A blockchain is an online database that can be used by anyone with an internet connection, anywhere around the globe. The traditional databases we have seen so far, are owned by central figures like banks, firms, and governments. The blockchain, on the other hand, does not belong to anyone. With every user in the blockchain network looking after it, faking documents, transactions and tampering with all kinds of data is nearly impossible in the Blockchain technology.
Blockchain stores information permanently across a network of PCs which both decentralizes and distributes the information. The millions of users of blockchain network make it difficult for anyone to corrupt the data, hence, making this technology hack proof. Users in the blockchain use their PCs to hold records, known as blocks, submitted by others. Each block has a time stamp and a link to the previous block forming a chain; hence the name, Blockchain. Users can view the chain of blocks, add to it but can’t change the information already there. In blockchain technology, there are no intermediaries such as banks and financial institutions asking for information to make the process lengthy.
Most famous application of blockchain is cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether, but blockchains are not limited to them anymore. Many blockchain companies across industries including healthcare and IT are stepped into the field to use the underlying principle of the blockchain technology for ensuring transparency, security and data management. In fact, the blockchain platforms have become so diverse that it is predicted for the platforms to store 10% of global GDP within the next decade. This article lists seven companies that are revolutionizing the marketplaces, and the way data is stored and transferred around the globe.
Coinbase was founded in June of 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam, Coinbase provides a digital currency wallet and a platform to exchange digital currencies. Coinbase is one of the three blockchain platforms which secured a business license from the New York State Department of Financial Services. It is also the first Bitcoin exchange to secure a license in the US. The company currently offers its services in 32 countries and has served more than 20 million people which is a validation of its global expansion. Coinbase has exchanged over USD 150 Billion since its inception marking its popularity in the industry.
Founders: Brian Armstrong, Fred Ehrsam
Based in: San Francisco, California, US
Specialty: Digital asset exchange, blockchain, digital currency wallet
Launched by a former senior VP at Yahoo, Brad Garlinghouse and Stefan Thomas in Oct 2012, Ripple aims at creating a system devoted to money transferring globally. The company is working on currency exchange and real-time transactions among banks using an advanced blockchain technology. Currently, Ripple works globally with over 75 banks who are implementing and testing the blockchain technology to make international transactions more transparent and cheaper.
Founder: Brad Garlinghouse and Stefan Thomas
Based in: United States
Specialty: Real-time transactions using blockchain technology, financial services
Founded by Ned Scott and Dan Larimer in July 2016, Steem is revolutionizing the way publishers monetize their social media content. It rewards the content contributors for the value of their content similar to YouTube, but unlike YouTube, which pays content creators in fiat currency, Steem has introduced its own digital asset ‘STEEM’ which is the cryptocurrency of the platform. The currency is a tradable token and can be easily converted to any other digital currency. This idea resonates with the platform The AutoBlock’s concept of enabling users to buy and sell cars with their own cryptocurrency, the Autocoin.
Steem rewards the content creators by the viewer’s response to the contents in shape of likes and upvotes. Their social media network known as ‘Steemit’ runs over the Steem blockchain and is relatively young. They have paid over USD 40 million to the content creators which is why the platform has attracted around a million users and continues to grow.
Founders: Ned Scott and Dan Larimer
Based in: New York City, United States
Specialty: Content monetization
DAAC is short for Decentralized Accessible Content Chain which a content-based blockchain featuring Identity and Access Management (IAM) at the infrastructural level. DAAC gives its users full control and protection of their content. The copyright information is time stamped into the DAAC blockchain and algorithms are used to detect any copyright theft or provide access to content. The company was founded by Vincent Nguyen in 2017 and its team chairs competent members from prestigious institutions like MIT and Harvard.
Founder: Vincent Nguyen
Based in: China
Specialty: Content-based blockchain, Digital Content
Ethereum is a distributed public blockchain network which takes a different approach than Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. It is a platform allowing people to create a smart contract. A smart contract is written in code and is executed without human interaction.
The project was launched on July 30, 2015, by Vitalik Buterin and Jeffery Wilcke – the former VP of Amazon, and its progress does not seem to stop since then. Ethereum platform was the most popular platform for ICO in 2017 with around 13 million people using its services and 77.85 percent market shares.
Founder: Vitalik Buterin
Specialty: Building Smart Contracts, Blockchain services, Ethereum mining
The Japan-based blockchain platform PATRON is the shared economy for influencer marketing. PATRON aims at tokenizing influencer social media and connects brands with local influencers around the world by utilizing the blockchain technology. It caught the attention of many in the industry with its strategic partnerships and strong advisory board of blockchain experts. The company is currently expanding its operations to the US and its recent USD 40 million token sales are making waves throughout the industry.
Founder: Atsushi Hisatsumi
Based in: Japan
Specialty: Decentralized influencer marketing
Intellectsoft is a global software development company founded in 2007 by the Intellectsoft team. The company focuses on the latest technologies like blockchain, internet of things, AI and cloud computing. Since its inception, the company has helped many brands in designing and implementing software solutions for their businesses. With their blockchain solution, they have automated the operations for many businesses with the highest level of security. Their work with the top brands and Fortune 500 companies have earned them a good name in the blockchain industry.
Based in: USA with offices in UK, Norway, Belarus, and Ukraine
Specialty: Blockchain development, Fintech, Enterprise software development, etc.
The blockchain technology is relatively new, and with new competitors entering the market, we cannot say with certainty what the future might hold for these 7 companies. Companies like Chain, Celsius Network and Qtum are performing quite well which projects interesting times ahead in the blockchain industry.
Evie Harrison is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs. Find her on Twitter:@iamevieharrison