The Crypto bear market has been brutal, with 90%+ draw-downs in almost all coins.
No one knows when the pain ends, but most estimates point to 2023 as the earliest we can be exiting this rot.
With that in mind, I wanted to share with you my top 10 crypto projects to look out for in 2023.
Ready? Let’s Go!
1. Binance ($BNB)
The largest centralized exchange, Binance can be more aptly defined today as a complete wealth management ecosystem.
You can trade on the spot market, bet on futures, participate in new launches, stake your holdings, lend your holdings, participate in liquidity pools & trade NFTs. The next step is transforming it into a super-app allowing you to spend your cryptocurrency on real-world assets. Think about paying your taxi bill through your Binance app.
As the largest crypto exchange in the world (with most regulatory issues behind them), they are always making money regardless of the market through commissions & trading fees. As the market downturn reverses, expect volumes to spike again, further aided by the continued acquisition of other crypto projects & a huge array of early-stage projects launching/ growing on the Binance Chain.
2. Cosmos ($ATOM)
Cosmos calls itself the internet of blockchains. The idea is that for Crypto to become mainstream, the end user interface will have to become interoperable. That is, the average user should not be concerned with which chain he is on and whether he has the required native coin. Instead, when you connect with a decentralized app like any other website and leave the technical side to the backend.
Cosmos intends to act as the link between various blockchains and hence make the adoption of Crypto for the masses easier.
At the moment, 40 blockchains are connected to it, with hundreds of applications being built on top. As adoption grows, so will the need for interoperability. Expect Cosmos to be best placed here.
3. ChainLink ($LINK)
ChainLink is an oracle that provides off-chain data to smart contracts to execute transactions on-chain. When you connect your wallet with a Defi protocol to borrow $USDT against your $BTC holdings, the protocol recognizes the available collateral & fetches the latest price to make a proposal.
That is an example of how ChainLink works. Go through these 77 use cases enabled by ChainLink to understand just how crucial the technology is to the Crypto ecosystem. No wonder they have more than 1000 customers!
Lately, ChainLink has been stepping up integration & partnerships in TradFi. This includes SWIFT (processed $1.25 quadrillion in transactions last year), DTCC (processed $2.4 quadrillion in transactions last year and the US Bank BNY Mellon. With blockchain coming to TradFi, expect ChainLink to be a shining star.
4. Chilliz ($CHZ)
Chilliz is a blockchain platform that helps sports teams across the globe monetize their fanbase through fan tokens. Think of them as non-voting shares that allow fans the ability to have a say in the running of their favorite sports teams while keeping legal ownership and profits with the team owners.
While Chilliz is the blockchain platform, the consumer interface for fan tokens and engagement is run on an application called Socios.
The Chilliz platform has had huge success and today hosts 52+ fan tokens. These include household names like Barcelona, Paris St Germain, Atletico Madrid, Inter, Manchester City & Juventus from world football.
The platform also hosts the Roush Fenway Racing team & Alfa Romeo Racing, whereas the UFC has its own token. Last year, the Company entered the field of cricket with IPL franchises Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders & Punjab Kings signing up as well. With the growing adoption of Crypto, expect more sports teams to turn to Chilliz for their fan engagement solution.
They say imitation is the best form of flattery and surprisingly Binance followed in the footstep of Chilliz to launch their own sports fan engagement platform. The fact they did tells you just how big this space is.
5. Project Hive ($HGT)
Built on the Solana blockchain, Project Hive is a Play to Earn game combining NFTs & decentralized finance. While this is not exactly groundbreaking as there are plenty of titles out there or coming out soon with Blockchain Gaming & Play to Earn approaching lift-off, I am impressed by the approach that has been taken by the project team.
The game is going to be available as a free-to-play non-blockchain-based version for Web 2.0 gamers. The idea is first to attract the vast majority of gamers out there to the platform and get them interested. Only once they are here and have a taste of the game, do the unlocks to further levels, utilities, and options take place via the blockchain-based version of the game.
In other words, you graduate to Web 3.0 as part of the game’s evolutionary storyline. Once onboard, welcome to a world of in-game currency, a deflationary governance token, NFTs with in-game utility & elements of decentralized finance where you battle to win for earnings in crypto assets.
The game has not been launched yet, and neither has there been a token launch. However, already, pre-registrations for the game on Google Play have crossed the 100,000 mark. The estimated launch of the game and the token is Q4 2022 and I expect this to be a massive breath of fresh air in the GameFi space.
6. Ripple ($XRP)
Ripple is a blockchain-based payment protocol for real-time gross settlements. These include cross-border and cross-liquidity payments. While blockchain-based payments are known to be fast and secure, the important aspect here is the ability to offer cross-border liquidity.
At the moment, TradFi uses the SWIFT system, which is essentially a messaging system between banks. The issue here is that a Bank in Malaysia making a payment to a Bank in the UK will need to maintain sufficient funds (in GBP) with one of the British Banks for the message sent through SWIFT to be acted upon.
This is called a NOSTRO account. Ripple does away with this through its $XRP token – converting Ringitts to $XRP at the point of transaction initiation & converting $XRP to GBP on transaction closure. This is disruptive and could spell the end of SWIFT itself.
38 of the top 100 banks today are linked through Ripple by this estimate. These include names like Mitsubishi Financial Group ($2,813bn in assets), HSBC ($2,558bn in assets) & Crédit Agricole ($2,124bn in assets). Ripple & the US SEC have been engaged in a lawsuit that has dented progress but that seems to be headed towards an amicable closure. Expect this to be a technology with widespread adoption.
7. Solana ($SOL)
Solana is a blockchain competing with Ethereum on the basis of scalability, transaction speed, and low transaction costs. Theoretically, the blockchain can process 65,000 transactions per second. Still, the current utilization and speed are around 3,400 transactions per second, which are comparable and in some cases better than the efficiency of TradFi electronic payment systems.
Solana has been slowly gaining ground on Ethereum, with a lot of institutional interest in its continued development. Top venture capital firms have invested in it and the early results have been promising. The chain boasts 100,000 addresses, with Ethereum’s user count at 62,000. Similarly, Solana has $12 billion of market capitalization locked in staking, which is second only to Ethereum.
The most important aspect is the way Solana has taken over the world of NFTs. At the moment, NFT issuance on Solana & the community interest is much higher than other chains and this is rapidly helping its adoption – to the extent that OpenSea, an Ethereum-focused marketplace for NFTs, is beta testing Solana NFTs on its platform.
Going forward, Solana has big plans to onboard more users to the Crypto space. Hence, the latest experiment in play is to enter the world of smartphones. Expect them to continue making more waves.
8. Syntropy ($NOIA)
Syntropy aims to leverage the power of blockchain technology to optimize and secure the current internet into a user-centric one while solving the challenges of privacy, governance, performance, reliability & ineffective resource utilization.
Take the example of latency. Syntropy’s technology envisages a blockchain-based layer over the existing internet structure. This entails data packets received, unified, and then sent through the most efficient route to their destination. This reduces latency. Similarly, a decentralized blockchain with validator nodes ensures the security and encryption of data. Thus, the internet is in control of the users as opposed to centralized systems.
With Web 3.0 expected to move the bulk of value transfers to digital channels, fast and secure internet is a pre-requisite. What makes Syntropy stand out is that they are already working with 15 of the Forbes 500 companies towards the development of their technology and eventual deployment, including Microsoft and Oracle.
Recently, Entain Plc, the sports gambling giant, has been revealed as a customer. They own Ladbrokes, Bwin, Sportingbet, and BetMGM amongst others, with $40bn in annual volume. Expect further B2B deals here as the client onboarding gathers steam.
9. Verasity ($VRA)
Verasity is a verification technology called Proof of View focused on the Ad-Fraud market. For speed of transactions & transparency, it is hosted on a blockchain. Ad-Fraud is the practice where a party employs bots to increase engagement count on a digital advertisement. This leads to a higher payout to the host, but no real improvement for the advertiser.
Think the Twitter / Musk deal. The reason Musk pulled out was that his team couldn’t allegedly verify the claim by the Twitter board that bots account for less than 5% of total users. This was important for the purposes of valuation because Twitter’s revenue growth is dependent on user count. If the users aren’t real, the engagement is a fraud and sooner or later, will lead to advertisers moving to other platforms.
The technology is in the process of being incorporated into Brightcove, the largest independent video publishing platform after YouTube. As an enterprise-level technology with a thriving community, it is expected to land further such B2B deals. Going forward, they have an eye for acquisitions of their own. Furthermore, they are exploring applications of this technology to NFTs & E-Sports.
10. Zignaly ($ZIG)
Zignaly is a social investment platform that connects retail investors with expert crypto traders through an automated, noncustodial solution. The risk-return tradeoff is designed under a profit-sharing mechanism, which is fairer than compared to fixed fee regimes. It is a 3-step sign-up process. You can begin co-investing with a top digital asset manager within the hour.
The project is undertaking a huge upgrade to its profit-sharing software, which is expected to lead to an influx of top digital asset managers to its platform and with them a large increase in the user base. Around this, they are building a vibrant ecosystem for their community with utilities for the native coin. The latest in this aspect is ZigBids, a DeFi-based auction protocol that is targeted for gamified rewards in the form of hot NFT collections.
With 430,000 plus users, USD 5bn plus of volume traded & plans to go decentralized in the future, Zignaly is rolling out partnerships and development at breakneck speed.
As Crypto adoption picks up, they will be primed as the go-to option for retail investors. This is particularly true for those looking for portfolio management by delegation. This segment does not have the time or understand little about this space but is interested in returns.
Before you go, please note the thought process that went into constructing this list:
- This list does not include Bitcoin & Ethereum, for I believe every Crypto portfolio should have an allocation to them, provided you can buy at least 10% of each. Fortunately, current prices support this thesis;
- This list is constructed with a fundamental focus putting an impetus on tokenomics, technology, adoption, real-world use cases & disruption.
- The list is in alphabetical order & not a ranking.
- None of this is financial advice. Please do your own research.