The Next Big Thing(s) in Crypto

Last month we revealed our Top Ten Watch List, describing ten cryptocurrencies that we find interesting and exciting.  Among them, we mentioned a project called Polkadot (https://polkadot.network/).  As the last month has progressed, it has become more and more clear that Polkadot will be an absolute force to be reckoned with in the crypto space and beyond. Even in the last month as Bitcoin has once again broken the elusive $10,000 mark, Ethereum’s price has increased over 30%, and our #1 pick – Chainlink – has nearly doubled, we simply cannot understate the potential impact of Polkadot and its ecosystem going forward. 

As a brief reminder, here is what we wrote in last month’s post about Polkadot:

Why we are interested:  Founded by Ethereum co-founder and CTO Dr. Gavin Wood, Polkadot is one of the most anticipated new crypto releases in recent memory. Polkadot’s mission is to create a better internet, a “completely decentralized web where users are in control”.  Ambitious, but with a fundraising war chest in excess of $140 million in cash, plans to raise an additional $60-90 million at a $1-1.2 billion valuation, and a founder who’s last project has the highest market cap of any non-anonymous cryptocurrency, we wouldn’t bet against it.”

And to provide a brief summary overview about Polkadot, we direct you to the following link from their website:

https://polkadot.network/what-is-polkadot-a-brief-introduction/

From an investor standpoint, Polkadot’s native token, DOT, will likely be a coveted asset in the months and potentially years to come.  DOT has been pre-sold to certain investors but is not yet available on the open market. According to reports, its release will occur in the next few weeks or months, possibly as early as August 2020. Across several crypto exchanges, an “IOU” for DOT is listed and traded. However, as noted by CoinMarketCap in their DOT listing:

“DOT transfers are not enabled yet. Allocations of Polkadot tokens are technically, legally non-transferable at this time. Any DOTs currently trading on exchanges are not sanctioned by web3foundation. Please perform your own due diligence.”

As such, we do not believe it to be prudent to allocate funds towards such “IOUs” and will instead consider adding DOT to the fund’s portfolio following its officially-sanctioned release. However, in the meantime, we have discovered certain projects that will operate within/be connected with the Polkadot ecosystem and can benefit from this association. And, quite notably, these projects have generally enjoyed recent price increases and very may well see further gains as Polkadot continues to garner attention and momentum. A non-exhaustive list of such projects follows, along with brief summaries from their CoinMarketCap listings:

Kusama (KSM) – Kusama is an early, unaudited, and unrefined release of Polkadot. Kusama aims to serve as a proving ground, allowing teams and developers to build and deploy a parachain or try out Polkadot’s governance, staking, nomination, and validation functionality in a real environment.

Edgeware (EDG) – Edgeware aims to provide a smart contract platform designated the first on Polkadot Network.

ChainX (PCX) – ChainX aims to facilitate asset interoperability with other blockchains It measures users’ mining power based on the market value of BTC, DOT, ETH, ERC20, EOS and other assets that are deposited in an inter-chain bridge.

Akropolis (AKRO) – Akropolis describes itself as a domain-specific financial protocol dedicated to the needs of the informal economy. It is designed to:

    • enable anybody to quickly set up, operate, and grow informal autonomous financial organizations (AFOs) (e.g. digital co-ops, guilds, mutuals)
    • enable an interoperable scalable network where value can be exchanged freely in a trust-minimized way (e.g. co-invest, lend/borrow, trade)
    • reduce instances of fraud and misuse of funds

Darwinia Network (RING) – As an open cross-chain bridge protocol based on Substrate, Darwinia focuses on the construction of future Internet of Tokens, including decentralized tokens swap, exchange and market.

Robonomics.network (XRT) – Airalab Robonomics Network aims to enable direct robot-to-robot and robot-to-human communication by creating a marketplace of robot liability contracts.

Stafi (FIS) – Stafi (short for Staking Finance) is a DeFi protocol that aims to unlock liquidity of staked assets.

The following diagram (courtesy of PolkaProject.com) depicts these projects and others within the growing Polkadot ecosystem:

As usual, there is a lot happening within the broad crypto industry, and certainly a lot happening around Polkadot specifically. While Polkadot may be the “next big thing” in crypto, the projects that are connected to Polkadot may end up collectively being the next big things in crypto.  

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