As we are all aware 2018 has most certainly been a tough time for cryptocurrencies and even more so for ICO investing. The steady decline from all time highs has been hard to watch, combined Global Market Capitalisation has dropped significantly and BTC dominance has increased to over 53%.
For ICOs these changes have meant investors are willing to take less risk in the current market, leading to smaller investments and more apprehension across the ICO market. Ultimately this has meant longer main sales and often smaller or diminished returns at exchange.
But all is not lost! Many ICOs have performed exceptionally well in 2018, great examples being Zilliqa, Ontology, ArcBlock, Nucleus Vision and Bluezelle to name but a few. 1,000%+ gains are still achievable as long investments are made wisely. With this in mind we've sifted between the good, the bad and the down right awful, watching what projects are gaining popularity across social feeds, what projects have a high engagement with their audience and which projects have great tech, superb whitepapers or demonstrate the potential to revolutionise. The outcome of this is a shortlist of 8 ICOs on the horizon that have really impressed us.
Please use our selections as a spring board to go out and do your own research on each project, this is by no means financial advice. If you're considering any investment especially at ICO stage, always get involved with the communities, read the whitepaper and scrutinise every aspect of the project. If unsure about anything, head over to Telegram to ask the teams directly the questions you cannot find answers for elsewhere.
Investing in ICOs is high risk, time critical but can yield high reward. If the correct due diligence is used it is possible to invest in very lucrative projects at the earliest possibility.
Without further ado, let's move on to our shortlist:
First things first, Skynet Open Network should not to be confused with the self-aware AI system from the infamous Terminator films, though interestingly it does share some similarities. Skynet will be the first AI blockchain chip for the world of IoT (The Internet of Things), allowing the connectivity of billions of devices optimised through a blockchain network. Whilst an obvious nod to the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic, Skynet will not be vying for global domination by destroying the human race as we know it… We hope!
In the ideal world of IoT, devices seamlessly interact with each other securely, at speed, without need for human interaction. The vision is for billions of devices to connect autonomously, exchanging data and aiding our daily lives by reducing our day to day exertions. By converging blockchain with the Internet of Things there is an increase of trust between devices, costs are reduced by eliminating intermediaries and the exchange of data is instantaneous and incredibly secure.
Skynet will target to replace every IoT device with their own blockchain enabled chip known as Skynet Core. The mission is to unite millions of devices together through a blockchain network that can cope with the enormous numbers of autonomous interactions expected as devices become increasingly interconnected.
The beauty of the project is the integration between real world AI enabled devices and a highly scalable blockchain network. Skynet will provide a complete end to end system that will see real world physical use of blockchain technology through the interaction of devices in everyday situations.
The Skynet Open Network (SON) rather than the Skynet Core chip is the blockchain layer that will enable interaction between devices. It will use the blockchain to improve security and privacy concerns in the world of IoT. The benefits will come from the safety of an immutable network and the ability to introduce protected and decentralized token exchange that will happen across a network optimised for trust and precision.
Skynet is an incredibly interesting product with one of the most detailed whitepapers we have come across to date. It has the ability to make genuine improvements to the efficiency of our everyday lives and has an inspiring vision. The technology and scale of their project is exactly the kind of innovation that will propel the blockchain industry forward and is a warm welcome compared to many of the uninspiring / lacklustre ICO projects we often research.
Success of the Skynet project will be dependent on adoption of the blockchain chip across a vast number of IoT devices, the technology will need to be versatile to adapt to a number of varied hardware requirements and scheduled patents may need to be approved to ward off imitations. If successful and adoption is achieved Skynet could become the go to choice for IoT devices to merge onto a blockchain network.
The Skynet ICO is currently underway built on the Ethereum Network targeting an $11,000,000 fundraising goal. An enormous one Trillion Skynet (SKT) tokens are available for purchase at the rate of $0.0035 .
Blockcloud is another project looking at shaking up the IoT (Internet of Things). Their target is to become a scalable solution for the growing IoT industry, introducing an incentivised system that rewards participants, service providers and miners.
Blockcloud will be using a Service-Centric Networking solution (SCN), a web 3.0 idea that is built around uses service names, instead of using addresses. Combined with their blockchain protocol it will bring network providers to devices in a secure and trusted way. Billions of devices will no longer suffer from connectivity issues, interacting autonomously without slowdown. Crucially, as the demand in the industry grows and more devices become interconnected, the network will be able to scale effectively.
Whilst their vision and tech is not quite as expansive as Skynet, their team is strong, incredibly technically capable and have extensive experience within the IoT industry. With 80% of the team coming from established parent IoT company Oudmon as well an extensive list of partners and previous links with Chinese power house companies such as Huwai and Alibaba, we are very confident in their ability to deliver.
Another major reason to keep an eye on this this project is due to the strong market sentiment and community awareness surrounding the project. For an ICO in its very infancy, it has received a lot of positive recognition across the web and there is large amount of ‘buzz’ circulating across communities comparable to the likes of Neon Exchange or Quarkchain at whitelist stage.
Another project we’re keeping a close eye on is Uranus, a decentralised computing platform that utilises a blockchain network to harness shared processing power of idle computing devices. Originating from China the platform will take advantage of redundant and idle computer power across the world. Uranus will utilise the power of personal devices such as mobile phones, laptops and home computers through a decentralised blockchain network to provide shared computing power that could rival centralised clouds such as Amazon, Microsoft or Alibaba.
Although not completely original, the vision of Uranus is one that is impressive and challenges established models. By providing a valid alternative to existing centralised cloud computing service providers, Uranus becomes a valid, more economic, decentralised alternative. Through their blockchain network Uranus will harness the massive opportunity of interconnecting available computer resources across the world. Their platform will see advances in efficiency and will be available at a low lower cost price than traditional methods.
The token utility will come from interactions made distributing computer power across the network, users pay for computing power with URAC tokens which will then be distributed to those contributing their devices to the network. The system makes use of smart contracts in order to synchronise the varying processing power seamlessly between contributors and automatically release token rewards based on contribution. Originating as an ERC20 token Uranus will initially run through the Ethereum network, the URAC token will eventually be move over to their own main net by 2019.
Taking a look at the team and advisors we see a group who are very experienced in the cloud computing industry, CEO James Jiang and CTO Hally Han have had 7 years relevant experience co-founding and managing cloud computing firm Beijing Cloud Times Technology Co. Their CPO and Software Architect also worked for the same cloud company as well as accumulating additional years with various IT and AI companies. Looking across the advisors we must note that none seem to have had any thorough blockchain development experience.
With some noteworthy competition on the market that includesGolem, GridCoin and IExec etc, the Uranus ICO will need to stand out against the established projects, which it has been doing a good job of so far. The Uranus ICO has gathered momentum in the mainstream eye and is growing in awareness day by day. The project has an active telegram community of a staggering 90,000 members and a reasonably large following across social media.
Similar to Quarkchain or Seele, the Uranus project will have a multiple choice quiz for those who have been successfully whitelisted. Potential contributors will be selected based on the quality of their answers, taking into account how long they have been active in the community and how well they have contributed to various activities announced within their Telegram group. Whilst frustrating for many, this is usualy effective in ensuring a high quality pool of investors.
Uranus has a fundraising goal of $10,000,000, that indicators suggest may be achieved reasonably quickly. The total token supply is 3,500,000,000, 35% of which will be available during main sale. At the time of writing some aspects of the token sale remain vague and technical details relating to how exactly their blockchain platform will work are not as clear as we'd like. Whilst the hype surrounding the project is high, more detail on specific times, dates and details of exactly what they plan to implement and by what date would encourage further confidence. – Uranus is definitely on our radar! (No pun intended).
Chromaway is a Swedish company that has been developing their own private blockchain since as early as 2014. In this time they have launched SofiWay, a platform that will lead the way for the development of digital currency E-Krona. They are also developing PostChain. ‘The First Consortium Database’ that will appeal to SQL developers and have collaborated with the Swedish national bank to create ‘The University Identity Hub’. To their credit, Chromaway have successfully established each of these projects without the need for an ICO thus far.
Chromaway CTO Alex Mizrahi over the last 4 years has also been setting his sites on building Chromapolis, a blockchain platform focusing on dApp devlopment that will tackle the scalability issues and high transaction fees plaguing existing protocols active in the market. Although not directly linked with previous blockchain projects we expect aspects of their previous developments to be weaved into the companies’ vision and roadmap.
Tipped for success by many cytptocurrency influencers, the Chromapolis ICO by Chromaway has an incredible amount of hype surrounding it, especially considering whitepaper details have been kept secret up until this point. The small team from Sweden is incredibly experienced with blockchain development and have a great track record. With these points in mind, Chromaway is definitely one to keep a close eye on moving into Autumn 2018. - This one could be big.
Metabase is a 3rd generation blockchain that recognises problems within existing chains and improves on the technical and design limitations of first generation protocols such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Metabase targets to solve scalability issues challenging these existing blockchain platforms by introducing an innovative split chain concept. As transnational loads reach a specific threshold Metabase splits it's blockchain structures into two so that multiple chains are formed. This encourages a more efficient, scalable process than focusing on mining blocks one by one on a linear scale.
As adoption of the Metabase blockchain increases, each chain will be split into two equaly halves and then further split again depending on demand and mining capabilities. This will then form what is known as a binary tree. The advantage of splitting each block means that with increased adoption and mining power, transaction times will scale effectively as the mining force can be split across multiple blocks instead of all focus being applied to mining each block one by one.
In addition to this Metabase will also introduce an off-chain scaling solution that will allow for instant P2P payments. This will be similar to the Lighting Network for Bitcoin or the Raiden network for Ethereum. To set itself aside from these two solutions, Metabase will introduce their Ray Network as a direct integration from the very inception of their protocol.
Another key feature of Metabase is its recognition of existing programming restraints within current protocols. Metabase will place ease of use as a core focus for the design of their blockchain. Their aim is to become the go to blockchain protocol for the development of decentralized applications. They will do this by providing an infrastructure with a straightforward design that is secure, scalable and focused around user experience. Metabase will improve security and usability by creating an Opcode space that will improve the ease of development by making building applications on top of the chain simpler to program.
Metabase is a project with a very detailed whitepaper and helpful documentation available. Looking at their roadmap there is a detailed timeline of specific actions that need to be complete in order to meet their going live goal of Decmeber 2019. In addition to their Whitepaper and Roadmap, meticulous documentation is featured on the site containing features and risks, technical aspects, token sale economics and a helpful introduction for prospective token holders.
With a number of similar blockchain 2.0, 3.0 and even 4.0 projects competing for recognition, the goal of Metabase is one that is reasonably straight forward. They wish to cut around the fad ICO projects and implement a blockchain infrastructure built around scalability and sustainability. We're drawn to Metabase because of their firm vision on the long term importance of the tech, their project is one that recognises flaws in current system and puts all of their efforts into providing a valid solution.
Metabase has a main sale running between the 10th July and the 18th September. Each META token has a value of $0.04 and a total supply of 8,000,000,000.
OEL is a non-profit organisation founded by existing company OpenPort, whose creation is intending to bring numerous stakeholders and supply chain leaders in the industry into an alliance. Together, these key figures will form the basis of a board that will make decisions collectively to improve current flaws in the logistics industry and propel the use of OpenPort’s blockchain-based solution.
The OEL Foundation has been established so that those within the supply chain industry can come together to work toward a shared objective that encourages adoption of a single solution that encompasses all parties. Because of the fragmented nature of the industry, success would not be possible otherwise.
By switching to a blockchain-based system (initially built on Ethereum) actions along the supply chain are recorded digitally as immutable entries on the blockchain. This means all records throughout a shipment's journey such as locations, handovers and exceptions along the way are all linked to an indisputable digital agreement (i.e. a smart contract). This comes with the following benefits:
- Through the use of a distributed ledger, all entries form a tamper-proof log of activity across the consignments journey. – This limits room for dispute and allows immediate shipment updates to be shared across the network transparently.
- This transparency reduces room for disagreement and improves efficiency. All parties are able to see alerts as they happen, allowing those affected to make decisions in real time, based on the entries provided by those on ground level.
- Because of the improved trust and automation that comes with a blockchain-based system. The need for a middleman is also greatly reduced, thus saving overheads on third party contractors resulting in significant supply chain savings.
- In addition to this, documents, fees and payments can be all be transferred instantly through the use of a predefined smart contract. Once all parties are satisfied, manufacturers, customer and shipping companies, all parties can be paid almost immediately. Cutting average payment speeds down from months to a small number of days.
OEL Foundation is built upon a team with a wealth of experience aware of exactly what problems plague the logistics industry. The vision of the OEL foundation is huge, their target market wide. Success will dependent on the involvement of key industry figures and implementation will require disruption of a fragmented, archaic system. To read more on the OEL Foundation head over to our Comprehensive, Independent ICO Review of the project
The next project on the list is Ubex, an AI platform built to improve the relevance and conversion rate of advertising across a multitude of online platforms. Their claim is that the current system, primarily directing this toward Google Ads, does not effectively target its users and provides content ineffectively. – Ubex strives to change this.
Through the use of blockchain and Artificial intelligence the Ubex Ad exchange targets to remove irrelevant content and only send users demographic specific advertisements that are relevant to each customer. They present this in the right format, placed in specific positions to encourage maximum engagement.
Ubex claims that combing blockchain technology with their AI system they are able to collect a better quality sample of data on users browsing habits, leading to more individual catered ads, which they then propose to display in the ideal format possible. This then leads to more engagement from users and an improved return on ad spend for businesses.
The UBEX platform will be built upon Ethereum, utilising smart contracts to allow spend to be linked to specific actions rather than the traditional PPC (Pay per click) method. By using a smart contract, a predefined contractual agreement is created between the advertiser and the host. Fees can then be attributed to specific actions and therefore provide a more preciseand customisable method to measure conversion.
The paid advertising industry is currently estimated at $83 billion and set to grow to a staggering $129+ Billion by 2021. With this in mind there is no doubt that the market potential is huge. However, established giants of the likes of Facebook and Google currently have a firm grip on the industry that will be very hard to shake. Alongside this they will also need to outpace existing cryptocurrencies of the likes of Adex, Papyus, Exchain and Adshares to succeed.
At the point of writing Ubex has achieved 85% of its 28,800 ETH hard cap looking like its set to sell out very shortly. The team is experienced, a beta version is already in place and there is a large amount of positivity surrounding the project. If Ubex can prove its value in this very competitive marketplace we’d expect it to do very well.
Mobu is a genuinely new idea in the blockchain space. There are many projects that introduce new innovations and improvements, whether they be faster transaction speeds, expansions on existing capabilities or a novel way to implement technology.
Mobu is entirely new. Specifically, they seek to allow real-world companies to issue security tokens that bestow upon the holder voting rights, a dividend and, crucially, ownership of the company. With such rights come legal and regulatory requirements that are far more onerous to meet and more difficult to comply with. By allowing legal and regulatory companies the opportunity to bid for the right to supply these services to the real-world companies, Mobu will allow your average – KYC approved – cryptocurrency investor to not just own a token that can used in a project, but a chance to actually own a portion of the business.
Through facilitating this service, Mobu will save companies who would usually opt for an IPO significant amounts of money, meaning that, should they be able to prove that their project works, be extremely attractive to businesses. Added to this, MOBU (the native token) will be the only way for people to invest, which will drive demand for (and therefore hopefully increase the price of) the token.
Mobu will also “lockup” the invested tokens, only releasing them to the business' as they meet the targets on their roadmap. The upside for the investor is that, should the business' fail to meet their roadmap targets, they will be able to obtain a pro-rata refund of the funds they have invested. This model will not only incentivise the business' to adhere to their roadmaps, but help protect the investment of those who have contributed.
Mobu is undoubtedly an ambitious project, but should they pull it off they will reap vast rewards – and so could those who invest in their ICO.
To learn more, please follow this link to read our in-depth review.