Updated: 29 March 2016
When you mention Bitcoin, first thing that comes to people’s minds are that it’s an anonymous digital currency (it’s actually far from anonymous but that’s a discussion for another post). So it’s primarily associated with a “digital money” for majority of the people.
But it’s much more than that. The underlying technology that Bitcoin is built upon is called The Blockchain. The Blockchain, in simple terms is a decentralized platform that keeps track of all the transactions ever executed on the platform. It’s transparent and it’s decentralized, in other words no central government or banking institution controls it. There are major “nodes” (or servers) that keep copy of all the transactions, and there are many other computers that sync to those nodes.
Types of Apps being built around Blockchain Technology
Lots of interesting startups are being developed around the Blockchain. Below are some of them. I’m not going to cover the ordinary ones like Bitcoin Exchange Platforms, Bitcoin Wallets, Bitcoin Payment Processing Gateways, Bitcoin Debit Cards etc. Rather, I will be writing about the more interesting ones that are leveraging on the Blockchain Technology in general and not necessarily focusing on Bitcoin itself;
- Bitwage – bitcoin based payroll system for companies. Especially useful in paying international employees or freelancer workers.
- SkuChain – provides blockchain solutions for B2B Trade and Supply Chain Finance
- Filecoin.io – Data storage network and electronic currency based on Bitcoin.
- Counterparty – raise funding for your startup. Think of it as a Stock Exchange based on blockchain technology that allows you to IPO on your own.
Commissioner of Oaths\Notary
- Proof of Existence – Anonymously and securely store an online distributed proof of existence for any document in the blockchain. This will allow you to certify that the data existed at a particular time.
- BlockSign – sign any document or agreements between yourself and other parties and save it in the blockchain as a proof of existence.
- Everledger – fraud detection system, overlaying big data from closed sources like insurers and law enforcement. Primary use is for diamond certification.
- Stampery – create an immutable record of existence, integrity and ownership of your documents, business processes and communications.
- BitProof – Notarize your documents
- ShoCard – a digital identity that protects consumer privacy and is as easy to understand and use as showing a driver’s license.
- OneName – a blockchain based ID.
- BitNation – a blockchain based emergency ID for refugees.
- SmartContract – Create smart contracts on the blockchain in the fields of SEO, Financial Loan, Real Estate, Location Based Services etc.
- Factom – businesses and governments can use Factom to simplify records management, record business processes, and address security and compliance issues.
Remittance is probably one of the use cases where Bitcoin will be a game changer. The likes of Western Union and traditional bank services (Wire Transfer, Moneygram etc) should adapt or be ready to be disrupted.
- Augur – decentralized market prediction and forecasting platform
If you know of any interesting the (bitcoin) blockchain based startup, please share it in the comments below.