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The 3 most promising public blockchain projects from China for 2018

A post about VeChain, Matrix and Nebulas

Because of all of the encouraging feedback I received for my previous article, going forward I’ll use this blog to present research I have conducted on Chinese blockchain projects so you don’t have to. I often get asked how I find all of the information that I do, and I know that information about them is often hard to find for a lot of people so I hope it will be of help. The article today is based on what I believe to be the 3 biggest and most promising projects in China today, including names we already know like Neo and Tron. 6 months ago CoinMarketCap’s top 10 looked very different to how it looks today — people had only just heard about Neo (it was Antshares 6 months ago), Qtum didn’t exist, Tron didn’t exist and neither did many others. I believe 12 months from now it will look completely different to how it looks right now as well.

As new technology starts to emerge and the engineers working diligently in the background improving upon the mistakes of the starters begin to go a little more public, new blood will emerge from the shadows and giants will be overturned. There are 3 projects from China that I believe will emerge as giants in 2018 and I expect all of them to be staples by the end of the year, some higher than others. They are VeChain, Matrix, and Nebulas.

VeChain

VeChain is an Enterprise-focused IoT and dApp platform for products and information. It aims to connect blockchain technology to the real world by providing robust infrastructure through the use of RFID and other similar IoT technologies. This is being achieved through partnerships and collaborations with innovative brands and industries, largely aided by their partner and former incubator PwC.

Vechain literally translates to something like “The Only Chain”; they eventually aim to be the one coin to rule them all — the new and improved Bitcoin, perhaps. I’m not entirely convinced by that goal, however I do believe that VeChain will end up as the IBM of the blockchain world and many of the world’s heavyweights and Fortune 500 businesses will go to VeChain for their blockchain enterprise solutions. Goals like this cannot be achieved without significant business and technical acumen, so it’s a good thing VeChain has both. Their mainnet is scheduled for Q2 2018 but they have been providing enterprise solutions on their private blockchain for some time now.

Business at VeChain

Their business connections is VeChain’s strong point. Thanks to their PwC connection they are able to connect with huge enterprises and talk to them about VeChain. Many of their partners need no introduction, some of them are:

And the list goes on.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about VeChain is that they also recently announced a “National Level Partnership” in which they have the privilege of trialling VeChain technology in the special government zone the Gui’an New Area. The trials will see the local government in the area move parts of their workflow to the blockchain and if successful could see wide scale roll outs across the country. Given that the zone is an area mandated by the central government, it is no stretch to assume that there are central government eyes on VeChain.

On January 24th VeChain have a facebook live stream with DNV GL where they will further announce details of their deep and special partnership. This may be the first time we have seen a massive enterprise like DNV GL openly champion and promote a public blockchain partner, and it shows that the business development side of VeChain is perhaps the best in class. They have started to be picked up by mainstream media in China, most notably Yicai, who have been seen tweeting and retweeting a lot about VeChain recently. Yicai are state-owned and are one of the leading financial news and investment outlets in the country.

Tech at VeChain

  • Team of 40+ developers
  • CTO has nearly 18 years experience in telecommunications and IoT solutions and holds over 100 relevant patents
  • Already have a working app on the iOS store for tracking products and verifying their authenticity
  • Partnered with a world leading RFID solutions provider to act as their hardware department for chips specifically designed for use on VeChain
  • Have a “use-case first” approach to design
  • Capable of 10000 tx/s
  • We have successfully implemented blockchain solutions across various industries such as luxury goods, liquor and agriculture. These use-cases go beyond the Proof-of-Concept and have already been launched on the market globally.
  • Recently rebranded to VeChain Thor and in the process revamped their economic structure to be more befitting for an Enterprise focused platform. Holding VET will passively generate THOR based on how much is being held at any given time.
  • THOR will be used as the gas, and THOR holders above a certain amount can trigger smart contracts and carry out transactions for free on the network — this standardises and streamlines cash flows for businesses that will use VeChain and allows them to predict more accurately the cost of using the network, unlike a lot of other blockchains at the moment

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EOY Expectation: I expect Vechain to be a top 5 project in terms of market cap by the end of 2018, and it will most likely happen a lot sooner.

Where to buy: Binance and other platforms such as Huobi.

Circulating supply: 277,162,633 VET

More information: www.reddit.com/r/VeChain

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Matrix

Matrix is an open-source blockchain that supports smart contracts and machine learning services. With its infrastructure reinforced with artificial intelligence (AI), Matrix aims revolutionise the user experience of executing smart contracts by making the whole process faster, easier, and safer.

It’s a complete blockchain solution which aims to offer flexible blockchain networks that support continuous adaptive self-optimisation and multi-chain transaction. As a result of refactoring the blockchain with AI, Matrix also allows its mining power to be used in AI based big data applications (gene regulatory networks, clinical diagnoses, video analytics, financial modelling etc.) by solving complex AI algorithms and this mining power can be rented out as required by consumers. This takes the large amounts of energy consumed by typical proof of work calculations and allows them to directly add value to the world, and to the applications that will run on the MATRIX chain. The idea is incredibly well thought out and the engineers have had the foresight to think about the issues that may trip up other blockchains down the line in terms of environmentalism, self optimisation and wide-spread smart contract deployment.

Their list of investors and partners from both government and industry is impressive thanks to their well connected senior leadership, and it will only continue to grow. If they can leverage their connections there is potential for Matrix to be the blockchain infrastructure for priority government initiatives such as the famous One Belt One Road. Their mainnet is scheduled for September 2018 and has been under development since the end of 2016.

Business at Matrix

  • Matrix are the sole blockchain partner for the National Government commissioned One Belt One Road Research and Development Centre for and sole AI solution for the centre. Matrix will act as an enterprise incubator and will be the only blockchain project adopted by companies which pursue OBOR goals with the centre. The national government have put aside trillions to pour into belt and road projects and have recently invested $2.1 billion in an AI research park in Beijing. A perfect combination. It’s a certainty that many international contracts both between governments of different countries and companies of different countries will be signed as a result of this partnership
  • Invested in by F&H VC, which is lead directly by the former CTO of Alibaba Group
  • Partnered with Hyperledger
  • Have a deep partnership with Gecheng IP, one of the most renowned IP firms in China with clients such as Total, Dell, Bentley, LG, Qualcomm and more. Gecheng is working with Matrix to move their work flow to the blockchain meaning that there’s potential for all of the clients that they work with to interact with the Matrix blockchain as well
  • Partnered with CY Credit, who are a big data technology service company which, under the guidance of the central government and national development and reform commission, are enhancing credit information sharing and reporting data domestically and internationally. A perfect use for blockchain.
  • Partnered with the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology. A government body in Malaysia under the Prime Minister’s department put together to align industry and government in Malaysia. Their primary goal is to act as an interlocutor between members in order to push forward Malaysia’s high tech industry in accordance with government goals. Members include giants like Petronas, Sime Darby, and Honeywell.

Tech at Matrix

  • Team have collectively been involved as PI or Co-PI for over 20 National Level research projects
  • Former Samsung, AMD, Microsoft, Facebook engineers
  • Matrix Intelligent Contracts allow anyone to create smart contracts with natural language script given they input the objective and trigger conditions
  • Intelligent contracts go through formal verification by AI before they are deployed — AI attacks contracts and tries to find holes and exploits in them. If found, they are fixed before deployment
  • Currently supports 10000 tx/s and aims for 1m tx/s
  • Public and private versions of the blockchain can transact across chains, businesses can choose which data they want to be public and which they deem too commercially sensitive to not be private
  • Self adaptive and continuously optimising via the AI deep learning algorithms embedded into the mining
  • Specific mining hardware planned for development — Matrix have world leading GPU hardware competency and the head of AI is an Nvidia partner professor
  • Team won the PASCAL2 and VSCOCO AI competitions in 2017 beating out teams from Microsoft, Facebook Labs, UC Berkeley, and Intel

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EOY Expectation: I expect Matrix to be a top 10 project in terms of market cap by the end of 2018.

Where to buy: EtherDelta. More platforms expected in the next couple of weeks.

Circulating supply: 150,000,000 MAN

More information: www.reddit.com/r/MatrixAINetwork

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Nebulas

Typically when I see “search protocol” blockchain projects I get anxious because I immediately think about what might happen if Google ever decided they wanted to enter the blockchain space. Until that day comes, Nebulas is the solution. Aside from it being a search protocol, Nebulas has its own VM which supports dApp development, and its efficient upgrade system allows for rapid scalability. Nebulas makes the list because as blockchains become more mainstream and begin to see actual real world use, blockchain projects will need a robust, intuitive search feature, and many will go to Nebulas for this.

To rank items in a search engine, there needs to be some established value system. A way of judging one project, dApp, user, or protocol from another. Nebulas has designed a value system for blockchain and this value system enables Nebulas to effectively “value” users and accounts and reward them accordingly. Combine this with dApps, smart contracts, and other advanced features and Nebulas can become a serious competitor if they do well.

Business at Nebulas

  • The founder of Nebulas was one of the founders of Antshares
  • Nebulas are connected with Tencent through their WeStart program which will see them get funding and advice from the company, and will help them connect with other companies under the WeStart umbrella
  • Partnered with “500 Startups”, an incubator and VC investor similar to the Tencent WeStart program
  • Have already begun building relationships within the blockchain community which is very important for a protocol project. Current partners from the blockchain space include YOYOW, Gifto (whose platform will start off already having 30 million users — a ranking system will be essential), and Loopring
  • Invested in by FBG Capital, a VC which has backed a number of successful Chinese blockchain projects in the past

Tech at Nebulas

  • Nebulas Rank (NR) — the core ranking algorithm. The algorithm is based on liquidity, propagation of users’ assets, and the interactivity between users
  • CEO has worked for Google
  • Head of engineering was a senior software engineer at Google
  • Co-founder was an engineer at Ant Financial and was architect of their blockchain platform
  • Proof of Devotion consensus mechanism selects bookkeeping nodes based on their rank according to the NR algorithm
  • Like Matrix, Nebulas boasts self optimisation but through what they call Nebulas Force. Nebulas Force (NF) provides the Nebulas blockchain & its distributed applications built on top, the capability to self evolve. With NF developers are able to make changes, incorporate new technologies, and fix bugs without needing to hard fork
  • The developer incentive protocol (DIP) provides a feedback loop which motivates developers to create top quality dApps. Developers who rank well will be rewarded with the Nebulas token directly
  • Nebulas posits that their platform will have over a billion users in the next 5 to 10 years

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EOY Expectation: I expect Nebulas to be a top 20 project in terms of market cap by the end of 2018.

Where to buy: Huobi. Binance expected soon.

Circulating supply: 35,500,000 NAS

More information: www.reddit.com/r/Nebulas

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Summary

Exceptional Chinese projects can easily remain under the radar for a while due to lack of marketing or difficulties in disseminating information, but once they blow up they blow up big. With good research you can capitalize on that and get in while people are still waiting for their favourite youtuber or blog website to tell them that its OK. These 3 projects are in my opinion extremely undervalued and will all eventually be recognised as leaders in 2018. I actually expect all 3 to eventually work together, with VeChain and Matrix both being connected through Hyperledger and through their China government ties, and Nebulas being the primary search protocol for both blockchains. It is also important to remember that top 20, top 10, top 5 in 2018 will mean very different thing to what they do now. Many are expecting 2018 to be the year crypto really begins to go mainstream and it’s likely that the overall market cap will be worth trillions; being amongst the 20 best projects in such a high value environment is enormous.

All information mentioned is available in the public domain and there is some information that I have directly from team leads which has not been divulged.

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