A wave of venture capital investment is pouring into blockchain technology startups. The majority of early-stage blockchain ventures are those involved in cryptocurrencies, exchanges, and trading platforms. A global and public ledger, blockchain operates through a decentralized platform.
"Moving into 2018, it is important to realize the full power of blockchain technology," reports Hacker Noon. "Not only will it change the world as we know it, it is extremely diverse in its applications. Many if not all industries could benefit from enhanced security, safety, transparency, and the removal of unnecessary intermediaries or inefficiencies."
The world's savviest entrepreneurs are now realizing the potential for blockchain goes far beyond digital tokens, however. The industries that could benefit from a transparent and verifiable register of data are virtually endless. CB Insights recently highlighted 36 industries that could be transformed by blockchain.
This year, thousands of tech startups will harness the power of blockchain to unlock all-new innovations. Do not miss these five industry-leading startups using blockchain:
Top 5 Tech Startups Using Blockchain
Lemonade is the first peer-to-peer insurance company, specializing in property and casualty insurance. The startup accepts a fixed fee from monthly payments, before using an algorithm to pay out claims. Typical insurance policies are processed on paper contracts, which means claims and payments are error prone. By utilizing blockchain technology, information is never lost, policies are never misinterpreted, and settlements are paid quickly and efficiently.
Lemonade was founded in April 2015 by Daniel Schreiber and Shai Wininger. The company is said to be valued at more than $500 million.
"Insurance companies make money by disappointing their customers," said Schreiber in an interview with Business Insider. "It's difficult to think of another sector where that's true. But if they delighted all of their consumers, they'd go out of business, because the way insurance providers make money is by denying your claim."
Unlike other insurance companies, Lemonade accepts a fixed monthly fee and pays as many claims instantly as possible.
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The moving and shipping market's global valued reached $8.1 trillion in 2015. The market is expected to grow to $15.5 trillion by 2023. However, shipping and receiving goods from overseas is still slow and expensive. Using blockchain technology, ShipChain is committed to making the process more affordable and predictable. The startup is developing a fully integrated system that tracks all methods of freight, incentivizing shipping operators to follow more efficient transportation routes.
ShipChain was founded in May 2017 by John Monarch. The company recently raised $30 million in venture capital funding.
“Blockchain really provides a once in a multi-generational opportunity to really transform the supply chain. The level of transparency and accountability it provides, along with the universally trusted automated smart contracts, give us new tools to increase efficiency more than we’ve ever seen,” says Monarch.
Deedcoin is a cryptocurrency platform that enables homeowners to save on real estate commission. How does it work? The standard commission on a $500,000 home is 6 percent or $30,000. Through blockchain technology, the real estate industry can be completely decentralized. Only 50 Deedcoin is needed to retain five percent equity in the property. Additionally, Deedcoin allows property owners to access agents at only one percent commission, translating to thousands of dollars in total savings.
Deedcoin was founded in June 2017 by Matthew Herrick and Charles Wismer. With more than 5.6 million homes sold in 2017, DeedCoin is ready to capitalize on this growing market.
"Unlike the vast majority of ICOs, Deedcoin is already a totally usable platform. The Deedcoin network is now partnered with brokerages in over 100 cities across all 50 US states," says Wismer.
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The most surprising industry facing blockchain disruption is the music industry. Currently, the music industry is controlled by "middlemen" who take a cut of artist royalties. Record labels, distributors, and publishers receive a lion's share of artist revenues. Ujo Music is on a mission to tackle the music industry's two biggest issues including royalty payments and licensing. Ujo Music has built a platform that allows artists to distribute, license, and receive direct payments via Ethereum-based smart contracts.
In 2015, Ujo Music partnered with Imogen Heap, a popular pop artist. The platform was made available to the public in 2017.
I believe that featured artists — those “on the cover” — should inevitably be entrusted to ensure that everyone involved in creating music in their name will be duly acknowledged and compensated. The blockchain effect has inspired creatives in the industry that a better future lies ahead. If guided and nurtured in the right ways, blockchain holds the potential to give us a golden age of music not just for its listeners, but for those who make it, too," says Imogen Heap.
Elections require authentication of voters' identities. Moreover, voting requires secure record-keeping and tracking. Today, blockchain technology could serve as the foundational infrastructure for casting, tracking, and counting votes, eliminating voter fraud and foul play in the process. By capturing votes as "transactions" through blockchain, governments and voters would have a verifiable "trail" of activity. Follow My Vote is committed to making elections more transparent with blockchain technology.
Follow My Vote was founded in July 2012.
"Follow My Vote aims to combat electoral fraud and protect user credentials by developing a convenient and secure end-to-end voting system that is also open-source and auditable. In their model, voters would skip the lines to cast votes online from home using a webcam and government-issued ID. The virtual electorate could then theoretically watch the election in real-time entrusting the veracity of results to the underlying blockchain auditability features," says Jackie Burn Coven, research assistant of technology and public policy at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs.
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