The flies and we have already entered year 2022. As usually, the beginning of a new year is time to reflect on the events that the past year had to offer. With countries across the world still battling COVID-19 outbreaks and issuing new restrictions it is a bit difficult to call 2021 a generally “good year”, but when looking just at cryptocurrency markets it was exactly that. Perhaps some would even call it a “great year”. 2021 will go down in crypto history as the year of massive institutional investments, the rise of NFTs and emerging of the GameFi sector. Driven by positive sentiment, the prices of Bitcoin, Ether, and many other coins reached their historic peaks in 2021. While the total cryptocurrency market capitalization stood at just $865 billion at the beginning of 2021, we have entered 2022 with the valuation of all crypto assets in circulation exceeding $2.24 trillion. It is worth mentioning that the total cryptocurrency market cap even exceeded the magical $3 trillion valuation in the beginning of November. We wish that 2022 would be at least as good as 2021 for the cryptocurrency sector and hope that you will continue to find useful information in our Top 3 Coins to watch articles throughout the year.
3. Kava (KAVA)
Developed by Kava Labs the Kava blockchain boasts with the title of the first multi-blockchain DeFi platform. Kava currently consists of 3 main projects: Kava Mint, which allows users to use their assets as collateral to obtain USDX, Kava Lend, which allows users to earn rewards by lending crypto assets, and Kava Swap, which allows users to buy and sell tokens on the Kava chain and earn rewards by providing liquidity to the mining pool. The Kava blockchain utilizes the Tendermint consensus and is secured by numerous validators. However, only the top 100 validators are eligible to receive staking rewards. The KAVA token is an asset on the Kava Chain, which is used across the chain as a transport medium and a store of value. Kava Labs have established close partnerships with industry leaders such as Binance, Kraken and Ripple.
Kava 9 Upgrade aims to solve the platform’s problems by providing facilitation interoperability with other blockchains
In theory Kava is a capable and promising platform, but in reality, the blockchain has never lived up to its full potential. A weak ecosystem combined with an unstable token economy have been dragging the project down. There are not many assets and trading pairs available for lending in the project and there is a general lack of liquidity in the ecosystem. However, developers hope that this will change when Kava 9 upgrade hits the mainnet in Q1 2022. One of the main features of the upcoming Kava 9 upgrade is that it will officially enable Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol (IBC) and thereby allow Kava smart contracts to talk to other blockchains. This will enable all IBC supporting projects and communities to integrate their products with the Kava chain. Thereby the liquidity of the Kava ecosystem is expected to improve. In addition, after the deployment of IBC, users will be able to use USDX in DeFi projects on Ethereum and other blockchains, which is why Kava’s token economy is expected to become more stable following Kava 9 upgrade. In addition, Kava 9 upgrade will add support for Keplr wallet and include a fully operational Ethereum cross-chain bridge as well as infrastructure for Kava Launchpad. To conclude, the Kava infrastructure is close to being set. It is now time for developers to deploy projects on the protocol.
2. The Sandbox (SAND)
The Sandbox is a user-generated blockchain-based virtual world where players can build, create as well as buy and sell digital assets in the form of a game. The Sandbox was initially an ordinary sandbox game for mobile phones and PCs, but transformed into a blockchain-based voxel universe after it was acquired by Animoca Brands in August 2018. As well as other projects within the blockchain gaming ecosystem, The Sandbox too experienced explosive growth over the course of 2021 as nonfungible tokens (NFT) and the play-to-earn gaming model gained momentum. The Sandbox ecosystem utilized SAND as its utility token and as the basis of transactions and interactions. SAND is an ERC-20 token and there is a finite supply of 3,000,000,000 SAND. SAND can also be used for staking and governing the Sandbox metaverse.
The Sandbox’s Game Maker 1.0 was Released on December 31
While The Sandbox Alpha closed on December 20 and the project thanked players with rewards in the form of SAND and NFTs, the project’s developers have not been resting. The project recently rolled-out Game Maker 1.0 alpha release, which allows anyone to build 3D metaverse games for free. In addition, The Sandbox promises absolutely no coding knowledge is required to make games using the Game Maker as the product creates games using visual and intuitive scripting tools. Together with the Game Maker, The Sandbox recently concluded a Foundation DAO launch, which will enable SAND token holders to participate in the project governance and allow SAND token staking. At the same time, famous rapper Snoop Dogg is putting in some serios work with promoting The Sandbox and his Sandbox-based metaverse for fans called the “Snoopverse”. Snoop Dogg, who is currently offering two exclusive passes for his die-hard fans, is likely going to attract new players to the game and even show other musicians and creators how they can benefit from creating a fan-targeted metaverse.
1. Fantom (FTM)
Fantom is a fast, high-throughput open-source smart contract platform for digital assets and dApps. It is a Layer 1 network competing with the likes of Avalanche, Solana, and Terra to dethrone Ethereum. Fantom utilizes Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance (aBFT) consensus algorithm. The aBFT algorithm promises to solve the blockchain Scalability Trilemma, according to which only two of the crucial three components that include decentralization, security, and scalability, are possible at the same time. It is very likely that this was one of the main factors that made FTM one of the best-performing assets of 2021. The Fantom’s native asset gaining approximately 13,000% last year.
Fantom has the potential to outperform Solana, Avalanche and other Layer One Blockchains
Analysts from Arcane Research recently noted that while ETH outperformed BTC in 2021 with a gain of 455% vs. 73%, several other layer one blockchains drastically outperformed ETH. The firm firmly believes that we will observe this trend in 2022 as well. And when it comes to layer one smart contract-enabled blockchains, Fantom is, despite its gigantic gains in 2021, considered the most undervalued platform. Its advanced consensus algorithm enables the platform to offer finality in one second, which puts Solana with its 11 seconds and even Avalanche with 3 second block finality far behind. In addition, the network can process over 10,000 TPS and aims to scale up to 300k TPS. And finally, FTM has a relatively small market cap of $6.4 billion, which makes it more feasible to deliver gains of a few 100% as compared to already established blockchain platforms with significantly higher market capitalizations. To put it into a perspective, FTM is currently trading at a round price of $2.50 per coin and its total market capitalization puts this asset on the 29th spot. Nevertheless, if Fantom ever wants to come neck and neck with Solana, one of its competitors, it would have to reach a market cap almost ten times of the one it has today. Do you think Fantom can pull this off? We think that the chances are not that slim.
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.