The year 2021 was a big year for cryptocurrencies across the world. The total market capitalization of crypto assets touched an all-time high of $3 trillion in November. While nearly 14% of Americans now own crypto assets, India has close to 15 million crypto investors, which makes us the world’s second-largest country when it comes to global crypto adoption, as per market research firm Chainalysis.
The Indian crypto industry believes that a progressive, regulated framework will create a thriving ecosystem and encourage more and more Indians to start investing in a safe and secure environment. Here are five potentially game-changing crypto projects you should have on your radar in 2022.
Ethereum (ETH): There are very few networks like Ethereum, the world’s second-largest crypto network by market capitalization. Ethereum’s network forms the backbone of almost all initial coin offerings or ICOs, decentralized apps (dApps), (decentralized finance) DeFi protocols and most non-fungible tokens or NFTs. Popular tokens built on the Ethereum network are Chainlink (LINK), Tether (USDT), Binance Coin (BNB) and the USD Coin (USDC).
The most prominent upgrade in the history of the network, however, is due in 2022. Ethereum 2.0, as they call it, aims to remove bottlenecks and scalability issues while bringing the long-awaited proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism to the blockchain. This would entail doing away with the energy-guzzling proof-of-work (PoW) mechanism currently in vogue. The changes will potentially result in lower gas fees, faster transactions and a dramatic increase in the network’s efficiency.
Polygon (MATIC): In a world glittering with more than 6,000 cryptocurrencies, Polygon MATIC is the glue that holds everything together. The network provides infrastructure that allows interchain scalability, helping different blockchains interface with one another. By creating a sidechain that facilitates execution and cooperation between users, MATIC makes transactions several times faster than top coins like bitcoin or ether. It is also cost-effective and cheaper than other traditional options.
On 20 November, Polygon announced it was shifting to Polygon PoS on Uniswap, one of the biggest decentralized exchanges in the world. Major protocols like Aave and Sushiswap have already migrated to Polygon to avoid Ethereum’s fees. These groundbreaking developments also make MATIC a promising crypto project to watch in 2022.
Solana (SOL): One of the fastest crypto networks in existence, Solana spearheads the development and implementation of modern technologies like dApps and smart contracts. It is one of the only tokens that can work both on a proof-of-history and a proof-of-stake consensus model. The SOL network also processes more than 50,000 transactions every second, the fastest so far.
While Solana was not the first network to implement smart contracts, it now has more than 350 different projects running on its network. It also returned more than 17,000% of its value in the past 12 months, currently ranking as one of the top 10 coins by market cap, valued at $53 billion approximately.
Decentraland (MANA): Decentraland is a virtual world where users can create avatars to interact with other users. These avatars can buy LAND and other resources through Decentraland’s native token, MANA, and trade in them. While it is essentially a game, Decentraland combines cryptocurrencies, NFTs and a free market economy to create a virtual world accessible to everybody, no matter where they are. One of the most prominent players in the metaverse revolution, Decentraland is a self-governing network supported by community members and huge MANA stakeholders.
While a significant holding in MANA could give users voting rights in governance issues on Decentraland, smaller holdings could still be enough to buy or sell LAND, transfer value P2P, or even hold for capital gains.
Polkadot (DOT): Polkadot is a ‘blockchain of blockchains’ whose sole purpose is to make the development of new networks easier for developers. It allows users to build new blockchains that work in tandem with existing ones without relying on complicated bridging protocols. The network enables these chains to be completely customizable without compromising the underlying security and safety. The most extensive functionality of Polkadot, however, is powering the Web 3.0 revolution.
Ashish Singhal is founder and CEO of CoinSwitch Kuber.
The content of this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for investment or financial advice.
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