With over 2000 cryptocurrencies on the market, new ICOs are doing everything they can to stick out of the crowd. Uber co-founder Garrett Camp is launching an ICO that he’s hoping will resolve many of the issues surrounding other cryptocurrencies.
Dubbed Eco, the token’s design proposal published on March 1, 2018 aims to resolve the complexity, usability, and scalability issues associated with cryptos like bitcoin. Bitcoin, according to Eco’s backers, has three major issues:
- The concentration of resources in the hands of a few.
- The large amount of energy consumed by the system.
- Its perception as a complex and unsafe platform.
To resolve these issues, eco is increasing overall token supply (over one trillion tokens will be initially offered) and creating simple web and mobile apps. It’s also avoiding raising money through an ICO and recruiting universities to run nodes. The overall system is said to be more energy-conscious too.
So, can the man who disrupted the transportation industry do the same to crypto?
Navigating the Blockchains
While eco’s values are certainly admirable, it’s far from the only cryptocurrency that’s improved upon the issues with bitcoin. Messaging apps Telegram and Kik have their own cryptocurrency platforms that implement a mobile-first functionality.
The Telegram Open Network (TON) coin, however, isn’t for your average investor. The minimum investment in its ICO is anywhere from $500,000 to $20 million. Its founder, Pavel Durov is a prominent Russian tech mogul who created Vkontakte, Russia’s answer to Facebook, and Telegram is its answer to WhatsApp. TON is working toward becoming the biggest ICO at $4-$5 billion.
Kin, meanwhile, was initially a token on the Ethereum blockchain, although its since moved to Stellar, which was created by Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb in 2014. Kik’s messaging app has over 300 million registered users, and the company raised over $100 million in 2017 through its proprietary token sale. What’s interesting about Kin is its issued to Kik users to complement the existing ecosystem and increase in-app engagement.
As for verified nodes, both Ripple and Stellar offer them. Although Ripple’s nodes are centralized to the company’s internal servers, Stellar is a non-profit that forked from the Ripple protocol. Ripple aims to serve financial institutions, while Stellar’s goal is to help the unbanked and underbanked. These are only two of hundreds of similar blockchains. Eco may have differentiated itself from bitcoin, but it’s not unique in the crypto world.
Which Camp to Join
Garrett Camp is no stranger to innovative tech companies. He’s known as the brains behind Uber, creating the giant run by Travis Kalanick until he left the company in 2017 amidst a wave of sexual harassment claims. He also co-founded StumbleUpon, the web’s first discovery platform. According to Forbes, he’s the third-richest Canadian alive, with an estimated wealth of over $5.3 billion.
He calls eco a “middle ground” between decentralized currencies like bitcoin and centralized platforms like Visa and MasterCard. Rather than incentivizing nodes to pour resources into verifying transactions, tokens mined through eco are distributed evenly through the entire network. This means it’ll reduce energy consumption as each node will only be incentivized to perform the bare minimum processing.
The project is still in its early stages and is being spearheaded by the Eco Foundation, a non-profit set up by Camp and funded with $10 million of his own money. The ICO launch is slated for a fall-winter 2018 release. That’s when we’ll find out for sure how viable of a system Camp and his team have really built.
Until then, keep an eye on the tech industry. Businesses like Overstock, Kodak, and Facebook are all throwing their hats in the crypto ring. Whether these new ICOs are a sign of a burgeoning industry or part of an inevitable bubble burst remains to be seen. But these major brand names could create a crypto frenzy of their own.