You’ve heard the rumors – bitcoin price keeps growing like crazy and now tops $17,000 a pop. Now that’s a gift I wouldn’t mind for Christmas ☺

But jokes aside, December has been an exciting time for blockchain technology. Other crypto like Ethereum and Lightcoin have been going through the roof, with the latter rising by 7,291% against bitcoin’s 1,731%. December is also an especially busy for the ICOs (initial coin offerings).

If you have regrets about not investing in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, consider contributing to the following great projects instead. Here are the three most notable ones:

Neuromation

Website | Whitepaper

Neuromation is a cool new startup powering up the AI revolution. They are building a platform to generate synthetic data (video games that machines can watch and learn) and processing power (computers on which AI algorithms run) for training advanced machine learning algorithms such as neural networks.

Neural networks can power some advance capability like self-driving cars (making them to drive without collisions); image recognition (for instance, to identify whether a mole is cancerous or not), improve our retail (through smart shelves) and e-tail experience (by learning how different products look like and making style suggestions) and much more.

So what does this have to do with blockchain and ICO?

Generating synthetic data requires a lot of computational power. And it’s expensive and limited. Few scientific institutions around the world actually have the computers powerful enough to do those kinds of calculations, especially on a large scale.

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Neuromation team has come up with an alternative solution – invite crypto-currency miners to do computing for them in exchange for coin rewards. Neuromation’s token sale is running in a private presale mode so you can participate now!

So why is Neuromation a potentially big deal? A couple of points:

  • The AI industry is expected to reach $3 trillion by 2022, and already the company has estimated the demand for processing 1.8 billion images in retail alone.
  • They already have some great partners and clients onboard. Including Hacken.io, who’ll help them with the blockchain security; OSAHP, who has contacted the startup about producing and labeling synthetic images for retail industry and MonBaby – an innovative infant tracking technology provider, who are creating a smart video analytics solution for infants.
  • Neuromation team has won the first place at a prestigious blockchain investor consortium competition at d10e conference in Davos and was acknowledged as one of the most progressive blockchain companies.
  • Their results are pretty impressive. So far they managed to achieve a 95% accuracy in a consumer goods tracking pilot project with AI.
  • Neuromation has demonstrated transfer learning — AI model that has only trained on synthetic data, but was able to adapt well to real life world.
  • You just want to support a super innovative and vastly profitable company that will propel the AI technologies forward.

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United Traders

Website | Whitepaper

United Traders is a “big name” investment marketplace and an investment advisory platform, operating since 2012. You can use them to buy traditional stocks and equities, invest in IPOs and most recently in cryptocurrencies and ICOs. Right now, the company’s ultimate goal is to create an independent exchange that combines the traditional stock market and cryptocurrency market into one.

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Recently, they have launched their own initial coin that will be on sale until midnight on Christmas Eve.

Why you should grab this deal:

  • UT Tokens can be used to participate in investment ideas and ICOs from other companies on the platform. United Traders arguably have the largest database of great investment deals to diversify your portfolio.
  • You can use the token to pay for professional consulting services offered by top investment managers through the platform. Basically, you can pick someone’s brain on an ICO topic or get help for implementing your idea or launching an ICO for your company.
  • Startups can pay in UT tokens for admission to the platform, initiating the public trading and consultations with the experts.
  • Trade execution fees can be paid in UT tokens too.

BitDegree

Website | Whitepaper

BitDegree is among the pioneers of “edu blocks” or applying blockchain technology in education.

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Consider this for a moment – paper and digital certificates/diplomas get lost or corrupted; educational background can be falsified as we learned from the “Suits” series; cheating in academia remains an issue and scientific results get falsified. Yet, the incorruptible nature of blockchain can help prevent all of this.

Next, did you know that the average MOOC completion rate is just six percent? Keeping yourself motivated to finish that e-course can be tough for most of us. So guys from BitDegree found an interesting solution.

Everyone who’s taking a course through their platform is entitled to earn BitDegree tokens – to celebrate your achievement and keep you going; unlock additional learning materials and more. Next, recruiters can use BitDegree tokens to scope the students’ pool and find the right candidates for the job positions.

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The company’s ICO will last until the end of December.

Why invest in this coin:

  • BitDegree is positioned in a growing market for tech education, and a tokenized blockchain-based education platform has a huge potential.
  • The company recently won The Grand Prize at Moontech competition and was named among the most promising crypto-startups.
  • Hostinger is among the company’s main partners and promises to give special scholarships to BitDegree students; they’ve also signed up a deal with Zcoin, Singularity NET, and Nexchange to create advanced courses in AI, cryptography and smart contracts.

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So if you are looking for an opportunity to contribute and help a startup change the industry, consider one of these ICOs as a quick gift to yourself :)