After a year of near-constant proliferation, the blockchain is no longer hiding behind the digital currencies that precipitated its popularity. As we prepare to close the first third of 2018, it’s clear that blockchain technology is positioned to meet the increasingly complex demands of the digital-first future.

To be sure, the blockchain isn’t a new technology. It launched alongside Bitcoin in 2009, and it’s been doing an impeccable job of keeping the world’s most popular cryptocurrency secure, usable, and accountable. Many of its native features like its decentralized network, smart contracts, and consistent reliability have made it a boon for developers beyond Bitcoin.

So far, the results have been pretty incredible. Significant enterprise initiatives instituted by companies like IBM, Microsoft, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Mastercard have made new blockchain integration a tangible reality for the present day.

Of course, large corporations aren’t the only ones pursuing ingenuity in the blockchain space. In fact, many of the most progressive ideas are emerging from small startups with exciting new ideas. To fund their projects, these companies are using a new mechanism, known as an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), that supplants previous venture capital or lending initiatives.

Funding the Future of Blockchain

DepositPhotos | The US SEC

Avoid the Boom. Avoid the Bust.

In many ways, the ICO boom has been as impressive as the cryptocurrency explosion. In 2017, ICOs raised an incorrigible $3.8 billion, which was just about $3.8 billion more than the year before. So far this year, the investment torrent has picked up precipitously. According to data compiled by CoinSchedule, they’ve almost doubled that amount in the first quarter of 2018.

However, in many ways, this significant influx of cash has served more to inflate speculative markets than to help foster intelligent growth in the industry.

As blockchain startup, Einsteinium, recently stated, the radical price movements and investor enthusiasm can be a “distraction from what’s going on, which is an incredible revolutionary technology that has the potential to change the world for the better in so many ways.”

In other words, for blockchain initiatives to change the world, they need stable financial investment that will let them build products that grow and thrive well into the future.

Unfortunately, ICOs are becoming marred by speculative interests, and future regulation of some sort seems almost inevitable at this point. Therefore, although ICOs have been uniquely effective at jumpstarting the blockchain movement, a better source of financing is likely to propel it into the future.

An Investment Incubator for the Blockchain

The blockchain’s innovative ethos allows new platforms and companies to bring innovative solutions to solve many of its own problems. When it comes to funding new projects, Blockhive, a blockchain incubator on the Ethereum network is providing a financing model that stands in as a viable alternative to ICOs.