There has been a bearish turn in the market, but that shouldn’t stop us from identifying interesting opportunities in the sector. Let’s take a look at three blockchain and cryptocurrency projects that will be worth following in the next few days.
Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency ever invented, and remains the most valuable crypto asset on the market to this day. Bitcoin has a fixed supply limit of 21 million coins, and new coins enter circulation in a predictable manner – for this reason, some investors regard Bitcoin as a digital alternative to gold. The Bitcoin network is maintained by “miners” that deploy their computer hardware to solve computationally-intensive mathematical problems and compete with each other to add the next block to the Bitcoin blockchain.
Bitcoin pioneered blockchain technology and provides a censorship-resistant and highly secure network that allows users to send value to each other worldwide on a 24/7 basis. The network has been operating successfully since its launch in early 2009.
Why Bitcoin? The top cryptocurrency is getting close to its lowest levels this year
The cryptocurrency market has taken a turn for the worse, with the price of Bitcoin dropping towards $35,000 on Friday. The move coincided with a sell-off in traditional markets—the S&P 500 fell from 4,300 on May 4 to under 4,100 on May 6. The Nasdaq-100, which is increasingly correlated with Bitcoin, fell from 13,535 to 12,755.
According to data from Coinglass, there were over $400 million worth of liquidations in Bitcoin futures markets on May 5. Long positions accounted for $340 million of these liquidations.
Despite the uninspiring price action displayed by Bitcoin, there have still been some large buyers of the world’s largest cryptocurrency. Most notably, the Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) recently acquired 37,863 BTC, which is worth almost $1.4 billion at the time of writing. LFG is adding large quantities of Bitcoin to its reserve to provide a backstop for the Terra-based UST stablecoin.
As long as Bitcoin continues to perform poorly, altcoins likely won’t see a recovery. In fact, it’s reasonable to expect that most altcoins would underperform BTC if Bitcoin continues to decline.
Polkadot is a Proof-of-Stake blockchain platform designed with a focus on interoperability and scalability. By using the Substrate framework, developers can create customized blockchains called “parachains” and connect them to the Polkadot network to benefit from its security and gain the ability to interoperate with other parachains.
Since the network can only support a limited amount of parachains, parachain projects have to win a parachain slot auction in order to earn a spot. Projects submit their bids in parachain slot auctions with Polkadot’s native DOT token. Through “crowdloans”, supporters of a parachain project can loan their DOT to a project to help them win an auction.
Why Polkadot? XCM messaging format enables token transfers between parachains
Cross-Consensus Message Format (XCM), a messaging format that makes it possible for tokens to be sent across different parachains, has recently been enabled on the Polkadot network. The system makes it possible for a token to be burned on one chain and a corresponding “clone” to be minted on another – this concept is called “teleporting”. The move is an important step towards Polkadot’s goal of creating a fully interoperable network of parachains.
In addition to XCM being enabled, the Statemint parachain was also upgraded to give users the ability to mint assets such as NFTs. It’s now also possible to teleport DOT tokens from the Relay Chain to Statemint.
Parachain auctions are still ongoing on Polkadot, with projects like Polkadex and OriginTrail competing to earn a parachain slot.
TRON is a blockchain platform that uses a delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism and features compatibility with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). TRON is being positioned as a faster and cheaper alternative to Ethereum, while making it simple for Ethereum developers to port over their decentralized applications to the TRON platform. One of the most popular use cases for the TRON blockchain is the USDT stablecoin, thanks to the platform’s very efficient token transfers.
The TRON mainnet was launched in May of 2018, although the beginnings of the project date back to an ICO held in 2017. TRON was founded by Chinese entrepreneur Justin Sun, who continues to be prominently associated with the project.
Why TRON? The launch of the USDD algorithmic stablecoin
Thanks to the success of Terra’s UST, algorithmic stablecoins are one of the biggest trends in the cryptocurrency space right now. On May 5, TRON joined the arena with Decentralized USD (USDD), a dollar-pegged algorithmic stablecoin managed by Tron DAO. The price of USDD is maintained through a mechanism where TRX tokens can be burned to mint USDD, and vice versa. There are also plans to create a reserve of assets to help guarantee the stability of USDD, similar to what Luna Foundation Guard is doing for UST. At the time of writing, USDD has a market cap of around $168 million.
The move has helped TRON’s native asset TRX outperform practically all other coins in the cryptocurrency top 100 in the first week of May. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see if TRX will be able to sustain its momentum or if interest in USDD will begin fading away.