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Utility tokens: which are the most interesting and actually useful?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a utility token is “A digital token of cryptocurrency that is issued in order to fund development of the cryptocurrency and that can be later used to purchase a good or service offered by the issuer of the cryptocurrency”. Further, a utility token is a non-physical token created for crowdfunding purposes. Simply put, the buyer of a utility token has paid the issuer of the token some form of currency so that the company issuing the token can develop a product that the buyer of the token can then later redeem for those goods or services. This process of issuing utility tokens is called Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). Utility tokens are identified by providing access for a product or service.

With over 1000 projects available from which to choose, there is no shortage of ICO projects using blockchain technology trying to change the tech world as we know it today. We decided to pick the most interesting utility tokens worth summarizing for 2018.

  1. 0x (ZRX)

The world is not without its own troubles and issues. One of the biggest issues is a lack of decentralized exchanges. While some have been popping up in recent years, a huge number of trading still occurs on centralized exchanges.

0x is an open-source and permissionless protocol that allows for ERC-20 tokens to be traded on the Ethereum blockchain and allows users to trade directly with known counterparties for free. The primary purpose of the protocol is for it to be used as a building block that enables trustless exchange functionality for decentralized exchanges and dApps.

There’s a fast protocol that is scalable thanks to off-chain order relay, while still being trustless thanks to on-chain settlement. There are several “relayers” who are already using the 0x protocol to facilitate transactions, the most popular of which at the moment is Radar Relay.

  1. LOCI (LOCI)

If you’re looking to discover and stake your ideas on the Ethereum blockchain, then LOCI is the platform for you. The LOCI Platform will also allow inventors to sell or license their ideas to investors or businesses through their marketplace, positioning itself as the eBay of IP. It has a search tool (LOCI Search) already live, which uses a patented system of link analysis, machine learning, and crowdsourcing to show users comprehensive IP data.

LOCIcoin is the native token on the platform necessary for conducting comprehensive analysis of an idea, staking the idea on the Ethereum blockchain, and buying and/selling Intellectual Property on the marketplace. Through staking on the blockchain, this creates a timestamped immutable proof of disclosure, a critical piece in the patenting process or proving provenance of one’s idea.

The current system for filing patents is complicated, old, expensive, slow, and in need of innovation. LOCI plans to improve the efficiency of the patent process by making it easier for innovators. Typically, prior art and patentability searches cost between $2,000 to $3,500, which yield, at most, searches that are 70% comprehensive. LOCI has recently announced their launch of the Invention Analysis tool providing an advanced novelty score for ideas.

  1. Skycoin (SKY)

Skycoin, which was founded in 2013, is one of the original platform cryptocurrencies. It’s unique algorithm, Obelisk, is non-energy intensive and resists at least over half of attacks launched at it. With up to 300 transactions per second and just a 2 second transaction time, the Sky platform is well-suited to support a robust collection of applications built on top of it.

Participants are advised to run nodes in the mesh network in order to earn SKY, while users can pay for exactly the amount of bandwidth they consume rather than the often overpriced monthly fees that ISPs traditionally charge.

  1. FunFair (FUN)

This is another platform built on the Ethereum blockchain. Using smart contracts, FunFair provides the infrastructure for casinos and other online gambling platforms. FunFair provides an indisputably fair, cheap, and secure system in which online gaming/casino operators cannot cheat the players. FunFair itself, is not a casino, instead they license their technology to other casino operators.

The FUN native token is an integral part of FunFair in powering the whole platform. It is the “betting chip that pits player against casino, the financial reward paid to developers for their games and the fuel that enables key processes on the network.”

The experienced team is tackling a key issue that has plagued the gaming industry for as long as it existed. Given the non-transparent nature of the online gambling industry, it is one of the sectors that has a clear use case for implementing blockchain technology. To paint a picture of the online gambling industry, in 2015, “the online gambling market had a volume of 37.91 billion U.S. dollars,” with a forecast of an increase to 59.79 billion USD in 2020.

  1. Basic Attention Token (BAT)

Basic Attention Token is a solution for the broken digital advertising model. Its aim is to build a system that helps advertisers, content publishers, and internet users to gain benefits. With this, invasive middlemen platforms such as Facebook and YouTube will eventually become obsolete.

Achieving this will be hard, making BAT one of the most ambitious and risky projects to invest in. But the BAT project certainly has the technology to turn this into a real competition. One of its major components is the Brave browser. This is an open-source, high-performance web browser that protects the privacy of your data while blocking ads and trackers.

Another critical feature of Brave is Brave Payments, which is a program that enables users to support their favorite content creators and publishers with BAT. Brave tracks the time you spend on various websites and YouTube channels, allowing you to make well-informed decisions on how to distribute your BAT.

With increasing acceptance across the globe, Blockchain technology has come to stay. What this means is that you can expect to see new projects and the battle between them to see which ones will rise above all and become the pinnacle of technological advancement. That being said, the above listed utility projects have great potential of success and are worth following during these times.

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