Prior to the explosion of the cryptocurrency sphere as a whole in 2017, most new projects launched in the absence of initial coin offerings. While this funding method has become the norm throughout the community, it has done so in the presence of massive controversy in regards to the ethics and legitimacy of the ICO model. While it seems as if every upcoming project involves such a crowdsale, it’s important to recognize that there are legitimate ventures operating sans ICOs. Here are four to check out:
1. Market Protocol (MKT)
The team behind Market Protocol is working to develop a decentralized derivatives exchange – the first of its kind. Market Protocol will represent an ecosystem of DApps that allow participants to create and execute a variety of trades, trustlessly, with other participants. These contracts will encapsulate functions like margins and futures trading for both cryptocurrency and non-crypto stocks and commodities alike.
Market Protocol will be fueled by its token, MKT, to create contracts, connect traders, act as collateral, and execute trades. The team is currently finalizing its first DApp, contract creation. Soon following will be a DApp that will enable trading capabilities. The team is unsure as to how they will distribute MKT, but they have stated that there are no plans to hold an ICO. Currently, the project’s development is being funded by the team itself.
2. Elixir (ELIX)
Elixir (ELIX) is a platform that allows its users to make payments, lend money, and crowdfund projects. Currently, the team is working to finalize the crowdfunding element of the project, which is slated for release sometime in the second quarter. Soon after this development will be the release of the mobile application, which will incorporate the major functions of the platform. Currently, users can pledge to become “Early Creators”, or hosts of the first crowdfunding initiatives, and earn ELIX in exchange.
Elixir uses a Proof-of-Time algorithm, and the coin was fairly distributed through a “genesis airdrop” event. Participants in the airdrop not only received a portion of the supply of ELIX, but also were granted the opportunity to sacrifice their coins in order to mine more. The longer they hold the coins before returning them to the genesis address, the more ELIX is returned. Elixir currently holds rank #507 on CoinMarketCap, with a market cap of US$ 9.5 million.
3. ChanCoin (CHN)
ChanCoin is a community-driven cryptocurrency initially created in the summer of 2017. Developers from the community are actively working to deploy a system of steganographic technology to provide credit to original content creators. Essentially, CHN seeks to attach original ownership, primarily on image boards, to the first creator of an image or media. This is another extension of its role as a tipping currency, and such a development would allow users to reward the original creator of a piece of artwork, even if they’ve only viewed it as a repost.
After the coin’s primary developer engaged in malicious behavior (failing to disclose the extent of the premine and subsequently dumping the coin), the community removed the developer from CHN and worked to rebuild the project, and have made great strides since. This is an absolute microcap coin, with a market cap of just over US$ 200,000. Regardless, CHN maintains an active community that is excited about the future of this project.
4. Masari (MSR)
Masari is a privacy coin forked from XMR. It was fairly launched on September 2, 2017 with no premine. The coin boasts an active community and very active development, with hundreds of Github commits since the September launch. The lead developer mined an amount equal to 0.5% of the current supply after the genesis block, and has put that amount into a transparent donation address that will fund future initiatives and projects.
While MSR does not have many exciting developments to share, it sparks interest due to the sound fundamentals of the coin. The strong team and active community, coupled with the low maximum supply of 18 million and minuscule market cap of about US$ 1 million, make it a worthwhile project to take a look at. Particularly due to the sustained popularity of privacy coins, the niche to which MSR belongs only seems to be growing.