Happy and prosperous New Year 2023! May your digital wallets be full of coins and tokens and crypto portfolios dominated by green numbers this year – perhaps also with the help of our weekly Top 3 Coins to watch articles. Despite the good wishes, the last week of 2022 did not bring many green numbers as the slight downtrend expectedly continued and brought the total cryptocurrency market capitalization down by another $5 billion to the current $820 billion level. One can either wait for the general trend to turn upwards again or try to defy the market average by doing the homework and picking only the best of investment opportunities from more than 22,000 cryptocurrencies available. For the first week of 2023, we have selected the following three cryptos.
3. OKB (OKB)
OKB is a utility token of the 2017-launched Malta-based centralized cryptocurrency exchange OKX (before January 2022 known under the name OKEx). OKX, which started out as a branch-out of the China based OKCoin platform, is today among the largest exchanges in the world in terms of both liquidity and trading volume. OKB offers its holders the usual utility token features – it can be used to pay trading fees with up to 40% discount, gain access to the platform’s voting and governance as well as participate in various exclusive reward and earn programs. The total supply of OKB was 300 million tokens, but right now only a bit more than 250 million are in circulation. This is due to the OKX’s OKB Buy-back & Burn program, which allocates 30% of the spot market transaction fees to buying back OKB, which are then sent to a burning address and thereby forever destroyed.
OKB claims the title of the best-performing exchange token in the past 6 months
OKX’s native exchange token OKB has been one of the biggest gainers in the sector over the past couple of months. The OKB token gained around 120% in the past 6 months, and thereby outperformed all other exchange tokens by a large margin. Other exchange tokens and coins performed much worse in the same period: HT and BNB ended the six-month period in the green by appreciating by +14% and +7% respectively. Many other exchange tokens, for example KCS (-24%), GT (-25%) and CRO (-50%) are deep in the red numbers.
Furthermore, due to the bullish OKB market, the token has recently entered the Top 10 largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization and became the second exchange token (the other being BNB) among the crypto Top 10. Trying to find the reasons for OKB’s recent price performance, one can’t stumble upon much more than the growth in trading volumes on the OKX exchange, which is arguably the best and most sustainable among the bull-run fuelling factors. While OKX is currently the 5th largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of combined trading volume, looking at cryptocurrency derivatives trading volume alone puts OKX on the 2nd spot, not far behind leading Binance. In addition, OKX has recently implemented a proof of reserves system to prove its users that the exchange is holding 100% or more of user’s deposits, which gives OKX an advantage over all exchanges that have not implemented such a system yet. Do you think OKX will continue to increase its volumes and market share? Can the bulls push OKB above $30 valuation?
2. Monero (XMR)
Monero is the largest privacy-focused cryptocurrency. It that is designed to provide as much privacy and security to its users as possible. Although the Monero project is fully open-source and run by volunteers, the project enjoys a high reputation within the cryptocurrency community. The Monero whitepaper was published in 2014 by an unknown developer using the pseudonym “Nicolas van Saberhagen”. Monero has been repeatedly bashed in the mainstream media for facilitating ransomware and other hacker attacks since the performers of these illicit actions often demand the payments of ransom to be made in XMR to avoid being caught. While such illegal activities should be condemned, the fact that hackers are utilizing Monero is itself a testament that the blockchain’s privacy features work as intended.
Monero sees an increase in number of transactions, XMR price has outperformed nearly 90 of top 100 cryptos in 2022
Monero is another crypto asset that has recently been trending upwards. By gaining over 20% since early November, Monero outperformed nearly 90 of the top 100 crypto assets this year, among others, Bitcoin and Ethereum. The increasing price of XMR is likely a consequence of continuous improvement in on-chain metrics. For example, the Monero blockchain is among the few networks that have managed to maintain a long-term uptrend in the number of transaction. The growth in the number of transactions becomes especially evident when Monero is compared to other blockchain, such as Bitcoin, whose number of transactions has been rather stagnant in the past 5 years. Monero’s daily transactions, on the other hand, have more than quadrupled in the same time frame. At the same time, the size of an average Monero transaction is just a fraction of the size of an average transaction 5 years ago.
To conclude, Monero is a top-tier privacy-focused crypto that is also due to its continuous development, becoming more and more popular. It will be interesting to see whether XMR manages to keep up the positive market momentum in the future.
1. Shiba Inu (SHIB)
Shiba Inu (SHIB) is a meme token that was launched in August 2020 by an anonymous founder known as “Ryoshi”. Shiba Inu aspires to be an Ethereum-based alternative to the more popular and longer-running meme coin project Dogecoin (DOGE). At launch, 50% of the Shiba Inu’s total supply was sent to Vitalik Buterin’s Ethereum wallet, making SHIB a unique community experiment as well. Ethereum co-founder ended up donating 10% of the supply to a COVID-19 relief effort in India and burned the rest of his SHIB holdings. His donation was worth around $1 billion at that time. While SHIB began as a fun experimental currency it is now transforming into a decentralized ecosystem with a growing number of users and use cases. In fact, the team behind the Dogecoin-inspired memecoin launched several new features over the past couple of months, including ShibaSwap DEX and NFT marketplace.
Shiba Inu will soon deploy Shibarium, the blockchain’s own layer 2 scaling solution, Shytoshi revealed
Shiba Inu’s lead developer Shytoshi Kusama has recently said that Shibarium, the layer 2 scaling solution for Shiba Inu, is coming “very soon”.
As any layer-2 solution, Shibarium aims to bring faster transaction times and lower transaction fees for Shiba Inu users. Shibarium, is also expected to feature some sort of a SHIB burning mechanisms, making SHIB an even more deflationary asset, which could potentially increase SHIB price. In addition, Shibarium comes with its own native token called BONE. In addition, screenshots of Shytoshi Kusama’s stating that it is likely soon going to become impossible for him to stay invisible have resurfaced. Many members of the community interpreted the message as Shytoshi hinting that he might reveal his identity soon. The anonymous Shytoshi is believed to be the brains behind Shiba Inu blockchain, the project’s lead developer and co-founder. In response to the news, SHIB burn rate spiked by more than 69% as SHIB holders set ablaze more than 22 million SHIB tokens daily. Another 19.2 million SHIB were burned in the Boxing Day burning ceremony organised by the unofficial SHIB burning project SHIB SuperStore. It will be interesting to see how SHIB will move following the launch of Shibarium – we are speculating that the price is going to increase provided there is no negative influencing factors from the broader crypto sphere.