Big names, small origins
With the heightened negativity associated with cryptocurrencies, many would assume that blockchain, the accompanying technology is dead.
But on the contrary, blockchain as a technology is very much alive and applicable as a deep tech layer that would significantly impact the way we operate.
In fact, a number of blockchain projects exist right here in Singapore.
So what are these blockchain projects about?
TRIVE’s team that runs Tribe, Singapore’s first government-backed blockchain accelerator, investigates and tell us more.
Automotive – MVL
The automotive industry faces multi-faceted issues.
Examples are cab drivers with discourteous service, unreliable service by mechanic shops, a lack of consistency and transparency on used-cars by dealers, and accidents caused by reckless driving.
Current solutions are unable to address these individual issues effectively, let alone solving them as a whole.
To further compound the issue, the lack of transparency often leads to an increase in prices customer has to pay for.
MVL Chain was born based on these issues. It is a vehicle data collecting ecosystem based on blockchain technology which aims to resolve these issues.
It is an ecosystem that connects all services, like the car dealer shops, mechanic shops and car rental companies, touchpoints that your car engages in its lifetime.
These participants will insert core data related to driving, traffic accidents, repairs and other car-related transactions into the blockchain.
With this ecosystem, records of all activities relating to a particular vehicle for the entire duration of its lifetime can be maintained.
It can also be ensured that such records are kept free from corruption. Only the owner will have the authority over his or her data stored on the decentralized blockchain.
Previously, a limited number of centralized services monopolized data, but now the power of who owns the information is distributed evenly to the people.
Various participants in the vehicle market can continue to add trustworthy data and be connected in one ecosystem.
User Data – Indorse
In order to generate revenue, social networks sell user-generated content and information to providers, advertisers and recruiters.
This leads to a loss of user privacy.
Furthermore, users do not get any revenue-sharing for the information they produce.
Indorse seeks to address this issue and wants to use the blockchain’s decentralised network to allow people to regain control of their data.
Plus, the nature of the distributed ledger means Indorse users would enjoy significantly more privacy within the ecosystem than the current model for social networks.
The startup is a skills-based professional network platform using new models of tokenization and decentralisation to change the shape of professional social networking — letting the users own and earn from their data.
The solution replaces the current way social networks operate.
It is a decentralised one that places ownership of information back in the hands of the members.
They have control of their own profile with themselves and they get to choose how their data is used by the Social network.
It also allows members an easy way to earn rewards for the activities that beneﬁt them.
With participation in the network, members can earn Indorse Rewards for sharing more about themselves and for endorsing the claims of others.
Indorse is co-founded by David Moskowitz and Gaurang Torvekar, known figures in the Blockchain Industry Association.
Food – Whatshalal
Always wondering whether food consumed is Halal in origin, or to discover new sources of Halal eateries?
This is a major pain point in the world’s Muslim population, especially when travelling to overseas destinations where Halal food is hard to find and not certified.
To address this, WhatsHalal aims to be the definitive guide and provider of unquestionably Halal Thoyiban food to the Muslim community.
The creation of a Halal ecosystem seeks to reduce, even eliminate, doubt of the “Halal-ness” of the food you consume, in fast-changing times where information may not be substantially available or easily sourced.
The startup wants to strengthen the Halal integrity of certificates by ensuring each stage in the life cycle of a food item or product can be established with certainty the conditions that the item was produced.
Integrating Halal traceability in the food chain is greatly improved by Blockchain technology.
This ensures that the movements of an ingredient or product can be tracked even as it changes hands.
Enterprise customers who wish to go Halal simply need to initiate the application on the blockchain platform and several smart contracts will determine the assurance process, working in collaboration with consultants, labs and certification bodies.
Locally, consumers can order products from Halal-certified merchants and send orders on demand.
The consumer app is also touted to verify the Halal validity of products by scanning its barcode, perfect for travelling in non-Muslim countries.
Gaming – Enjin
Gaming is one large worldwide community and Singapore-based Enjin validates that.
It is one of the largest gaming community platforms that support over 250,000 gaming communities and around 20 million registered gamers.
Internet users, gamers and developers demand fast and effective user interfaces that not only appeal to the human eye but also make operations efficient.
This is coupled with the need for a trustworthy platform that keeps their data and intellectual property safe.
As an all-in-one website platform, Enjin can help build websites, forums, voice servers, donation stores among others. It applies blockchain technology on some of its products.
EnjinX is a web-based universal blockchain explorer, built with a focus on user experience, speed and ease of use.
Efinity is Enjin’s solution to the scaling problems in the Ethereum blockchain. It supports various Ethereum tokens and provides end-to-end e-commerce solutions.
The Enjin team comprises of technology and crypto coin enthusiasts with Maxim Blagov and Witek Radomski as the founders of the company. They bring decades of experience in the field of gaming technology, game development and security.
Digital currency backed by gold – Digix
Much of the criticism levelled against cryptocurrencies is due to their price volatility.
It is critical that a digital currency is stable, especially when used as a transactional medium.
Digix makes a digital currency possible to buy gold in an efficient manner via cryptocurrency by providing investors with a tokenized version of gold so you don’t have to physically own or store it.
The company proudly gets 99.99 per cent of its gold from LBMA-approved refiners, with zero per cent from fractional reserves, delivering confidence.
With Digix, investors can take advantage of the stability and value of gold as well as the ease of using cryptocurrency, much similar to that of a fiat currency.
Digix differs itself from other existing investment options by issuing the allocated bullion immediately from a point of digital purpose.
This makes client ownership the priority, instead of the company as a whole. Gold bullion is traditionally challenging to use and trade. Digix overcomes the liquidity by converting gold to a digital currency.
Tokenization of assets – Rate3
The Initial Coin Offering space is a little dicey, to say the least.
There is a real deficit of accountability in the space because of a lack of regulation for utility tokens.
In the same breath, traditional financial transactions are expensive because of all the fees associated with the middlemen like bankers.
Rate3 aims to address the lack of credibility of tokens and overcoming the weaknesses of traditional financial transactions.
It is an end-to-end protocol for tokenization of assets (or security tokens) across both the Stellar and Ethereum networks and a protocol to create and manage a unified cross-chain identity.
Rate3 wants to be the bridge between enterprises today and the tokenized world.
They believe that assets can be tokenized in a legally-compliant, interoperable and scalable way, so they will become widely liquid, usable, tradable and accepted for as cases as possible.
Scalable database service for dApps – Bluzelle
The rapid growth of blockchain technologies is transforming the way data is exchanged via the use of decentralized applications, or dApps for short.
These dApps continuously exchange massive amounts of data that must be stored and managed. However, the current blockchain platforms in existence like Ethereum are unable to store and manage this data due to lack of space.
To fulfil the need for data storage and management, Bluzelle has created a decentralized, on-demand, scalable database service for dApps.
Without a decentralized database like Bluzelle in place, dApps would not be able to run efficiently and scale to massive use.
At its core, Bluzelle’s ecosystem connects consumers wishing to rent out database space to providers with additional computing resources to offer this storage.
Using this data storage, dApp and application developers alike can optimize their products by accessing reliable data when necessary and storing their data on a secure platform.
Providers can, in turn, be compensated for providing this storage.
Bluzelle has the potential to play a pivotal role in the blockchain infrastructure landscape. The company’s decentralized database services have the potential to fulfil a significant need for the advancement of blockchain technologies in enterprise use-cases.
This is part of the “VC on Blockchain” series, where I dwell into the blockchain industry. Ethical disclaimer: Tribe Accelerator is a unit of TRIVE, which is a Singapore government-backed blockchain accelerator. Applications for the first cohort are open.
Image Credits: leungchopan
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