What on Earth is Blockchain technology? More like what on the Internet. Blockchain is a system in which several computers linked in a peer-to-peer network maintain cryptocurrency transaction records. Simply put, blockchain technology is a decentralized, distributed ledger recording the source of digital assets.
Its incredibly transparent and fraud-safe reputation makes it a desirable advancement in money transaction technology, one that companies cannot resist. Originally devised specifically for Bitcoin, the technical community has taken blockchain and found other uses for it. Below are the top 10 blockchain technologies you can use today.
Founded in 2012, Coinbase is a fully regulated and licensed cryptocurrency exchange in 40 U.S. states. Initially, Coinbase only allowed users to trade Bitcoin, but the company soon expanded to other cryptocurrencies that fit its decentralized criteria. Coinbase offers various products outside of cryptocurrency investing, including an advanced trading platform, custodial accounts for institutions, a wallet for retail investors, and its own U.S. dollar stable-coin.
Users can access the Coinbase platform through Android or iOS devices. Trading is extremely easy and geared towards a beginner. It is browser-based, and it offers no downloadable trading software. Its more advanced trading platform, known as Coinbase Pro, offers a far larger trade experience. A standard Coinbase platform is a great tool to help people understand how easy it is to purchase, store, and move cryptocurrency. Coinbase Pro is better for people who want to actively trade or invest with lower fees and more features.
Mirror is a digital ledger for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency transactions. The software provides a safe way to make or record all involved transactions, agreements, or contracts. The database is shared between several users so they can access the information of all the transactions from the beginning of the network. The network size varies with its number of users. Mirror is an effective tool against fraud since it provides ultimate clarity and transparency.
Thanks to its advanced blockchain technology, all transactions take place in a safe environment. Because Mirror shares its information with everyone on the network, if anyone wants to hack the system, they would have to access every computer in the network to make changes in the database.
8 BTC Jam
BTC Jam is an online community of investors and borrowers. Individual users can build a trustworthy personal profile, loan monies, and invest in other people’s ideas/concepts. BTC Jam gives borrowers an interest rate based on their profiles’ credit-worthiness, much like a traditional bank loan. Investors decide on a person’s worthiness rather than a traditional credit rating bureau.
Founded in late 2012, its first average loan size was $400-$600. In October 2013, the 500 Startups program accepted BTC Jam, securing seed financing from Ribbit Capital, 500 Startups, Funders Club, and Bitcoin Investment Trust. By 2016, the company issued more than 16,000 loans across 121 countries.
Anyone who wants to invest or borrow from the BTC Jam community must be as transparent as possible with your credit and loan history. Also, when someone invests, follow them and invest back into their profiles. This common courtesy helps you build a good reputation. Next time, the individual will not hesitate to invest in you. Lastly, use the money for its intended project as promised and provide proof of purchase or investments.
Founded in 2013, Hello-Bit is a San Francisco, California-based company with only ten employees. It mainly conducts money transfers built on the Bitcoin network. It provides a platform allowing users to send Bitcoin from anywhere in the world. Exchangers exchange this Bitcoin for cash. The company also offers services like person-to-person money transfer, financial services, and virtual currency.
Anyone willing to send money to friends and family globally can use this platform. The recipients of the transaction can then pick-up cash from a trusted network of collaborative economy-based exchangers. Hello-Bit removes the inefficiencies and fees associated with traditional remittance businesses by using digital currency.
Formally known as Robocoin, Romit is a new global remittance platform leveraging blockchain technology. It does not use Bitcoin, however. Its remittance platform is fully automated to make running a money transfer business easy, with low and transparent fees. The company offers cheap, fast, and paperwork-free transactions that enable a better customer experience worldwide. In third world countries, Romit promotes entrepreneurship and other business developments.
On April 21, 2020, Romit launched its new remittance software. The software provides low-cost wealth storage as well as money sending options using a web-enabled computer. It pays 40% to sending operators and 40% to receiving operators. This is relatively high compared to other leading Money Transfer companies, which offer 10%-20% payouts. Romit engages in major convenience store networks, pawnshops, and even a state-owned bank. The company’s main targets include the Philippines, India, Mexico, and other remittance-heavy markets.
5 Align Commerce
Align Commerce was founded in 2014 and processes payments by specializing in international bank transfers. These transfers do not expose merchants to Bitcoin’s market volatility, although it puts Align Commerce in an unsettled regulatory territory in some markets. Currently, Align Commerce can process transfers between 60 countries.
Using Bitcoin’s blockchain, Align Commerce by-passes conventional banking networks. It does not require users to send, accept, or own any actual Bitcoin. Their website downplays its use of blockchain technology strongly, and it’s unlikely that most merchants have any idea that this protocol plays a role in their transfers.
Publicly, there is less available information about Align Commerce’s pricing and contract terms. Very few user reviews mention exact fees, and the company does not disclose its transfer rates on its website. Several third-party sources indicate that Align Commerce charges between 1.5% and 1.9% per transfer. This is far less than the 3%-5% fees that are common for international bank transfers. The company does charge a flat $15 fee for same-currency transfers between two countries. Generally, Align Commerce offers its service at below-market rates with little to no long-term commitment required.
Despite the mystery surrounding fees, merchants using Align Commerce shouldn’t have concerns about security or legality. They only need to educate themselves on the regulatory climate surrounding Bitcoin.
Founded as a bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer in 2011, Bitfury offers a suite of blockchain services. These include the enterprise blockchain system Exonum, a layer-two payment system called Lightning Peach, an analytics platform Crystal, and a music platform Surround. In 2017 the firm was the third-largest bitcoin mining operation behind Bitmain and F2Pool. To develop blockchain solutions for various sectors, Bitfury signed a memorandum of understanding with multinational consulting firm Ernst & Young (E.Y.) in 2016.
The company launched its enterprise blockchain software, Exonum, in 2017. This software enables businesses and governments to secure private data on the public Bitcoin blockchain. Bitfury’s second-layer Bitcoin scaling solution is its Lightning Network. Also launched in 2017 for developers, the Network’s Lightning Peach is crucial. It offers tools to build on Lightning, a bitcoin wallet, and a suite of hardware and software solutions that let merchants accept Lightning payments.
In 2018, the Lightning Peach team created a coffee machine connected to the Lighting Network to test the feasibility of lightning-compatible vending. To process microtransactions successfully, the device integrated a Raspberry Pi computer and a unique circuit board.
The name ABRA is an abbreviation for “A Better Remittance App.” The company offers financial services and technology by operating an all-in-one, custodial cryptocurrency wallet and exchange. Abra is at the frontline of the Centralized Finance and Decentralized Finance spaces. It offers high-yield interest rates for Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Stellar Lumens, USD Coin, among other cryptocurrencies.
Worldwide, Abra has over 1 million downloads and is available for download in over 150 different countries. The app is available on both iOS and Android platforms. Abra App users can deposit, withdraw, exchange, and hold four native coins: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum. The app also allows users to exchange and hold over 80 different cryptocurrencies.
2 Chain Inc.
Launched in 2014, Chain Inc. is a blockchain development company specializing in building a cryptographic ledger system for financial services companies. Using its blockchain-based tools, the company helps banks, stock exchanges, and credit-card companies secure, trade, and manage financial assets. Big financial companies like Citigroup, Visa, Capital One, NASDAQ, Orange, and others have partnered with Chain Inc. For secure token transactions, the company created a sequence ledger-as-a-service that works with the private ledger and public networks. You can use this technology for mobile wallets, a ride-sharing app, and a crypto-exchange platform. It also takes part in the development of blockchain, cryptography, payment systems, distributed system, ledger technology, etc.
Chain Inc. offers education on blockchains, including talks suitable for the general public and other, more technical ones. It also connects enthusiasts and beginners with blockchain experts. For experts, Chain Inc. provides them with information on how they can ramp up and see the bright ideas already evolving in the industry. This gives them a fantastic opportunity to meet business people and companies willing to venture into the blockchain investment.
1 Consensus Systems
Consensus Systems (ConsenSys) is a blockchain software technology company founded to develop decentralized software services and applications operating on the Ethereum blockchain. Launched in 2015 by Joseph Lubin, it has headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, and additional offices in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. Among multi-agent systems such as cryptocurrencies, this fault-tolerant mechanism is used in computers and blockchain systems to attain the necessary agreement on a single data value or a single state of the network.
Decentralized, self-regulating public blockchains work on a global scale without any single authority. Hundreds of participants work on verification and authentication of blockchain transactions and block mining activities. Within this framework, ConsenSys operates on two different principles:
- The Proof of Work: This consensus algorithm requires a participant node to confirm that the submitted work qualifies them to receive the right to add new transactions to the blockchain. It is mostly used by the most popular cryptocurrency networks like Bitcoin and Litecoin.
- The Proof of Stake: This consensus algorithm involves responsibility allocation in keeping the public ledger to a participant node according to the number of virtual currency tokens held by it. It evolved as a low-cost, low-energy consuming alternative to the P.O.W. algorithm. Its major drawback is promoting cryptocurrency saving instead of spending.
Blockchain technology is the backbone for a new type of internet. Should you use any of the ten technologies mentioned above, you are taking part in modern ingenuity at its finest and peering into the future of money and investments.