The first Blockchain Expo in Berlin is full of the latest blockchain buzz. There is literally an ICO around every corner. Not only are there blockchain solutions but also service providers that help blockchain companies better find solutions — namely solutions to raising more at their next ICO. Let us take a look at a few of the projects that were at the Expo.
Legal Contracts on the Blockchain
Agrello offers “legally-binding smart contracts on the blockchain”. That’s not exactly true though; as the contracts themselves are not on the Ethereum blockchain. The contracts are stored privately. A hash of the contract, as well as of the people that signed it, is what goes on the Ethereum blockchain.
People that need a contract often search Google for a contract template that suits their needs. Agrello has a database of contract templates; users submit the templates and earn tokens when the templates are used.
What remains to be seen is if contract templates that are written correctly and match needs of the user will be popular, or will the market of contract templates be manipulated so the template seller can generate more profit.
There’s still the issue of digital identity. The contract may say that someone signed on date x — but does that mean that you can prove to a judge that it was me who signed it, just because there is a hash and a blockchain involved?
Of course, Agrello is going to have an ICO soon. However the contract for the ICO is not going to in the Agrello database, and there isn’t a hash of the ICO contract on the Ethereum blockchain either. What a disappointment!
Not Only Ethereum But Ethereum Classic Has ICOs Too
The Corion platform, built on the ETC network, has a pegged token that is always worth $1 USD as one of its main features. The mechanism that regulates the peg to USD is apparently “inflation and deflation”.
There are not many details on how the peg should work, but it’s the centerpoint of the entire Corion project. There is also a whopping 2.5 percent per day paid in a form of proof-of-stake. If I earn 2.5 percent a day by just holding a coin, why should I sell it? If nobody sells the coin, how are you going to manage deflation?
Although the idea of an ICO on ETC is interesting, this one did not have me flipping tables in order to be at the front of the line to buy the ICO.
Still In the Cloud? You Need to Come Down to the Fog
In simple terms, SONM is crowdsourced computing power — or in other words, a botnet that is paid in tokens to share CPU power using smart contracts and blockchain technology.
This is called “Fog”. Imagine something “lower than the cloud” and, instead of storage, SONM clams its distributed applications could provide everything from video games to medical research.
This sounds great. People who need more CPU power can buy it cheaply on the SONM market. People who are looking for alien universes, or trying to cure cancer, can buy cheap CPU power now.
Let’s say I’m sourcing some computing power from SONM for medical research. It happens that, in the middle of my research, there’s a new ICO on the Ethereum blockchain similar in popularity to Brave’s BAT (basic attention token) and I cannot pay for my CPU cycles. The network gets bogged down, and my medical research comes to a halt.
Amid the Hype, What Has More Real-World Use?
The Berlin Blockchain Expo showed that although the hype level of blockchain projects is reaching new highs, the niche is still tiny when compared to IoT or AI.
There was actually another parallel IOT conference in the same hall with more booths, talks and visitors.
Whenever the blockchain ICO bubble pops, we will see who is left and what projects survive — but for now there’s plenty of new blood to fuel the hype into the next part of the cycle.
What has more real world application? Rare Pepe blockchain trading cards, or a legal contract generated with the help of a smart contract that uses Fog CPU power and was paid for in tokens that are pegged to the US dollar?
What’s your opinion on this: hype or innovation? Tell us your opinions.
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