Blockchain startups, open source projects, and organizations are exploring the future of technology. “[Blockchain] is to Bitcoin, what the Internet is to email: a big electronic system, on top of which you can build applications,” said , technology reporter of , . Sally Davies The Financial Times back in 2015 She added, “Currency is just one,” referring to Bitcoin, one of blockchain’s most talked about networks. Another famous one is the Ethereum. Today, there seems to be a frenzy of activity, projects, and startups focusing on blockchain technology, whether in the fintech space or elsewhere. But where are tech giants like Amazon, Google, and Facebook? , co-founder of , believes that most of big tech is not forthcoming on blockchain plans or interest in this sector. Joseph Lubin ethereum “Oracle is just starting on their blockchain journey,” at ’s this past October_._ “Apple seems to be largely uncaring and unaware; Google is making investments, but it’s not clear that they have lot of activity going on; Amazon, we’ve not seen that much, so we’ll see.” he said Quartz What Happens Next , editor-in-chief of Quartz, pressed Lubin” “Do you think there’s a risk that blockchain tech could overturn some of these?.” Kevin Delaney “Yes, I could absolutely imagine a decentralized Amazon,” Lubin replied. “We’ve seen the pieces. They’re not all connected to one another. They’re not all but out or remotely mature, but I could imagine an open platform of many different actors with different roles.” Lubin also said the same could be done with Facebook: “We could stand up decentralized platform that offers same services.” So who to watch in the blockchain space? Here are seven blockchain players I like. What are your favorite players? STATUS ( ) is an innovative project which introduced an Ethereum blockchain-based decentralized browser. The platform aims to be the first ever mobile Ethereum client built entirely on peer-to-peer technologies. The open source mobile platform serves as a gateway to decentralized apps — or DApps — and services built on the Ethereum. According to the company, the base offering enables access to encrypted messages, smart contracts, digital currency, and more. Status status.im The company a new COO, long-time Nabil Naghdy who previously lead Google Maps and Google Flights products. has recently announced Googler “As part of an explosive, nascent product category, Status and the Ethereum ecosystem are at an inflection point,” said Nabil here on . Medium Fortunately, there’s an exceptionally active community pushing blockchain and Ethereum toward a bigger stage. “Status is fully committed to making decentralization a reality,” , co-founder of Status. “We are aware that there are challenges and there is a lot of work to be done, but our goal remains to create an Ethereum-powered world for all.” said Carl Bennetts Status is based in Zug, Switzerland. BLOCKSTACK Open source project is a new internet for decentralized apps — run locally without remote servers — where users own their data. With Blockstack, users get digital keys that let them own their identity. They sign in to apps locally without remote servers or identity providers. Its storage system allows users to bring their own storage providers and control their data, encrypted and easily shared between applications. The platform uses Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies for simple peer-to-peer payments. Blockstack Inc “The next wave of computing is going to be a massive shift away from cloud computing,” said , co-founder and CEO of Blockstack, . Muneeb Ali in a post here on Medium Decentralized computing is a mega trend that is not getting nearly as much attention as it deserves; it will likely have an economic, social, and political impact larger than the desktop and cloud revolutions. Blockstack is a Public Benefit Corp based in New York, NY. PROVENANCE ( ) is building a traceability system for materials and products using blockchain. It is a data system for securely storing information — inherently auditable, unchangeable and open. The company is working towards an open traceability protocol — that anyone can use to track the provenance of anything from coffee beans to a roll of fabric. Provenance provenance.org “Provenance is addressing the alarming lack of information around the things we buy,” , the company’s founder and CEO, told in a . Jessi Baker Meltem Demirors Digital Currency Group interview We live in the age of information and hyper-connectivity, and yet we as consumers continue to be disconnected from the origins and journeys that our products go through. Provenance is based in London, United Kingdom. COLONY ( ) is an operating system for open organizations. The company is building an infrastructure running on the Ethereum and blockchain that aims to revamp the way organizations and companies work and collaborate. The platform promises to make human resources and project management more open, fair and efficient. Colony colony.io “Colony brings about a new ‘Nature of the Firm’ by significantly reducing both the transaction costs of the market exchange mechanism for labor, and trust required for people to work together,” , Colony co-founder, . Jack du Rose told Bitcoin Magazine We see Colony as infrastructure for the organizations of the future. We believe infrastructure should be reliable and impartial; one organization should not be reliant on the existence or permission of another to operate. Colony is based in London, United Kingdom. POLKADOT that ( ) passed the $140 million mark for its fund-raise to link private and public blockchains. The platform operates as “the interchange and translator between multiple blockchains which creative people developing on the Ethereum blockchain have been looking for in order to build a wealth new projects and infrastructure,” as TechCrunch explains. TechCrunch has recently announced Polkadot polkadot.io “In my mind, it’s all about having a “creative commons” on which people can build the social experiments of the 21st Century; it should be as free as possible in both senses of the word,” said founder Gavin Wood of . Parity Technologies SLOCKIT ( ) operates at the intersection of the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain technologies. The company’s mission is to develop the future infrastructure of the sharing economy through the project — or USN. This new platform, an open source infrastructure on which blockchain applications modules can be deployed, will make it easy for third parties to onboard any object to the USN without having to ‘ask permission’. slock.it slock.it Universal Sharing Network “With the USN, rental apartments and offices will become fully automated, smart objects will be rented on demand and unused vehicles get a new lease on life,” said , the company’s co-founder and CEO. Christoph Jentzsch “The main advantage of using blockchain technology in this context is a radically simplified user journey: ,” explains , co-founder and COO. “There is only one key (your smartphone) for everything and no need to register or login for the service thanks to a judicious use of security deposits.” Open the app > Find an object nearby > Pay for it > Use it Stephan Tual The company is based in Mittweida, Germany. CIVIL ( ), a decentralized news-making platform, $5 million in funding from blockchain venture production studio . The blockchain-based platform enables a direct relationship between journalists and will protect journalists against censorship and intellectual property disputes while substantially limiting misinformation. Civil: Self-Sustaining Journalism joincivil.com has recently announced ConsenSys “In Civil’s self-governing marketplace, readers may directly sponsor newsrooms, and journalists collaboratively run their own publications,” states a press release. “Readers may subscribe to Civil-hosted publications, and will use Civil’s cryptocurrency or tokens to sponsor individual journalists, investigations and stories, creating a new collaborative model for the gathering and dissemination of news.” CVL In addition, Civil’s independent journalism advisory board will oversea the platform to ensure fair, objective, professional standards. “By providing the economic incentives and governance structures for newsmakers — writers, editors, photographers, fact-checkers — to self-organize, Civil offers a new business model for journalism,” said Civil founder . Matthew Iles Our goal is to create a self-sustaining global marketplace for journalism that is free from advertising, fake news, and outside influence. Civil is based in Brooklyn, NY.