Blockchain isn’t all cryptocurrency and ICOs, and we want to make sure there’s a distinction there. The underlying blockchain technology has far greater potential across multiple industries.
The versatility and decentralised nature of blockchain has been acknowledged and recognised by an increasing number of businesses in the region. Although cryptocurrency and payments are still common uses for blockchain, startups are introducing new innovations into the industry.
In fact, the development of blockchain has expanded to now being part of everyday life. And this goes beyond payments as startups all over the world are finding ways to create value and services that benefit from the security and transparency provided by blockchain technology
We look at some of the startups making waves in the region.
Bluzelle | Singapore
This blockchain startup, Bluzelle, was built on the common idea of sharing. It is a platform that gets users get paid to share the extra space on their computer that they don’t need.
Founded in 2014, Bluzelle was founded by entrepreneurs Pavel Bains and Neeraj Murarka. They had an idea to use the innovative technology to disrupt the world of storage.
The services acts almost like a decentralised cloud service. Users will be able to store their data on multiple computers, or ‘nodes’, making it safer by reducing the likelihood of hacking and less prone to downtime.
The company has successfully completed its US$19.5 million initial coin offering (ICO) in 2018.
Electrify | Singapore
Blockchain energy startup Electrify raised US$30 million to introduce ‘transactive energy platforms that will democratise access to clean energy across the Asia Pacific’ powered by blockchain.
Founded by Julius Tan and Martin Lim in 2017, the company has seemingly been on a crusade to disrupt the regulated energy Asian markets.
The company currently have a web application called ‘Energy Marketplace’, which produces retail electricity contracts. By analysing the user’s usage and data, it allows consumers to make the best option for their energy needs.
The updated platform will help introduce a new way to purchase energy directly from retailers using smart contracts that are enabled through blockchain.
Pundi X | Indonesia (and Singapore)
Pundi X partners with brick-and-mortar retailers all over the world to install its XPOS, the world’s first blockchain-powered point-of-sale device. The company has raised over US$35M in funding over 3 rounds to help bring this vision to life.
XPOS allows retailers to be able to accept payments made in cryptocurrency. This will help consumers to be able use their crypto assets in real life, making that coin you bough actually usable.
Aside from the XPOS, the startup is also making blockchain-powered payments more accessible through a mobile app and physical card. The app called XWallet, allows users to store and use their crypto assets from their phones, while the card, XPASS, allows for contactless or near-field communication (NFC) transactions with the XPOS.
LuxTag | Malaysia
The team behind LuxTag, is based in Malaysia and this startup is trying to use blockchain to verify authenticity for luxury items.
Using the ledger technology, the startup creates tamper-proof certificates of authenticity, on top of the usual certificates and serial numbers that most luxury products come with.
A benefit of the startup’s system is that you can also tag items as stolen or lost. This allows you to store relevant information on the tag such as contact details and so on. This ideally helps with recovering lost items and reducing cases of fraud and forgery.
DACSEE | Malaysia
Trying to disrupt the turbulent ride-sharing industry, Malaysian startup DACSEE or Decentralised Alternative Cabs Serving & Empowering Everyone claims to be the first fully decentralised and autonomous social ride-sharing service.
Using tokens or cryptocurrency, the startup allows drivers to purchase tokens to use the platform and riders to use tokens or traditional payments to pay for the ride. The main difference lies in how the startup is aiming to scale.
Because when the fares are collected, DACSEE only takes 1-2% commission, as compared to the industry standard of 20-25%, it ensures that almost all of revenue is returned to the platform stakeholders such as drivers and passengers.