by Helen Disney, the Founder of Unblocked Events for The Fintech Times
Energi Mine (ETK)
The energy sector is becoming an interesting area to watch and possibly one of the verticals that will end up moving even faster than financial services. There are many cost savings and efficiencies to be offered by using blockchain technology to replace some extremely old-fashioned legacy systems including, yes, faxing over paperwork and using DVDs to keep lists of suppliers. There is also a strong incentive for the sector to change due to signals coming from the external policy environment and regulatory framework, in particular the push for decarbonisation.
Energi Mine is one such energy blockchain start up. Run by Omar Rahim, who is based in Oldham in the north of England, its stated aim is to decentralise energy markets by rewarding energy efficient behaviour. The service monitors energy usage and manipulates the data using a combination of Artificial Intelligence and blockchain technology to identify how businesses can reduce their energy consumption. Energi Mine has already raised £10.6m including $11m in its pre-ICO sale, rapidly reaching its cap of $15m within minutes of opening its public sale of EnergiTokens.
Medicalchain is one of the first UK-based companies to propose blockchain solutions for healthcare. Its CEO, Abdullah Albeyatti, trained as a surgeon and now works as a family doctor in Leeds. They are also currently one of the top-rated healthcare tokens on ICO bench. The presale of Medtokens is now closed and a public token sale is on its way. Medicalchain’s service will give patients access to their medical records using blockchain. This has implications for a number of areas including improving online telemedicine consultations. With existing telemedicine services like Babylon you can consult a doctor remotely but the professional doesn’t have access to your medical history. By using Medicalchain, you could also give the doctor permission to securely access your healthcare record. Your anonymised health data can also be sold on for medical research, for example to the pharmaceutical industry, and you would be rewarded in Medtokens that you can use to pay for other healthcare services. Likewise, users could also reduce their healthcare insurance premiums by agreeing to share their healthcare data. Whether the NHS is ready to embrace the technology remains to be seen.
One of the big questions in blockchain circles nowadays concerns whether mainstream companies should issue tokens. Messaging app Telegram, which claims say is set to raise over $2bn, is being watched closely by industry insiders, as well as by outsiders, as a bellwether of forthcoming trends since raising this amount of capital would make it the biggest ICO in history. There is currently some controversy over the level of interest in pre-sales of the token with talk of a second pre-sale to accredited investors at a higher price than the first round. Is the ‘old boys club’ of traditional wealthy investors simply hoarding all the benefits by getting in on the action early with the public token sale being limited to a much smaller proportion of the overall offering? Telegram plans to build a blockchain with additional functions include messaging facilities, application sandboxes and file storage services. Investors will not receive their tokens until at least the end of 2018, meaning the TON token will not be listed on exchanges until next year. Whether Telegram can live up to the hype and deliver what it promises may be a strong predictor of whether other non-blockchain companies decide to go down the ICO fundraising route in future.
Please note that the author has no financial relationship or holdings in any of the aforementioned token sales.