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A Look At Cryptocurrency And Blockchain Startups

Technology

Isadora Teich wrote this article

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Cryptocurrency and Blockchain are hot topics right now. Venture capitalists are pouring billions into them and creating funds. New startups in this arena seem to pop up every day.

Let’s take a look at some of the innovative things these young cryptocurrency and blockchain companies are doing!

A Quick Breakdown of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency

At this point, most people are aware of cryptocurrency. It is digital currency. These currencies exist on a technology called the blockchain.

If you want to learn more about what blockchain can do in-depth, check out our blog post on the subject.

For the purposes of this post, here is a super quick summary of how blockchain works.

Blockchain is a unique type of database. One of the main differences between blockchain and other databases is in how it stores data. Blockchains store data in blocks that are then virtually “chained” together.

As new data arrives, it will be entered into a new block. Once that block becomes full of data, it gets chained to the prior block. As such, blockchain data is stored in chronological order.

With that in mind, let’s explore how startups are approaching this technology!

SiennaLend: Private Crypto Lending

A big feature of traditional blockchain is that it is entirely public. Anyone can view transactions and the information contained in a network. While crypto has taken off globally, this has actually been cited as a potential con for widespread adoption in some industries.

Via Triple A

SiennaNetwork is one of a few interesting cryptocurrency and blockchain startups looking to give traders and investors more privacy. If DeFi is going to truly take hold, there needs to be more options for privacy.

Think about it, how comfortable would you feel using your debit card if every customer at your bank could view every transaction? Traditional finance offers privacy that blockchain has been unable to offer, until now.

SiennaNetwork has launched SiennaLend, a private crypto lending platform. They say that platform users can earn interest on their crypto. Users can also borrow crypto from the platform with complete privacy.

The company says that its platform offers lower gas prices and higher security than other platforms, like Uniswap and PancakeSwap.

According to Monty Munford, SiennaNetwork’s Chief Evangelist:

“Paying a transaction fee of $150 to make a loan of $200 makes little sense. This is another major benefit for SiennaLend. Gas fees are counted in cents rather than dollars as the scalability of the blockchains are much higher.”

“We have spent 15 months in stealth, fine-tuning this absolute game-changer for crypto and its ascendance to the next level of mainstream finance.”

LoftyAI: Real Estate Investing Via Blockchain

For years, companies have been trying to find ways to get more people involved in real estate investing.

Traditionally, in order to get involved, you may have needed hundreds of thousands of dollars. While some people do directly invest in smaller real estate companies, that may require more money than most Americans make in a year.

Websites like Fundrise and RoofStock have offered people the opportunity to buy shares of homes and commercial developments for years. However, they usually require an investment of $1,000 or more.

LoftyAI has taken this even farther. They have created a largely unregulated online blockchain-based marketplace. There, almost any adult can invest as little as $50 at a time. This will give them a digital token equivalent to a stake in a single-property rental business.

According to Desiree Fields, an assistant professor of geography and global metropolitan studies at UC Berkeley; home ownership and real estate investing have become out of reach for the majority of Americans. So, it makes sense that real estate tech is trying to fill in that gap. She told NBC:

“You can’t afford to buy a home yourself, but maybe you can become 1/50th of a landlord.”

LoftyAI is still small. This promising year-old startup has been funded by Y-combinator. So far, it has about 90 rental properties in rust belt states like Illinois and Ohio.

Remi Labs: Taking The Cringe Out of NFTs

Via Chris Torres

Remi Labs is a Y-combinator-backed startup looking to solve the NFT problem.

This is another hot topic that many find confusing. First off, what exactly is an NFT?

NFT stands for “Non-Fungible Token” and according to Coinbase:

You can think of NFTs as being kind of like certificates of authenticity for digital artifacts.

As as Bitcoin and other crypto has boomed in popularity over the last year, NFTs have also soared — growing to an estimated $338 million in 2020. Each NFT is stored on an open blockchain (often Ethereum’s) and anyone interested can track them as they’re created, sold, and resold.

What Do They Mean By “The Cringe”?

NFTs have raised a lot of interesting philosophical questions. Some critics say that as you can screenshot any digital image you want, paying for NFTs is pointless.

Others say that money in itself only has value because we give it value. So, if people give an NFT value, then it is inherently valuable.

Some view NFTs as a forward-looking business asset. Others consider those who release them to be scammers. Some artists have been pressured into abandoning NFT projects by their fans.

Right now, there are a lot of strange NFTs out there. These may have somewhat degraded their reputation.

This includes things like a $4,000 toilet paper NFT by Charmin. A 90 Day Fiance participant was even rumored to have made hundreds of thousands of dollars selling a controversial NFT.

This is a big part of what Remi Labs wants to navigate. According to the company:

“Launching an NFT collection can seem tantalizing for brands, however, when executed poorly can create long-lasting negative implications. We take the cringe out of NFTs.”

This might seem strange. However, a number of white label NFT services have launched in order to help companies navigate the NFT landscape. Remi Labs is looking to help businesses create NFTs from the ground up. These NFTs will be an asset to brands, rather than harm them.

Final Thoughts On Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Startups

This is truly a fascinating space. There are a lot of implications for existing industries. Cryptocurrency and Blockchain have even already created new ones.

Again, it is important to remember that while cryptocurrency and blockchain are often used interchangeably, they are two very different things.

It will be interesting to see how this sector develops. What do you think? Comment below!

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