I am a researcher and writer interested in new technologies that contribute to the social good
The cryptocurrency market is heating up and many are calling 2020 Bitcoin’s next “bull run” year.
But out of the thousands of cryptocurrencies available, it is hard to know which have a future without putting a lot of time and energy into researching them. I have done this research and in this article, I highlight 11 Altcoins I think have the greatest potential for growth in 2020. Please consider using my referral link when signing up for any new exchanges.
ethereum was created in 2015 and it remains my top altcoin. ETH has massive potential and has been called “the most undervalued crypto on the planet.” ETH is incredibly popular for two reasons. First, its smart contract technology makes it extremely versatile.
Second, the tools it offers make it easy for developers to build decentralized applications on its network. The use cases for Ethereum are vast and include this like banking and financial contracts, records and data management, prediction markets, escrow, and identity management and privacy.
Ethereum transaction time is fast compared to Bitcoin and for the past several years multiple new coins have claimed to be “ETH killers” but have come up short.
In 2017, Ethereum hype was at its peak and people started to wonder if it was going to overtake Bitcoin. This was dubbed “the flippening.” However, this didn't happen and it seemed people gave up hope the flippening would happen. However, recent innovations like tokenized Bitcoin make it possible — at least in theory — for Ethereum to capture a significant portion of Bitcoin transactions.
Chainlink is an oracle network that allows blockchain smart contracts to connect to off-blockchain data in a decentralized way. “Oracles” are feeds that connect blockchains to off-blockchain data. This can include anything from commodity prices to flu symptom data to the weather.
Connecting smart contracts to this type of real-world data is critical for the widespread adoption of blockchain technology. Without access to real-world data, smart contracts can only use on-chain data, i.e. data stored on the blockchain (this is why so many of the early Dapps have been gambling-related).
While there are oracles that already allow blockchains to access data from the outside world, they are usually centralized, like Synthetix. Chainlink is distinct in offering a decentralized oracle service.
Whether Chainlink will definitely figure out how to connect blockchains to off-chain data in a decentralized way is still to be seen. But the importance of oracles to mainstream adoption of blockchains is huge. Linking blockchains with external data are necessary and doing so in a decentralized way is the most secure, which is why I like this project.
IoTeX is building a privacy-oriented blockchain platform based on the idea of integrating the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT refers to digital interaction beyond computers and personal devices to include all the things around us with digital capabilities.
By 2022, the number of IoT devices is expected to surpass 50 billion. This mass of digital devices will need secure methods of communication and automation in real-time. This is the niche that IoTex is planning to fill.
The architecture of IoTeX is based on a root blockchain that provides security and governance for the network while managing various sidechains to carry out specific functions.
The sidechains connect IoT devices based on specific parameters, such as working in similar environments, having similar trust levels, or having a similar function. IoTex debuted UCam, which is a private and secure security camera.
IoTeX’s most direct competitor is IOTA. The main difference between the two is that IOTA uses Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) technology to address scalability. However, this requires a global consensus. IoTeX is opting for another solution, called Roll-DPoS, which uses a randomized and scalable variant of the delegated proof of stake framework.
EOS tries to respond to some of the shortcomings of the Ethereum Network. To develop a dApp on Ethereum you need to use a special programming language for smart contracts (Solidity). EOS overcomes this barrier by providing some services to developers, including database and account management services, which do not require programming knowledge.
EOS is fast and more scalable than Ethereum. For instance, the Ethereum Network requires users to pay fees, while EOS transactions are free and take on average 1.5 seconds. EOS also has enormous and enthusiastic community support, and for good reason. The coin is not mined. Instead, block producers are voted in by the community.
This is one I am especially excited about. The Republic Protocol creates interoperability for decentralized applications, which means it makes it possible for different blockchains to interact with one another for things like cross-chain lending, exchanges, collateralization & more.
REN started with the goal of making it possible to anonymously purchase large amounts of assets without a centralized third party providing the service of keeping the transactions secure. Ren eliminates third parties with the Ren Virtual Machine (RenVM), which uses a decentralized and trustless network of “Darknodes” to identify and exchange cryptocurrency assets across multiple blockchains.
Now Ren’s mission is to become the interoperable transaction layer for every major blockchain in crypto. On May 27th, 2020 it released RenVM SubZero, which lets users use Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, or Zcash in any DeFi application.
The REN token has two functions. It pays trading fees for orders made on the RenVM and it pays bonds to a smart contract that manages the Darknodes in the Ren ecosystem.
In 2020, the Ren Alliance was established, which is a consortium of DeFi projects with the purpose of bringing new users, investors, and developers to the Ren project. Some of its members including Kyber Network, Matic, Polychain Capital, and IDEX.
Algorand is a decentralized and permissionless public blockchain. The aim of the project is making a global borderless economy possible. To do this, Algorand is solving one of the major blockchain challenges. Namely, building fast and scalable cryptocurrency without trading off decentralization. The importance of scalability can’t be overstated high for the widespread adoption of blockchain technology. Current options like Ethereum can’t handle the traffic and Bitcoin is even more limited. Powering the global economy requires much higher throughput.
However, the challenge is that scalability seems to come at the cost of decentralization and/or security. Maintaining a decentralized network is critical for security. Finding the balance between security, scalability, and decentralization is what Algorand is trying to do. If it can pull it off it will be a huge success.
Cardano is a smart contract platform like Ethereum. What makes Cardano distinct is it is cognizant of the demands of government regulators. This straightforward but achievable goal is why Cardano is popular. It doesn’t claim to be trying to overthrow banks and governments. Instead, it wants to work with them. Cardano is correct on anticipating increased regulatory activity by governments in the cryptocurrency sector. Rather than creating another Ethereum copy, Cardano has developed its cryptocurrency network for their use case.
Compound has recently become the largest lending protocol in Decentralized Finance (DeFi). Users deposit crypto assets and earn interest along with daily rewards paid in COMP. The Compound protocol lets users lend and borrow 9 Ethereum-based assets including Basic Attention Token (BAT), 0x (ZRX), and Wrapped BTC (wBTC). Instead of lending directly to borrowers, lenders combine assets into pools from which users can borrow.
COMP rewards come from participating in the ecosystem as a lender and/or a borrower. The COMP token also gives users governance rights within the protocol. This means users have a say in the future of Compound.
When you lend cryptocurrency on Compound, you receive an amount of corresponding cTokens larger than the amount of crypto deposited. cTokens are ERC-20 tokens that represent a fraction of the underlying asset. cTokens are what allow users to earn interest. Users can also purchase more of the underlying asset with the cTokens they receive.
Until Compound came around, MakerDAO was the most popular DeFi project on Ethereum. MakerDAO lets users borrow cryptocurrency using Ethereum, BAT, or wBTC as collateral. The two most significant differences between the two projects are first the goal of MakerDAO is fundamentally to support the DAI stablecoin and second that Compound gives users additional incentive beyond interest rates (COMP) to participate in the protocol.
Buy COMP on Binance
In July 2018, TRON acquired BitTorrent, the biggest peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol in the world. It combined its blockchain network and BitTorrent’s P2P network to create an infrastructure for a decentralized content distribution platform for a global user base. The partnership between TRON and BitTorrent was referred to as ‘Project Atlas.’
The TRON network provides the torrent ecosystem with storage and bandwidth. BitTorrent has always had an incentive model built into it where users who upload faster can download more quickly. However, with TRON’s blockchain BitTorrent can now compensate users with TRX tokens for participating and contributing. Users can also use TRX to access special features, like faster downloads. BitTorrent peers will also be able to offer TRX as an incentive for others to run clients on faster networks and seed torrents for longer periods of time.
Given the strength of TRON and how established BitTorrent already is, it is unlikely the BTT token is going to fail anytime soon. The BTT token is at a relatively low price and I can’t imagine it will not rise with the tide in the next crypto bull run.
PundiX aims to use cryptocurrency to create a global cashless payment system. Its blockchain-enabled Point-of-Sale (XPoS) devices let shops, cafes, and convenience stores sell cryptocurrency and accept cryptocurrency payments. All a merchant has to do is have an XPoS in their store. Pundi has made several deals with real-world distributors of its devices. Most recently made a deal with a Canadian-based Bitcoin ATM operator to distribute XPoS in that country.
The device works with a mobile wallet called XWallet that lets customers make payments in physical stores. It has a simple interface for buying and selling BTC, ETH, XEM, and QTUM, as well as a check-out menu for making purchases with cryptocurrencies. For each transaction the XPoS prints a receipt and tracks orders and inventory for the store owner.
PundiX is an interesting project because it builds on the success of Pundi-Pundi, which is already a popular (non-blockchain-based) cashless payment app in Indonesia that uses smartphones to make instant payments in retail and restaurant outlets. The price of NPXS is also low at the moment, which means it will likely also rise with the bull market tide.
There you have it. The top 10 altcoins that I am the most excited to watch in the 202 bull market.