There's a lot that happened in the blockchain industry looking back on last year, one of the most notable events being the cryptocurrency battle with the brutal bear market.
After having peaked at an all-time high of $19,780, Bitcoin began 2018 priced at $13,400 and continued its down-trend to end the year, hitting a low of $3860. Although it's difficult to judge in hindsight, the drastic price decline made it apparent that cryptocurrencies are on their way out of a major bubble, a bubble caused by the extremely speculated and overhyped ICO market.
Over the years, the ICO market was driven by overhyped, speculative concepts, most of which have revealed themselves impossible to achieve or impractical in providing added value, categorizing them as crypto people would say 'scams' or ‘ded.’
The bleeding token prices suggest that the entire industry is going backward, but this isn't the case. A recent report released by LinkedIn states that the blockchain industry, including the gold-backed crypto market, is the largest growing job sector, with blockchain developers at the top of the list of emerging jobs with a 3300% growth in 2018. So it's safe to say that even though cryptocurrencies have greatly devalued in price, blockchain has significantly advanced in terms of technology and use cases.
The main thing to take away from 2018 is that the blockchain industry doesn't need ICOs. The token market has proven that. Instead, the industry needs functioning products that add value and solve real-world issues, such as transforming the gold industry with crypto backed by gold.
Many investors were compelled to find a hedge against the volatile bear market, hence why stablecoins became the talk of the town. Stablecoins are tokens meant to have a stable value, as is self-evident in the name. The most common type of stablecoins are tokens backed by real-world assets not subject to extreme price volatility, such as stablecoins backed by gold. The increasing demand for secure stablecoin solutions triggered an influx of new stablecoin innovations to be developed. Although they follow the same concept, all these new tokens function on different systems and are backed with various commodities ranging from diamonds and gold, silver-backed cryptocurrency and oil to property, and so on.
Aside from acting as a hedge from volatile markets, stablecoins can add massive value to real-world issues, such as providing a stable monetary system in emerging and disrupted markets. This is a use case cryptocurrencies became popular: banking the unbanked.
As people are learning that you can build a blockchain startup without necessarily having a 'utility token", forcing a token use case is no longer at the top of the list for blockchain entrepreneurs. We argue that that is a great thing. What will happen is that products that bring forward actual blockchain use cases, even outside of the fintech space, will start to emerge. From identity management and user-owned data to provenance and gold-backed digital currency, we're excited to see them all.
Most of the tech world is hoping that 2019 is the year blockchain becomes a mainstream and value-first technology. We stand right beside that.
Aurus is a blockchain company that seems to be on the right track. Aurus has created a globally-viable crypto backed by gold. Aurus also circulates an Ecosystem token, AurusDeFi (AWX), which can be staked to earn rewards derived from the fees of Aurus precious metal-backed tokens: AurusGOLD (AWG), AurusSILVER (AWS), and AurusPLATINUM (AWP).
2018 was dominated with money first, products second ICOs, a short-lived phenomenon that we didn’t stand by from the beginning. Aurus believes in a product first, money second strategy and will launch like companies used to do before the token hype.
We've discovered that cryptocurrencies are not for speculating. Instead, they should be created to solve real-world issues, precisely what we're focusing on. Our unique vision and approach to the problems we strive to solve makes us stand out. We realized that creating gold-backed cryptocurrencies backed by our gold and selling it ourselves doesn't scale efficiently, given the innate small profit margins of selling gold derived from the tremendous liquidity the gold market has.
We decided to focus on our core competence: tech. The Aurus platform enables reputable precious metal businesses to tokenize gold, silver, and platinum bullions on the blockchain. These metal-backed tokens are distributed to the broader retail market via partnered bullion dealers and crypto exchanges.
It is important to note that Aurus doesn’t run its own books. The Aurus Ecosystem operates on free market principles, where Aurus cannot influence the gold vaulted or traded. So while this is more complex to launch, it's a much more sustainable and scalable system.
The ambition of Aurus is to become the industry authority on tokenized precious metals with the most decentralized governance structure possible. Hence, AurusDeFi (AWX) future voting functionality, achieving a truly fair and transparent global system in line with the decentralized philosophy.
Aurus attended the LBMA Precious Metals Conference in Boston to walk the talk, where we introduced the Aurus gold-backed crypto token to heavyweights from the gold and financial industry. We networked with enthusiasts who loved the idea of seeing digital gold crypto and began onboarding partnerships crucial to Aurus’ success.
There certainly is a lot that happened last year, but what have we learned from it?
We're proud to have foreseen the overhyped 2018 ICO market and focused on creating real value with crypto backed by gold rather than joining it. We now understand that creating value will always outweigh creating hype in the long run. Furthermore, we understand that this industry is just as new to everyone involved and that the only way to get ahead is by actively adjusting to the mistakes of others.
We will continue perfecting the framework for tokenizing commodities. With the bar set high, we're confident to say, even before launch, that we're already gearing up to be known in all corners of the world. Bring on 2019!