Crypto Watch January 2023  Algorand (ALGO)

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The crypto bear market is understandably tough on many expecting to make significant windfalls on their digital assets, similar to what we witnessed in 2021. 
However, it presents opportunities to (once again) purchase sought-after cryptos that are down by 80–90% from their all-time highs (ATHs). 
Today’s blockchain and crypto in focus are Algorand and its native coin, ALGO. Ranked around the 30th spot (depending on which crypto-price website you use), it is currently at $0.18 per coin (ATH of $3.23) with a circulating market cap of ~$1.3 billion
This mid-cap altcoin has existed since 2019 and has remained a top 50 crypto for several years. 
About Algorand
Spearheaded by the Algorand Foundation, it claims to have the greenest and most secure, scalable, and sustainable blockchain ecosystem.
Like many other projects in the space, it utilises Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus and Verified Random Function (VRF) to provide greater energy efficiency and superior network security, respectively.

Moreover, the developers behind the venture recognise the importance of incorporating post-quantum security (something I have previously discussed for other ecosystems) and boosting cross-chain interoperability. This is achieved through Algorand State Proofs
Further information about the founder, Silvio Micali, is available here.

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Partnerships news

One of Algorand’s most prominent partnerships to date is with FIFA. It is the official blockchain partner of the world’s chief football (soccer) governing body. 
It was listed as a regional supporter (for North America and Europe) in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. It will be designated an official sponsor for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australian and New Zealand 2023. 
Besides the media exposure gained from this, FIFA also launched an NFT platform on the abovementioned blockchain to promote iconic football moments, art, and other related content.
Other than this, Algorand has been nominated as the blockchain-tech partner to promote innovative technology for a digital guarantees platform in Italy. According to this Medium piece, it is the sole public blockchain utilised by the Digital Sureties interface.

Thinking of developing economies, Algorand, in conjunction with Boston University, is working on a blockchain-based application to help improve connections between tractor owners and farmers in Africa. 
This scheme will assist both shareholders in overcoming multiple hurdles faced at present. It will also aid farmers in developing regions to boost productivity and yields, which is imperative to meet the 60 to 70% increase in food demand by 2050.

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Staying in Africa, the Algorand Foundation is also collaborating with 10 Academy, a non-profit entity aiming to equip Africans with the knowledge to deal with the following industrial (digital) revolution. 
A full breakdown of all projects built on Algorand, and their respective sectors, is available here.
I see the partnership with the African organisation as an innovative and strategic move, as representatives of other notable crypto projects (Charles Hoskinson from IOG, working on Cardano ADA) also acknowledges the enormous development potential across the continent
Whoever is at the forefront of educating people about DLT and ways to implement the technology across the continent will reap the most prominent benefits; it will only be a matter of time before it becomes mainstream. 
Developer activity and related news
Algorand has started this year reaching a massive milestone, one billion transactions on its network. Shout out to AMB Crypto for bringing this to my attention. 
The growth of projects in its ecosystem should help it reach the two-billion transaction target faster than expected. 
In terms of active developer activity, it is up there with many renowned and well-established blockchains, according to the data shown below.

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For more comprehensive information about the Algorand ecosystem and salient metrics, including GitHub developer details, I recommend checking out their Metrics Dashboard.
On a bearish note with Algorand news, I will acknowledge that Grayscale, a major digital-asset manager, has recently removed ALGO from one of its funds. For context, it has been a prominent player in the space for several years and is tailored towards accredited institutional investors. 

Despite this delisting, it is worth noting that their portfolios are frequently reviewed. There will always be the option for ALGO to re-enter their portfolio, as was the case recently for Synthetix (SNX).
Sustainability initiatives
Micali established Algorand as an eco-friendly blockchain from the outset by utilising PoS. Moreover, two other measures to achieve carbon neutrality include collaborating with organisations prioritising sustainability and using carbon offsets (via ClimateTrade) to cover the relatively small amount of CO2 emissions. 
The organisation has released blog entries outlining its role in reducing both the financial and environmental costs of minting NFTs and playing a proactive role in making the blockchain space more environmentally friendly
The Green Earth Blockchain Project is an initiative built on Algorand to offer greater transparency across the global food supply chain and various natural resources. Project participants can be rewarded with the Green Earth Blockchain Token (GEBT), recently featured on certain crypto exchanges across Europe and Asia.

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Concluding thoughts 
What makes Algorand stand out from the vast swathe of competitors in the space, including, but not limited to, Cardano, Ethereum (as it is now using PoS), BNB, Cosmos, Avalanche and Fantom? 
Its emphasis on green credentials, in tandem with working on (post-quantum) security and ongoing scalability improvements, will likely keep this a relevant project for many years. Of course, competition in the space will be fierce, particularly amongst all blockchain projects looking to snap up market share across this nascent asset class.
The reality is that this space will still take several years of significant improvements and more major collaborations before a given project or crypto can have a meaningful impact on our daily lives for billions of people across the globe. 
Yes, Bitcoin, despite its relative longevity (14 years old as of a few days ago) and prominence as the leading digital asset based on circulating market cap, is still far from making a revolutionary difference throughout the world; the same applies to Ethereum, let alone altcoins in general. 
Nevertheless, whether it be Algorand, Ethereum, Bitcoin, Cardano, BNB, or any other DLT chain, it will make an immeasurable difference to aspects of society. 
Before concluding, I admit that I left out ALGO technical analysis, which I generally omit from my pieces, as I am neither experienced nor even that interested in TA. However, if you find it important, check out Trading View or your preferred platform. 
None of this is financial advice, and I am not a financial advisor.

This piece contains news and opinions from either myself or the sources mentioned here. Please do sufficient research before investing in any crypto assets, NFTs and any product affiliated with this space.

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