Another week, another ATH price for Bitcoin as the world’s largest cryptocurrency set its new top price over the weekend by changing hands for as much as $61.662 per coin on March 13. Bitcoin’s price has since faced a readjustment of around 10%. While another BTC breakout in the near future seems likely, our this week’s selection of top coins to watch focuses on coins that have substantially more developmental momentum at the moment. From upgrade and new feature deployments to deflationary changes in tokenomics, all these factors could significantly influence the asset’s future price action.
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 and allows users to deploy a wide variety of smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps) on the blockchain. The contracts and dApps operate in a fast, immutable and trustless manner. The speeds and capabilities of the Ethereum blockchain are going to further increase when Ethereum 2.0 is fully launched.
EIP-1559 to Adjust Ethereum Fee Determination and Burn some of the Supply with Every Transaction
The highly anticipated Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1559 is now officially on track to be included in Ethereum’s upcoming London hardfork in July. The proposal will change how fees are determined on Ethereum as well as introduce a mechanism that will burn a portion of the fee with every transaction. Instead of auctioning gas fees to get a transaction featured in the mined block, EIP 1559 will introduce a standard fee called a base fee. While the network will still be able to adjust the base fee in light with the current demand and users will be given the ability to add tips to their transaction, this change will likely make Ethereum fees lower and more predictable, which was the main aim of the improvement. In addition, when EIP 1559 rolls out a tiny bit of the fee will be burnt reducing the total supply of ETH. According to an analysis conducted by Dune Analytics, around 1 million ETH, potentially even more, could be eliminated from the circulation every year. Research director at Messari Eric Turner even noted that in some cases this could create deflationary conditions and highlighted the importance of this change:
“Now, they’re actually controlling inflation on Ethereum. In some cases, you’re looking at negative inflation so it’s definitely important.”
Ethereum miners are naturally strongly against the EIP 1559 at they will verylikely lose revenue after the change is implemented. Many of the major mining pools have already announced that they oppose EIP 1559 and their combined hashrate surpasses 51% meaning that they could perform a 51% attack. Most likely, we will se a Proof-of-work chain split either post ETH 2 launch or even much sooner. Nevertheless, Ethereum will likely tourn out the winner of this mining war, as it did last time, when Ethereum Classic was forked. While ETH 2 deployment is still far in the future, Ethereum miners will eventually be replaced with stakers, and miners will have to deal with this fact sooner or later.
In addition, Ethereum is apparently on the brink of implementing several Layer 2 solutions. Creator Vitalik Buterin recently stated that the rollups Layer 2 solution is coming very soon and will likely fully address Ethereum’s current scalability needs. Buterin estimates that with Layer 2 and PoS combined Ethereum could effectively handle over 100,000 transactions per second (TPS).
Meanwhile, the Berlin upgrade is scheduled to be deployed on April 14. Compared to the London upgrade, the Berlin upgrade is much less exciting. It will only integrate 4 less important Ethereum Improvement Protocols (EIPs): EIP-2565, EIP-2929, EIP-2718, and EIP-2930.
Pricewise, Ether is currently trading a bit more than 11% below its all-time high price. With a valuation just shy of $1800, ETH is currently down by 2% in the past 7 days. While this sounds like a high price for ETH, $1800 could be considered an excellent entry point a few years down the line.
2. ChainLink (LINK)
ChainLink provides data and price oracles, which are essential for the normal function of smart contract-enabled blockchain platforms. ChainLink’s price and real-world data oracles have seen numerous implementations and their popularity is still increasing. Their oracle service is one of the most reliable and trustworthy services available and the connection with smart contracts is end-to-end secured, leaving very little space for the manipulation of the execution of smart contracts. The platform incentivises providers of good data feeds while the nodes that submit bad data will see their staked LINK tokens slashed. The project launched in 2017, when it also raised $32 million of funding through an ICO.
ChainLink could Surge Due to Supports of Dynamic NFTs
ChainLink has apparently been aware of the fact that non-fungible tokens could prove to be a very popular crypto subgroup already in 2020. In June 2020, during the DeFi summer, when all eyes were on DeFi yield farming protocols, ChainLink posted this guide on creating dynamic NFTs using ChainLink’s oracles. Dynamic NFTs are unique digital collectibles that change their traits or even price based on an input received from a data oracle. This allows NFTs to be connected to real-world data. For example, the value of an NTF representing a football player could change based on his real-life performance. In addition, ChainLink has an integrated Verifiable Random Function (VRF), which allows NFT creators to randomize the creation and the distribution of their collectables, a feature that is especially useful for randomly spawned in-game items. Furthermore, ChainLink has hinted that NFTs could turn out to be a very good blockchain-based identification tool. The article writes:
“Chainlink allows smart contracts to query identity-based blockchains to verify personal credentials, as well as to append data to a person’s identity based on an output from another business process. Interestingly, identity may interplay with cyber-physical systems in the future, wherein a digital identity will give authorized users access to a physical system.”
Last year ChainLink has also established a partnership with the GET protocol – a blockchain-based, transparent, and secure event ticketing solution. The ticketing market is expected to reach a $70 billion of yearly volume and GET protocol’s business would likely be blooming if there were no gathering restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In terms of price performance, LINK has been lagging a bit behind other top 10 coins in the current rally. LINK is currently changing hands at around $27.40 and is down by 5% in the past month and 11.5% in the past week. Despite the red numbers, there is no apparent trend change. The long-term trendline still points to the upside, leaving LINK a lot of space to catch up.
3. WAX (WAXP)
WAXP Token is the underlying token of the Worldwide Asset eXchange™ Blockchain, which is a ledger designed to facilitate faster, easier, and safer transactions for both customers as well as operators of the e-commerce websites. The WAX Blockchain uses Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) as its consensus mechanism and is fully compatible with EOS. The platform features incentive and community voting mechanisms, all designed to boost WAX’s usability in the e-commerce sector. The platform has evolved into one of world’s leading decentralized video game and entertainment networks, specializing in the buying, selling, and trading of virtual items (NFTs).
New DeFi Staking Epoch Begins on March 17
The WAX team have recently launched WAX’s new tokenomics model, which marks the project’s entry into the DeFi space. The new model, which was unveiled already in January, allows users to swap their WAXP tokens for WAX Economic Activity Tokens (WAXE), which can be staked in the Uniswap’s WAXE-ETH Liquidity Pool. WAXE liquidity providers are rewarded in ETH and WAXG (WAX Governance Token). Users will receive rewards at the end of every two-week period, also called an epoch. The team next WAXE staking epoch will commence on March 17. Anyone can participate and stakers have the possibility to unstake their WAXE at any time. The company is also hiring new employees. In addition, there are plenty of funds in the Wax Lab’s development fund, indicating that the WAX blockchain is in for the long-run.
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.