We are heading towards the end of 2020 and therefore you are reading the last weekly selection of top 3 coins to watch this year. Despite the festive spirit, cryptocurrency markets and developers are not at rest. Quite the opposite – we are seeing some significant price action and even the roll-out of a few important network upgrades.
1. Ethereum (ETH)
Ethereum is a decentralized blockchain platform and its native asset Ether (ETH) is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Ethereum features the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which can execute Turing-complete scripts. This gives Ethereum immense flexibility, allowing users to deploy a wide variety of smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps) that operate in a fast, immutable and trustless manner.
ETH 2.0 Deposits are Still Growing as Investors Seek another Winning Crypto Bet
While most of the attention has been on Bitcoin this year, the second largest cryptocurrency Ether has performed a rally of much bigger proportions this year. At the time of writing, Bitcoin is +268% YTD, while Ether’s price grew by almost twice as much – ETH is currently changing hands at more than $730, which represents a growth of +464% from the $130 at the start of this year. Nevertheless, there is still much room for growth, as Ether’s price is still far away from its ATH of $1,570 achieved in January 2018. In addition, ETH is currently trading at an attractive level vs. BTC: 0.027 BTC/ETH. This is just above the price of 0.025 BTC per ETH, which is a long-term support level. These circumstances make ETH a very interesting asset for both retail and institutional investors, who will likely soon seek another coin to invest in on top of BTC.
If we examine what is happening with the Ethereum blockchain, we can see that it is still in the process of transitioning to the PoS-enabled Ethereum 2.0. The new version, which will significantly increase the throughput of the network, has already attracted more 2 million ETH of deposits, currently worth $1.5 billion. In addition, several Layer 2 solutions, such as zkSnarks, Optimistic rollups, PoA chains/Matic/xDAI, and similar are being put in place to facilitate cheaper and faster transactions by taking them off the mainnet. Furthermore, the Ethereum community is in fierce discussions about the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1559, which is going to introduce a deflationary mechanism to the Ethereum network’s native currency if passed. On top of that Ethereum has countless application possibilities in the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector.
2. Kava (KAVA)
Developed by Kava Labs the Kava blockchain boasts with the title of the first multi-blockchain DeFi platform. Users are eligible for rewards in the form of KAVA tokens for depositing various cryptocurrencies to the protocol’s multi collateral CDP system. The Kava blockchain utilizes the Tendermint consensus and is secured by 100 validators.
HARD Protocol v2 Launches on December 30
The Kava team launched their cross-chain money market called Harvest V1 on October 15. Along with the launch of the money market platform, Kava Labs also released the HARD protocol and its associated HARD governance token. Two and a half months after, the refined and improved HARD v2 is set to launch. HARD v2, which will support supplying and borrowing BTC, XRP, BNB, BUSD, USDX and LINK as well as introduce incentives for the borrowers of BTC, BNB, BUSD, LINK, USDX and XRP, will go live on December 30. The HARD governance token will also see some improvements in the form of expanded utility. Find out more about the HARD v2 in this official blog post.
3. KardiaChain (KAI)
KardiaChain is a public blockchain that aims to provide businesses as well as government bodies a hybrid blockchain infrastructure to build on top of. While the team believes that the blockchain technology should be accessible for everyone, they are focusing on spreading its adoption in Vietnam, where the company behind KardiaChain is based.
KardiaChain Mainnet 1.0 Will Launch on December 29
KardiaChain has announced that their mainnet 1.0, which will allow anyone to build dApps atop of it, will launch on December 29. The ERC-20 KAI tokens now in circulation will be burned and the team will create a token swap bridge to exchange them form mainnet KAI coins. The mainnet roll-out will also allow KAI holders to either stake their coins or delegate their KAI to other community members. More information, including the detail regarding the token swap, can be found here.
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.