At CoinAgenda’s Puerto Rican conference during March 3-5, event judges crowned four blockchain startups the top up-and-coming companies in the space heading into 2017.
Judges voted Switzerland-based Bancor as the best public blockchain. Second and third places went to Giga Watt and Aeternity, respectively. CoinAgenda’s judges also chose HealthCoin as the leading startup in the private blockchain space.
Judges Pick the Top Startups of Early 2017
CoinAgenda holds a startup competition at each of its quarterly conferences. In these competitions, startups present their products and services to judges, who evaluate the competitors based on their innovation and creativity.
Bancor took the public blockchain crown for its presentation on Localcoin. With this service, the startup hopes to address the issue of token convergence between digital assets, making it easier to convert one blockchain-based token into another. While the project currently undergoes testnet development, the team told us that it plans to launch a full version of the service in June.
Second-place winner Giga Watt is a self-funded company actively providing cryptocurrency mining solutions in collaboration with mining giant Bitmain. Coming in at third, Aeternity presents itself as a scalable smart contract solution, providing a “resource efficient” and “developer friendly” blockchain platform.
In the private blockchain sector, HealthCoin wants to use blockchain-based biometric data tracking to help prevent adult-onset diabetes. The founder-funded startup is raising its first seed round, and hopes to launch a fully-functioning version of the platform in May.
“Our design leverages the blockchain to create value for multiple prevention stakeholders,” HealthCoin developers said, explaining their goals for the project.
“This includes users, doctors, health plans, employers … and life insurers,” who can independently analyze biometric data stored on the blockchain, screening for health trends and disease manifestations, the team added.
The Need for Blockchain in the Caribbean
The two-day conference in Puerto Rico featured panels and discussion around the massive opportunities for blockchain adoption adoption in the region.
On day two of the event, Bitt CEO Gabriel Abed spoke at length to how the Caribbean is ripe for blockchain-driven disruption. Abed projected that the region will leapfrog its way into implementation — similar to how Africa essentially skipped landline telephone infrastructure, going straight to mobile. Abed said:
“With close to 70% of the Caribbean unbanked, infrastructure at a quarter of what it is in developed nations when it comes to ATM’s and bank branches … there’s little e-commerce platforms availability, and the costs are extremely inaccessible to young entrepreneurs.”
Abed also highlighted the growing issue of correspondent banking relationships between institutions in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Correspondent banks from these regions operating in the Caribbean region have shrunk the market, Abed noted, taking away competition opportunities for other financial service providers.
In turn, there are an increasingly clear opportunities and need for financial inclusion, which blockchain technology enables, to utilize the asset’s distributed nature.
CoinAgenda will hold another startup competition at its next conference in Barcelona, Spain on July 16-18. This event will be followed by CoinAgenda Asia in Shanghai. Lastly, the main CoinAgenda Global conference in Las Vegas will take place on October 24-26.
What do you think about the 4 startups that won the CoinAgenda competition? Let us know in the comments below.
Image via Pixabay.