- The cryptocurrency industry could be in for a resurgence following the devastating 2018 bear market
- In 2019, new cryptocurrency projects emerged that could make a bigger name for themselves in 2020
- We feature 5 cryptocurrency projects worth following this year
If 2018 was the year of heartbreak and disappointments in the cryptocurrency world, 2019 brought us new hope and positivity. Bitcoin broke out of its yearly low of ~$3,400 to vault up to ~$13,700, shattering all rumors of an untimely demise, and ending the year as the best performing asset. IEOs became the buzz of the town, instilling faith back into crypto start-ups. And blockchain technology, the backbone of cryptocurrencies, gained more global adoption, with lawmakers even in apparently crypto-hostile nations like India, China and the United States admitting that blockchain is inevitable!
2020 will see more corporations and government organizations show interest in blockchain technology. New crypto projects will see the light of the day, some of the existing enterprises will grow from strength to strength, and some will fade out gradually. The same pattern has repeated over the last few years. It might be impossible to say with certainty which projects will emerge as champions, but one can always make an educated guess based on facts and performance.
Here is our pick of 5 crypto projects to keep an eye on in 2020. We primarily considered projects whose tokens were listed on exchanges last year and could strengthen their positions within the market this year.
1. Matic Network
Ethereum remains the largest smart contract platform today, notwithstanding its notorious scaling issues and its inability to support large-scale DApps. Their team has been hard at work trying to fix these issues. Efforts have been made by other projects as well, such as Raiden, OmiseGo and Loom. However, none of them have made any significant impact yet. Even with these shortcomings, more than $0.7 billion worth of Ether is locked up in DeFi applications today. Needless to say, improvement in Ethereum’s scaling capabilities will open up a host of opportunities for the blockchain industry.
Matic Network is trying to significantly improve the scalability of Ethereum through the use of an adapted version of the Plasma framework with PoS-based sidechains. Plasma is an off-chain blockchain scaling solution, where a network of child chains is created on top of the main blockchain. Each child chain is a blockchain in itself, with its own consensus mechanism. Transactions between two nodes are handled within the side chain, and only the final state is broadcasted to the main chain. This saves an enormous amount of processing power and memory for the chain’s participants.
In technical terms, Matic’s off-chain scaling approach is referred to as a Layer 2 scaling solution. Now other projects have implemented Plasma in the past, but while most other off-chain solutions support only off-chain payment transactions, Matic is capable of processing off-chain smart contracts as well. This makes Matic a vital solution for DApps which are looking for high scalability. Matic claims to have achieved up to 10000 TPS on a single sidechain in their internal testnet.
Matic had their IEO on Binance’s Launchpad platform in April 2019. In less than a year, with more than 40 DApps integrated within their platform, Matic has become the most adopted Layer 2 solution. Matic has partnered with Celer, another Layer 2 scaling solution that uses generalized state channels, to bring superior blockchain user experiences and significantly reduce the cost of usage. Harmony, a high-throughput, low-latency Layer 1 blockchain, has also integrated Matic into their platform to further improve their scaling capabilities. And to top it all, with a USD ROI of 5.7x, Matic has ended 2019 as the year’s best performing IEO. It would come as no surprise if Matic carries this form on to 2020, and ends up as one of the best performing projects this year too.
Key Matic Network features:
- MATIC token was launched through an IEO on Binance in April of 2019
- Provides scalability solutions for decentralized applications (DApps)
- Uses a version of Plasma with sidechains based on proof-of-stake
2. Tachyon Protocol
Decentralized Internet and VPN has been one of the trending topics last year, what with government-dictated Internet censorship and shutdown the world over on a massive scale. Blockchain developers have been dabbling in this field for quite some time now – Substratum and Mysterium were some of the early blockchain projects in this domain. 2019 itself saw 3 such projects being listed – Blockstack, Orchid Protocol and Tachyon Protocol.
Selecting one out of three is not easy, but Tachyon Protocol with their IPX Token is the pick of the lot primarily due to its scale of vision and technical acumen. In Tachyon’s opinion, the Internet today is plagued with security and scalability issues, completely outdated to support the large scale Web3.0 applications. While other projects are making incremental changes to the Internet infrastructure, Tachyon is completely re-constructing the existing TCP/IP protocol stack, by replacing the Application, Internet and Transport layers of TCP/IP with its own 3-tiered architecture.
The core of Tachyon is the Tachyon Booster UDP (TBU), which uses a combination of distributed technologies and cryptographic encryption to improve transmission speed by up to 10x and achieve over 90% connection success rate. Tachyon Security Protocol (TSP) simulates the feature state of the communication protocol (UDP, TCP, HTTP/S, FTP or SMTP) to conceal the information being transmitted, and restrict firewalls’ ability to detect the traffic. Finally, Tachyon Anti-Analysis (TAA) fragments the data into multiple packets and transmits them through different channels, so that even if a particular channel is intercepted, the entire communication will not be compromised.
Another factor that sets Tachyon apart is that it is backed by V SYSTEMS, a decentralized blockchain database project, and X-VPN, a centralized VPN service with 50 million users worldwide. In fact, Tachyon is the first DApp on V SYSTEMS’ blockchain. Moreover, Tachyon’s first use case is a decentralized VPN service, and their product will have ready access to X-VPN’s vast user base, which can provide Tachyon a distinct advantage to begin with.
Tachyon also plans to venture into the fields of DeFi, IoT and distributed storage in the near future. Unlike the common trend, Tachyon hasn’t had any public sale at all, and their tokens were listed on exchanges only in the last month of 2019. Given the relatively late entry, Tachyon is yet to display any significant progress. However, given the stress on Internet freedom in today’s age, if Tachyon can leverage on X-VPN’s user base, then they can spring more than a couple of surprises in 2020.
Key Tachyon Protocol features:
- Built on the V SYSTEMS platform
- Uses blockchain technology to help decentralize internet infrastructure
- Offers a decentralized VPN service
Harmony’s objectives are similar to Matic’s – to improve blockchain scalability, such that large-scale DApps can be reliably deployed on them. But while Matic is trying to improve the performance of existing blockchain networks, Harmony is creating an entirely new blockchain ecosystem, one which will connect billions of people and power the decentralized economies of the future.
Harmony is using the popular concept of sharding to increase network throughput, by fragmenting the blockchain into more manageable smaller segments (called shards). Sharding is a well-known technique in centralized systems, and has also been utilized by other blockchain projects like Zilliqa, Quarkchain and MultiVAC. In conventional sharding, each node in each shard has to store the entire blockchain state information, which slows down the network. Harmony’s approach of Deep Sharding involves sharding the blockchain state as well, which allows nodes to securely locate and transact with only those nodes that are relevant to the specific transaction, leading to higher network throughput.
What sets Harmony apart from other blockchain infrastructure projects out there is that Harmony doesn’t want to stop at just the blockchain platform; rather, Harmony is developing an entire ecosystem focused on blockchain-based services and products. As the first step towards creating this ecosystem, Harmony has partnered with a host of blockchain service providers, such as Chainlink (off-chain oracle service provider), Taxa Network (layer-2 infrastructure provider) and Hydro Protocol (DeFi service provider).
Harmony’s main-net was launched in June 2019, and has grown to 1000 nodes in less than 6 months. This has encouraged projects like Animoca, Lympo and PhotoBlock to develop their DApps on Harmony’s platform. Animoca is a global game developer which has created applications for famous brands, including Formula One, Ben 10, Garfield and Doraemon. Lympo is a health app whose tokens are listed on Samsung Blockchain Wallet, and PhotoBock is a decentralized authentication service that allows users to log in to DApps using a photo and emojis.
Harmony is also a product of Binance’s Launchpad platform, having had their IEO in the month of May, 2019. They might have not performed as well as Matic, having ended the year with a USD ROI of 1.5x. However, they are well on their way to building their blockchain ecosystem, adding blocks and pieces successively with due diligence. 2020 will see significant progress work on their platform, and all pointers suggest that they will be finishing this year extremely strongly.
Key Harmony features:
- The ONE token was launched on Binance via an IEO in May of 2019
- Uses sharding to improve scalability
- The Harmony mainnet was launched in June of 2019
4. Ankr Network
Ankr Network is creating a blockchain framework that will enable distributed cloud computing (DCC), accessible to users anywhere across the globe. The DCC platform will allow transactions for computing power and resources between participants in a peer-to-peer fashion. Ankr’s vision is to implement a sharing economy, where consumers will be able to access cloud resources much more affordably than the existing options, and enterprises will be able to monetize their spare computing power.
Blockchain projects such as Storj, Golem and Sonm have tried their hand at distributed cloud computing earlier, with limited success. Ankr’s approach is significantly different from any of the previous attempts. They have implemented a new consensus algorithm called PoUW (Proof of Useful Work), where the computing power is directly embedded into the blockchain. Instead of wasting processing power on hashes (like Bitcoin and Ethereum), PoUW uses these resources towards useful tasks provided by consumers.
Apart from this, Ankr is using the techniques of plasma and sharding to scale their blockchain. Ankr is also introducing a Native Oracle System that offers a secure way of transferring off-chain data to on-chain smart contracts. Ankr’s main-net and web application have been launched in July 2019. Within the course of one year, they have integrated more than 40 blockchain projects and registered over 5,600 users on their platform.
Ankr is not restricting its blockchain platform solely to the domain of cloud computing. They have partnered with Matic for exploring low-cost high-throughput on-chain micro-payment settlement on their blockchain, and with MultiVAC to research the integration of MTV mining as a service within the Ankr platform. Ankr is also collaborating with Harmony to integrate Harmony-based DApps on their distributed cloud. Moreover, Zilliqa and TomoChain, two of the most popular blockchain infrastructure projects, have decided to utilize the Ankr cloud infrastructure to host their mainnet nodes.
Ankr hasn’t had their IEO on any of the popular exchanges’ platforms; consequently, Ankr hasn’t had as much hype associated with it as some of the other projects here. In spite of that, Ankr has performed exceptionally well, leaving its more experienced competitors far behind. For long cloud computing has been entirely the jurisdiction of centralized organizations like Amazon, Microsoft and IBM. If Ankr can continue the prowess it has shown last year, it might well turn out to be the first decentralized project to make a mark in this field by the end of 2020.
Key Ankr Network features:
- Building a distributed cloud computing platform with the help of blockchain
- Implements PoUW (Proof of Useful Work)
- Uses Plasma and sharding to improve scalability
Tokoin is an Indonesian blockchain startup that is working to accelerate the growth of the Medium, Small & Micro Enterprise (MSME) sector in Indonesia and other emerging markets in South-East Asia. The economic growth of Indonesia in recent years has been driven by their MSME sector, which accounts for 60% of their GDP and 90% of their private sector employment. In a surprising twist of fate, less than 7% of these MSMEs can avail of bank loans. The reason - most of these enterprises are simple family businesses run out of rural areas with no formal credit history, which makes banks extremely reluctant to provide them loans.
Tokoin is creating an identity register for these MSMEs on Ethereum’s platform. Once their blockchain-based digital identities are created, all transactions that these businesses undertake will get associated with their identities. Over time, this will help in creating ‘reputation scores’, which would act as a substitute for formal credit scores and help banks in assessing the risk in lending money to them. Tokoin actually plans to go beyond this reputation register and create a complete ecosystem centered around MSMEs, where different 3rd party services would be provided under one roof.
The focal point of Tokoin’s service as of now is their PoS (Point-of-Sale) app, which they plan to release within the coming weeks. This app will help businesses track their sales, manage inventory, maintain schedules, and so forth. In an effort to expedite the ecosystem, Tokoin has partnered with Ralali.com, the largest B2B marketplace in Indonesia, and Sesame Open, a Silicon Valley-based project working in decentralized commerce. Their most important partnership, arguably, is the one with the government of Indonesia - Tokoin has signed multiple MOUs with various government departments, which should assist them in the onboarding of MSMEs to their platform.
Tokoin had conducted their IEO on KuCoin’s Spotlight platform in August 2019. With a USD ROI of 3.2x, Tokoin has been one of the top 5 (and KuCoin’s most profitable) IEOs last year. In 2020, Tokoin plans to expand operations to other Asian countries with significant MSME markets. They have already visited India and the Philippines, and connected with businesses and local vendors in those regions. Government patronage is a trustworthy sign of progress, and Tokoin has managed to achieve that within a few months of inception. Hopefully, 2020 will see Tokoin not only expand their services beyond the shores of Indonesia but also as one of the top-performing blockchain projects.
Key Tokoin features:
- Launched on KuCoin Spotlight in August of 2019
- Building an Ethereum-based identity register for MSMEs
- Developing a Point of Sale app for businesses
The cryptocurrency industry could be in for a resurgence following the devastating 2018 bear market
In 2019, new cryptocurrency projects emerged that could make a bigger […]