10 Cryptocurrency Projects to Watch in 2021
This year has been an exciting one for crypto investors so far. The introduction of new sectors and technologies has reshaped the landscape of the industry. These changes have ushered in exciting opportunities for developers and investors alike. While it may seem impossible to keep track of these developments, some have resin above the competition to become major points of interest. Here are 10 projects to watch in 2021.
Avalanche can be considered a “platform of platforms.” The network operates across three native blockchains to provide users with some unique features and capabilities. Dapp developers can avoid the high Gas fees and centralization of the Ethereum network when building their Dapps on Avalanche. Notably, the platform has a blockchain dedicated to converting over Ethereum-based Dapps to the Avalanche ecosystem.
Avalanche has some impressive stats. The network is scalable beyond that of top payment processors like Visa and Mastercard. It can complete transactions in less than a second with finality. Specifically, the platform can handle 6,500 transactions per second. Also, the low Gas fees and programmability make it ideal for the creating and minting of assets and creating new blockchains.
Ethereum 2.0 is already in its first stages. Phase 0 included the launch of the Medalla Testnet and allowed regular users to begin staking on the platform. Ethereum is the world’s second-largest PoW blockchain. Converting over to a PoS network is no small feat. However, the upgrade is welcomed due to all the benefits gained.
For example, Ethereum 2.0 will help to reduce the current Gas prices. These fees are associated with the execution of transactions and smart contracts. Unfortunately, they are at all-time highs at this moment. Additionally, the upgrade will help scalability by introducing a sharding mechanism and an increase in network bandwidth. To stake on Ethereum 2.0, you will need to stake 32 ETH.
PancakeSwap is a project that has seen considerable hype over the last few months. The platform is a decentralized exchange similar to Uniswap, with the main difference being that Pancakeswap operates on the Binance Smart Chain. The Dapp is the largest on the Binance Smart Chain at this time, with $4,720,303,152 in locked liquidity.
PancakeSwap offers a decentralized trading experience combined with various liquidity pools. Anyone can trade BEP-20 and a variety of ERC-20 tokens using the exchange. Notably, Pancakeswap is an AMM (automated market maker), meaning that the protocol automatically finds trades to execute your order. This approach reduces slippage and provides a more responsive trading environment.
Terra is a decentralized financial infrastructure and blockchain protocol that introduces a self-adjusting token supply to ensure that its stablecoins remain pegged to their underlying assets. Developers tout the network as “programmable money for the internet.” Terra includes a stablecoin protocol, oracle system, smart contracts, and a native cryptocurrency called LUNA.
The network’s design provides users with some serious advantages such as instant settlements, low fees, and seamless cross-border exchange capabilities. Terra operates as an open and permissionless financial infrastructure that can run on multiple blockchains. The network also allows developers to program in various languages, including Rust, Go, and AssemblyScript.
Binance, the world’s largest exchange in terms of market capitalization, recently launched a new network dubbed the Binance Smart Chain (BSC). The upgraded blockchain network adds considerable functionality to Binance’s BNB token. Consequently, the move boosted the coin’s value since its entrance into the market.
BNB holders can now stake their tokens and earn rewards. The BSC also makes it possible for users to create and trade NFTs. Additionally, the BSC is programmable via smart contracts. The network is fast, flexible, and provides a viable alternative to the rising congestion on Ethereum. It also boasts IEO capabilities.
DASH is a veteran project that made a name for itself as a privacy coin. Recently, the platform has rebranded and stepped away from the privacy coin sector and moved towards a more mainstream payment system. DASH is far more scalable than other popular early blockchains. The network adds a new block approximately every 2.6 minutes, which equates to around 56 transactions per second.
DASH is still as revolutionary as it was when it first entered the market. The coin utilizes the Dark Gravity Wave protocol to manage the difficulty of the network. Specifically, the network’s difficulty actively adjusts with every block making it extremely responsive. Notably, DASH is run by a DAO, which provides all holders with a say in its development.
Opensea is one of the largest markets to buy, sell, and trade NFTs on. NFTs (non-fungible tokens) continue to make headlines as more of these unique tokens sell for astronomical prices. Opensea remains a popular marketplace for these tokens. There are over 4 million items available at this time.
OpenSea makes investing in NFTs simple. You can see all the vital data regarding the token at a glance. Important characteristics such as listing history, sales volume, rarity, and more are available. The market offers auctions and direct purchase options to users. Another cool feature about the marketplace is that you only pay a fee on your first bid. All following bids are free.
EOS has seen more interest lately due to its features. It built this next-generation blockchain ecosystem from the ground up to simplify Dapp development. Unlike Ethereum, which charges a fee for every smart transaction, EOS integrates a unique structure that drastically reduces transaction fees and makes the blockchain more scalable than its competitors.
EOS is an open-source project that provides full transparency to developers. EOS Dapp developers can utilize the network’s server hosting and cloud storage to improve performance. EOS is a PoS network that approves blocks every 0.5 seconds. Today, there are over 100 Dapps on the platform, with many more in the works.
Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC)
Wrapped Bitcoin is an old concept that has received new life with the expansion of the DeFi sector. WBTC is ideal for many reasons. It allows BTC holders to participate in staking, farming, and P2P lending protocols. WBTC also gives the Ethereum ecosystem a boost in terms of liquidity.
WBTC users can trade on popular DEXs such as Uniswap and store their tokens in any ERC-20 compatible wallet. For these reasons, WBTC has become a hot ticket in 2021, with some reports showing over $1.1 billion in BTC has been wrapped to date. Considering Ethereum is the largest ecosystem in the market, WBTC appears to be perfectly positioned to take part in its further growth.
The Lightning Network is a second-layer protocol that enables Bitcoin users to make fast and cheap payments globally. The platform is best known for its micropayment capabilities. Micropayments are becoming commonplace in various sectors, including gaming, where users can earn real BTC for their participation.
The Lightning Network has been in Beta testing for over two years. However, every month more exchanges, payment gateways, and Dapps have signed on to the network. Today, Lightning Network users can spend their Bitcoin anywhere Visa is accepted. They can earn while they game, and they can make major Bitcoin investments at a fraction of the cost of mainnet users.
Top 10 Projects to Watch in 2021
There are a lot of developments occurring across the crypto-scape at this time. Each of these projects offers the market a valuable service that continues to see growing demand. For these reasons, it’s easy to envision these platforms continuing to expand in the coming months.