Throughout Week 2 we have recorded slight growth of the cryptocurrency market, which caused the total market capitalisation to recover from $2.02 trillion on January 9 to $2.15 trillion on January 16. As always there were also quite a few coins that managed to outperform the sector average. These include ADA, Terra, DOGE, NEAR and MATIC, which all posted gains higher than 10%. Two of these coins are even featured in this article as we believe that their rallies could not be as short-lived as one may think at a first glance.
3. Stellar Network (XLM)
Stellar is a crypto platform that is designed to enable fast, secure, and low-cost multi-currency and cross-border money transfers. In other words, Stellar is a crypto alternative to traditional finance firms such as Western Union and MoneyGram. The Stellar network, which aims to serve the needs of both individuals as well as enterprises, has an average transaction confirmation time of 2-5 seconds. At the same time, the base fee for sending a transaction currently stands at only 0.0001 XLM. Since its launch in 2014 the Stellar network has processed more than 450 million transactions made by over 4 million individual accounts.
Aquarius could boost Stellar Network’s utility
Aquarius is a liquidity management layer for Stellar aiming to supercharge trading on Stellar by providing incentives to the market makers. The team believes that doing so they will manage to increase liquidity within the ecosystem. In addition, Aquarius will allow the Stellar community to control the rewards for SDEX traders and liquidity providers through on-chain voting process. The rewards will be trading pair specific, giving XLM holders almost full control over liquidity distribution. Aquarius is developed by Ultra Stellar and powered by AQUA token. It has been announced that 20% of the total AQUA supply will be reserved for airdrops to the Stellar community, since Aquarius governance needs to be aligned with Stellar’s interests. While 5% of the supply have already been given to the early Stellar DEX adopters, another 15% are were distributed through the AQUA airdrop to XLM holders. The snapshot of balances took place on January 15 and users needed at least 500 XLM and 1 AQUA in their Stellar wallet to be eligible for the airdrop. The AQUA tokens will be distributed by February, but eligible users will be given an option to lock up the airdropped AQUA for up to 3 years and multiply their AQUA holdings.
2. Dogecoin (DOGE)
The cryptocurrency Dogecoin was introduced as a joke in December 2013 by Billy Markus. Markus built the cryptocurrency project around the Shiba Inu doge meme that went viral that year, which is why Dogecoin uses the Doge meme as its official logo. Surprisingly, the currency not only survived, but took off and managed to develop a relatively large community on social platforms such as Reddit. Today, Dogecoin is not only used for tipping other members of the community and performing similar micro-transactions but also for conducting larger deals and participating in DeFi activities. The Dogecoin community also raised funds to sponsor their own NASCAR racer for a few races and pay for a physical gold Dogecoin to be delivered to the moon via crowdfunding.
Tesla’s merch store adds DOGE support, causes the price to rally to a one-month high
We have recently reported that the famous electric vehicle maker Tesla started accepting Dogecoin payments in its online store. Even though DOGE can currently only be used to pay for certain Tesla merchandise (and not for its cars) the price of the world’s first meme coin spiked for more than 14% that day reaching a cycle high of $0.2177. Since the announcement DOGE has retraced back to $0.17 but once the hype cools down the coin might start following the positive trendline that started to form even before Tesla-related news. Let’s remember that in the past one could pay for Tesla vehicles using Bitcoin, but the company discontinued that option in mid-2021 citing environmental concerns as the reason behind their decision. The fact that they are now accepting DOGE is in fact in line with their reasoning as Dogecoin consumes nearly 6000 times less energy per transaction than Bitcoin. Nevertheless, there is no publicly available information whether or when Tesla could start accepting DOGE as payment option for its cars as well.
1. Near Protocol (NEAR)
Near is a highly scalable and developer friendly Layer 1 Proof-of-Stake blockchain competing with Ethereum and alike network. The company behind Near Protocol claims that you can create simple decentralized apps (dApps) on Near in just five minutes. In addition, Near Protocol utilizes Nightshade sharding mechanism to be capable of performing up to 100,000 transactions per second. However, there are currently not many decentralized applications deployed on its ecosystem. According to DeFi Llama, the total vale locked (TVL) in 3 protocols running on Near is only $176 million.
Near Foundation raises $150M for its biggest DeFi push
Near Foundation recently revealed that it closed a $150 million investment round led by Three Arrows Capital. Several other prominent crypto investment firms including Almeida, Dragonfly Capital and a16z, also reportedly participated in the investment round. The foundation representatives stated they will dedicate the raised funds towards the expansion of Near’s decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem, as the liquidity and number of projects running on Near have are apparently not quite up to their liking. NEAR jumped over 10% on the funding round announcement, surging as high $20.42 and setting a new ATH price on January 16. Industry insiders are united in the belief that Near is doing a great job from the technological point of view and that it is a good network, capable of serving more users and protocols. This means that even though NEAR is currently trading very close to its ATH, there is still a considerable upside potential. Furthermore, the team’s ecosystem expansion efforts, including the $800 million Near ecosystem fund announced in October 2021, are only beneficial for NEAR’s long-term price performance.
Andrew is a writer that does most of his work on cryptocurrency-related topics. While he’s primarily interested in Bitcoin, he also follows major altcoins and the innovative ideas that new cryptocurrency and blockchain projects are bringing to the table.