.
The public token sale for this project ended in October last year, managing to raise $2.1 million.
EnigmaCatalyst is a platform that enables anyone, anywhere in the world to create their own hedge fund. The project provides unique data sets and a research platform for traders to build, test, and master investment strategies. Enigma also aims to provide solutions to the two main challenges of the blockchain, scalability and privacy.
The project’s token sale ended in September last year after managing to raise $45 million.