Singapore is a hotbed for crypto investors, and this March, CryptoGrinders headed down to the event hosted by Wholesale Investor at The Commons. Out of all the projects pitched, CryptoGrinders has shortlisted the top three that we are keeping an eye on.
Image taken from New Era
New Era Energy Limited
Ever wanted to be more environmentally friendly? Speaking from personal experience, it can be difficult for an individual to be incentivised to become ‘greener’; it is a pain to monitor how much water and electricity is being saved, especially when there are no immediate incentives. New Era Energy (NERA) recognizes that the current carbon emission protocols are hampering the efforts of individuals and organizations alike, and aims to solve the three main pain points that inhibit eco-friendly behavior.
Currently, certification by authorities is both costly and lengthy, which discourages participation. Without this certificate, eco-friendly initiatives and/or individuals are unable to acquire carbon credits.
Lack of Transparency
The Paris Agreement is largely reliant on voluntary participation, and manufacturers have long been exploiting developing countries to obtain cheap carbon credits. Doing so not only allows them to increase their own pollution for profit, but hampers the efforts of developing nations to build up their infrastructure. There is a massive imbalance between the carbon markets in developed and developing nations.
This lack of transparency results in mistrust between funders and beneficiaries, resulting in a reduced flow of funds into these industries.
Apathy at Individual levels
Individuals do not feel the need to be actively involved in green energy. As mentioned above, without immediate and tangible incentive, only a rare few will be motivated to actively change their lifestyle for a vague and intangible goal.
The NERA blockchain introduces 4 key aspects that serve to alleviate these pain points.
Emission Reduction Units
Using the blockchain, New Era records and verifies all green initiatives and activities and rewards participants with Emission Reduction Units (ERUs). ERUs become a ‘Proof of Green’ measurement to gauge how eco-friendly a person or organization is.
The NERA token
NERA becomes the currency layer of the ecosystem, and is a direct way for participants to benefit from their participation in eco-friendly activities and initiatives. Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies which can be mined or staked, NERA tokens can only be obtained by converting ERUs. In this way, each NERA token is directly pegged to how ‘green’ the participant is.
Green Nodes are comprised of merchants and eco-cities that host, exhibit or perform green or renewable energy-related projects and activities. These actions generate ERUs, and will form the support layer for maintaining the NERA ecosystem, as well as facilitate the exchange between those who want ERUs to be carbon-neutral, with those who are earning ERUs. In this way, people who are going green will be rewarded for their efforts in a tangible form.
A web and mobile interface, NERA Online allows users to upload their ‘Proof of Green’ documents to earn ERUs and convert ERUs into NERA Tokens. The platform also boasts merchants for users to spend their NERA tokens; it is not just a cryptocurrency to be traded speculatively.
New Era is ambitiously trying to change the framework of the current carbon emissions protocols. It provides good incentives for everyone to participate, and this short-term benefits to the individual translate into long-term benefits for the environment; an ideal win-win situation.
Image Taken From Fenix.Cash
Music is a key part of many people’s lives: we listen to it on the way to work, we listen to it while working out, we put it on in the background as we do work. With the rise of Spotify, YouTube and Tidal, it has opened up the range of music that is available to us.
Yet, many artists creating the music struggle to make ends meet. While there are pop stars, such as Beyoncé and Blake Shelton who make phenomenal amounts, there innumerable budding artists that make a pittance from their music. While their songs may be available on multiple platforms and have thousands of listeners, only a tiny fraction of the income goes to the artists. I personally pay about $5 a month to Spotify, and listen to dozens of artists a month, which means that they get a fraction of a cent for my hours of entertainment.
While this is good for consumers in the short-term, it has disastrous consequences in the long run. As fewer and fewer independent artists are able to support their career in music, more and more of them will be forced to focus on making ends meet. This reduces the genres of music, as those that are popular to the masses are the only ones that are financially viable.
Fenix Cash recognises that variety and innovation are a key part of the music industry, and that for the industry to truly flourish, artists need to be able to make a living off their craft. With that in mind, Fenix Cash is a way for artists to supplement their income while focusing full-time on their art.
Fenix Cash caters to both music lovers as well as artists, forming a mutually beneficially relationship for both parties with their platform. Using the blockchain, they are able to create an immutable ledger that allows artists to be rewarded fairly for their work according to their fan base.
For any die-hard music fan, it is not enough to just listen to the music. With Fenix Cash, fans will be able to purchase merchandise directly from bands they love anywhere in the world. Custom printed shirts, mugs, phone cases; anything that the artist can think of will be made available to users of Fenix Cash.
For artists, rather than selling merchandise only at live concerts (if they are able to hold one), they can now place their products online, and have 24/7 access to a global audience.
As with all things, scarcity makes it more valuable. Fenix Cash allows artists to sell VIP access to themselves and/or their band, and give fans what they crave; personal time with their idol.
Bands are able to create customised channels for their music, and fans can subscribe to these channels to be the first in line to see any new updates from their favourite artists.
Artists are also directly rewarded when fans use their customised application; without a middleman, the income flows directly to them and empowers them to continue their creativity.
Fenix Cash provides a novel way to satisfy both parties involved, and has the workings of a long-term and sustainable solution to the problems faced by those in the music industry today.
Moreover, artists who sign up with them are immediately rewarded with FENIX tokens; the pick-up rate is likely to be rapid. With any business, building up a large network quickly is key to getting off the ground, a point that Fenix Cash has carefully considered and addressed in their model.
Image Taken From Kerb.Works
In this day and age, automobiles have become a wide-spread mode of commuting. However, the usage of cars has risen more quickly than infrastructural development can cope with. Anyone who has driven into the business district during peak periods will have faced the problem of parking; there is simply no space available. Parking in the central business district is either prohibitively expensive, or reserved for employees and residents.
Kerb has taken a look at the market today, and realised that the many successful businesses today have focused on helping those who need connect with those who have: all of this is accomplished without actually holding any inventory. For example, Grab connects individuals who own cars with those who need transportation; it is an arrangement that allows drivers to dictate their own flexible working hours, and helps those who need transport. And all of this is done at a lower rate than traditional taxis.
Keeping this in mind, Kerb has focused on the problem of parking. For those who have an allocated parking spot, or own a parking spot, why not rent it out when it is not in use? For example, people who have an empty lot sitting there while they commute out to work are able to rent it out to those who need it. For workers on leave, their unused lots can be rented out for the duration of their vacation.
Using Kerb’s mobile application, drivers can easily find parking spaces that are convenient for them, and then pay through the Kerb application. The owner of the lot will then receive payment for renting out their lot; it’s that simple.
Kerb is not just an idea awaiting execution; they already have a working application and are launched in the United Kingdom and Australia,with Singapore being added to the growing list this year. The network growth seems to be picking up traction due to the simple concept and immediate financial benefits for both parties.
It is not a blockchain project, but this project has definitely caught the eye of CryptoGrinders due to its potential.
15 March 2018