The blockchain world is full of hype, however, many promising–and generously funded–projects have yet to turn out a demo or a working product. Although there are more theoretical and “in-development” projects than platforms that have gone live on the market, there is a growing number of blockchain companies that are releasing promising alpha, beta, and even fully functioning versions of their products. Here are five projects that crypto enthusiasts can access right now, using only MetaMask and their browsers!
DAOstack is building what they call “the WordPress of DAOs.” Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) will be part of the next generation of blockchain innovation, however, user-friendly tools to build them are hard to come by. DAOstack is changing that by providing modular tools for DAO builders. Users can mix-and-match governance modules to create the DAO that best suits their needs.
A major part of DAOstack’s tool suite – Alchemy, a DApp for collective decision-making and budgeting within DAOs – recently became available on the Ethereum mainnet. Alchemy is the guiding decision-making tool of the soon-to-be-launched Genesis DAO – you can see it in action at https://alchemy.daostack.io/#/.
Through Alchemy, DAO members can create proposals for allocating resources within the DAO and stake tokens on the proposal’s success. Creating, voting for, or staking in favor of proposals that succeed earn users higher reputation scores, which they can leverage for further privileges in the DAO.
SingularityNET is another highly ambitious blockchain project that you can participate in right now. SingularityNET describes itself as a “Decentralized Self-Organizing Cooperative” which is similar to a DAO, but a bit different because SingularityNET will receive high-level governance from a nonprofit foundation.
This organization’s goal is to provide an open-source framework for developing and exchanging AI services. AI is a powerful tool currently siloed within high-profit tech companies who can afford to build their own custom services. With SingularityNET, companies and individuals can contract with AI developers and businesses to create and use custom modular tools. SingularityNET manages this complex ecosystem through a set of smart contract templates used to moderate interactions among both human and AI agents.
SingularityNET’s alpha network is already live at http://alpha.singularitynet.io/ and users can experiment by interacting with agents using AGI tokens. A screenshot released by CEO Ben Goertzel in early 2018 demonstrates the kinds of services available in SingularityNET’s AI marketplace.
Matryx is the brainchild of Nanome, a biotech company that builds tools for VR rendering of research-related objects such as pharmaceutical molecules or calculus vectors. Matryx uses blockchain to further Nanome’s interests in research and development by unlocking the power of crowdfunding.
Users who hold MTX tokens can enter tournaments on the Matryx alpha site. In tournaments, teams both collaborate and compete to find solutions to proposed problems. Matryx’s blockchain registers all actions in the tournament and ensures that everyone who contributes to the winning solution, even incrementally, automatically receives token rewards via smart contracts. True to Nanome’s VR roots, many of the challenges entail VR manipulation elements, so owning a headset is helpful!
You can test drive Matryx’s alpha at http://alpha.matryx.ai/.
The blockchain and crypto community demographics are skewed toward younger generations, so retirement planning may not feel like an immediate concern. But Auctus recognizes that a blockchain can bring real benefits to the retirement planning process and that hopefully, it will get more people planning earlier.
Auctus uses a blockchain and smart contracts to moderate transparent relationships between retirement fund holders and human or robo-advisors. Their platform approaches retirement funds holistically, including both traditional assets such as 401ks and less traditional ones such as cryptocurrencies.
Users can contract with a mixture of human and robo-advisors to help them make investing decisions. When decisions pay off, smart contracts ensure that advisors are rewarded with both AUC tokens and improved reputation. A marketplace of third-party apps will provide additional services via blockchain.
The project is still in alpha stage, but users can already upload holdings information, run analytics, and access robo-advisors. The alpha is available at https://platform.auctus.org/.
Akasha is a social media network similar to Medium or Reddit, where users can publish content and upvote or downvote others’ posts. What makes Akasha different is the fact that it runs on the Ethereum network (no surprise there; Akasha’s founder is Ethereum co-founder Mihai Alisie and Vitalik Buterin serves as an advisor). Because Akasha content lives on a blockchain network rather than any one server, it’s immune from censorship. Upvotes and downvotes trigger smart contract-enabled microtransactions, so writing quality content earns its authors crypto rewards.
Akasha users can search by tag, username, and context text to find and follow quality content and creators. Users can create “boards” that represent different interests to stay informed. Users earn Mana on the platform for locking up their AETH tokens and can spend Mana by voting on content, while a “Karma” measure keeps track of overall contributions to the network. Akasha is currently in beta phase and can be found at https://beta.akasha.world/.
The blockchain industry is still in its infancy, but it is experiencing intense growth and change every day. While it’s an exciting and promising place, its early adopters must wrestle with a certain amount of risk. One study found that almost half of ICOs launched in 2017 had failed within the first few months of 2018. That statistic shouldn’t scare people away from blockchain; however, it should reinforce the value of projects that enter the alpha phase or beyond, demonstrating that they’re well along the road to a successful project.
Can you think of other blockchain projects, currently in alpha, that should be listed here? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, DAOstack, SingularityNET, Matryx, Auctus, Akasha