Controversy has ensued online as recent research published by Invest In Blockchain finds that out of the top 100 cryptocurrencies in the world by market cap, only 36 have working products. The study suggests that cryptocurrency skeptics may have good reason for their cynicism towards the developing market. Following its publication, the article was met by a rush of critics arguing that the study was poorly conducted.
What is a ‘Working Product’?
Despite concerns to the contrary, the authors of the new Invest In Blockchain study insist that they were rigorous in assessing their criteria for what makes a ‘working product’ in their research.
“Considering that blockchain projects are open-source, building a basic blockchain and launching it isn’t a very high bar to set,” reads the report. “We wanted to be a bit more rigorous with our criteria. When researching this article, we evaluated each project’s status, looked at its roadmap, checked its release history, and compared completed features to what the team promises to deliver in the future.”
The researchers include in the study an explicit definition for what constitutes a working product:
“A working product is active and available to the public. Its mainnet has likely been released for some time, bumping the version numbers well above 1.0. Businesses and individuals use it on a daily basis for dapps, smart contracts, or digital currency transactions.”
Invest In Blockchain contends that although many of the top-100 ranked cryptocurrencies have successfully launched mainnets and claim to have working products, many of their platforms are not being used in any significant measure. Therefore, many of the most recently launched product mainnets are not considered in the study to have met the criteria of being a working product.
“The mere existence of a product does not necessarily mean that the product is working,” reads the report. “After all, is a foundation really doing any work when there is no weight on top of it? Likewise, a dapp platform that has a mainnet but that doesn’t have any noteworthy dapps on top of it isn’t considered ‘working’ by this criteria.”
Who Makes the Cut
A number of the usual suspects make the cut for having working products in the new study. Leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) is praised for paving the way for the future of trustless, secure, resilient and censorship-resistant peer-to-peer payments. Ethereum (ETH) is also touted as being the first platform to offer smart contracts, leading to a revolution in the industry and sparking the ICO boom of 2017.
New Study is Met With Heavy Criticism
In the days following the publication of the study, criticisms have been launched by readers making the case for their favorite coins to be added to the list. Two of the study’s authors, John Bardinelli and Daniel Frumkin, have since been keeping themselves busy listing their reasons for why cryptocurrencies such as Dash (DASH), Dropil (DROP), NEM (XEM) and Cardano (ADA) didn’t meet the criteria for a working product.
In one example, Daniel Frumkin commented, “I’m a huge fan of Cardano and excited about the progress they’re making, but at this point there is still far more of the project left to be developed than is already complete. Once Shelley is fully integrated and IOHK is no longer running the network (i.e. once the network is decentralized and Proof of Stake is live) it will be just a short matter of time before Cardano makes the list.”
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