OST is the only platform that enables mainstream consumer applications to benefit from deploying their own branded crypto-backed token economies, in a scalable and cryptographically auditable manner, without needing to ICO, mint and maintain their own publicly-tradeable ERC20 tokens.
The closest competitors we've seen to OST are companies trying to get more companies to ICO and launch their own floated publicly tradeable tokens on exchanges. That requires each of those companies to have blockchain developers working on their teams and to shift their business focus to supporting their fluctuating token economy. Meanwhile there are fewer than 13k blockchain developers in the world today.
We want to open tokenization up to any company even without in-house blockchain developers, enable their teams to focus on their core technology and business while we take care of the blockchain infrastructure.
We also don't think it's realistic for 99% of the companies to have their own publicly traded tokens. Rather, we enable companies to build their tokens based on OST, and have it not on secondary markets.
One of our key innovations is using open scalable side blockchains. OST is staked on public Ethereum against minting branded tokens on side chains.
The OpenST protocol enables the creation of utility tokens on a utility blockchain while the value of those tokens is backed by staked crypto-assets on a value blockchain.
The "side chains" in question are scalable Ethereum-based blockchains with all the benefits of public Ethereum, but without the scaling challenges.
While not the first use case, OpenST is also ideally suited for Dapps as they can run as Ethereum smart contracts, in parallel, with micro-transactions - ideal for machine-to-machine, and at high transaction throughput (at least 100 tx/s per side-chain) OpenST can transfer value from Ethereum to and back the side chains.
The branded tokens powered by OST are technically ERC-20 tokens but they are locked from being traded for anything but OST. So the more demand for BT, the more demand for OST. Users of the BT always have the right to the underlying OST supporting the BT.
Down the road companies could request us to unlock the trading restriction if they want to sell some of their tokens to the public and put a price on them, so in that way they can use the OST technology solutions as an on-ramp to their own ICO: First prove out their token economic model within the safe confines of the OST ecosystem and then potentially spin-out on their own after some time.
We have some comparisons with other projects being discused on Quora.