The crypto space takes off in 2019! There are many reasons how this could happen including the granting of a Bitcoin ETF, fuller regulation, which will encourage big institutions to invest, and also the fact that a lot of the new crypto start-ups will have their platforms/mainnets going live from the beginning of next year and will start to offer real world usage and the huge advantages that blockchain offers over traditional business models. In this crypto space, one of the most important sectors is going to be finance. In order for institutional money to start pouring in we need all the existing Wall Street infrastructure to be duplicated in the crypto world. Therefore, I’ve chosen to write about 2 up and coming crypto companies that will fill very different niches, but both in the finance sector. LENDINGBLOCK Lendingblock is the first and as yet the only crypto lending business to offer P2P cross chain lending. They offer crypto to crypto loans which would typically be in the order of $100,000 to $5,000,000 which significantly differentiates them from competitors. Strengths This company has in my opinion 3 massive strengths. Firstly, they have an incredibly innovative and knowledgeable team with much experience in fintech companies. Their co-founders Steve Swain and Linda Wang have many years’ experience behind them — Steve as an ex investment banking MD working in management roles with top-tier banks such as Lehman, Credit Suisse, Macquarie and UBS. He was also a Deloitte Partner — Linda as a blockchain product designer and serial entrepreneur who has already built a mortgage lending platform. Secondly, they are all about regulation and compliance and simply know that this is the way to attract the big traditional investors about to enter the crypto lending market. They are presently submitting an extremely thorough regulatory application to the GFSC (Gibraltar Financial Services Commission). This is the first stepping stone leading on to compliance with other jurisdictions across the world such as the US and China. Other competitors do not appear to be anywhere near as far down the road as LendingBlock as regards full regulatory compliance and this is one of the reasons that LendingBlock will be the go-to choice for the risk aversive gold standard institutions. Thirdly, Lendingblock are primarily concentrating on the big trust funds, hedge funds and typically large financial organisations that need the experience, trustworthiness and eye for detail that Lendingblock offers. Their particular business model means that they are not interested in paying for exchange listings but rather will be seeking to partner and forge a deeper relationship with exchanges and provide them services such as being able to lend out their balance sheet inventory in order to make further income or use Lendingblock’s funding market to add liquidity to their own funding markets. Partnerships Lendingblock have made some pretty massive partnerships in the last few months. Principal among them Octagon Strategy, a world top 3 asset brokerage firm who will provide further industry expertise and experience in the lending market. Lendingblock followed with a partnership with Quoine, a leading Japanese exchange group who have recently launched Liquid. Liquid are going to be providing the ‘World book’, a service providing liquidity to exchanges across the entire crypto space. Liquid will avail itself of Lendingblock’s platform to support their own needs but will also offer Lendingblock’s services to their clients. Lendingblock’s listing on the Liquid exchange is a good example of how Lendingblock will integrate with other future exchange partners. Finally, in early July, Lendingblock announced a partnership with Genesis Capital who are already experienced in large-scale lending of digital currencies and who will be invaluable to advise on lending to large size institutions. Challenges A major challenge to Lendingblock as to all small cap crypto companies is to stay afloat financially until they launch the platform and start to produce value. The company reckons it is good for a year or so and also will start to earn income as soon as the platform launches. A significant amount of institutions is believed to have committed to using the platform and Lendingblock will begin to earn revenue as soon as the Alpha institutional user group starts using it in November. Live platform launch for all investors is in January. Why invest in Lendingblock? Lendingblock is presently at a rock-bottom price, it’s a very small market cap and therefore has huge scope for rapid growth. The team is hugely competent and they are close to launching the platform. There is an unfilled niche waiting for them in the crypto finance space and they already have big partners working with them. Need I say more. GENESIS VISION A trust management platform entering a $70 trillion market, engineered by real experts in the world of trading, brokerages and exchanges. They have engineered the Genesis Vision platform in super quick time and have delivered on their road map well ahead of schedule up to now. The team even built their own Genesis Markets exchange without including it in the original road map! What problem does Genesis Vision solve? The platform is built to disrupt the traditional brokerage market and will bring together brokers, managers, investors and exchanges onto one trustless and totally transparent platform. Investors will have access to an incredible array of diversity and investment options from crypto and forex to equities, commodities and index funds. No longer will investors have to put up with giving their money to a broker who can do whatever they like with it, making poor investments, the details of which the broker is not even required to pass on to the client, shrouding these investments in an impenetrable mist. Instead, the Genesis Vision platform enables investors to choose a manager based on that manager’s investment history. Every single trade made by each manager is written to the blockchain and is available for scrutiny by prospective investors. The more successful managers move up a ranking system that rewards them for their success and enables them, with each new level, to access larger funds under management. Genesis markets allows investors to buy and trade individual manager’s tokens to be used to invest in each particular manager. Challenges Liquidity is a real problem in the crypto space at present given the relatively small size of this market overall. Genesis Vision will need guaranteed liquidity for the platform to work well and therefore a partnership with LMAX Digital totally solves this challenge. Parent company LMAX Exchange has more than 100 institutional clients in all parts of the world. Genesis Vision also needs to attract top managers to the platform. They already have Just2Trade and Larson&Holz brokers on board and have very recently partnered with RoboForex but will need more of these partnerships in order to provide a greater selection of managers for the demand that is to come. Why invest in Genesis Vision? The Genesis vision platform goes live on the 30th October (next month); one of the first real world usage blockchain platforms to actually get out there and be fully functional. The amount of work that has gone into this platform can be seen on Github — the team having committed more than 400,000 lines of code over this Summer. The GVT token is what is used to invest in managers and profits are paid out in GVT. The supply of GVT is an insanely low 4.4 million so once usage takes off the price should rise quickly given the demand for such a scarce pool of tokens. Accessibility to the Genesis Vision platform is made simple through the on-line portal or the updated and soon to be released mobile app — the beautiful and fully functional interface for which was designed by Trading View. GVT is available on Binance, Hotbit, KuCoin and Idex and there is a GVT/Fiat gateway in the pipeline to be rolled out in the future. Finally, we all know just how much value there is to be lost in these long and unpredictable bear markets, however, GVT should be able to thrive in a bear market given that expert traders do this on a daily basis, thereby enabling GVT to buck any downward trends. Conclusion Both Lendingblock and Genesis Vision are leaders in their own particular financial niches and if their platforms are able to survive the present bear market they should go on to become ‘first to market’ platforms that will flourish in a fledgling crypto market that will surely go on to grow in a rapid manner given the massive advantages that blockchain brings to the financial sector. Disclaimer: All the above views are my own and should in no way be taken as financial advice. All those wishing to invest in the crypto market should do their own research or use the services of a fully certified financial advisor.