Blockchain has been getting a lot of bad press lately with everyone doing an ICO; things are about to get real, as regulatory bodies, governments, and businesses are paying close attention. The technology is probably one of the most powerful ones ever designed and its potential to transform the way we live, communicate, and transact is yet to come to life. If SXSW Interactive is an indication of where tech innovation is focussed on, 2018 is going to be a great year for blockchain.
On the final day of SXSW Interactive 2018, before a packed ballroom and four tech luminaries serving as judges—including Manoj Saxena, Executive Chairman, CognitiveScale, seven blockchain startups pitched their business concepts. The seven finalists were culled from a pool of hundreds of applicants, with the team at Capital Factory, which sponsored the event, reviewing all the entries.
The seven finalists who pitched for the $100,000 prize each incorporated blockchain in very different ways, a reflection of how diverse the applications are for blockchain technology.
Those finalists, and the eventual winner, were:
- Abacus, which has developed a protocol by the same name, brings regulatory compliance to financial instruments on the blockchain, encoding the appropriate compliance in every blockchain transaction.
- ERC dEX whose CEO described their decentralized trading platform that allows individuals to trade tokens stored in their wallet, and to cash out, without ever having to deposit their tokens on the platform. ERC dEX can’t be hacked because users maintain control of their tokens at all times.
- Transmute talked about their platform that can be used by developers to more easily design and integrate blockchain applications into their infrastructure.
- Verimos, perhaps furthest along in its development of all the competitors, comparatively speaking, is developing a wellness data repository on the blockchain.
- Vertalo, who’s marketing tagline is Prove Yourself, puts professionals’ academic and work history on the blockchain to overcome inaccuracy and dishonesty often found in many CVs and resumes.
- Topal described how their blockchain platform is bringing more investment to developing countries.
- And the winner of the $100,000 prize, Samsa, shared details of their innovative financial services platform, which simplifies cryptocurrency investing by allowing individuals to either automatically follow the investing decisions of professional crypto traders or choose an index strategy (much like a mutual fund in the traditional world), or if they prefer, manually invest their portfolio in dozens of coins of their choice.