#31 – Decred (DCR)
Decred, which stands for decentralized credit, is a digital currency that uses a community-based governance model to determine the future of its blockchain protocol.
Decred was created and designed with the core mission of solving the problem of blockchain governance. Bitcoin in particular has experienced a lot of problems with the community not being able to agree upon protocol changes. Issues such as the block size debate has split the community, with a resolution yet to be found.
Decred employs a unique hybrid of PoW and PoS mining to decentralize the decision-making process. You can read more about this hybrid system in the Decred whitepaper.
The Decred team is made up of developers who volunteer their time and choose to remain pseudo-anonymous. The best way to interact with the community and find out more is through Decred’s reddit, Discord and Telegram channels.
For further reading on Decred, including a discussion on some of the challenges and where to buy and store the coins, see “What is Decred”. Also check out “Why You Should Keep an Eye on Decred.”
#32 – BitShares (BTS)
BitShares was founded in 2014 by Dan Larimer, a cryptocurrency visionary and early adopter. He first started working with Bitcoin in 2009. But after some centralized exchanges started to shut down for no apparent reason, Larimer realized that a decentralized exchange is necessary. From this idea, BitShares was born.
As Larimer explained in this blog post, BitShares is, amongst other things, a software, network, ledger, community and most notably a decentralized peer-to-peer exchange. BitShares aims to remove the need to trust a centralized authority to oversee transactions and handle funds.
Dan Larimer has an extremely impressive resume, and has been the lead developer on both EOS and Steem, in addition to Bitshares.
More information on Bitshares and how to use their exchange can be found on their website. You can also read our article “What is Bitshares” to learn more about the project.
#33 – DigiByte (DGB)
DigiByte is an open-source blockchain which first came into existence in January 2014, making it one of the oldest blockchains in existence. It was founded by developer Jared Tate, who today still leads the project.
DigiByte focuses on cybersecurity for digital payments and smart applications. It is highly decentralized with over 100,000+ servers, computers, phones, and nodes worldwide. DigiByte utilizes five secure and advanced cryptographic mining algorithms to prevent mining centralization which is common in single algorithm blockchains such as Bitcoin.
In addition, DigiByte has some other technical improvements over Bitcoin such as increased scalability and the implementation of technologies such as Digishield, MultiAlgo, MultiShield and SegWit.
For more information on what DigiByte does, including a history of the platform, details on their team and things to look for moving forward see: “What is DigiByte.”
#34 – Maker (MKR)
Maker is an asset-backed decentralized “stable coin” based on the Ethereum blockchain. Stable coins are a revolutionary approach to digital money as they remove large price volatilities in the coins.
Maker’s autonomous smart contract system is designed specifically to react to market fluctuations, keeping the price of 1 Dai equivalent to US$1. Each Dai is backed by Ether tokens as collateral, and is secured with an Ethereum smart contract.
In the event that the price of Ether drops below the predetermined threshold, the smart contract would automatically liquidate, keeping the collateral at a safe level and therefore preventing the Dai token from collapse.
By holding a MKR token, you become a member of Maker’s DAO and are entitled to certain rights as defined in Maker’s technical documents.
For a non-technical overview of Maker, see their whitepaper. For a technical analysis and more information on the functionality of the smart contracts, look into their purple paper. To read more about Maker, see “What is Maker.”
#35 – Dogecoin (DOGE)
Dogecoin is a peer-to-peer electronic payment system based on the popular 2013 meme of the Shiba Inu dog. It was a fork of Luckycoin, which was itself a fork of Litecoin. The coin uses a PoW script mining algorithm similar to Bitcoin; however, while Bitcoin has a limited number of coins, there is no limit to the number of Dogecoins which can be created. The current rate of Dogecoin creation is over 5,000,000,000 coins a year.
Dogecoin is one of the oldest altcoins in existence, and for that reason they have a relatively large community. The reddit page has about 90,000 shibes (the group name for their community members).
Dogecoin is an excellent coin to use for micro transactions and is commonly used for tipping on articles. The coin is a sort of self-proclaimed “joke coin” which has gained a lot of popularity. This video is a good indicator of the lighthearted nature of the community as a whole.
For more information on Dogecoin, including a look at the history of the coin, the team and how to purchase, see: “What is Dogecoin.”
#36 – Aeternity (AE)
Aeternity is an open-source decentralized computing and digital asset platform which aims to improve upon cryptocurrency governance, scalability, scripting safety and cheap access to real-world data on the blockchain.
Aeternity plans to solve the issue of network scalability by keeping transactions off the blockchain and on what they refer to as “state-channels,” until there is a discrepancy or the data needs to be enforced.
The real-world data is processed through Ethereum smart contracts and what Aeternity refers to as “smart oracles.” These oracles are meant to reduce some of the high costs and inefficiencies which Aeternity believes are complicating or even preventing the realization of many applications.
Aeternity argues that other projects which are attempting to bring real-world data into the blockchain will fail because they are building the consensus mechanism inside of the smart contract itself, which in turn jeopardizes security and sacrifices efficiency.
Aeternity looks to solve this problem by creating an improved consensus mechanism designed to process information pulled from outside the blockchain, in addition to what is inside.
For more information on Aeternity, see their whitepaper and website. You can also check our our project overview, “What is Aeternity.”
#37 – Steem (STEEM)
Steem is the first blockchain to set out to disrupt the world of social media. Most social media platforms today do not reward users for providing high quality content to their audience (one notable exception is YouTube, where content creators can earn a small percentage of the advertising revenue).
Steem has turned this idea around by offering a platform where users are incentivised to create high quality content. Actions such as liking, sharing and upvoting will earn micro-rewards as well. This article describes the platform’s payment and tipping structure.
In addition, Steem is completely decentralized; this means there is no governing body that censors or stores user information to later sell to companies. This gives Steem some clear advantages over social media giants such as Facebook.
Steem was founded by Ned Scott and Dan Larimer. Dan Larimer has worked on a few other very successful blockchain projects such as Bitshares and EOS.
For a detailed analysis of Steem, including more information on the team and their competition, see “What is Steem.” If you’re interested in using Steem, our guide can help: “Steemit Review: How Does It Work and Can You Really Earn From It?”
#38 – Siacoin (SC)
Siacoin aims to disrupt the world of cloud storage. What sets Saicoin apart is that it is a decentralized, encrypted, peer-to-peer cloud storage platform. Siacoin has been able to dramatically reduce the overhead of cloud storage by allowing users to (in a sense) “rent out” their unused hard drive.
Siacoin was created by Luke Champine and David Vorick of Nebulous Inc. The Saicoin team chose not to hold an ICO. Instead, Siacoin came to life when its genesis block was mined. Even without an ICO, the Sia team managed to raise over $1.25 million in funding through investors such as Fenbushi Capital, Raptor Group, Procyon Ventures, along with angel investors like Xiaolai Li.
Siacoin has a few major competitors such as MaidSAFE and Storj. An analysis of the three coins can be found here.
For up-to-date information on Siacoin, see their website and reddit page. You can also read our article “What is Siacoin.”
#39 – Verge (XVG)
Verge is a secure and decentralized P2P electronic payment system which is designed for sending transactions privately. Verge has a public ledger similar to Bitcoin, but unlike Bitcoin you won’t be able to see the public addresses of the transactions that are conducted. This privacy is achieved using the Tor (The Onion Router) and I2P (Invisible Internet Project) technologies to hide the IP addresses of users.
Verge was originally known as DogeCoinDark, and then rebranded to Verge in 2016. The creators of Verge wanted this coin to be thought of as a legitimate form of currency, not just a way to pay for illicit items.
Verge’s development is community-driven. Much of the development is done on a voluntary basis by various developers. More information on the team can be found here.
For more information on Verge’s technology, team and what the future holds, see “What is Verge” and their blackpaper (what Verge calls their whitepaper). This blog post is also a great analysis and is worth looking at.
#40 – BAT (BAT)
BAT (Basic Attention Token) is an open-source token based on the Ethereum blockchain which rewards publishers and advertisers for providing high quality content to users. It promises to bring a quantifiable benefit to all three major players of digital advertising: publishers, advertisers, and users.
BAT functions in partnership with Brave Browser, a browser that focuses on low-bandwidth usage, fast browsing speeds, and privacy.
BAT has set out to revolutionize the online advertising world with the implementation of the Brave Browser, which gives users the ability to turn on and off advertising. Users who turn off advertising will have full functionally of the Brave Browser while users who have opted-in to advertising will receive more light-weight, less intrusive browsing and ads that more focused on the interests of the user.
Users will also receive a share of BAT tokens for the time they spend viewing advertising. In addition users will have the option to pay for products with BAT tokens themselves.
For more information on what BAT does, see “What is BAT” and the BAT website. For more on BAT as as investment, check out “Should You Invest in BAT? (Opinion)”
#41 – Augur (REP)
As described in their whitepaper, Augur has set out to create the first decentralized, open-source platform for prediction markets. Based on the ideas of game theory and wisdom of the crowd, prediction markets achieve greater forecasting accuracy than any individual experts can. However, the problem with previously existing prediction markets is that they were all centralized.
By providing a decentralized solution, Augur allows people from anywhere in the world to ask a question about the outcome of a future event, as well as buy and sell shares on the outcome of any market they wish to participate in. Moreover, it allows thousands of users to report on outcomes, thus removing the need to trust in an individual reporter.
Augur has assembled an experienced team of developers, led by co-founders Jack Peterson and Joey Krug. Additionally, they have several notable advisors including the founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, trading expert Ron Bernstein, economist Dr. Robin Hanson, CEO of Enlighted Joe Costello, and Lightning Network founder Elizabeth Stark.
The Augur platform is now live.
For more analysis on Augur, including challenges and what the future holds, see “What is Augur” and “7 Reasons to Be Excited About Augur.”
#42 – Waves (WAVES)
“Your blockchain token in one minute” was Waves’ original slogan. Though it has been changed due to the increase in services offered, what they said then is still relevant today. Waves is the first blockchain platform which has made it very easy for someone without coding experience to make their own blockchain token!
There are many other platforms out there which enable you to create your own token, most notably Ethereum. But unlike Ethereum, there is no need to learn a new coding language to create a token on Waves.
In addition to token creation, Waves launched its own decentralized exchange which allows you to exchange newly-created tokens with existing tokens and fiat currencies.
The founder and CEO of Waves is Sasha Ivanov, who is no stranger to the crypto world. He was the founder of the exchange coinomat.com.
For more information on Waves, including a list of their competitors and legal issues, see “What is Waves”. You may also be interested in “Could Waves Become the Top ICO Platform?”
#43 – Bytom (BTM)
Bytom was created to “transfer assets from the atomic world to byteworld.” In this case, “atomic assets” refer to traditional assets from the physical world such as bonds, securities, dividends or intelligence information.
Bytom wants to improve income asset management by making it easy to transfer these assets via smart contacts. They also want to digitize the management of non-public securities and options, in addition to increasing asset securitization. Asset securitization is simply the ability to register and tokenize any asset from the atomic world, and easily put it on the blockchain.For more information on Bytom, see their website and reddit page.
#44 – Pundi X (NPXS)
Pundi X is a hardware Point-of-Sale, or POS, system for accepting cryptocurrency. They currently have a machine that sits on top of a counter, called XPOS, with two screens: one for the merchant and one facing the customer. It has an RFID chip, it can print receipts, and it displays QR codes for people to pay using their wallet apps.
Pundi X is also issuing a card that can store cryptocurrency amounts. It’s the same size and shape as a credit card, so it is familiar in form and function to people who are new to cryptocurrency.
Pundi X originates in Indonesia, and while cryptocurrency exchanges are permitted, cryptocurrency payments for goods and services are currently banned by the government. Pundi X is able to deploy their hardware without breaking the law because their POS system defaults to accepting payments from non-cryptocurrency systems, like bank cards and Apple Pay.
For further reading on Pundi X, see “What is Pundi X.”
#45 – Bitcoin Diamond (BCD)
Bitcoin Diamond (BCD) came about after the early 2018 Bitcoin fork. BCD is a currency focused on private transactions, which puts it in the same grouping as other privacy coins out there such as Monero, Zcash and Verge.
One of the main differences between BCD and Bitcoin is that they multiplied the total circulating supply of coins by 10, which will result in a total of 210 million coins.
Due to the lack of any real technical improvements over other privacy coins, coupled with an almost silent team, many have called BCD a scam. Arguments for this assertion can be seen in articles such as this.
For more information on BCD, see their website.
#46 – Populous (PPT)
At a glance, Populous is a global invoice trading platform built on blockchain decentralized ledger technology. Populous connects business owners and with invoice buyers by using the security, transparency and speed of blockchain technology.
Populous is built off the Ethereum protocol, and it gives the average investor the ability to participate in an alternative finance marketplace which in the past was only accessible to financial institutions, wealthy individuals and governments.
This platform allows investors from any part of the world to invest in an invoice sold by an invoice seller from anywhere in the world. An example use case would be if an investor in the US bought the invoice of a Chinese manufacturing company while the Chinese company uses that loan to finance their operations in the short term to put a product to market.
Invoices will be awarded via an auction. Investors will be paid via interest once the invoice has filled.
The team is UK-based and is led by CEO Stephan Williams and CTO Zvezdormir Zlatinov. The project is still in its infancy stage and there isn’t a lot of information on the development.
For more information on Populous including its history, team and where to buy the coins, see “What is Populous.”
#47 – MOAC (MOAC)
MOAC (Mother of All Chains) is a smart contract platform aiming specifically to solve some of the scalability problems which have plagued Ethereum since its popularity has increased. The China-based MOAC project is looking to solve this problem with cross-chain transactions and a technology which they refer to as “MicroChains.”
With Ethereum smart contracts, there is no difference between smart contract transactions and balance transfer transactions. Because they are treated the same way, the network gets bogged down in times of high transaction volume which leads to slower transactions per section and overall system performance.
By distinguishing the two, the MOAC network is able to operate more efficiently.
For more information on MOAC, see their website and whitepaper.
#48 – Stratis (STRAT)
Stratis is an enterprise-grade development platform which functions like Ethereum. What that means is that Stratis was designed with businesses in mind. Stratis is based on the C# and the .Net programing languages which means the program will be much more accessible to developers in the future because there will be no need to learn an additional programing language.
The Stratis slogan is “We make blockchain easy for you.” This really summarizes what Stratis is trying to do, which is make blockchain technology usable for “average” companies.
Similar to Lisk, Stratis is in the business of creating side chains, which in a sense gives the developer the ability to make highly customized blockchains without altering the main public chain.
Stratis is led by CEO Chris Trew who has worked in the blockchain world since 2013 and has various experiences in the financial, legal, aviation and software development sectors.
For an in-depth discussion on the future of Stratis and what the team has planned, check out “What is Stratis”. Also see the opinion piece “Should You Invest in Stratis?”
#49 – Waltonchain (WTC)
Waltonchain is a unique platform which combines RFID (radio-frequency identification) and blockchain technology to create a powerful IoT (internet of things) network.
Waltonchain refers to their IoT network to the Value Internet of Things (VIot). This network aims to use blockchain to create a decentralized transaction record and storage technology based on cryptographic principles. Using the VIot, Waltonchain hopes to connect physical items to the digital world with very low cost tracking systems.
Amongst other things, this will enable businesses to passively and cheaply collect a huge amount of data about any type of physical product.
For further discussion on what exactly Waltonchain is, potential use cases and potential downsides of the technology, see “Waltonchain: An Interconnection Between the Physical and Virtual Ecosystems” and “Match Made in Blockchain: Waltonchain + Request Network”. For further reading on their technology, read their whitepaper.
To learn more about WTC as an investment, check out “Why Waltonchain (WTC) is A Smart Long-Term Investment (Opinion).”
#50 – Golem (GNT)
Golem’s plan is to create a global, open-source, decentralized supercomputer that can be used by anybody who has internet access. Golem doesn’t actually supply the computational power itself. Instead, they allow people who have unused computational power to “lend” it out to users who need it, for a fee.
In that sense, you can think of Golem as the Airbnb of computing. Just about any situation where heavy computation is necessary – medical research, AI development, computer graphics, cryptography, etc. These are good potential use cases for Golem. All computation is done on virtual machines, so hosts don’t have to sacrifice security to offer their computing power.
For more information on the team and development, see Golem’s website and whitepaper. You can also read our guide to Golem.