Best Crypto Assets with Solid Long-term Potential
This article is dedicated to all the naysayers and overall crypto haters that insist on claiming this asset class is a “pump and dump”, “funny money”, “get-rich-quick scheme” and so on.
Let’s jump straight into it.
The leading smart-contracts platform and #2 crypto based on circulating market cap, Ethereum is one of the few mainstream digital assets that has stood the test of time, since its inception in July 2015; it has maintained its spot in the top-5 list of cryptos since then.
Crypto prices across the market have picked up once again with the recent update announcement about the approximate launch date of the Ethereum Merge, a major network upgrade that will shift Ethereum from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus.
Three of the blockchain’s biggest drawcards revolve around its global scope (as represented by the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance), the world’s largest decentralised app (DApp) platform, with nearly 3,000 to date, and over $39 billion of total value locked (TVL) within the realm of decentralised finance (DeFi).
With an enormous amount of surrounding The Merge, and additional upgrades such as sharding and rollups expected some time in 2023, I envisage an optimistic future for Ethereum fans and ETH holders in general.
Historically dubbed as one of the “Ethereum killers”, Cardano places considerable emphasis on peer-reviewed, scientific research to guide its work, with over 140 papers to date.
There are three core aspects of its blockchain: interoperability, scalability and sustainability.
Its native coin ADA reached an all-time high (ATH) of ~$3.10 shortly after the launch of its third epoch, the Goguen Era. This has resulted in multiple non-fungible tokens (NFTs), DApps and other programs being run on the Cardano blockchain.
In spite of aforementioned reference to being a competitor to replace Ethereum, developers and other enthusiasts backing Cardano recognise the usefulness of producing a related sidechain that is compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM): the main engine behind smart contracts being run on the eponymous ecosystem.
This sends a message that Ethereum will remain for years to come (hence why it makes this list too) and, most importantly, demonstrates Cardano’s willingness to deliver improved interoperability. Inevitably, there will be a cohort of our society preferring to use DApps native to this, Ethereum and other blockchains; such connectivity between various networks will be imperative. It is unlikely that everyone will simply gravitate towards just one or two blockchains, particularly with a push towards decentralisation.
Besides all of this, I appreciate the ongoing updates from Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of Input Output Global (IOG), one of the three main entities spearheading Cardano. Albeit quirky, I find him to be a genuine, articulate and thought-provoking individual with a sensible way to growing this ecosystem; essentially, slow and steady wins the race. Thus, I see this approach as being compatible with a long-term outlook for success.
As the most renown chain-agnostic scaling solution for other blockchains, Polygon will retain an integral role in aiding other blockchains to accommodate massive throughout on their blockchain. Even after the deployment of sharding and rollups on Ethereum, I envisage that layer-2 scaling solutions (L2s) will remain relevant, particularly as the entire cryptocurrency/distributed-ledger technology industry is forecast to grow and (eventually) revolutionise multiple facets of our society.
Even if Ethereum, Cardano, Bitcoin and other major blockchains in existence were to no longer need chain-agnostic L2s such as Polygon, such L2s could adapt and re-focus on providing the scalability for emerging/lesser-known blockchains, thus, remaining relevant in the medium to long-term.
Polygon boasts over 19,000 DApps at present and roughly $1.69 billion of TVL in its network relating to DeFi. This represents a whopping 52,400x increase compared to 1 January 2021.
I do not see the foundation crypto disappearing anytime soon.
Notwithstanding its ubiquitous presence and reputation as the most popular crypto, its relatively lack of smart-contracts functionality at present, concentration of mining in certain countries and colossal energy requirements as part of its Proof-of-work (mining) operations could result in it losing its status as the dominant crypto (based on circulating market cap).
As per the latter, I acknowledge that this problem can be readily overcome by powering ASIC miners (the key piece of equipment used for BTC mining), associated hardware being powered by renewable energy (and, in some instances, nuclear), in tandem with other measures to reduce the carbon emissions associated with Bitcoin.
Bitcoin’s solid fundamentals, such as hash rate; decreasing inflation rate; capped supply of 21 million BTC; growth in developer activity and list of Bitcoin Improvement Proposals for network optimisations, are some reasons why Bitcoin will remain dominant (at least relevant) for years to come.
Founded by Gavin Wood, an instrumental member behind the creation of Ethereum, Polkadot promotes itself as “a scalable, interoperable & secure network protocol for the next web (Web 3)”.
To achieve this, there are three core components of its main blockchain architecture: the relay chain (the network’s core chain), parachains (Polkadot-native chains) and bridges (ideal for interacting with different networks such as Bitcoin and Ethereum). I recommend exploring the lightpaper for a succinct overview of the blockchain and organisation.
There is lots of excitement surrounding a recent announcement about the launch of Final Fantasy NFTs on Efinity, a Polkadot parachain. This partnership, in tandem with the Enjin Alliance the digital entertainment arm of Japanese multinational Square Enix, will offer a broad range of digital collectibles from the hugely popular RPG.
This open-source, blockchain-based, virtual-reality platform is one of the most renown amongst the crypto projects within the gaming sector. It claims that participants can “create, explore and trade in the first-ever virtual world owned by its users”.
MANA benefitted significantly from a combination of the overall rise in the crypto market and the wave of hype relating to NFT in the latter part of 2021. The NFT enthusiasm also coincided with Facebook’s rebranding to Meta Technologies as it plans to focus on their form of the metaverse.
In spite of the criticisms of this nascent concept and massive price drops in related cryptos (rather, the entire crypto market), I am forecasting moderate-to-strong growth in the gaming and metaverse sector in future, particularly with enhanced graphics with more powerful hardware. Whilst not everyone’s cup of tea, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) will build a niche and probably transcend the realm of gaming, albeit with limited space (possibly).
It will be fascinating to see whether Facebook’s rebranding will remain relevant or not, and to what extent its presence as a centralised metaverse-affiliated platform will benefit (or possibly adversely affect) decentralised protocols such as Decentraland, The Sandbox and others.
Formerly known as Binance Coin, the native coin of the world’s leading exchange experienced rampant price growth in 2021, and is still more than 8x from where it was in early 2021.
A highly promising aspect of BNB is that it will most likely benefit from the continual rise and proliferation of Binance and its related products across multiple sectors of crypto. Changpeng Zhao (“CZ”), the company’s founder and CEO, has worked tirelessly to transform the business, implement continuous improvements and ongoing expansions across this novel asset class.
Moreover, BNB holders specifically benefit from quarterly coin burns until half of the original 200-million coin circulating supply has been removed. This deflationary mechanism and several use cases of the coin, not to mention the utility of projects and tokens that are run on the BNB (previously Binance Smart) Chain, will work wonders for BNB. Watch this space.
One of the main objectives of Chainlink is to connect external data, such as real-time weather or price data, with smart contracts. This is achieved through the use of decentralised oracles.
These oracles can play a pivotal role in a variety of use cases, including Decentralised Finance (DeFi), Insurance, Enterprise, NFTs and Gaming, and for non-profits/NGOs.
With over 1400 projects affiliated with Chainlink and major partnerships with Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), AccuWeather, SwissCom and other enterprises, there are plenty of exciting developments pertaining to this project. Moreover, if Ethereum were to exceed, this should also benefit Chainlink due to ~930 projects operating on the former that have a connection with the latter.
Basic Attention Token (BAT)
Through the aforementioned program, this partnership:
- offers an alternative to other browsers and search engines by having various privacy measures (e.g. disabling trackers, cookies and ads that appear on a webpage, alongside a Tor extension) turned on by default, rather than manually having to activate them;
- provides a better ROI for advertisers vs many conventional outlets;
- allows content creators to supplement their income with ad revenue and contributions
A promising trend relating to the medium to long-term prospects of BAT is the constantly increasing number of monthly and daily active users (MAU and DAU) since the browser’s inception in mid-2019. Additionally, growth potential remains strong for Brave and other lesser-known browsers, collectively account for only ~3% of overall market share.
As I segue into my list of wildcards and low to mid-cap cryptos with potential for significant gains, Propy aims to revolutionise the future of real estate and its multi trillion-dollar market globally. Blockchain technology (as part of Web3) has massive potential to overhaul the excessive reliance of intermediaries to help execute contracts between buyers and sellers, especially with deployment of smart contracts.
Furthermore, fractionalised ownership of property could become simpler with the effective integration and deployment of smart contracts in the real-estate industry. As some of the above said blockchains continue to improve in relation to scalability, security, cheaper transaction fees and interoperability, this will most likely make settling contracts a lot more effective than the current system.
Propy’s three main products include Offer Management (to assist brokers and agents in dealing with numerous buy and sell orders), Transaction Management and Title & Escrow (for business dealings in fiat or crypto currencies, in tandem with NFTs).
Wildcards and notable mentions
Operating since 2015, VeChain offers enterprise-level blockchain-technology solutions across multiple sectors. Some of these include: food-safety monitoring, logistics, retail (such as for verifying authenticity of high-end goods), document certification, agriculture, and much more.
Some of their largest partnerships to date include Walmart, BMW, UFC, PwC, Groupe Renault and much more.
Get the latest articles and updates from VeChain via their Medium page.
Unlike most mainstream cryptos that run on blockchain technology, IOTA is one of the few digital assets (at least in the top-100 by circulating market cap) that utilises another form of distributed-ledger technology called the Tangle. Some of the key benefits associated with this alternative to blockchain include:
— ultra-cheap transactions fees by avoiding the need for miners within a network;
— verifying two transactions for every one sent;
— a highly-scalable system;
— an energy-efficient system compared to PoW*
*I acknowledge that PoS that runs on blockchain technology is also available and energy-efficient vs PoW.
A major development in IOTA’s network is the removal of the Coordinator node (i.e. Coordicide) to render the ecosystem fully decentralised.
Some key collaborations so far include Jaguar Land Rover, Dell Technologies, Fujitsu, TradeMark East Africa and others.
This multi-chain token can be utilised to make bookings for flights, hotels and general accommodation across the world. Payments can be made with over 90 cryptocurrencies and several fiat currencies (most major credit cards accepted). Moreover, the company offers a rewards program for discounts when utilising AVA, in addition to activating NFTs via its platform.
Arweave’s mission is to provide individuals and organisations with the opportunity to permanently store data in a sustainable manner; no network outages, no 404 errors, and so on. This is achieved via their system of allowing people to offer spare hard-drive space to these abovementioned entities seeking data storage, ensuring the information is continuously available via Arweave’s storage endowment. This also provides a detailed explanation and multiple formulae to ascertain reasonable storage costs to ensure management of such a system is financially sustainable.
This open-source liquidity protocol allows anyone to earn interest and borrow digital assets by lending crypto and using for collateral, respectively. Initially launching on Ethereum, AAVE runs on multiple chains, including Polygon, Avalanche, Fantom and Arbitrum.
The Sandbox (SAND)
In spite of the criticism relating to the Metaverse, including a frosty reception from Elon Musk about this, SAND, MANA and other crypto assets relating to blockchain-based gaming will mostly likely benefit from the rise in gaming and the growing interest in crypto/blockchain technology in the coming years.
Some important considerations before investing
When I refer to ‘medium to long-term’ in this piece, to give a clearer understanding of the timeframe, I use 2030 and beyond my ballpark figure. A lot can change in the space of a few years, notably in the realm of crypto assets.
A few things to factor in when trying to ascertain what price targets are realistic or not, and how long it could take for your favourite crypto to hit said target:
— Regulations in a given jurisdiction, such as the US, the UK or the EU, could influence how other countries or economic blocs around the world restrict or embrace crypto assets in their present form;
— Central-bank digital currencies (CBDCs) will be an interesting sub-sector of this industry to follow. How much individuals, organisations and corporations will trust these instead of well-established digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum remains to be seen;
— It will be imperative for the entire space to address, monitor and take action to deal with quantum computing and the threats it could pose to digital assets, blockchains, protocols and related entities. As we approach 2030, this will become more of a talking point. Representatives behind Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano and other top-10 blockchains (by market cap) have periodically addressed this topic and acknowledge that steps need to be taken to ensure their respective chains are quantum-resistant.
I will be expanding on the latter in the future publication. So follow my channel for this and other content relating to crypto and distributed-ledger technology.
None of this is financial advice and I am not a financial advisor. This is a mixture of my own opinions and general information on the Internet. Please do your own research before investing in anything.