The crypto frenzy of 2017/18 spiked interest in diverse blockchain-related projects and coincidentally into thousands of successful ICOs. Some of these projects became sustainable, while others had little to sustain them beyond a white paper. To cut through that frenzy, we looked at some projects that might seem crazy but are still going strong in the startup world.
Essentially, the blockchain is a secured and decentralized ledger (or database) of transactions, onto which data is continually verified and added in the form of blocks. While some blockchain-based projects have potential to affect or disrupt across major industries including the financial industry, healthcare, insurance, and supply chain management, some endeavors are simply too ambitious or completely unnecessary.
It is fair to say that a large number of blockchain-based projects rely on a secret combination of creativity and craziness to make them viable. For this article, we looked at some of some crazy blockchain ideas that might just work to disrupt industries.
Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies and blockchain are still nascent technology which means a lot has yet to be said. With the exception of the BountyBoards project, Next Big Thing AG has no relationship with any of the company’s listed below, nor their business models nor technical developments. The selections were made solely by the author and Next Big Thing AG holds no responsibility or liability for the evolution and performance of these companies.
Dentacoin – The Blockchain Solution for the Dental Industry
Founded in March 2017, Dentacoin developed the first blockchain-based solution for the dental industry. Through a common, industry-specific cryptocurrency called Dentacoin (DCN) and several blockchain-based software tools, all market participants are securely interconnected, empowered to efficiently exchange information and values.
Dentacoin advances the dental industry as well as creates market intelligence through a cryptocurrency reward system that inspires participation throughout the community– from patients and dentists to manufacturers and insurance companies. For instance, through customer surveys, patients can give input and be rewarded with DCN’s in exchange.
Before the crash of the cryptomarket in 2018, Dentacoin successfully completed their Initial Coin Offering with 10,000 contributors and are now on the way to roll out phase 3 and 4.
Spacebit – Democratizing Space Exploration
With the main goal “to democratize access to space by tokenizing all of our commercial space missions around the Earth, the Moon and beyond”, the dedicated team behind Spacebit lists Ian Angell, Emeritus Professor, London School of Economics and the former GM of the European Space Agency, as leading advisors.
Their pilot project entitled Ground Segment aims to “create a more efficient model for accessing ground-based elements in space missions”, in particular affecting the communications for space vehicles in LEO, GEO and deep space.
Essentially, the rapidly increasing number of vehicles and entities deployed into space lead to increased downlink rates where ground stations are likely to become bottlenecks. The envisioned solution seeks to distribute work worldwide instead of locally or regionally, by tokenizing idle time. This could create a more liquid market for new and existing customers.
With the goal of running commercial space missions and democratizing exploration by tokenizing space missions, Spacebit is definitely a project to watch.
Have a blockchain-based business case that might be the next big thing?
Spinosa – Tracking Buffalo Mozzarella on the Blockchain
Italian dairy producer Spinosa is making use of blockchain technology to let their customers track exactly where the buffalo mozzarella on their plate comes from. With a simple QR code, one can see the provenance of the cheese and the “path” it took before being eaten (along with a fresh pomodoro!)
In response to the challenge faced by Italian producers to prove the authenticity of their Made in Italy label abroad (Italian food that is not actually Italian is about 100 billion €), and as part of the AgriFood application of blockchain technology, Spinosa has partnered with RuralHack and EY to develop full traceability of their bufala mozzarella on the blockchain.
BountyBoards – Gamifying Snowboarding through the Blockchain
Bounty Boards is a one-of-a-kind crossover gaming solution bridging the gap between eSports and real physical boardsports. The system consists of a heavy-duty multi-sensor bluetooth beacon, attached to any kind of board and a smartphone application receiving and forwarding data from that sensor.
In conjunction with those components, the sensor allows for a multitude of gaming experiences for eSports enthusiasts as well as traditional sports participants. The novelty of this solution is the combination of video-gaming and traditional boardsports in a joint system – calculating leaderboards and autonomously rewarding players with rewards (bounties) for exceptional performance. All bounties are paid out in ERC-20 standard compliant crypto tokens, entitled Boardcoins.
Among the curated blockchain-based projects we looked at for this article, BountyBoards wins the prize for creativity. With creativity and drive is it possible to develop a sustainable business based on a small (and maybe crazy) idea. Look out for BountyBoards as we headed down to Laax for a hackathon with them.
Ujo Music – Connecting Artists & Fans directly using Ethereum
With an increase in the number of concert venues and record labels, as well as music streaming companies taking a significant cut off the top, it should come as no surprise that few musicians can sustain their desired lifestyle. Some emergent companies creatively enable a more direct relationship between musicians and their fans.
Ujo Music is making use of blockchain technology to track royalties for musicians. This allows artists to create a record of ownership of their work throughout time that, due to the characteristics of the technology, remain untampered. In doing so, Ujo Music creates a more inclusive model of ownership and decision-making in an online setting.
The many opportunities of blockchain innovation
Are you excited about the disruptive potential of blockchain technology and have ideas in mind that you would like to test? There has never been a better time than now to bring these ideas to life!
The disruptive potential of decentralized ledger technologies provides a completely new lens with which to view and develop sustainable business models. It makes it possible to solve everyday problems through novel technologies – giving us the opportunity to reshape the world we live in.
We are offering you the opportunity to reach out to NBT's venture development department directly via a call. You’ll receive invaluable feedback based on our internal venture development team’s approach – at no cost to you.
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