Asia’s 25 Most Innovative Robotics Startups

If you’re interested in tech and startups in Asia, be sure to check out AsiaTechList – my hand-researched list of 4,000+ fast-growing tech companies in Asia.

Asia is the world’s fastest-growing market for robotics solutions, and for good reason. As the region’s quickly-growing countries industrialize and begin making more goods than ever, robots help them do so at a comparatively lower cost than doing so with human capital. The region has long been seen as an innovator in the consumer robots space as well. China is now arguably the global leader in the industrial robotics space, while Japan has long been the perennial home of consumer-focused robots like the ill-fated Aibo or the popular Pepper.

As the region’s most innovative robotics startups continue developing their products, they’re increasingly looking to expand globally. Startups like Makeblock and Rokid have already signaled their international ambitions, and others are quickly following. Read on to learn more about the region’s most innovative robotics startups, and how they’re making their mark on one of the world’s fastest-growing industries.

1. UBTECH Robotics

UBTECH is already one of the world’s leading robotics startups, but it has plans to grow even faster. The Shenzhen-based robotics company recently announced $820M in Series C funding (led by Tencent’s venture arm), which now values the startup at more than $5B. UBTECH specializes in building humanoid robots and offers both commercial and consumer models.

With the fresh round of funding, UBTECH will continue developing its next generation of robots, which will leverage AI technology and integrate with other home appliances and robots already on the market.

2. Geek+

Chinese robotics startup Geek+ is quickly becoming a major player in the fast-growing industrial robots sector. Its diverse line of logistics-focused robots provides companies with a full suite of automation capabilities, ranging from warehouse automation to automated order fulfillment. The company has raised more than $60M in funding to date and is planning a major international expansion for later this year.

Geek+’s most recent innovation is what it calls the world’s first “interweaving sorting robot”, an automated system that boosts parcel sorting efficiency. This technology is already proving integral to boosting the logistics capabilities at ecommerce powerhouses like Alibaba and Taobao, proof of the growing market at stake here.

3. Robot 3T

China’s robotics market is so large that sometimes it’s easy to forget that startups in other Asian countries are making significant strides in the space too. Enter Robot 3T, a Vietnamese robotics startup that’s building industrial-grade robots for quickly-growing SMEs in the region. While most of its robots are designed for manufacturing facilities, Robot 3T has also created several humanoid robots which it markets to the service industry.

In addition to its line of industrial robots, the Ho Chi Minh-based Robot 3T has also designed a separate set of automated weapon stations designed specifically for military use.

4. Coolso

Coolso is the Taiwanese company behind some of the most innovative gesture-control devices on the market today, with use cases in everything from VR systems to medical rehabilitation. Coolso’s gesture-control products operate based on muscle movement alone, making them far more sensitive than the average AR/VR gesture controller.

Just over a year old, the company’s award-winning products use a patented form of proprietary bio signal technology, making them truly unique in the robotics space. In 2016, the firm won the Grand Prize in the OpenStack Application Hackathon in Taipei.

5. Makeblock

Makeblock is a Shenzhen-based startup that is creating the next generation of educational robots for children around the world. The startup offers a diverse line of robotics products designed to teach children how to code, and it most recently raised $30M in Series B funding from investors like Sequoia Capital late last year to help it reach that goal – valuing at over $200M just five short years into its existence.

In addition to developing the robots themselves, Makeblock has also forged technology partnerships with other tech companies (such as Microsoft) to bring its robots to students in higher-education robotics programs.

6. Youcan Robotics

Youcan Robotics is a startup that’s designing an underwater robot that anyone can use to capture HD video and explore the depths of the world’s oceans. Youcan’s underwater ROV Drone is saltwater-resistant and has a 4K video camera built-in, along with a battery life of up to 5 hours. It’s also able to lock onto and track underwater objects, just like an air-based drone.

The Shanghai-based startup has primarily grown using seed funding so far, and has been conducting crowdfunding rounds on platforms like Indiegogo to fuel its earliest stages of growth.

7. CloudMinds

CloudMinds is a startup that’s developing connected cloud-based systems for robots. With dual headquarters in Beijing and Silicon Valley, CloudMinds wants to build the world’s first cloud computing network designed specifically for intelligent robots. In addition to what it calls “cloud-connected smart machines”, the startup is also building a cloud-based software layer that will allow robots to interface with their “cloud brain” to make decisions effectively.

CloudMinds has also developed a wearable helmet that allows visually impaired people to interface with robots via its cloud-based platform.

8. DJI

Now one of the world’s largest consumer drone makers (with more than 70% of the consumer drone market already secured), DJI is still in hyper growth mode with plans to roll out ever more advanced drones in the coming months. Many of its drones (like the Phantom 4) already have semi-autonomous flying capabilities, and DJI is currently working on several drones that it hopes will be fully autonomous.

In recent months, DJI has been more aggressive about seeking funding, and earlier this year it was reported as seeking $500M in funding to help it grow even further ahead of an anticipated IPO, which would likely be early next year.

9. SG Robotics

South Korea-based SG Robotics is looking to disrupt the world of robotics with its revolutionary self-powered exoskeleton devices. The startup’s robots, which are designed for people with disabilities or paralyzed individuals, give any person extra strength when walking, and also have the ability to carry heavy loads.

The startup recently won 3rd place at the world’s first Cybathlon held in Switzerland, a competition of the world’s most advanced exoskeleton robots.

10. Borns Robotics

Borns Robotics is a medical robotics startup based in Chengdu, a bustling business hub in western China. Its line of robotic surgery tools give doctors the ability to conduct highly complex and risky surgeries with unprecedented precision and accuracy. Earlier this year, the startup announced the raise of $18M in financing in a funding round led by Swiss China Capital.

The funding is expected to fund the startup’s research and development efforts through the completion of its first clinical trials, as well as the wide-scale rollout of BMR5000, its next-generation automated surgery system.

11. Rokid

Rokid is a Hangzhou-based startup that produces a diverse range of smart devices and robots, ranging from AI-powered voice assistants to robotic smart glasses. Earlier this year, the startup raised $100M in Series B extension funding in a round led by Credit Suisse to help it expand in the US, its second largest market after China.

In addition to its technology-focused R&D team, Rokid also boasts a highly-qualified scientific advisory committee to help inform its work. The committee is comprised of dozens of members from a diverse range of industries.

12. Ascent

Tokyo-based Ascent is building the next generation of AI-powered robotic vehicles. Ascent’s research team is intensely focused on developing highly advanced neural models and machine learning algorithms to be the “brains” of its intelligent vehicles, which range from autonomous vehicles being manufactured by major carmakers, to boutique projects.

The Ascent team has raised more than $11M in funding to date, and continues to work with a wide range of technology partners in the automotive industry to develop its technology.

13. Softbank Robotics

Though a subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate Softbank, the team at Softbank Robotics operate as their own startup. The startup is perhaps best known for its humanoid emotion-reading robot, Pepper, which is already in widespread use around the world (primarily in the service industry, for which it was originally designed).

The robotics startup recently announced a landmark partnership with HSBC, which will see it become the first to roll out the robot in HSBC bank branches across the United States.

14. LifeRobotics

Founded in 2007, Tokyo-based LifeRobotics develops industrial robots that help businesses automate manufacturing and warehousing processes. The LifeRobotics team also develops what it calls “cooperative working robots” – automated machines that are able to learn advanced functionality and tasks provided they have a user’s guidance.

LifeRobotics was recently acquired by robotics behemoth Fanuc in a multimillion dollar deal that will allow the startup to continue operating as an independent entity under the Fanuc umbrella.

15. Insight Robotics

Insight Robotics is a Hong Kong-based startup that’s developing robots to improve the obscure (but critical) forestry management industry. Its data collection robots, which are designed to be deployed in heavily forested regions or national parks, give operators the ability to detect potential problems (such as forest fires or tree diseases) more quickly than ever.

The startup has closed more than $12M in funding to date, and earlier this year announced an additional $9M in funding in a new investment round led by Linear Capital and Beyond Ventures.

16. AI Nemo

The China-based team at AI Nemo has developed one of the world’s first home companion robots, the Nemo. The startup, which has raised more than $10M in funding to date, is presently building the next generation of its robot, which integrates with a number of consumer appliances and can also make video calls. The robot is marketed as a way to improve communication between family members, and can be remotely controlled by a proprietary mobile app as well.

17. AUBO

Beijing-based AUBO is a rising star in the growing cobots (collaborative robots) industry. Its robotics products are targeted towards warehousing and manufacturing facilities, and are designed to work in conjunction with humans to perform complex manufacturing tasks. The company’s flagship robot arm sells for around $18K, and has found a loyal customer base in the automated manufacturing sector.

The startup has dual research and development centers in Beijing and the United States, and has established technology partnerships with manufacturing companies in both countries.

18. PLEN Robotics

PLEN Robotics is an Osaka-based startup that’s building the Cube, what it bills as a “portable personal assistant robot”. The Cube is a robot designed for the consumer space that’s equipped with a smart camera, motion tracking and facial recognition technology, as well as speech recognition capabilities. The startup recently announced a partnership with Softbank which will see it work with the technology giant to develop a smart speaker.

19. Slamtec

Shanghainese startup Slamtec builds localization and navigation services for smart robots. Using cutting-edge AI technology, the startup is developing a “robot cerebellum” that will have the ability to autonomously make agile movements, as well as have increased depth perception. Last year, Slamtec raised $22M in Series C funding to develop the next generation of automatic positioning algorithms for its robots.

20. ZongMu

ZongMu is building software that helps autonomous vehicles “see” while on the road. Last year, the startup secured $14M in Series B funding to help it improve its self-driving technology, which is already being used by some of China’s largest automakers (like Geely and Yema Auto). This month, ZongMu announced a strategic partnership with automotive electronics manufacturer Visteon to develop the next generation of automated parking technology.

21. Demine Robotics

Founded by Cambodian entrepreneur Richard Yim, Demine Robotics is a startup that’s looking to solve one of modern warfare’s most difficult problems through robotics. Its line of “demining” robots automate the task of identifying and defusing landmines, and they’re already being tested in rural Cambodia, where millions of land mines still dot the countryside.

22. Aether Biomedical

Aether is a medical robotics startup that’s based in New Delhi. The team at Aether is building next-generation robotics solutions for the future of healthcare, including its flagship product Zeus – a bionic limb for amputees. The startup partners with doctors and medical researchers around the world to develop additional technology solutions through its “medical device innovation platform”.

23. Mitra

Bangalore-based Mitra has quickly risen to become the most advanced humanoid robot manufacturer in India’s startup ecosystem. Its 5-foot-tall Mitra robot was first showing off at India’s 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, where it greeted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The robot is designed for the service industry, and can interact with customers as well as provide autonomous navigation.

24. Robostar

Robostar is one of South Korea’s foremost industrial robots companies, and it has created a diverse range of robots that are designed for wide-scale manufacturing. Robostar recently announced a $48M investment from LG, which will see the electronics giant take a significant stake in the startup and collaborate with it on future products.

25. Rotimatic

Singaporean startup Rotimatic distinguishes itself from the competition by being the world’s only fully automated kitchen robot that makes roti, a popular bread found throughout India and Southeast Asia (that also happens to be incredibly labor-intensive to cook). The startup recently raised $30M in Series C funding in a new investment round led by private equity fund Credence.

20 Crypto Companies in Hong Kong You Should Get to Know

If you’re interested in crypto, be sure to check out CryptoList – my hand-researched list of crypto companies, and consider subscribing to CryptoWeekly, my weekly crypto newsletter.

Hong Kong is one of the world’s foremost financial hubs and is a key player in the global crypto ecosystem. As a magnet for both capital and talent, its long played a significant role in the fintech space – and that role has evolved into becoming a true hub for crypto.

Numerous crypto startups have moved their operations to Hong Kong for its ease of doing business, and a vibrant community of crypto-focused funds and advisory firms call this city home as well. The city-state is also attractive for its proximity to the Chinese market, which is the largest Bitcoin mining market in the world and has massive numbers of people that are beginning to adopt crypto.

1. Bit-Z

Bit-Z is one of the world’s largest exchanges for buying, selling, and trading digital assets. Founded in Hong Kong in 2016, the firm has a global presence and is continuing to expand rapidly. The Bit-Z platform offers users the option to perform retail over-the-counter trading, or use their professional trading portfolio services. US dollars or Chinese yuan are both accepted for purchasing cryptocurrencies via fiat.

Compared with over crypto exchanges, Bit-Z has fairly low fees (which can run as low as 0.5% for Bitcoin withdrawals) and has so far maintained an excellent security record, with no hacks yet reported in the company’s short history.

2. 300cubits

300cubits is a startup with a blockchain solution that it hopes will transform the staid world of container shipping. The Ethereum-based project, which leverages a native cryptocurrency called the TEU token, allows shipping companies to strengthen trust between themselves and their consumers through the usage of smart contracts. In addition, 300cubits sees their smart contract technology adding value at each step in the supply chain, given the increased transparency and tracking ability it will bring.

This Hong Kong-based startup (along with an accompanying pre-ICO) was launched in mid-2017, and its public ICO is scheduled to launch on April 12 of this year.

3. CryptoBLK

CryptoBLK is a Hong Kong-based startup that’s looking to revolutionize the fintech industry through the creative implementation of blockchain solutions. The firm specializes in deploying distributed ledger services for large enterprise clients, which are run on its proprietary DaaS (DLTapp as a Service) platform and then deployed on the client side.

CryptoBLK has already landed some significant partnerships, and counts Microsoft and Amazon Web Services as official partners. The company is also a member of the R3 Partner Network, which gives CryptoBLK the ability to offer clients additional professional services to go with its crypto offerings.

4. OKCoin

OKCoin operates one of the world’s largest crypto trading platforms. The firm was originally founded in Beijing before moving its international headquarters to Hong Kong last year. The trading platform allows investors to perform spot trades between a number of fiat currencies and a wide array of cryptocurrencies.

Last year, OKCoin also opened a subsidiary office in Seoul and began an all-out push into the Korean market. This move was backed by a significant amount of funding from NHN, one of Korea’s largest conglomerates, and puts the trading platform in direct competition with Bithumb, presently the leading exchange in the Korean market.


Founded in 2016, MATRIX operates an open-source blockchain-based platform that leverages the latest AI technology to execute smart contracts in an incredibly fast and streamlined way. The startup most recently raised $15.5m via its ICO in early January 2018, and plans to use the funds to accelerate product development and increase R&D hiring.

The MATRIX platform allows users to architect their own smart contracts without any coding, and uses AI technology to anticipate users’ needs while in the contract drafting process. In addition, MATRIX has some of the fastest transaction times in the industry, and is aiming for its platform to handle over 1m transactions per second.

6. Genesis Block

Founded in 2017, Genesis Block is the largest over-the-counter crypto trading floor in Hong Kong, with support for over 1,000 cryptocurrencies. As part of its trading offerings, Genesis Block also provides crypto ATMs, miner reselling services, and direct crypto selling services. The trading floor also functions as a co-working space and event venue for Hong Kong’s blockchain community.

The Genesis Block also had a hand in the inception of Bitcoin Cash, as one of its miners performed the initial mining that started the BCH blockchain. In addition to its trading space, Genesis Block is also extremely active in Hong Kong’s crypto ecosystem, and frequently participates in (or hosts) events for investors and entrepreneurs.

7. Cryptonator

Hong Kong-based Cryptonator is an online cryptocurrency wallet service with support for most major cryptocurrencies. In addition to its online wallet platform, Cryptonator also offers merchant accounts that allow online retailers to accept crypto for payments with a flat-rate 0.9% transaction fee (11 major currencies are presently supported).

Cryptonator’s online wallet service also allows users to instantly exchange currencies within their existing holdings with extremely low transaction times. The wallet also has a portfolio that dynamically analyzes the value of each user’s assets over time and allows for advanced performance reporting as well.

8. ANX

ANX is a fintech company with a focus on providing high-quality blockchain solutions for its global client base. ANX has been a true pioneer in the blockchain space, and was one of the first to offer crypto debit cards (all the way back in 2014).

ANX’s flagship product is ANX Blockchain Services (ABS), a cloud platform that empowers developers to build their own digital wallets, crypto exchanges, or token systems. In addition to ABS, the firm also offers its own white-label crypto exchange and provides bespoke advisory services for crypto entrepreneurs looking to launch their own project.

9. BitSpark

Hong Kong-based BitSpark is the creator of the world’s first end-to-end remittance service powered by blockchain technology. The firm initially started out as a crypto exchange, but quickly pivoted to being a remittance service once its founders recognized the potential for such an idea (particularly in a market like Hong Kong, where there is a massive opportunity for more efficient international remittances).

Users who join the BitSpark platform can perform international remittances with fees far lower than competitors like MoneyGram or Western Union, and transactions happen instantly since the entire network is powered by BitSpark’s distributed ledger technology.

10. Gatecoin

Gatecoin is one of the fastest-growing Bitcoin and Ethereum exchanges in Hong Kong. Founded in 2013, Gatecoin was one of the first major crypto exchanges in Hong Kong, and it remains active in the city-state’s crypto ecosystem today.

In 2016, the firm suffered a high-profile hack that saw more than $2m in tokens stolen from users, but the firm has since rebounded from that setback and continues to grow in the Hong Kong market. In addition to exchanging crypto, the firm also allows users to purchase BTC and ETH using fiat (USD, HKD, and EUR are the only currencies supported for the time being).

11. Zippie

This Ethereum-based platform lets anyone turn their smartphone into a blockchain-powered app explorer. The first iteration of Zippie’s platform is a crypto wallet that allows users to manage their crypto holdings, digital tokens, and private keys in one streamlined format.

The second phase of Zippie’s development is even more exciting, as the firm plans to create a decentralized software layer that will run on top of any smartphone OS, and give users the ability to access hundreds of blockchain-based apps (including crypto exchanges, digital financial services, and more) through a secure, anonymous platform.

12. Global Open League (GOL)

Global Open League (GOL) is an eSports platform that is using crypto to transform the payment and compensation systems for online gaming. Using its GOLT token in conjunction with a proprietary blockchain-based gaming platform, GOL allows gamers to compete with each other and exchange prize winnings using cryptocurrency or the league’s native tokens.

The Hong Kong-based startup launched its ICO pre-sale in March of this year, and will be opening the token sale to the public in May 2018. The firm is led by serial entrepreneur Patrick Tang – formerly the founder of Jaha (a mobile fitness tracker) and Timeless Elements (an ecommerce company).

13. OKEx

The Hong Kong-based OKEx is one of the world’s largest digital asset exchanges. It’s affiliated with fellow exchange OKCoin, though the two are run as separate entities. In addition to offering token trading, OKEx also offers crypto traders the option to invest in hundreds of crypto futures trading pairs on its asset exchange.

The OKEx exchange is one of the largest in the world by volume, with over 20m customers served to date, and its BTC futures exchange sees more than $1.5b in trading volume on a daily basis. The firm also offers other digital services for crypto traders beyond just its exchange services, such as margin trading and a mobile crypto portfolio management app.

14. Equitybase

Equitybase is a Hong Kong startup that’s looking to transform the world of real estate investment through blockchain technology. Its decentralized real estate exchange allows developers “to offer asset-backed investment opportunities directly to investors around the world.” Once on the platform, users can then purchase BASE tokens to make digital investments that are backed by actual real estate properties around the world.

By combining the liquidity of public markets with the real estate industry, Equitybase has an intriguing value proposition that could help nearly anyone become a real estate investor. The firm has raised around $3m from its token sale to date, and plans to use the proceeds to accelerate platform development and hiring.

15. Galaxy eSolutions

Hong Kong-based Galaxy eSolutions is a crypto startup that recently launched the first iteration of its hybrid ecommerce ecosystem on the blockchain. The decentralized platform enables users to buy and sell pre-owned electronics using cryptocurrency, which can then be used to conduct transactions and receive discounts through GES tokens, the platform’s native cryptocurrency.

Galaxy eSolutions’ product offering benefits from already having an established platform and customer base, as it already is operating in 26 countries around the world. The firm launched its ICO earlier this year, and is set to conclude its token offering on April 15th.

16. AirSwap

AirSwap is a decentralized crypto exchange for trading Ethereum-based tokens on the blockchain. Instead of relying on order books, the AirSwap platform uses a decentralized P2P trading model that purportedly has increased security and is impervious to hacking attempts.

AirSwap matches users for trades using an Indexer protocol, which allows users to choose who they want to trade with, and have a secure dialogue beforehand if necessary. The exchange already boasts some of the lowest fees in the Ethereum exchange space, and it’s also aiming to make all transactions free of charge in the months to come.

17. LianLian

Hong Kong-based LianLian is China’s fourth-largest payments provider, and it’s recently committed to blockchain technology in a big way. In February of this year, LianLian announced a landmark partnership with RippleNet that will allow it to process ecommerce payments, crypto transactions, and remittances securely on the Ripple platform.

LianLian is presently leveraging the blockchain-based xCurrent protocol to process cross-border transactions through Ripple. Through its partnership with Ripple, the payments provider is now poised to expand into markets outside of China, and it may be looking to form partnerships with other financial institutions in the region as a result.

18. UBI Blockchain

UBI Blockchain is a startup that’s working with Hong Kong’s central government to use blockchain technology to resolve key food and drug safety issues. The firm recently announced an official partnership with one of Hong Kong’s most prestigious universities that’s aimed at using blockchain technology to track the provenance of any given pharmaceutical or food product.

Until early this year, UBI was one of the fastest-growing startups in Asia, with its stock rising more than 1,000% before the end of 2017. Early this year, however, trading was suspended for UBI shares pending an SEC investigation into irregular trading activity. UBI is presently petitioning the SEC for trading reinstatement, but the regulatory body has yet to finalize its ruling on the matter.

19. IOHK

IOHK is a cryptocurrency and blockchain R&D lab that seeks to bring academic rigor to the world of blockchain development. While headquartered in Hong Kong, the firm has a global presence and has a number of partnerships with some of the world’s top research universities.

Most recently, the startup announced a major initiative to build a “Bitcoin 2.0” (Link: that can support a blockchain with exponentially more transactions than Bitcoin has today. IOHK’s Ouroburos protocol can purportedly handle far more transactions than Bitcoin, while also improving user governance, security, and equitability among miners.

20. BTCC

Founded in 2011, BTCC was China’s first Bitcoin exchange and is a key player in the Chinese crypto ecosystem. This year, however, it was acquired by a Hong Kong-based blockchain investment fund, which is now running the firm.

BTCC is one of the most active crypto exchanges in the world, seeing more than $25b in bitcoin trading activity in 2017 alone. Since being acquired, BTCC is now shifting its presence to Hong Kong and looking to use its fresh injection of funds to expand its full suite of services globally (including its USD trading service, mining pools, and Mobi, its multi-currency crypto wallet).

These are the Top 10 Lightning Apps out right now

If you’re interested in crypto, be sure to check out CryptoList – my hand-researched list of crypto companies, and consider subscribing to CryptoWeekly, my weekly crypto newsletter.

The Lightning Network has long been heralded as Bitcoin’s “killer app”, and for good reason. The platform, which presently runs solely on top of Bitcoin, may prove to be a panacea for the scaling woes that have plagued the cryptocurrency in recent months.

Lightning Network is transformative because it enables the execution of off-chain Bitcoin transactions across numerous payment channels, without hampering Bitcoin’s primary network. Since transactions happen off-chain, they can be executed nearly instantaneously without having to wait for confirmation from miners already on the network.

After the mainnet release of Lightning’s network earlier this year, dozens of startups began experimenting with the network to see what use cases would best leverage the technology. There are now dozens of Lightning apps being released each month, with more on the horizon as the network expands to support additional cryptocurrencies.

Read on to learn more about some of my favorite Lightning apps on the market today. These startups make up a diverse set of platforms that range from file-sharing to gaming, and they’re all raising awareness about the unique capabilities of the Lightning Network.

1. CoinMall

CoinMall is building what some are calling “the eBay of the future”. It’s a fully decentralized P2P marketplace where anyone can buy or sell their digital products with zero fees, using cryptocurrency as the primary payment layer.

Last month, the CoinMall team launched the public beta of its platform, which now features full support for Lightning Network, as well as deposits and withdrawals. The CoinMall platform presently supports transactions in Bitcoin or Zcash, but plans are in the works to accept other cryptocurrencies as well.

2. Zap

Zap is a Bitcoin wallet that enables anyone to send and receive Bitcoin instantly using the Lightning Network. The fully open-source project was built by the Lightning development community, and is supported by a decentralized team of engineers. For now the project is still in a testnet stage, but a mainnet release is anticipated to be announced later this year.

In addition to just being a conduit for transactions, the lightweight wallet application’s network functionality allows users to organize their frequently-used merchants or transaction partners.

3. Bitrefill

Bitrefill is a service that allows anyone in the world to recharge their prepaid phone using crypto. The platform (which is available via both desktop and its mobile app) operates with a simple, three step process: enter your phone number, select the amount to top up, and pay with Bitcoin or a number of other supported altcoins.

The service has been lauded for its anonymized approach to phone billing, as it ensures user privacy throughout the entire billing process. Bitrefill is already available in 15 countries, and has plans to expand globally in the coming months.

4. FileBazaar

Released during Blockstream’s “week of LApps” earlier this year, FileBazaar is an ecommerce platform designed exclusively for content creators. FileBazaar’s mobile app enables makers to accept micropayments for their creations through the Lightning Network.

Unlike many digital content platforms, FileBazaar is advertising-free, and it puts control of content (and the presentation of that content) firmly in the creators’ hands. Every FileBazaar user has the ability to configure their own storefront, as well as dictate what sample content should be shown to potential buyers.

5. Nanopos

Nanopos is a Lightning-powered point of sale system that’s designed for brick-and-mortar businesses that sell fixed-price items (such as restaurants or retail stores) and have minimal requirements for setting up their online storefront.

Using a simple configuration portal, vendors can enter a full price list of their products and begin selling their products using the Lightning network within minutes. Payments are conducted through QR codes, which are then scanned through the Nanopos mobile app.

6. Strike

Strike is an API for the Lightning Network that makes it easier than ever for online merchants to accept payments in crypto. The service, which looks and functions much like Stripe, takes a flat 1% fee from all transactions and offers unlimited free daily withdrawals for all users.

After half a year of beta testing, the mainnet release of Strike was unveiled just last month, and the platform is now available for public use.

7. Lightning Conductor

Lightning Conductor is a system that enables developers to easily convert Bitcoin to Lightning (and vice-versa) on one’s Lightning channel. The company, which was founded by a team of investment bankers, provides developers with an embeddable form that can automatically extract credit from any Lightning channel and turn it into BTC.

In addition to supporting BTC-Lightning conversions, Lightning Conductor provides full support for bidirectional channels as well. This is a huge win for users that want to be able to convert their payment channel balances to Bitcoin (and vice-versa) while avoiding having to close the channels as well.

8. LightningTip

Released in beta earlier this year, LightningTip makes it dead-simple for anyone to accept tips for their content via the Lightning Network. The service leverages the Lightning Network as a backend to create and track invoices (as well as track which invoices include tips).

The service is already being used by dozens of businesses, and was a significant contributor to Bitcoin Lightning hitting a record node count earlier this year.

9. Starblocks

Currently in its testnet phase, Starblocks is a creative app that lets consumers pay for their coffee via the Lightning Network. As is the case with most apps on the Lightning network, transaction fees for Starblocks are incredibly low, ranging from 1-2 cents per transaction.

While it’s still a simulation for the time being, the service is an excellent proof-of-concept that shows how Lightning can be leveraged in the retail space. It’s a great way to get familiar with the technology behind Lightning Network from a consumer perspective, without having to use real dollars – for now.

10. Hammercoin

Hammercoin is the first video game built on the Lightning Network and powered by Bitcoin. The game, which is modeled after Minecraft, gives users the ability to navigate an expansive online environment while purchasing upgrades within the game using crypto.

In Hammercoin, users are also able to create and sell their own in-game digital products for crypto. All transactions leverage the Lightning Network, and the game’s Chile-based development team has been diligent about pushing out regular updates to the game in the months since its release.

20 Crypto Companies in San Francisco You Should Get to Know

If you’re interested in crypto, be sure to check out CryptoList – my hand-researched list of crypto companies, and consider subscribing to CryptoWeekly, my weekly crypto newsletter.

The heart of Silicon Valley has always been a magnet for both founders and capital, but it’s now one of the key hubs for the blockchain revolution.

Hundreds of crypto companies have set up shop in San Francisco to take advantage of its proximity to capital and massive talent pool in recent years, and the trend isn’t slowing down.

There’s now a thriving crypto ecosystem in the city, ranging from crypto-focused hedge funds to Tachyon, the city’s first Ethereum-focused accelerator.

1. Blockchain Capital

Blockchain Capital is one of the world’s most influential blockchain VC firms, and a significant player in the worldwide crypto ecosystem. Founded by serial entrepreneurs Brock Pierce, Bart Stephens, and Bradford Stephens in 2013, it was one of the first venture firms to focus exclusively on crypto and blockchain investments.

Earlier this year, the firm announced that it had raised $150m in its fourth round of funding, of which $25m came in the form of Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency. The investments will be used to research new use cases for Ripple’s proprietary protocol, as well as identify promising new investments in the blockchain space.

2. Purse

Purse is a San Francisco-based startup that’s looking to enable Bitcoin purchases through Amazon and the creation of an entirely new, crypto-powered online marketplace. The Purse platform matches would-be online shoppers with crypto holders that are wiling to give up their tokens for online gift cards. Though in its infancy, the team at Purse hopes to eventually turn their service into a fully-fledged crypto ecommerce platform.

The service is powered by bcoin, which is an enterprise-level implementation of Bitcoin designed for large-scale ecommerce applications. Founded in 2014, Purse is a true innovator in the crypto ecommerce space, and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

3. Augur

Augur is a decentralized “prediction market” that’s based on Ethereum and lets crypto investors bet on the likelihood of future events. Prediction markets can be created around the outcome of any given event, which can then be bet on using Augur’s native token. The firm issued 11m tokens in its initial token sale, on which there is also a hard cap.

Earlier this year, Augur’s engineering team released the next iteration of its whitepaper, which suggests the platform is preparing for a large-scale launch in the near future. This will allow an entirely new group of users to create markets for different outcomes, while increasing the amount of fiat flowing into the firm’s crypto markets.

4. Ripple

Ripple is a San Francisco-based blockchain startup that’s taken the world by storm in recent months. At its core, the Ripple platform is a blockchain-based system that allows enterprises and individuals to send global payments and remittances incredibly cheaply and quickly. The platform also has an open-source payment protocol, and that protocol has garnered significant interest from some of the world’s largest financial firms (such as Santander and MoneyGram).

Ripple’s native cryptocurrency is known as XRP. The cryptocurrency is unique in that it exists directly inside the Ripple protocol, and as such doesn’t require any mining (tokens like these are known as a “pre-mined” cryptocurrencies).

5. Coinbase

Coinbase is one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, and it’s rapidly expanding its offerings into every area of the financial services industry. The exchange already supports trading between Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, and fiat currencies in dozens of countries around the world, and has plans to expand even further in the coming year.

Founded in 2011, Coinbase is a true pioneer in the crypto exchange space, and it was one of the first to offer trading capabilities and a crypto wallet in one platform. In addition to its core offerings, Coinbase also offers developers an API for connecting the exchange to third-party applications, and in what may be a sign of things to come, recently acquired paid email service for $100m.

6. Harbor

Harbor is a platform that allows anyone to convert their rights to an asset (such as fine art or real estate) to a digital token on the blockchain. Launched just this year, the San Francisco-based firm recently raised $10m in Series A financing to help it accelerate development of the first generation of its platform and accelerate hiring on the R&D front.

Competition in the market for tokenized private securities is presently light, and Harbor is one of its first entrants. As part of its launch, Harbor has also created the R-Token, an Ethereum-based token that allows Harbor to enforce compliance across any trading platform.

7. Kraken

San Francisco-based Kraken is one of the world’s most active crypto exchanges in terms of trading volume, and also one of its most acquisitive – in the past two years, it’s purchased at least four crypto startups to fuel its growth plans and build out its trading platform. It was one of the first exchanges to offer Ethereum dark pool trading, and is also the source of truth for Bitcoin pricing on the Bloomberg terminal.

In early 2018, Kraken decided to close its operations in Japan after a steady rise in the cost of doing business there. It continues to maintain an outsized presence in North America and the EU, however.

8. Bitwise Investments

Last year, after raising $4m in seed funding, Bitwise Investments launched the world’s first cryptocurrency index fund. In the first two months of 2018, the fund reportedly delivered 45% returns to investors, beating out both the bull and bear markets for crypto in recent months.

Bitwise plans to use its round of seed funding to hire up to 10 new employees, and further build out its software platform. Presently the fund is passively managed, and Bitwise is hoping to build out a fully-fledged software layer for its fund that will distinguish it from other offerings in the market.

9. LibraTax

LibraTax is the world’s leading accounting solution for crypto investors. The LibraTax platform tracks one’s entire crypto portfolio, and can automatically calculate capital gains and losses on crypto investments for tax reporting purposes. The platform supports most major cryptocurrencies, and is presently available as a free service for crypto investors.

For US taxpayers, the LibraTax platform is designed for compliance with all IRS regulations and has historical reporting capabilities for retroactive taxation as well. Founded in 2014, LibraTax was one of the world’s first firms to focus on the tax implications of crypto, and it continues to be a leader in the space today.

10. CoinList

CoinList is a San Francisco-based startup that’s quickly transforming the way crypto companies launch token offerings. The startup is looking to build out a full suite of financial services products for founders looking to launch an ICO, including a blockchain-based securities exchange.

Earlier this month, the firm raised $9.2m in Series A funding (led by Polychain Capital), which it plans to use to build out its software platform that will allow investors to quickly identify and invest in the most promising ICO opportunities on a fully-accredited platform.

11. Uphold

Uphold is a cloud-based cryptocurrency platform that allows users to buy, sell, and trade dozens of cryptocurrencies and crypto commodities. Founded by entrepreneur Halsey Minor in 2013, the platform enables the conversion of Bitcoin into fiat, other cryptocurrencies, and previous metals.

Earlier this year, Uphold received $57.5m in investment from former Ripple executive Greg Kidd. As part of the investment deal, Kidd joined Uphold’s board of directors and has created an R&D arm of the company to help it scale and build out its still-nascent platform.

12. Chia Network

San Francisco startup Chia Network is building an energy-efficient cryptocurrency that it hopes will one day rival Bitcoin in usage. Founded by Bram Cohen (one of the early pioneers in the BitTorrent community), Chia is powered by a blockchain based on proofs of space and time – theoretically, this makes the cryptocurrency for more energy-efficient than both Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Chia is further distinguishing itself from its rivals by avoiding the traditional ICO route – instead, it’s opting to launch a mini-IPO later this year under a federally-sanctioned equity crowdfunding program. This should allow the firm to raise up to $50m, which it plans to reinvest in research and development of its platform.

13. SureRemit

SureRemit is building a crypto-powered ecosystem for worldwide cash remittances. Founded by Nigerian entrepreneur Adeoye Ojo, the blockchain-powered platform enables anyone to perform remittances with zero fees by using a combination of cryptocurrencies and digital shopping vouchers.

The SureRemit platform is powered in part by SureGifts and its merchant partners. This allows users to easily purchase gift vouchers that they can then send to friends or family members in other countries, as well as pay their online utility bills.

14. Hexel

Hexel is a San Francisco-based startup that’s building a platform which allows anyone to create an Ethereum-based token for their hyperlocal online community. Businesses can use Hexel to create their own token-based reward program, or even create their own branded token for digital payments purposes. Tokens can be created through AirDrop, and can be distributed to users as dictated by businesses themselves.

Since the Hexel platform runs on the Ethereum network, transactions can be conducted between individuals and businesses for just pennies, and tokens can be rapidly transferred between both parties as well. In addition, Hexel allows users to browse its entire global library of token programs, and enroll (or invest) in the token programs that suit them best.

15. OpenSea

OpenSea bills itself as “a decentralized marketplace for digital assets on the Ethereum blockchain”. On the OpenSea marketplace, users can purchase rare crypto assets (like CryptoKitties) and even digital artwork. The service, currently in beta, is based on the Ethereum platform and presently has more than 600k digital assets for sale on its network.

In addition, the OpenSea platform boasts a number of developer tools that allow designers to open their own OpenSea shop or pull real-time market data from the OpenSea API. The firm also partners with independent designers to get their work posted on the platform through its OpenSea Studios design program.

16. TrustToken

The TrustToken platform enables anyone to create securitized digital tokens backed by real-world assets (like real estate), all the while being regulatory-compliant and backed by US dollars. Its TrueUSD native token is a USD-backed cryptocurrency that can be used for all manners of online transactions, from remittances to ecommerce. The firm is now pursuing formal partnerships with a number of financial institutions that are looking to use its platform to increase liquidity in certain markets.

Founded in 2017, the TrustToken team boasts a high-profile lineup of investors – including Stanford University, Blocktower, and Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund.

17. Logic0x

This decentralized, San Francisco-based investment fund is unconventional in almost every way. The investment fund is fully decentralized and is funded through user deposits of ERC-20 tokens through a proprietary Dapp. According to Logic0x’s founders, over 160 people have contributed to the fund to date, with more investors set to come onboard soon.

The fund primarily focuses on crypto and blockchain startups for its investment opportunities, and uses AI technology to help identify promising investments in the space. The firm was founded in early 2017 by Kyler Chin, formerly founder of drone startup Stratospheric Technologies.

18. CoinTracker

CoinTracker is a San Francisco-based crypto portfolio tracker and tax manager. As a member of Y Combinator’s Winter 2018 class, the team is presently focused on building a scalable tool that individuals and businesses can use to dynamically track the value (and taxable value) of their crypto portfolios.

By connecting the service with one’s crypto wallets and exchange accounts, users can access one unified dashboard with all of the key investment metrics for their portfolio. On top of the portfolio layer, CoinTracker also provides a simple software tool to calculate one’s taxes owed on a cost basis, as well as capital gains taxes.

19. Origin Protocol

The team at Origin is focused on building a decentralized sharing economy on the Ethereum blockchain. Through the Origin platform, any business can build their own decentralized marketplace, and it’s already built a sizable list of clients (including Australian startup CanYa) that are using its service to transform their ecommerce experiences.

In late April of this year, Origin landed its most significant round of funding to date – a $28.5m round of funding led by FBG Investments. The firm plans to use the fresh injection of capital to continue building out its platform, while accelerating hiring on the R&D front.

20. Omniex

Omniex is an institutional crypto trading platform that provides a full-service operating platform for crypto hedge funds and quant traders. The firm was launched on the back of a $5m round of seed funding raised in late 2017, and it’s continued to grow ever since.

The Omniex team plans to use its seed funding to build out its trading platform and proprietary algorithms, while growing its customer base. The firm is led by a number of former executives from State Street, the storied investment fund.

The most innovative apps in the NEO ecosystem right now

If you’re interested in crypto, be sure to check out CryptoList – my hand-researched list of crypto companies, and consider subscribing to CryptoWeekly, my weekly crypto newsletter.

NEO is perhaps one of my favorite blockchain projects out there today, and for good reason. While some platforms (like Ethereum) are focused on building centers for dApp development, NEO is looking to put the physical world on the blockchain as well.

Its vision of a “smart economy” involves creating a distributed network that supports not just applications that run on it, but also the digitization of physical assets, which will have proof of ownership stored on the blockchain.

These physical assets can then be sold, invested in, or traded using smart contracts. The team at NEO has also done a great job of remaining regulatory-compliant as they continue to scale, which is commendable given the disregard many token projects have for regulators today.

In addition to developing the core platform, NEO’s founders have also spun off a couple of organizations that are proving instrumental to the growth of the NEO ecosystem. One key player is OnChain, which has created a Decentralized Network Architecture (DNA) that enables the development of private blockchains that can be leveraged by businesses and government organizations.

OnChain’s DNA technology is what enables NEO applications to connect their users’ private data with NEO’s public blockchain, and a number of token projects are already formally partnering with OnChain to secure their users’ data on a public blockchain.

This strategy of bridging the digital and physical worlds is just one of the reasons I’m so bullish on NEO as a platform. The team clearly has an ambitious vision, and it’s already attracting notice from the development community.

A new crop of applications has surfaced in recent months, and they promise to transform everything from global shipping to HR. Below are my favorite apps in the space that are creating truly innovative solutions to some of the most pressing problems online today. Let’s get started.

1. NEX

NEX is a platform for decentralized crypto trading and payment services. Unlike many exchanges, NEX uses an off-chain matching engine that makes it possible to conduct complex trades quickly across multiple blockchains. The NEO-based platform also provides a crypto wallet for investors, in addition to its proprietary suite of trading products.

The service was founded by developers Fabio Canesin and Fabian Wahle, and has a quickly-growing team that’s already making tangible progress on its project roadmap. NEX’s highly-anticipated mainnet release for its trading platform is presently scheduled for later this year.

2. Moonlight

Moonlight is a decentralized platform that empowers HR department to transform the way they recruit and build their workforces. The platform allows recruiters to find top talent for their organizations through a built-in talent matching service that leverages smart contracts to verify applicants’ experience and professional skills.

Most of Moonlight’s founding team comes directly from the NEO open source community, better known as City of Zion. While the platform itself is still in development, the Moonlight team are scheduled to launch their ICO in the coming months, with the public beta of the platform scheduled to go live in the third quarter of this year.

3. QLC Chain

QLC Chain has created a public blockchain that supports decentralized, network-as-a-service applications. QLC aims to democratize the global telecommunications industry, and make it possible for anyone to become a network provider. To aid in this, QLC offers an open-source SDK that developers can leverage to build dApps on top of QLC’s public blockchain.

Through its proprietary Shannon Consensus protocol, QLC enables anyone to become a micro network operator, provided they already have a supported network device. The firm bills itself as the world’s first NaaS (network-as-a-service), and recently went through a major rebranding (the startup was previously known as Qlink).

4. Phantasma

Phantasma is a decentralized content distribution platform that runs on the blockchain and provides a more secure environment for content creators to store and share their data. The Phantasma platform uses a hybrid system of both on and off-chain hashing to improve performance across the NEO blockchain.

The Phantasma team is laying the groundwork for their ICO later this month, and plans to launch the testnet version of its product later this year. Once the platform is ready for production, the team plans to fork it from the NEO blockchain and create its own blockchain, which will continue to utilize the NEOX protocol for cross-compatibility.

5. NeoAuth

NeoAuth is a free NEO-based application that allows users to login to any app or platform using the NEO blockchain. The product is designed for online businesses looking to provide a more secure way for users to log on to their services, and is powered entirely by the NEO blockchain. Logins are conducted through a combination of public keys and smart contracts.

NeoAuth’s technology will first be implemented on the NEO community’s own applications before rolling out to other platforms. In addition, NeoAuth also supports integration with a number of NEO crypto wallets, which allows users to verify ownership of their public addresses with ease.

6. AdEx

AdEx is a decentralized ad network built on the NEO blockchain, and is the first dApp based on NEO. Originally built on Ethereum, the AdEx core platform was ported over to the NEO blockchain late last year to improve overall performance and reliability. The platform’s public beta was released earlier this year, and the company is aiming to launch its mainnet release later in the year.

The AdEx platform connects advertisers looking for high-quality ways to reach their audience, with influencers seeking to get paid for online advertising. AdEx already works with a number of international publishers, and operates on a commission-free model – making it incredibly attractive to advertisers.

7. Zeepin

Zeepin bills itself as a “distributed new economy for the creative industries”. It’s a platform which enables creatives around the world to protect their intellectual property, form distributed teams, and attract funding for their projects. The NEO-based platform uses ZPT (its native token) for all transactions, from creative sales to investments in new projects.

The Zeepin project is presently in its testnet phase, and is aiming for a mainnet release later this year. In addition, the company already has established technology partnerships with a number of industry leaders, ranging from OnChain to the public blockchain organization Ontology

8. Chain Line

Chain Line is a decentralized shipping platform built on the NEO blockchain. The platform, which currently only has a public demo available, promises to connect shippers with couriers around the world – creating what is effectively a P2P shipping platform powered by the blockchain. Most recently, the Chain Line team won 3rd place for their idea in the most recent City of Zion dApp Competition.

Every shipment initiated through Chain Line’s platform is signed and secured via a smart contract, which tracks shipments from point to point. In addition to simply shipping products, users are able to register their travel on the Chain Line platform, and are matched with potential shippers in real time.

9. Imusify

Imusify is a blockchain-based music media platform that is powered by user-generated content. The Imusify team is looking to build a decentralized platform that enables anyone to easily become a music content producer, and it’s already taking significant strides toward that goal. The project was launched at NEO’s developer conference earlier this year, and has continued to grow since then.

Through Imusify, artists can upload their own content, which can then be sold to users on the platform. Content is then compensated for in IMU, the platform’s native token. Imusify is launching its token pre-sale on July 1st, with its public ICO set to follow shortly after.

10. Red Pulse

Red Pulse initially distinguished itself from the competition by becoming the first ICO token built on the NEO blockchain. Initially founded by executives from a Hong Kong-based consultancy, Red Pulse is a decentralized market intelligence marketplace focused on the China market. By paying for data using RPX tokens, users are able to request and consume market intelligence on specific topics, all generated by the Red Pulse platform.

Although still a relatively new entrant to the crypto scene, Red Pulse has already inked partnerships with some of the world’s largest content providers – including news organizations like Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters.

11. PikcioChain

PikcioChain has created a NEO-based exchange for personal data. Pikcio enables anyone to buy and sell their data through a trustless platform that’s backed by smart contracts. As the global regulatory environment becomes increasingly stringent for data protection, PikcioChain provides businesses with an easier way to ensure that any data they procure is both regulatory-compliant and legally available.

In its token sale earlier this year, PikcioChain raised more than $12M to fund platform development and accelerate hiring. The company has already established several strategic partnerships with key players in the corporate data space, including Ernst & Young and Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

12. The Key

The Key has created a decentralized identity verification platform based on the NEO blockchain. The company’s platform is designed for governments, and will allow any branch of a given government to securely verify a citizen’s identity based on data they’ve previously stored on the blockchain.

The Key has started working with some governments already, and recently launched a partnership with the Chinese government to integrate its technology into the central government’s existing tech stack. In addition, the company has received more than fifteen different patents for its groundbreaking technology, and it’s presently scheduled to launch the mainnet release of its platform in December of this year.

13. Switcheo

Switcheo is a multi-chain, decentralized exchange that allows crypto investors to trade NEO, GAS, SWH, and a number of other tokens across multiple blockchains. Presently, the exchange supports all NEO and NEP-5 tokens, with plans to support more in the future.

Switcheo boasts far lower trading fees than most exchanges, and doesn’t impose any withdrawal fees either. The exchange launched its mainnet release in March of this year, and plans to build in support for ERC20 tokens by the end of the year.

14. Travala

Travala began its life as a startup called Concierge, but rebranded itself last month after completing its public token sale. Travala is a blockchain-based online travel marketplace that enables users to book flights and hotels using a P2P platform that secures all transactions through smart contracts.

By the end of the year, users will be able to book travel using AVA, Travala’s native token. Upon the platform’s mainnet release, transactions will be conducted with 0% commission, and any disputes will be able to be resolved using an automated, AI-based conflict resolution system.

15. Bridge Protocol

Bridge Protocol is building a decentralized identity management platform that enables anyone to digitally store and protect their private data online. Through Bridge’s proprietary Identity Management System, users can import their private data and save it on a private blockchain for use in future transactions.

Private data can only be accessed through a user’s public address, and is governed by privacy settings that define which applications can access user data (as well as what kind of data those applications are allowed to access). By securing user data in a portable format, Bridge Protocol is aiming to ease the cumbersome process of obtaining KYC details that many ICOs and token projects go through when raising funding – all the while making it easier than ever for crypto investors to pass along their relevant details and get involved.

15 Crypto Companies in Malta You Should Get to Know

If you’re interested in crypto, be sure to check out CryptoList – my hand-researched list of crypto companies, and consider subscribing to CryptoWeekly, my weekly crypto newsletter.

Malta is one of the newest (and fastest-rising) hubs for crypto companies this year. The country is aiming to become a magnet for crypto companies worldwide through a top-down initiative that’s being led by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

The tiny island nation has already attracted some of the world’s largest crypto exchanges to its shores and is in talks with countless others about potential partnerships. With low corporate taxes, a supportive government, and clear regulations, Malta is quickly becoming one of the top places for crypto entrepreneurs to launch their crypto projects.

1. Binance

Binance is the world’s largest crypto exchange, and it recently moved its headquarters from Hong Kong to Malta after heavier crypto regulations were enacted by the Hong Kong government. Led by longtime CEO Changpeng Zhao, the exchange chose to move to Malta due to heavier regulations in Japan and Hong Kong, but also because of the Maltese government’s openness to crypto.

Founded just last year, the crypto exchange presently supports dozens of the world’s leading cryptocurrencies and alt-coins, in addition to its native token, the Binance Coin (BNB). In addition to offices in Tokyo and Hong Kong, the firm also recently opened its newest office in Taipei last month.

2. OKEx

OKEx is one of the world’s largest digital asset exchanges, and it recently moved its headquarters from Hong Kong to Malta. It’s affiliated with fellow exchange OKCoin, though the two are run as separate entities. In addition to offering token trading, OKEx also offers crypto traders the option to invest in hundreds of crypto futures trading pairs on its asset exchange.

The OKEx exchange is one of the largest in the world by volume, with over 20m customers served to date, and its BTC futures exchange sees more than $1.5b in trading volume on a daily basis. The firm also offers other digital services for crypto traders beyond just its exchange services, such as margin trading and a mobile crypto portfolio management app.

3. Decentralised Ventures

Decentralised Ventures is a Malta-based consultancy that provides advisory services around blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and decentralized technologies. The firm is a joint venture between TokenKey (another Maltese crypto company) and Strategic Coin, a blockchain consultancy.

The venture was launched this month at the World Blockchain Forum in Dubai, and it aims to be the first “full-stack service provider” in Malta’s nascent crypto ecosystem. The firm will provide crypto companies with end-to-end support on everything incorporation and taxation, to launching ICOs and token sales.

4. Coinvest

Following in the footsteps of Binance and OKex, Coinvest has become the latest major player to move its headquarters to Malta. The crypto investment trading firm relocated to Malta this month and has announced a new collaboration with the Maltese government to establish a blockchain council that is reportedly set to create hundreds of local jobs as well.

The Coinvest platform allows crypto investors and asset managers to create their own crypto index funds. The executive team is comprised primarily of Microsoft alumni (including CEO Damon Nam). The firm closed its ICO in April 2018, raising more than $5m in funding to help it accelerate product development and ramp up hiring.

5. Yovo

Yovo is the world’s first fully tokenized mobile network. The startup recently relocated its global headquarters from London to Malta, and is continuing to develop its unique mobile platform, which allows users to purchase YO tokens and then use them to pay one’s phone bill with more than 500 providers around the world.

In addition, tokens can be earned on the Yovo network by doing simple daily tasks, like browsing the web or downloading certain apps. Yovo’s blockchain-based mobile network is built using the Stellar protocol, and the Alpha version of its platform is slated for release later this month.

6. ICO Launch Malta

ICO Launch Malta bills itself as a “full-stack ICO platform” that offers legal, technical, and financial support to help crypto founders turn their ICO idea into a reality. The firm specializes in launching EU-based ICOs that comply with current European Union regulations, and already has a lengthy client list of successful token offerings.

Founded in 2017, ICO Launch Malta also offers pre and post-token sale marketing services, such as Airdrops and Bitcoin brokerages. The firm also provides crypto founders with PR and legal services, which can be retained after completion of a given token sale.

7. Exante

Exanta is a multinational investment firm based in Malta that recently began branching out into the world of crypto. Most notably, it’s the only licensed brokerage in the world to offer Bitcoin spot and Bitcoin CMOE futures in one unified account. The firm was one of the true pioneers in Malta’s crypto ecosystem, and it remains highly active in the crypto island’s community as well.

In addition to its for-profit business, Exanta also is partnering with the Maltese government to attract more crypto companies to the island, and is actively investing in other crypto companies in the region as well (such as Comino, which produces at-home GPU miners).

8. Ledger Projects

Ledger Projects is a Malta-based startup that’s looking to build the next generation of distributed ledger applications for crypto companies and enterprise businesses. Founded in mid-2017, the startup was the first in Malta to launch a distributed ledger application (an asset management transfer tool for institutional investors).

According the LP’s founders, the firm decided to incorporate in Malta due to their government’s open approach to crypto and a innovation-friendly regulatory environment. This year, the firm is working towards accreditation by Malta’s new Digital Innovation Authority so that it continue developing its distributed ledger technology and further expand its platform to crypto companies.

9. Learning Machine

Learning Machine Technologies is a Malta-based startup that has just launched the world’s first pilot program for storing one’s digital learning credentials on the blockchain. Under the new program, Maltese citizens will be able to record all of their online learning achievements on the blockchain, and any results will be immediately verified by Learning Machine’s technology partners.

Users are able to access their digital records through Blockcerts, a crypto and digital asset wallet that’s been designed for use with participating institutions. By leveraging a blockchain-based solution that works across many educational providers, the government of Malta hopes to better understand what skills its citizens are learning, and better prepare them with the skills needed to succeed in the workplace of the future.

10. nChain

nChain is one of the true pioneers in the global blockchain community, and it was recently acquired by a Malta-based private equity fund in exchange for $100m in funding. As part of the deal, the firm will be run primarily out of Malta, and it intends to use the fresh funding to accelerate research and development of its flagship enterprise platform.

nChain’s platform is entirely open-source and boasts a large developer community, as well as some of the most prominent names in blockchain on its team (including former Bitcoin Foundation director Jon Matonis). The firm is a global leader in blockchain research and development, and has a worldwide staff of over 60 employees.


STASIS is a startup that gives governments the ability to tokenize fiat currencies and track their usage through a blockchain-based platform. The project is led by a team of Maltese and Kazakh entrepreneurs, and is seeing collaboration between the countries’ governments as well. The STASIS team sees its platform becoming the foundation for a pan-European digital currency, and is actively reaching out to other countries about the possibility of running a pilot program for its platform as well.

In addition to their intergovernmental initiatives, the team at STASIS is also putting together a proposal for crypto asset governance within financial markets, which would see STASIS’ native token (which has yet to be announced) pegged to the Euro.

12. Loci Nexus

Loci Nexus is a foundation focused on promoting the Loci Coin ecosystem. Based in Malta and formed just last month, the foundation is now taking a more active role in facilitating the purchase and sale of intellectual property through the Loci platform.

Although Loci was originally founded in Washington DC, it’s now investing heavily in Malta’s crypto ecosystem and is partnering with the European Patent Office to bring its vision of a fully decentralized IP marketplace to life.

13. Bitmalta

Bitmalta is a nonprofit organization that’s dedicated to increasing the adoption of cryptocurrency in Malta. Founded in 2017, the organization is headed up by Jonathan Galea, Head of Consulting at TokenKey and Managing Director at The Blockchain Advisory firm.

As part of its effort to promote the use of cryptocurrencies in Malta, Bitmalta coordinates regularly with the Malta Chamber of Commerce and other organizations to host events and workshops around Blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

14. Neufund

Neufund is an equity raising service that’s run entirely on the blockchain. The firm made headlines in April of 2018 when it announced that it would be relocating its worldwide headquarters from Berlin to Malta after a number of discussions with the Malta government and its financial regulators.

Founded in late 2016, the Neufund platform allows nearly anyone to raise private equity funds in the form of cryptocurrency, making it one of the most elegant solutions bridging the gap between the worlds of equity and crypto to date. The firm is led by CEO Zoe Adamovicz, a serial entrepreneur who has founded and scaled numerous startups in the European market.

15. Blockchain Malta Association

The Blockchain Malta Association is perhaps the most influential organization in Malta’s crypto ecosystem at the moment. The organization consults regularly with Malta’s government on how the country can continue attracting more crypto companies to its shores, and also plays a significant role in influencing the development of crypto regulations within the country.

In addition, the association is highly active in Malta’s nascent crypto community, and it participates regularly in events and conferences held around the country. The organization is led by a mix of private entrepreneurs and public officials, and its efforts to attract crypto investment to Malta have paid off so far – including its wooing of large exchanges like Binance and OKex.

Meet this year’s most innovative Ethereum projects

If you’re interested in crypto, be sure to check out CryptoList – my hand-researched list of crypto companies, and consider subscribing to CryptoWeekly, my weekly crypto newsletter.

Ethereum is perhaps best-known for being one of the world’s largest cryptocurrencies by market cap, but it’s easy to forget it’s also a fully-fledged platform that’s home to some of the most significant innovations in the world of crypto.

Using decentralized apps (better known as Dapps) has become one of the most popular ways to launch a token project, and the number of high-quality Dapps on the market is quickly approaching critical scale.

Today, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most innovative Dapps we’ve seen out there, and explain why you should care. Ethereum is finally coming into its own as a platform, and it’s great to see the amount of innovation happening on this front. Ready to see which platforms are the kings of the Dapp ecosystem? let’s get started.

1. uPort

uPort is an Ethereum Dapp that aims to provide a decentralized identity for all, with all data stored on the Ethereum blockchain. Users are able to register their digital identity on the blockchain, and use their digital identity to sign and receive smart contracts, as well as use their digital identity to login across a number of 3rd-party services.

The Brooklyn-based startup is looking to turn their platform into a “single source of truth” for the world of digital identities. The core technology of the Dapp, while operating entirely on-chain, can also have functionality that can run off-chain as well.

2. Ethlance

Ethereum bills itself as the “world’s first job platform running entirely on Ethereum, with zero fees”. Any user with a MetaMask wallet can sign up for the platform, which is governed by Direct0x and allows jobs to be applied to (and posted) with zero fees. Users are able to complete tasks exclusively in exchange for ETH, and membership in the platform is free.

Most notably, Ethlance is a charter district of the Direct0x Network, which is an organization of decentralized online marketplaces and communities. Unlike many token projects, the team Ethlance has truly embraced transparency, and they issue regular quarterly reports on the platform’s progress and key development milestones.

3. VeChain Thor

VeChain Thor is a Dapp that allows the authenticity and quality of any product to be tracked all the way through the supply chain, with all product data stored securely on the Ethereum blockchain. The firm was originally a supply chain firm, but it recently rebranded to become a Dapp-first, blockchain-focused startup.

VeChain Thor is unique in that its customers have been using a working version of its product for years. Blue chip clients from numerous industries (including pharmaceuticals, luxury retail, and logistics) are already using the VeChain platform to store and track their product data on the blockchain.

4. Augur

Founded by entrepreneurs Jack Peterson and Joey Krug in 2014, Augur was one of the first widely-known Dapps within the crypto community. The Augur platform acts as a decentralized prediction market, allowing anyone to create prediction markets (and place futures investments on those predictions) with ease.

Augur’s network is entirely decentralized and runs on the Ethereum blockchain. It allows users to feed data about “reporting events” (events on which there are predictions) into the platform, which then rewards users with REP tokens in exchange for providing accurate data. Users are financially incentivized to keep data accurate on the Augur platform, and so far, the strategy appears to be paying off.

5. EtherTweet

EtherTweet is a creative Dapp that acts as an uncensored messaging platform run on the Ethereum blockchain. While strikingly similar to Twitter, EtherTweet distinguishes itself from the competition by storing all user messages on the blockchain, and removing all forms of censorship from the platform.

In addition to public messaging, users can also send and receive Ethereum using the service’s donations function. As of right now, the platform is only available on a web client, which is primarily designed for power users – the interface is essentially command line-only – but efforts to create a full featured mobile app are already underway.

6. TenX

TenX is a Singapore-based firm that allows customers to use Ether (or other cryptocurrencies) to pay for goods at nearly any retailer or point-of-sale in the world. This is achieved by using TenX’s own line of crypto debit and credit cards that link up with its proprietary crypto wallet (which supports all of the top cryptocurrencies). Most recently, the firm partnered with Litecoin to launch a LTC debit card, which will allow customers to use LTC for payment at any point-of-sale that accepts credit cards.

All customer transactions conducted using TenX’s technology are recorded on the blockchain, and will be a key part of TenX’s forthcoming COMIT Network, an off-chain multi-transaction network that will allow nearly any app to communicate across multiple blockchains.

7. Etherisc

Munich-based Ethereisc is a platform that’s looking to build a decentralized, open market for insurance. Through the Etherisc platform, consumers can purchase insurance policies recorded on smart contracts, which lower overall costs for both insurance providers and customers alike. The Etherisc platform is already available worldwide, and can be accessed through the firm’s standard desktop application.

The first major use case for Etherisc has turned out to be its flight delay dapp, which is a decentralized insurance application that can automatically issue policies and pay out for airline insurance claims completely anonymously.

8. Alice

Alice is an Ethereum-based Dapp that enables charities to collect and track their donations directly on the blockchain. The open-source platform allows users to see all of their donations in one place, as well as a transparent view of how their donations were used. Users can also choose receive a refund if a given cause fails to achieve its goals stated on the platform.

Donations are submitted and secured via smart contracts, and each organization that solicits donations on the platform must outline a clear set of measurable goals that must be performed in order to receive users’ donations. All donations are executed in fiat, but are tracked on the blockchain using a stablecoin that is pegged to the donations’ value.

9. Everex

Singapore-based Everex is looking to create a platform that supports a P2P payment system pegged to fiat. Users are able to transfer, lend, or trade any fiat currency in just seconds, with all transactions recorded on the blockchain. In addition, users with limited credit history are able to participate in a microfinancing program in exchange for limited borrowing capabilities.

As part of its ICO, Everex raised ~$20M in funding, which will be used to accelerate development of the platform and increase hiring for its growing sales team. The firm is also working to build its own form of “crypto-cash”, which will run on Ethereum’s P2P network.

10. Aragon

Aragon is a platform for managing decentralized organizations and companies. Its Ethereum-based Dapp uses the proprietary AragonOS architecture, which allows organizations to seamlessly upgrade to newer versions of the platform. The platform’s native token is the Aragon Network Token (ANT) and can be used to make payments on the network, or purchase digital assets within an organization.

Several months ago, the firm released the alpha version of its AragonOS, which features an entirely rewritten codebase, as well as improved voting technology (which allows decentralized organizations to quickly establish consensus around any given topic).

20 Crypto Companies in Zug You Should Get to Know

If you’re interested in crypto, be sure to check out CryptoList – my hand-researched list of crypto companies, and consider subscribing to CryptoWeekly, my weekly crypto newsletter.

Zug is an unlikely contender for the world’s foremost hub of crypto companies. Nestled in the foothills of the Swiss Alps, the low-key city has become a talent magnet for blockchain companies and is now home to dozens of crypto startups.

The Swiss city benefits from a local government that has taken an open approach to blockchain technology, as well as a vibrant startup ecosystem that’s attracting blockchain researchers from around the world.

With a low-tax environment and an ample amount of funding, Zug could be the ideal place to start up your next crypto venture. Read on below for some of the most exciting crypto projects that have already set up shop in this quaint, but technologically advanced city.

1. Ethereum

Ethereum has an outsized role in Zug’s crypto ecosystem. Not only is it owner of one of the world’s largest cryptocurrencies by market cap, but it also has a nonprofit arm – the Ethereum Foundation – which is wholly headquartered in Zug. The company also hosts numerous meetups and events in Zug and the surrounding area.

In addition, the company is getting involved in local government initiatives as well. Late last year, Zug’s municipal government began recording citizens’ digital ID registrations on an Ethereum blockchain in partnership with Uport, a self-sovereign identity and data management platform.

2. Tezos

Tezos is a self-governed, decentralized blockchain platform that has a “digital commonwealth” of members that work together to establish on key decisions related to the development of the platform. It’s also a platform for smart contracts that, unlike Ethereum, leverages the Michelson programming language to facilitate verification.

Its nonprofit arm, the Tezos Foundation, is also active in Zug’s crypto community while maintaining stewardship of Tezos’s finances. Tezos contributor Ryan Jesperson was recently named head of the Tezos Foundation after a recent reshuffle and is looking to grow the foundation’s presence in Zug even more in the months ahead.

3. Bitfinex

Bitfinex is the newest entrant to Zug’s crypto ecosystem, having just announced its intent to relocate its global headquarters from Hong Kong to Zug just weeks ago. Bitfinex is the 5th largest crypto exchange in the world by trading volume, and its pending move to Zug is likely to bode well for the crypto ecosystem there.

As part of Bitfinex’s relocation, its legal, financial, and technical departments will be moving to Zug. This significant geographic transfer of talent is likely to have a positive impact on Zug, which has historically been seen as a haven for founders and investors, but is less of a hub for blockchain development talent.

4. Monaco

With its Monaco Visa card and mobile platform, this Zug-based startup is set to transform the crypto payments landscape. Monaco’s mobile platform allows users to pay for nearly anything using crypto, and it most recently unveiled two new products – Monaco Credit and Monaco Auto invest, which will allow users to automatically invest in crypto on credit.

Although the firm is headquartered in Zug, it also has a significant presence in Asia, with offices in both Hong Kong and Singapore. Monaco’s native token, MCO, is also traded on most major crypto exchanges worldwide.

5. Xapo

Xapo was originally founded in Hong Kong, but recently moved its headquarters to Zug after noticing the influx of crypto talent into the region. Xapo is best known for its cold wallet crypto storage solution, which has set an industry standard for data security and is approved by FINMA to operate in Switzerland.

Xapo’s crypto vault is decentralized and is run by a network of servers in high-security, undisclosed locations around the world. Some of the firm’s technical operations are also headquartered in Switzerland and are run out of a network of World War II-era bunkers in the countryside around Zug.

6. Cardano

Cardano is a decentralized public blockchain organization that is wholly focused on preserving user privacy. Headquartered in Zug, it is backed by its nonprofit arm, the Cardano Foundation, which is also based in Switzerland. Cardano is one of the largest cryptocurrencies worldwide in terms of market cap, with a market cap in excess of $3.5b as of March 2018.

Cardano runs a multi-layer protocol that provides support for smart contracts and enhanced identity verification. In partnership with Emurgo and IOHK, it most recently launched futures for its native token, ADA, on the BitMEX exchange.

7. Feathercoin

Feathercoin has been around for more than five years, but in recent months its been making deeper inroads in Zug’s crypto ecosystem. Its nonprofit arm, the Feathercoin Development Foundation, moved its headquarters to Zug last year, and the firm has been active in attracting investment from several prominent Swiss investment groups.

Like many other cryptocurrencies, Feathercoin is fully open-source, and it was originally formed via a hard fork from Litecoin by the creation of its genesis block. Feathercoin leverages NeoScrypt for its encryption, making it significantly more difficult to crack and mine than other alt coins.

8. Shapeshift

Shapeshift is a digital asset exchange that doesn’t require any private information from its users (nor does it create physical accounts for them). In addition, it distinguishes itself from other crypto firms by having a “no fiat” policy, meaning that traditional banks and currency are not used anywhere in the company’s operations.

Shapeshift was founded in 2014 by prominent crypto entrepreneur Erik Voorhees, and has been headquartered in Zug since its inception. Through its services, users can anonymously buy and sell a variety of tokens and crypto assets – all that’s required is a user’s receiving address in order to complete a transaction.

9. Cryptos Fund

Cryptos Fund is a relatively new entrant to Zug’s crypto ecosystem, and it’s already making a significant impact. Created by a team of researchers and academics based in Zug, the fund tracks the CCI30 Index, which indexes the top 30 cryptocurrencies worldwide.

The fund launched to retail investors earlier this year and requires a minimum of $100k to participate. Annual management fees are low, and the fund’s performance fee is 0%, the lowest in the industry. Over $100m in institutional investment has already been poured into the fund, which has already reached 10x its starting capital in just a matter of months.

10. Status

Status has built an elegant mobile Ethereum client for Android and iOS. The firm markets its offering as a “mobile Ethereum OS”, and offers a number of creative features – including support for decentralized apps, user messaging, and a hard wallet for storage of the cryptocurrency. The client also offers users the option to verify transactions with smart contracts.

Status’s R&D efforts are based in Zug, but its developer community is global in reach. The firm has been active to date in Zug’s crypto community and frequently participates in events and meetups there.

11. Omega One

Zug-based Omega One is building a “decentralized automated execution platform” that can automatically perform trades across the world’s largest crypto exchanges. Once the service goes live, users are set to see significantly lower trading fees (and likely higher returns as well) on the trading platform.

Omega One’s platform is intended to improve liquidity in the crypto market and will introduce intermediaries (agency brokers) to help facilitate this. Omega One’s trading protocol works through its native token, the Omega Token, which can be used by crypto investors to trade on the platform, make investments in crypto, or trade in the firm’s proprietary dark pool.

12. Etherisc

Etherisc is a startup on a mission to create a decentralized insurance platform that’s accessible to all. Built on the Ethereum blockchain, the platform is accessible to individuals and corporations and supports Dapps for different types of insurance (for example, the firm recently released a dedicated Dapp that automatically purchases blockchain-based flight insurance for airline delays).

The German startup moved its headquarters to Zug in 2017 and has formal partnerships with Lakeside Capital and Inacta, two other major players in the Zug crypto ecosystem. The firm also operates a nonprofit arm, the Decentralized Insurance Foundation, which is also based in Zug.

13. Sweetbridge

From its headquarters in Zug, Sweetbridge is looking to transform the world of global supply chain management through the blockchain. The startup is a member of the Liquid Value Alliance, which is seeking to collaboratively improve upon existing supply chain processes around the world by using blockchain technology.

The Sweetbridge protocol also allows users to receive low-cost loans on crypto assets without any need for an intermediary bank. The company is seeking to build the foundations of a new supply chain ecosystem built on the Sweetbridge platform, unlocking the potential of underutilized supply chains globally.

14. Bitmain

The China-based crypto mining giant recently expanded its operations into Zug, on the heels of news that the Chinese central government is preparing a major crackdown on crypto miners. The company has said that it plans to be active in the Crypto Valley Association, and will also be building data centers in the country as well.

Bitmain views its Switzerland subsidiary as a way to begin growing its presence in Europe and diversify its portfolio beyond just China. Upon entry into the market, it will almost immediately become the largest mining player in Europe by a wide margin.

15. Datum

Datum is a decentralized marketplace that allows users to store, sell, and trade data. The marketplace allows users to buy data by using the native DAT token, which is then stored on a network of decentralized storage nodes. The firm completed its ICO in late 2017, and has begun ramping up its presence in Switzerland in recent months.

Users have the ability to submit any type of data to the Datum network. That data can then be sold, shared, or distributed across Datum’s decentralized network. Datum customers are allowed to have granular control over how their data is stored and shared as long as it remains on the network.

16. LoyaltyCoin

A Swiss development team led by Thomas Goetschmann founded its Ethereum-based startup to put retail shopping loyalty programs on the blockchain, while tokenizing the entire concept of customer loyalty. Users can sign up for loyalty programs with a number of vendors, and earn tokens that can then be exchanged for crypto and tracked in the LoyaltyCoin mobile app.

Late last year, the team also won third place in a major blockchain startup competition at the inaugural Blockchain Summit held in Zug (the judging committee was made up of subject matter experts in the fintech and legal spaces).

17. ClimateCoin

ClimateCoin is a cryptocurrency that allows anyone to invest in the fight against climate change. Based in Zug, the startup looks to encourage businesses to be environmentally sustainable while giving back to their investors in the form of tokens.

In December of last year, the firm inked an agreement with the Carbon Trade Exchange (CTX) to build the first P2P decentralized network for the trade and exchange of carbon credits. Carbon credits are attached to each coin sold or traded, and these credits are applied whenever a transaction occurs.

18. UBEX

UBEX advertises itself as a “global decentralized advertising exchange” that allows publishers to tokenize the engagement that happens with marketing assets on their sites. The company uses AI to calculate future ad revenue based on engagement and token activity, and is a relatively recent entrant to Zug’s crypto ecosystem.

Uber’s head office is in Zug, but the team has developer talent located around the world. The firm is presently working on developing its smart contract protocol, which will form the underpinnings of its advertising analytics platform.

19. Crypto Valley Association

The Crypto Valley Association is one of the key players in Zug’s startup ecosystem. As a nonprofit focused on fostering a healthy crypto ecosystem in Zug, the organization routinely holds meet ups and events around blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.

This organization is one of the primary places members of Zug’s crypto community come to network, exchange ideas, and recruit new talent. The organization also tracks the token metrics and successes of its members on its website, and recently helped draft a set of ICO regulations for its member organizations.

20. Proxeus

Proxeus enables almost anyone to build high-impact blockchain applications that integrate with existing enterprise systems. The Proxeus platform is targeted towards large enterprises looking to add a layer of blockchain technology to their business processes and can be integrated with a number of 3rd party applications as well.

Earlier this year, the Proxeus team won first place in the Early Stage category of the Swiss Fintech Awards, in conjunction with the official launch of its native token, XES. The tokens can be transferred via Ethereum, and will be listed on most major exchanges later this year.

These 20 podcasts will take your crypto knowledge to the next level

If you’re interested in crypto, be sure to check out CryptoList – my hand-researched list of crypto companies, and consider subscribing to CryptoWeekly, my weekly crypto newsletter.

Amidst the fastest-growing industries on the planet, crypto and blockchain exist in an ever-expanding universe of knowledge, information, and insight. Massive technological breakthroughs are happening at breakneck speed, and it can be easy to get lost in the noise. Fortunately for you, I’ve done the hard work of identifying the twenty crypto and blockchain-focused podcasts you should add to your listening queue right now.

Let’s dive right in.

1. Unchained

Headed up by crypto and blockchain journalist Laura Shin, Unchained is quickly becoming the go-to resource for crypto investors around the world. Focused on emerging ideas in the world of crypto and blockchain, Shin interviews individuals from multiple industries that are doing interesting work in the space.

The show has seen a diverse lineup of guests, ranging from Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin to Zooko Wilcox, CEO of Zcash. By examining blockchain’s impact on numerous industries through the course of her interviews, Shin reveals to listeners why this technology is here to stay – and how it will likely change the underpinnings of society forever.

2. Block Zero

Block Zero is hosted by Kevin Rose, founder of Digg, Pownce, and an array of other other Bay Area startups. The show focuses primarily on Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies that have high usage, but Rose occasionally interviews founders of blockchain-related startups (such as Bancor co-founder Eyal Hertzog) as well.

Rose is a seasoned podcaster, having headed up both the legendary DiggNation podcast, as well as the Revision3 podcast – and it shows. Every episode of Block Zero is packed with insights, and Rose knows how to ask the right questions to get his guests to open up about their projects.

3. Unconfirmed

Also hosted by journalist Laura Shin, Unconfirmed is an ongoing dialogue with crypto experts on the latest developments in the field. For each episode, Shin selects a timely topic in the world of crypto and brings on one guest to quiz about it – most recently, Ari Paul of BlockTower Capital joined the show to talk about the recent downturn in crypto, and what it means for the market.

In addition to discussing current events in the market, Shin and her guests often cast their eyes forward to the future of crypto, and have meaningful discussions around what’s coming next in the space. Like Unchained, make this podcast a priority in your listening queue – it’s worth it.

4. Noded

Noded is hosted by engineering students Michael Goldstein and Pierre Rochard, who are both pursuing technical degrees at the University of Texas. Together, the duo co-founded the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute (an organization that is analyzing the elusive inventor’s body of work) and are software engineers by trade.

The podcast focuses primarily on current events in crypto and blockchain, with the duo providing analysis and commentary along the way. Goldstein and Rochard frequently have guests on the show as well, ranging from developer Jimmy Song to crypto engineer Jameson Lopp.

5. Let’s Talk Bitcoin

Let’s Talk Bitcoin is a bi-weekly podcast hosted by Adam Levine and a rotating cast of guests. The show focuses on the top individuals and ideas that are reshaping the future of money, and also includes analysis from prominent individuals in the crypto community.

The show distinguishes itself from other podcasts by putting an emphasis on crypto founders, and it’s already built up a wide range of interviews with founders in its archive. Each episode is fascinating, with great questions asked throughout. Well worth a listen.

6. The Bitcoin Knowledge Podcast

The Bitcoin Knowledge Podcast is hosted by entrepreneur and monetary scientist Trace Mayer. The show format alternates between episodes hosted by Mayer himself, and interviews with other entrepreneurs in the crypto space. This podcast has been running since 2012, making it one of the more established shows on this list.

While Mayer and his team issue podcasts on a fairly irregular basis, they’re always high-quality and packed with valuable content (the most recent episode includes an extended discourse on the ideological foundations of Bitcoin).

7. Coin Mastery

Coin Mastery is a podcast that teaches anyone how to be an expert in crypto and think more deeply about the blockchain technology behind it. Hosted by crypto entrepreneur Carter Thomas, the show spends equal amounts of time analyzing current trends in the crypto space, while offering tips and resources to retail crypto investors looking to boost their knowledge.

In addition to his podcast, Thomas is also active on YouTube, and produces a video series on crypto investing as well. Given Thomas’s timely analysis on developments in crypto large and small, both are well worth a listen if you have the time.

8. Off Chain with Jimmy Song

Published by legendary Bitcoin developer Jimmy Song in partnership with The World Crypto Network, Off Chain is a video podcast that breaks down the latest trends in crypto and shares tips for becoming a more effective crypto investor.

In addition to dissecting market forces, Song also does an excellent job of explaining arcane, but necessary crypto terminology to a mainstream audience. Ever wondered what a full node is, and how it works? Song helps break all of this down and more, making his podcast an indispensable resource for many crypto investors.

9. The Bad Crypto Podcast

Hosted by Internet pioneers Joel Comm and Travis Wright, the snarkily-named Bad Crypto Podcast is anything but. Comm and Wright do an excellent job of not taking themselves too seriously, and it shines through in their nearly-daily show – which alternates between analysis of current events in crypto, and interviews with other entrepreneurs in the space.

The duo takes on serious issues in crypto with their signature mix of hard-nosed analysis and humorous diversions, making each episode a light-hearted (but incredibly insightful) journey into the world of crypto.

10. Daily Crypto

Daily Crypto is a podcast focused on informing its listeners on the latest news around cryptocurrencies, blockchain, ICOs, new regulations, and more. Hosted by crypto investor Jose Mota, the show is run on a daily basis and includes Mota’s expert analysis on the latest trends in crypto, as well as the occasional interview.

Recent episodes have covered IBM’s efforts to create a central bank digital currency and the recently discovered anonymity flaws in Monero. Well worth listening to for a daily rundown of crypto news and insights.

11. The Bitcoin Podcast

The Bitcoin Podcast is run by the Bitcoin Podcast Network, an independent media organization that analyzes the worlds of crypto and blockchain. Run on a bi-weekly basis, the show hosts long-form interviews with numerous individuals in the blockchain community, all moderated by the group’s several long-time hosts.

In addition to The Bitcoin Podcast, the BPN also publishes a number of other niche podcasts related to crypto – such as “Buy or Sell, What the Hell”, which focuses on the economics side of cryptocurrencies and the forces that are driving recent trends in the markets.

12. Epicenter

This weekly podcast hosted by Meher Roy and Brian Crain offers up in-depth interviews with some of the brightest minds in crypto. The podcast focuses on the decentralized technology space, which naturally means crypto and blockchain receive ample coverage. In addition, the duo also runs a YouTube channel, which includes additional video content and interviews.

Epicenter was originally founded back in 2013, making it one of the longest-running crypto podcasts out there. The show’s focus is global, and the team has already brought on dozens of bright minds in the crypto community to share their thoughts on the space.

13. Blockchain Insider

This weekly show, hosted by crypto enthusiasts Simon Taylor and Colin Platt, provides listeners with a weekly digest of the most critical headlines in crypto. Blockchain analyst Sara Feenan frequently joins the duo as a guest host, and together, the group provides compelling commentary on the direction crypto and blockchain are headed.

Blockchain Insider has been running for well over a year and brings on a diverse range of guests – from Blythe Masters (CEO of Digital Asset Holdings) to Joe Lubin (co-founder of Ethereum). It’s an easy-to-understand podcast that makes it accessible to both crypto newbies and experts alike – well worth checking out.

14. Chat with Traders

Sydney-based Aaron Fifeld is the charismatic host of Chat with Traders, a weekly podcast that covers the world of cryptocurrencies from all angles. While most podcasts interview exclusively individuals who’ve already established themselves in crypto, Fifeld has conversations with everyone – from retail traders just starting out, to giants of the crypto world.

Along with his podcast, Fifeld is also the producer of a number of other assets targeted toward crypto traders – including guides to crypto trading mentorship, lessons learned, and transcripts from previously unreleased interviews.

15. The Third Web

The Third Web is hosted by Bitcoin enthusiast Arthur Falls, and is focused on covering the full gamut of decentralized technologies – from Ethereum, to blockchain, and everywhere in between. As part of his podcasting efforts, Falls is also developing video content and a mini-documentary on cryptocurrencies that he hopes to release later this year.

Prior to launching The Third Web, Falls also was the Director of Media at blockchain firm ConsenSys, and the creator of two other crypto podcasts – The Ether Review (an exclusively Ethereum-focused show) and Beyond Bitcoin.

16. The Blockchain Show

Launched in mid-2016, The Blockchain Show is a weekly podcast that seeks to advance the adoption of cryptocurrencies and decentralized technologies. The show is headed up by sound engineer Ethan Kinderknecht, who is accompanied by an ensemble of four other co-hosts who discuss the latest developments in crypto each week.

The Blockchain Show generally alternates between discussing current events in crypto (the latest developments on the hardware wallet front was a recent topic) and interviewing crypto luminaries like Brian Gallagher, CEO of Insights Network.

17. The Crypto Street Podcast

The Crypto Street Podcast focuses on covering the latest news around Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other major cryptocurrencies. The show initially started through several crypto enthusiasts getting together for regular chats via Twitter, and has since evolved into a weekly show with crypto analysis and interviews with key influencers in the crypto community.

The Crypto Street Podcast is relatively new on the scene, but has already gained a massive following. Most recently, the team at Crypto Street interviewed the co-founders of Tap Project, a decentralized gaming community, about the development of their coin and the firm’s upcoming token sale.

18. CryptoRadio

CryptoRadio is a podcast about the top news in crypto and blockchain, hosted by a team of four crypto investors and entrepreneurs. The show is conducted in an interview-style format, with a different focus for each series of episodes (past series have included interviews with thought leaders in crypto, as well as interviews with crypto founders).

In addition to regularly recording new shows, the team at CryptoRadio has also done an excellent job of putting together a huge number of free crypto-related resources, infographics, and case studies on their website.

19. What Bitcoin Did

The What Bitcoin Did podcast is hosted by crypto trader Peter McCormack. Although his podcast only started less than 6 months ago, McCormack has already landed some hard-hitting interviews (such as a fascinating back-and-forth with Lyn Ulbricht, mother of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht) that make for gripping listening.

As part of recording What Bitcoin Did on a semi-regular basis, McCormack has also invested a significant amount of time in building some valuable resources for crypto investors, including a beginner’s guide to crypto trading.

20. Bitcoins and Gravy

Bitcoins and Gravy, hosted by lifetime podcaster and communications specialist John Barrett, is a down-to-earth, no-nonsense guide to the world of crypto. Unique to most crypto podcasts, Barrett takes on current events in crypto with a sense of humor, and frequently injects his own jokes into the show.

This also might be the first crypto podcast with a completely original soundtrack. Barrett writes and composes all of the music for each episode himself, resulting in a show that’s equal parts educational and refreshingly light-hearted.

20 Crypto Companies in Singapore You Should Get to Know

If you’re interested in crypto, be sure to check out CryptoList – my hand-researched list of crypto companies, and consider subscribing to CryptoWeekly, my weekly crypto newsletter.

As one of the world’s most dynamic hubs for crypto and blockchain innovation, Singapore is already home to dozens of like-minded startups, with more and more popping up each month.

These twenty crypto companies are on my radar for being key participants in the local ecosystem that are innovating relentlessly and helping make Singapore a great place to run one’s crypto company.

Let’s get started.

1. Litecoin

Litecoin is an open-source cryptocurrency that is one of the largest cryptocurrencies in the world by market cap. Originally founded in Singapore by ex-Googler Charlie Lee, Litecoin is well-known for having markedly faster transaction times than Bitcoin – in some cases, its network is 3-5 times as fast.

Its nonprofit arm, the Litecoin Foundation, is also headquartered in Singapore and organizes community meetups and events around the region on a regular basis. Its charter is to advance Litecoin for the benefit of society, and identify new nonprofit and commercial use cases for its technology.

2. TenX

TenX seeks to connect a user’s assets stored on the blockchain with “real-world” payment platforms through an all-in-one, blockchain-based crypto platform. Users can leverage TenX’s app to store numerous different types of blockchain assets (including cryptocurrencies all in one place), and use its debit card to pay with crypto at retailers around the world.

In the future, the service also hopes to roll out tools for retail banking and conversion of cryptocurrencies to fiat as well. In addition to having a promising hard product, TenX also has a star-studded board of advisors, including Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum.

3. CoinHako

CoinHako is one of the fastest-growing crypto exchanges in Asia and has seen an influx of users after high-profile hacks at several other Asia-based crypto exchanges in recent months. The service started out as a Bitcoin trading platform and has evolved into a crypto wallet and exchange service that supports both Bitcoin and Ethereum.

CoinHako stores users’ crypto funds in a cold wallet at all times and was one of the first crypto exchanges to fully ensure its user deposits. In addition to trading services, CoinHako also provides blockchain consulting services and organizes crypto workshops in Singapore for its users on a regular basis.

4. CoinPip

CoinPip is a Singapore-based international remittances startup that aims to disrupt the remittances industry by allowing customers to make payments and transfers overseas by using Bitcoin to facilitate the transactions on the backend. Presently the service offers support throughout Asia, and any transaction can be conducted for just a 2% fee.

To date, the team has landed investment (and advisors) from the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS), PayPal, Visa, and others. The service is presently B2B-focused, but CoinPip’s CEO, Anson Zeall, has gone on the record he would like to expand the service into the consumer space as well.

5. Attores

This firm is looking to empower large enterprises to leverage blockchain technology for building secure smart contracts. Founded in 2015, Attores is the creation of entrepreneurs David Moskowitz and Gaurang Torvekar, and it helps companies develop, test, and roll out smart contracts within their own business processes.

The company has run several pilots of the technology with major banks in Singapore, and has already started building a client base of primarily SMEs that are looking to begin leveraging smart contracts for their businesses. By offering the service through a SaaS model, Attores has become one of the first to offer a truly turnkey smart contracts solution designed for medium-to-large businesses.

6. Quoine

This crypto fintech firm was founded in Singapore and has since moved its headquarters to Tokyo, but it maintains an outsized presence (and a large sales office) in the city-state’s crypto ecosystem. Quoine is focused on developing an entire suite of blockchain-driven fintech products for the consumer market, starting with its web-based crypto exchange, QUOINEX.

The firm raised $105m in its ICO and token sale late last year, and the funds will be used to further develop its Quoine Liquid platform, which aims to solve for the present illiquidity in the crypto economy. Quoine is also partnering with crypto exchanges around the world to develop what it calls a “Global Liquidity Alliance” to collaborate on the issue.

7. Acronis

Headquartered in Singapore, this data protection firm is an industry leader in developing innovative, blockchain-driven data backup and securing solutions. In 2016, it became the first data protection company to invest in blockchain, and the firm now has a dedicated team working on bringing blockchain technology to its full suite of products.

Acronis has a number of crypto-based data storage products available, including Acronis Storage, which stores, secures, and authenticates user’s data through Ethereum’s public blockchain. It also offers a service called Acronis Notary, which can notarize certificates and store a time-stamped record of the certification on a public blockchain.

8. Blockchain Foundry

Blockchain Foundry is a blockchain consultancy firm that helps large enterprises set up their own “Blockchain Innovation Labs” and experiment with the technology for their own commercial purposes. The firm primarily focuses on working with partners in Singapore and Southeast Asia on developing blockchain solutions to pressing business needs.

Blockchain Foundry is also a member of the SG Innovate ecosystem, which is funded and run by the Singapore government to encourage startup innovation within the city-state. The firm frequently hosts events in Singapore, and is an active member in the larger startup ecosystem as well.

9. CoinGecko

CoinGecko is fast becoming crypto investors’ go-to resource for the latest market data, coin prices, and more. The startup was founded in 2014 by TM Lee and Bobby One, and provides real-time data for nearly all cryptocurrencies across a wide range of metrics. Uniquely, CoinGecko also gives users price data for cryptocurrencies across multiple exchanges as well.

The quickly-growing startup also has a proprietary algorithm that ranks coins using a number of other variables (including social media following, outside investment, and others). The service also provides detailed metrics around community and investor engagement, which is critical when doing market research for informing one’s investment decisions.

10. FreshTurf

FreshTurf simplifies the process of package delivery in Singapore using blockchain technology. In partnership with IBM’s Bluemix team, FreshTurf has created a blockchain-based solution that can store data for individual parcels on an open registry, and allow package deliveries to be recorded and verified on a distributed ledger.

The service helps logistics management companies more efficiently verify the identities of both senders and receivers, and is presently exploring technology partnerships with the US Postal Service, Russian Post, and Australia State Post.

11. Ducatus

Ducatus is a crypto firm that offers an alt coin (known as the Ducatus coin), and may seem conventional at first glance – but in actuality, it also runs Singapore’s first entirely cashless cafe, known as the Ducatus Cafe. The cafe is quickly becoming a hub for members of Singapore’s crypto ecosystem, and only accepts payment in either Bitcoin or Ducatus Coins.

In addition to having a crypto cafe, Ducatus also has a sizable crypto mining operation, Ducatus Global. Users can purchase Ducatus Mining Credits to join the mining pool, which also has a profit sharing arrangement contingent on any profits generated from mining.

12. Aditus

Aditus bills itself as “the world’s first integrative platform for crypto affluents”. It’s effectively a way for crypto investors to securely purchase luxury goods by utilizing smart contracts and blockchain technology. The service also offers membership in a concierge program and access to exclusive lifestyle activities.

The platform, called Aditus Pay was most recently rolled out at Art Stage Singapore 2018, one of the city-state’s premier art festivals. Festival-goers were able to purchase art pieces using the platform’s native ADI token, as well as other cryptocurrencies. In total, four paintings were purchased with crypto during this year’s edition, and the firm hopes to roll out its payment platform to other festivals in the coming months.

13. Miners at Work

This crypto startup provides Singapore’s crypto community with an easy way to get started in the world of crypto mining. The firm, which had its ICO earlier this year, is presently building out its virtual currency infrastructure to allow anyone to become a virtual crypto miner.

Miners at Work’s recent ICO raised a significant amount of funding that will be used to develop its mining infrastructure, purchase additional mining servers, and roll out FastCoin crypto ATMs around Singapore. Miners at Work (MAW) also has its own native token, the GINNI coin, which will soon be listed on major exchanges around the world.

14. Electrify

Electrify is Asia’s first decentralized retail electricity marketplace. It allows consumers to choose where their energy comes from in a blockchain-based solution, and in doing so, aims to liberalize Asia’s energy markets. The platform will go live in the second half of 2018, and will be available to residents of Singapore initially, with other countries coming online soon after.

Despite being launched only last year, Electrify raised over $30m in its ICO earlier this year. The funds will be used to accelerate hiring, increase the rate of product development, and expand the product further into international markets (Japan and Australia, in particular, are on Electrify’s radar).

15. CoinHub

Launched just last December, CoinHub is a relatively new entrant to the crypto exchange landscape. The exchange allows investors to purchase cryptocurrencies using fiat, and any purchased tokens are then stored in a cold wallet for enhanced security. Most notably, CoinHub also charges zero transaction fees for any transfers or withdrawals.

CoinHub is presently looking to expand its “Ethereum market and pairing options”, but it also offers support for a vast number of cryptocurrencies – far more than most exchanges running today. The service also supports firms looking to run an ICO on its platform, and has recently begun ramping up this line of business as well.


LATTICE80 is Singapore’s largest fintech hub, and it has become a key player in the island’s crypto ecosystem in recent years. At the most recent Money 20/20 conference, it also revealed plans to launch its own altcoin futures product, which will be rolled out after its “Smart Crypto Indexes” are introduced to the market. The firm’s push into R&D is relatively recent, as its historically played a supporting role in the city’s tech scene.

On the heels of announcing its plans for an imminent ICO, the fintech hub also recently made a major push into South Korea, appointing a major Korean regulatory expert as an advisor and making plans to open an R&D branch office in Seoul.

Update: LATTICE80 let me know they have shifted their HQ to London, but are still pretty active in Singapore.

17. Crowd Genie

Crowd Genie is a P2P lending platform founded by Akshay Mehra that is making a big push to roll out an entire suite of financial products powered by blockchain technology and machine learning algorithms. The platform matches SMEs and investors, and facilitates transactions using CGCOINS, the firm’s native currency.

The firm is one of the few P2P platforms fully licensed for lending by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, having received a Capital Market License for lending within the country. Since its ICO late last year, it’s also raised more than $2m to date.

18. Global Crypto Offering Exchange

The GCOX brands itself as “the world’s first cryptocurrency exchange that helps celebrities create, list and trade their own cryptocurrencies”. It’s a blockchain-driven way for fans to get closer to their favorite celebrities, and the exchange has already inked major partnerships with several high-profile athletes (including boxing legend Manny Pacquiao) to offer exclusive content that can be purchased through the exchange.

Crypto investors are now able to purchase crypto on the exchange, and then exchange their tokens for GCOX’s native coins, which can be used to purchase exclusive celebrity content (and at times, direct access) that isn’t available anywhere else.

19. Change

Change is a Singapore-based financial services startup that recently closed $17.5m in funding from its most recent ICO. The firm aims to become a “one-stop shop” for crypto users around the world, with a full suite of products ranging from crypto trading services to a debit card that can be used to make retail purchases using cryptocurrencies.

The platform’s native asset is the Change Token (CAG), and it’s presently running pilot programs around borderless business banking with both the government of Estonia’s e-residency program and Finnish fintech startup Holvi.

20. Helvetic Investments

The Singapore-based firm recently announced that it would be launching Asia’s first institutional-grade crypto fund for retail investors. The multifamily office, which has historically been focused on more conventional investments, is branching out into crypto as a way to diversify its portfolio and take advantage of the capital flowing into the space.

The fund has brought on several crypto fund managers, who will be investing primarily in stocks of blockchain-focused firms, as well as investment products from countries that are early adopters of blockchain technology.