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Witnessing the digital breakthrough

Eastern European blockchain projects you should monitor in 2019-2020

08 July 2019 17:31, UTC
Eastern European blockchain projects you should monitor in 2019-2020
By Dima Kovalchuk

In the world of information technology, Eastern Europe possesses a dual image. On the one hand, it is often associated with hacker attacks, shady online business, fraud and scams – a kind of Wild East. But at the same time, the region is one of the main centers of the global IT industry, thanks to a high-quality workforce and great technical education, as well as a developed scientific school and deep engineering traditions. Not surprising, since the ‘Wild East’ is also about opportunities.

The region is comprised of nations such as Ukraine and Poland as well as the Baltic states and Belarus. Ukraine, in particular, is among the world’s top three countries in terms of the number of IT specialists, and it long ago took its place in the global division of labor in this innovative sphere. Moreover, Ukraine’s transition into a world lead in the field is predicted by many in the near future.

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Of course, today Eastern Europe is mainly known as an attractive place for outsourcing and offshore development. But the world already knows at least several successful companies that are based here or originate from the region. Think of Skype, Depositphotos, Wargaming, TransferWise, Trezor, BitFury and others.

The two latter companies relate specifically to the blockchain industry, in which the region has also long been firmly established among world leaders. This is facilitated by the aforementioned factors as well as a number of others that are socio-economic, legislative, and even political.

All of this leads suggests it is worth taking a closer look at the startup scene in Eastern Europe, since it is here that new high-profile breakthroughs in the blockchain sphere are quite possible. So which of the Eastern European startups should you pay attention to in 2019, and continue to follow in the next few years?

GEO Protocol

This young Ukrainian project is dedicated to the development of an open-source protocol solution for the so-called Internet of Value – a global network that combines the ‘local networks’ for creating, storing and transferring value (crypto and fiat currencies, banking system, payment services, exchanges, exchangers, property and tenure registries, etc.) Simply put, we are talking not only about technically enabling mutual integration of various blockchain systems, which today have an acute problem of interoperability but also of combining them with traditional financial systems.

This should lead to there being a revolution in the world of finance comparable to that which we observed in the field of information exchange with the advent of the ordinary internet.

GEO Protocol has already achieved some success along this path. In particular, it launched a beta version of its solution, closed a seed round of investments with a US fund, and announced several business partnerships.

Besides the improvement of the basic technology, the company’s short-term plans include the launch of two new products to fill the GEO ecosystem, which is the prototype of the future Internet of Value. Note that there is a working product already that is created on the basis of the GEO Protocol technology: GEO Pay – a P2P payment system.

The project also continues to collect investments and plans to launch its own token that will be primarily used for service provider incentivization within the ecosystem.

These resources will help you track GEO Protocol’s ongoing progress.

Website: https://www.geoprotocol.io
Medium blog: https://medium.com/geoprotocol
GitHub: https://github.com/geo-protocol
Telegram chat: https://t.me/geocommunity

Remme

Another project from Ukraine that develops and promotes a distributed open-source protocol for the Public Key Infrastructure, as well as applications using PKI for the modern web. The point is to build a decentralized authentication system, whose purpose is to replace logins and passwords with SSL certificates stored in the blockchain. This makes it possible to abandon the more traditional centralized PKI systems. In fact, the Remme protocol allows you to replace the trust-by-authority model with a trust-by-computation model. The project launched the REMChain testnet version 2 recently.

In addition to the open-source protocol, the company develops applications that will have a wide range of real-world uses: Remme Keyhub is an application that helps IT specialists find, systematize and track the TLS/SSL certificate lifecycle, check potential vulnerabilities, detect policy violations, etc. The product released a beta version in March 2019 and already has its first customers.

The company is also developing Remme Auth, a two-click authentication solution allowing users to access a website without passwords. Instead, this solution uses self-signed X.509 certificates and blockchain technology.

In 2018, the project launched its own token, REM, which performs certain functions within the ecosystem.

Website: https://remme.io
GitHub: https://github.com/Remmeauth
Telegram: https://t.me/remme

Agrello

An Estonian startup specializing in digitizing legal documents and real-world contracts with the use of blockchain.

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In the digital world, smart contracts are not surprising anyone, so transferring contractual relationships from offline to online, using the blockchain as a source of trust, was only a matter of time.

Agrello ID is a blockchain-based digital verification system that allows individuals and companies to enter into legally binding agreements. The company also offers ready-made templates for easy creation of contracts of various types: B2C (between business and individuals), B2B (between businesses), and C2C (between individuals).

In the spring of 2019, Agrello announced a partnership with the first real estate fundraising project in Europe, which became the first successful case of the use of Agrello ID in practice. The project also works towards the implementation of solutions in the IoT filed.

Website: https://www.agrello.io
Medium: https://blog.agrello.org
Telegram: https://t.me/agrello

BitDegree

Lithuanian project BitDegree plans to qualitatively change the paradigm of education, introducing a new way of learning by adding elements of gamification order to increase the motivation to acquire new knowledge and skills.

This is the first online educational blockchain-based platform in the world that operates online and includes token scholarship and a network for specialists search by potential employers.

BitDegree is based on Ethereum smart contracts between customers and students. Employers interested in certain employees create a demand for certain professional areas, motivating students to receive training in them. For employers, this is also an additional way to improve their company’s image and promote it among potential employees.

The system welcomes and plans the participation of a large range of third-party companies that will accept BitDegree tokens, which will allow students to freely withdraw and exchange tokens for goods and services, increasing their value.

The BitDegree platform consists of three major parts: courses, BitDegree Learn and BitDegree Tutorials.

Recently, the startup joined forces with Vilnius University (one of the oldest educational institutions in Europe) in order to explore the ability to implement the company’s solution into the education system.

Website: https://www.bitdegree.org
Medium: https://blog.bitdegree.org
GitHub: https://github.com/bitdegree

Airalab

A quite futuristic startup from the Russian Federation, building “Roponomics”, an infrastructure platform based on the Ethereum network for integrating cyber-physical systems into ‘smart cities’ and ‘industry 4.0’. Today, the project proposes to develop its platform for three interest groups:

- Developers of decentralized applications (dApps) using Ethereum JS, for instance, applications for the purchase of services provided by robots.
- Robotics developers for the construction of multi-agent systems for the smart city using P2P technologies.
- Miners and testers who can become platform providers or test the network.

In June 2018, “Roponomics” was launched on the Ethereum mainnet. In May 2019, Airalab announced a partnership with Civic Technologies Inc., a company that uses blockchain technology in the field of digital identity, which will allow the startup to verify the devices and users on its network more reliably.

Website: https://robonomics.network
Medium: https://blog.aira.life
GitHub: https://github.com/airalab
Telegram: https://t.me/robonomics

Hacken

Another Ukrainian project, Hacken works on the Ethereum blockchain and is a cybersecurity ecosystem that tests IT systems for resistance to cracking. The project ecosystem consists of several components:

  • The HackenProof exchange, providing services for testing systems and finding vulnerabilities, connecting the so-called ‘ethical hackers’ with the developers requiring verification or improvement of their systems. All transactions are carried out exclusively with the use of smart contracts.
  • Remuneration platform, a transparent fund aimed at the financial reward for previously unknown software vulnerabilities.
  • Cybersecurity Analytical Center.
  • Hacken Accelerator, an incubator that helps create startups in the Hacken ecosystem.
  • HackIT Conference, annual International cybersecurity forum.

The Hacken project won a prize at the d10e ICO Pitch Challenge, the leading blockchain conference.

It is a partner of TaaS, the world's first tokenized private fund dedicated to blockchain assets.

Website: https://hacken.io
Medium: https://medium.com/@hacken
Telegram: https://t.me/hacken_en

In this article, we have selected some of the brightest and most promising blockchain projects from various fields, which you should make a point of following in the coming years. As one of the most fascinating and rapidly evolving tech hubs in the world, Eastern Europe is a region that promises to deliver many more surprises from innovative startups.

About the author:

Dima Kovalchuk is the co-founder of InCrypto, with 10 years of experience as CEO managing operations and development in Investment and real estate companies. Master's in Computer Science, Master’s in Management.



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