While the ICO craze has had a number of industry-shaping benefits, this new approach to funding has also been exploited by snake oil salesmen and outright scammers. As such, it’s worthwhile to look into the emerging projects in the cryptocurrency space that have elected not to adopt the ICO model. Earlier this quarter, we explored four of the most promising non-ICO projects. Here are four more.
Karbo (KRB) has a two-year history; however, its recently-updated whitepaper advances Karbo into a new and unique role as an anonymous stablecoin. Karbo was first introduced in the absence of an ICO or premine. With this new approach, Karbo is going to entail a blockchain governed by a stabilized difficulty by utilizing adaptive capabilities enabled by CryptoNote. It is uncertain whether difficulty can act as a meaningful metric on which to base prices, but the PoW aspect of Karbo and other cryptocurrencies does have some intrinsic value. There are many benefits associated with the low volatility of stablecoins, and it will be interesting to see if Karbo is adopted in a meaningful manner.
2. Gravity Protocol
Gravity (ZGV) is a Graphene-based blockchain that recently entered its testnet phase. Gravity is exciting in that it uses a Delegated Proof of Importance (DPoI) approach, as opposed to a PoW or PoS approach. With DPoI, rewards are distributed to network participants through an “Index of Importance” which weighs staking size equally to activity within the network. This is similar to the structure employed by NEM, and this approach could help pioneer a push towards alternative networks that address the efficiency issues of PoW and the security issues of PoS. Gravity is in the process of developing its mainnet in the absence of funding. Instead, they are offering bounty rewards that can be redeemed for ZGV at network launch for testnet users and bug finders.
Cryptowizzy is a mobile application that seeks to provide a simple and intuitive interface for novice and veteran cryptocurrency traders alike. Cryptowizzy scrapes data from CoinMarketCap and combines it with user input and predictions to provide a number of metrics on current and future price valuations of all coins listed on CoinMarketCap as well as their predicted relationships with Bitcoin. The application is just days away from private beta and is slated for a full launch before the end of summer. Cryptowizzy stands apart from the previous two projects in that it is not a blockchain, but rather a tool for members of the cryptocurrency community to further interact with and research coins. Of course, this application is being developed without a token sale.
Forbole is interesting in its approach to the ICO concept in general. Forbole recognizes many of the issues associated with the popular ICO model. Consequently, Forbole is creating a decentralized ecosystem that connects private firms, community members, and startups in a manner that doesn’t entail any of the issues associated with the coin offering approach for investors and startups alike. Forbole was initially funded by seven family members and friends late last year. The Forbole ecosystem will act as a network of referrals, with individuals and firms connecting with and referring one another to startups for everything from social media engagement to development tasks and fiat funding. The idea is that everyone has something to gain and to give, and by connecting everybody in this inclusive ecosystem, everyone is better off.
Honorable Mentions: Banano and WednesdayCoin
Weeks ago, we explored some of the top upcoming joke coins. Of course, this list included both Banano (BAN) and WednesdayCoin. While both projects hold merit as quality memes, they also have some technical value. Additionally, both are being developed with a community-backed approach, sans ICO. Banano is interesting due to its development on top of the Nano blockchain. Currently, both MonKeys (unique monkeys that interpret public keys) and Banano Runner (a gamified faucet similar in gameplay to Temple Run) are worthwhile developments whose implications go beyond those of a joke. WednesdayCoin’s smart contract approach is a valuable educational tool and also encourages new implementations of currencies. While WednesdayCoin is only usable on Wednesdays, the framework could be applied to a rewards program only valid during certain slow times of the day at a restaurant or store.