The rollercoaster market ride for cryptocurrencies doesn’t appear to have slowed down the industry or its prospective entities at all. There are no less than 50 ICOs planned within the next 30ish days and with so many already out there, it can be next to impossible for newcomers to stand out. Especially when it comes to utilizing tokens/coins and the blockchain technology. However, this past week my research revealed two intriguing new companies that appear to be worth looking deeper into, so I thought I’d share.

ShoCoin ICO May 28

shocoin, blockchains, icosAt first glance, ShoCard’s upcoming bid for the cryptocurrency pie looks like the multitude of others on the horizon or already here. ShoCoin will be the financial key for service providers and users of the ShoCard system, much like Bitcoin & Etherum, but it’s at that point where they branch off and ShoCard hopes to set themselves apart.

Using blockchain technology, ShoCard is an identity management system that, according to founder & CEO Armin Ebrahimi, is a “mobile digital identity.” A bit of excitement was garnered when they recently announced that they would be utilizing Stellar for the underlying blockchain network. Instead of using the blockchain to verify accounts and transactions, ShoCard securely validate’s customers identities seamlessly and instantly.

There are several advantages to this, such as eliminating the need for usernames and passwords in order to authorize network access, and storing credit score and/or other qualifiers securely so that you can utilize it with other businesses or transactions without having your score ran again.

Instead of miners on the blockchain getting compensated for enforcing the stipulations and parameters of SmartContracts like Ethereum or validating transactions and funds like with Bitcoin, ShoCard will award coins for users that use their computing power to instantly and securely exchange identity validation on the blockchain network. There are 5 levels in ShoCoin which receive or pay out tokens: ShoCard-IP, Identity Management System (IMS), Identity Owner, Verify, and Certifier. The exchange system governs some of the rates while others are established by the service providers themselves, but in most cases it will be a service provider giving token incentives to users so that they remain engaged within the system, which allows them to profit from the very value that they create.

What This Does For Businesses

The use of the blockchain technology in this unique fashion will allow businesses to implement and utilize multi-factor authentication without having to rely on, and pay, third-party companies. The instantaneous nature of blockchain will also result in a more streamlined and pleasant experience for customers while assuring peace of mind regarding identity theft.

ShoCard is banking that on the fact that they are simple to integrate and the speed at which they are taking these interactions to is exciting indeed. The Stellar blockchain will permit ShoCard to perform more than 1,000 transactions per second and unlike Ether, Stellar does not require ‘gas’ in order to complete transactions, which enhances the appeal for micro-transactions since it automatically eliminates associated costs. Selecting Stellar was critical because they can handle the mass-integration of ShoCard’s technology and the high volume exchange of ShoCoin that it will very likely need in the near future. Armin Ebrahimi was quoted saying,

“If every ICO goes to production with their tokens at scale, other networks like Ethereum would not be able to accommodate all of them. Therefore, we selected a network that can handle higher throughput with capacity to work with our solution for years to come.”

The market has taken a slight upturn in recent weeks and there’s still plenty of excitement about cryptocurrencies and ICOs in general, but recent news around the world has many wondering if we will soon see the seemingly endless train of new ICOs drop off sooner rather than later.

OPEN

open, blockchains, icos, blockchain technologyThe next one that caught my eye has, in my opinion, enormous potential. OPEN is standing out because they bridge the connection between centralized and decentralized systems.

Okay Matthew, what does that mean?

Well to put it simply, they make it easy for apps to accept cryptocurrencies or otherwise use blockchain technology. There are multiple ICOs attempting to be payment gateways between the two but many of them are geared for specific applications, forcing every new project to reinvent work that has already been done. Which of course means lost revenue.

OPEN is set to launch into developer beta in just a few short months and was developed to make it simple for application developers to utilize and integrate the decentralized technologies of cryptocurrencies and blockchain into their existing infrastructure. What this means folks is a very big possibility of a much wider mainstream adoption of the decentralized networks.

OPEN provides developers with the key missing components that they need in order for their applications to accept cryptocurrency and the associated payment data. With a little blockchain knowledge, developers can use OPEN as an all-in-one source to accept payments, both on blockchain and conventional payments, authorize goods or services for the application, transfer payment data, and verify transactions and accounts.

OPEN can also deploy the payment system for the application onto any blockchain, seriously opening the choice possibilities for developers, and they can incorporate any payment scheme. With support for platforms such as Enterprise, SaaS, and Gaming, even ‘Cryptokitties-esque applications, along with allowing developers to program in any language using their OPEN API, OPEN certainly seems destined to stand above the crowd.

Those wishing to integrate blockchain or accept cryptocurrencies simply within their applications, now have a choice other than spending valuable development time and money creating their own gateways. No blockchain ‘experts’ needed. OPEN is now the first bridge between blockchains and the databases behind applications used millions of times around the world daily and this opens the possible new revenue stream for anyone that desires it. This could also mean huge things in the near future for established cryptocurrencies and it will definitely be worth watching.

“Regulators, Let’s Mount Up.”

ShoCoin & OPEN are going live at a decent time in the market and while both are offering to fill huge holes in the market, only time will tell if their utilization of the blockchain technology is a unique enough of a service to make them stand out in the crowd. Whether recent government rumblings around the world will result in regulation of the industry and if so, what impact they will have on these and other startups, remains to be seen.

The EU Parliament voted this past week for measures to prevent, at least in part, the use of cryptocurrencies for nefarious money laundering or financing terrorism. The vote passed by a huge margin, only 13 no votes compared to 574 yeses, and the legislation is attempting to take out the one thing that so many find appealing about cryptocurrencies: anonymity.

They hope to set rules for platforms, wallets, and exchanges and force them to register with appropriate authorities and apply new due diligence policies and procedures, including the dreaded verification of customer’s identities. This directive was stated to become effective three days after publication in the Official Journal of the European Union and member countries of the EU have 18 months to implement them into national laws.

China has been very vocal in its insistence for new regulations for cryptocurrencies and blockchains. The government of China is “supposedly” committed to blockchain but its ban on cryptocurrency exchanges late last year is showing no signs of being repealed and their recent shutdown of Bitcoin in their country has many worried.

A recent ban on ads for ICOs and cryptocurrencies on all major U.S. based social media platforms also has many trepidatious about pending regulations and Google’s apparent target practice of late on blockchain and Bitcoin has many of us scratching our heads. The technology is exciting, and I think that’s what scares governments most. It puts the power of the people back in the hands of the people.

Banks Are Nervous

Anything that gives us options for how we use and spend our hard-earned money, and who is privy to that information, is something I will always stand behind. Sure, there will be those that abuse it for their own twisted needs, whether it’s money laundering or illegal gambling or whatever, but that’s going to happen anyway. The banks and financial institutions are seeing the writing on the wall and they know that services they have been overcharging people for since the beginning of time are about to be able to be performed by anyone who wishes to do so. and when the banks get nervous, they make politicians more so.

Are you excited for an upcoming ICO that you think stands out? Got a great story about cryptocurrencies or blockchains? Leave us a message below and let us know.

 

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