In 2018, we published a list of crypto projects that we felt were worth following from a technological point of view. A year later, we’re updating the list based following the growth of the crypto-community. These are the projects that make the cut this year.
Bitcoin is the first peer-to-peer decentralized blockchain network supporting a cryptocurrency. Based on open-source software, Bitcoin’s goal is to be an independent network ruled by no one and verifiable by all. It inspires trust from its trustless setup.
Today, Bitcoin’s main usage comes from its store of value properties. Bitcoin’s protocol benefits from a large community of developers and enthusiasts, the largest capitalisation of all cryptocurrencies, strongest usage across the world, and the biggest presence in the media.
Bitcoin is the most secure network built so far, pushing the limits of immutability and scarcity in the digital realm. Year after year, improvements to the Bitcoin protocol keep getting added, which makes Bitcoin better and stronger as time passes by.
We often read that it’s too late to invest in Bitcoin, that it has reached its full potential already and some other technology will make it obsolete. Nothing could be less certain. Looking at its position in the ecosystem, its lifespan, its properties, its community, Bitcoin is at the best place to dominate the digital store of value market in the long run. You can have a look at our platform where you can buy bitcoin and buy cryptocurrencies against euros.
Coinhouse recommends a very strong allocation of bitcoins in any crypto portfolio, at least 60%
Ethereum is an open-source decentralised blockchain network which allows the creation of smart-contracts. This autonomous programs are stored in the blockchain and are accessible by everyone at any time. They not only allow the transfer of any asset that runs on Ethereum, but they’re also at the basis of more complex decentralised systems. Today, we are witnessing the emergence of decentralised finance applications, decentralised organisation and management applications, new types of marketplaces, as well as many applications disrupting their own industries.
The Ethereum community is solid. Even though the network is a victim of its own success and suffers from some limitations, several improvements are being worked on and will be added to the protocol for it to be able to handle much more than what is possible today. Like Bitcoin, Ethereum is absolutely a network to follow closely, as it is the leading smart-contract platform and hosts numerous high potential projects
We recommend to allocate about 25% of ethers in your crypto portfolio
Litecoin is stable and reliable since its creation. It has a rather large community and is being actively followed. The teams working on Litecoin tend to implement quickly every technical evolution of Bitcoin, like Segwit and Lightning Network for example.
Litecoin is the fourth cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalisation and is one of the oldest cryptocurrencies to have maintained interest over the years, which is why we’re adding it as a project to be followed. However, we think Litecoin’s value proposition is weak against Bitcoin, even more so with scaling solutions like the Lightning Network being rolled out.
Litecoin’s value proposition is weak against Bitcoin, even more so with scaling solutions like the Lightning Network
Lately, Litecoin has performed quite well. We believe one plausible explanation for this upward movement is the halvening event which will happen in August of 2019. Litecoin’s monetary issuance will be divided by two, from 25 litecoins per block to 12.5 litecoins per block. The market tends to anticipate and price in halvenings before it happens. However, once the halvening is passed, Litecoin will be less of a hot take and it’s possible that most profits have already been taken in this round.
MakerDAO is a two token system, using DAI and MKR. MKR is a governance token, whose value fluctuates through offer and demand and which allows its holders to vote on adjustments to the Maker’s system. In order to incentivise them to take the right decisions, they are rewarded through interest paid by creditors when they pay back their DAIs to recover their collateral. This interest, also called “Stability Fee”, is used by the smart-contract to buy back MKR on the market and burn it, totally withdrawing them from the circulating supply.
The team is highly skilled not only on a technical level but also on their understanding of financial mechanisms and game theory. The project has been in production for a year and a half now and proved itself resistant to the high fluctuations of ETH. We have decided to put this project in the spotlight because it’s on a league of its own: being able to issue a decentralised stablecoin at scale has tremendous value.
The Maker project consists of a decentralised stablecoin correlated to a governance token, whose value fluctuates through offer and demand
Decentraland is the project that has attracted most interest in the non-fungible token field. Our opinion is that MANA has poor intrinsic value because it’s a payment token. If the token can easily be replaced by bitcoins, ethers, or DAI, then it’s value proposition is low. However, the LAND tokens are interesting because they are non-fungible tokens which gives ownership to the parcels of the virtual world. The vision is that the owner will be able to create virtual experiences on his land, build houses or buildings, a shop, a game, adds, or even rent his parcels to other users.
The LAND tokens are interesting because they are non-fungible tokens which gives ownership to the parcels of a virtual world
It’s an ambitious emerging project, which explores not only the limits of what is acheivable with non-fungible tokens but also the possible symbiosis between public blockchains and other systems required to run the project. We believe video games might be one of the first industry to embrace cryptocurrencies and tokens. The road will be long and bumpy for Decentraland in order to reach the promised land, but the trip is worth following.
The Augur’s prediction marketplace is built on Ethereum. Users are invited to open markets based on the outcome of real, timestamp events (i.e. the outcome of a soccer game or an election), on which people can bet on with ether.
Augur is one of the very first ICOs of Ethereum. Applications for prediction markets are vast. The insurance industry is one to keep an eye on. This year, we’ve seen many projects building on Augur. Veil is one of them, they try to optimize user experience by providing an easy to use, seamless platform on top of Augur. However, adoption is weak and stagnating for now, only time will tell if this is going to change .
Tezos is a network that supports advanced smart-contracts just like Ethereum does. However, many points differ from Ethereum. Tezos relies on a pure Proof-of-Stake design dubbed “Liquid Proof-of-Stake”
Tezos also advocates on-chain governance. This means that decisions on how the protocol should evolve is taken through votes by coin holders. Governance of decentralised network is a hotly debated topic, and Tezos is one of the first fat protocol to have implemented an on-chain mechanism from the get go. This is a feature to follow closely.
Various highly skilled teams work on Tezos and the community is constantly growing, which is a positive sign. However, Tezos launched just last year and is still very young. Being much smaller than Bitcoin or Ethereum, we have yet to see if it’s value proposition will be enough to compete with them and bring more projects to build on top of it.
Tezos can be a serious Ethereum competitor with its value proposition and governance
Cosmos is a new comer in our short list.
Cosmos, which relies on the Tendermint protocols, presents itself as the “Internet of Blockchains”. It allows independent blockchains to be built thanks to pre-designed Tendermint modules. Among these modules exists a interoperability module which makes sending tokens and messages between blockchains possible. Thus, Cosmos aims to build a network of blockchains. Each blockchain is called a “zone”.
Cosmos presents itself as the “Internet of Blockchains”
Cosmos is a project to follow as interoperability is an important topic and Cosmos is addressing it in a way that makes sense. As we speak about scalability solutions and exploring layer two solutions like sidechains, Cosmos might provide one more option to the table . If you are interested in learning more about Cosmos, you can check out our complete study here (french)
Kleros is a Decentralized Dispute Resolution Protocol enabled by the Ethereum Blockchain. Coinhouse was a partner of a successful 2.6M$ ICO that took place during the summer 2018. Kleros developed and launch into production a JaaS (Juror as a Service) middleware solution of Ethereum Dapps, allowing any application to request the service of Kleros protocol as a seamless, cheap and Fast Dispute Resolution tool.
At Coinhouse, we have the strong belief that Kleros is a top tier project of the Ethereum Ecosystem by the quality of the team, the product and the project past ability to deliver their roadmap. Kleros success is however heavily linked to decentralised applications success as only a high volume of user of Dapps is able to generate disputes that will be arbitraged by Kleros Jurors.
Kleros is a top tier project of the Ethereum Ecosystem. However, its success is heavily linked to decentralised applications success
Livepeer is a Ethereum based video streaming protocol, acting as a middleware protocol for streaming services with high output, censorship resistant service at a competitive rate.
At Coinhouse, our take on Livepeer is that the project is high quality, and have a reputable and skilled team. However, the LPT inflation is high (0,14% per day) and even if the team delivered and respect their roadmap, user traction is still currently low and we consider it as a high risk/reward investment.
Exchange Coins (i.e. Binance Coin, Unus Sed Leo)
During the past few years, we’ve noticed the emergence of exchange’s tokens. Among them belongs the Binance Coin of Binance and Unus Sed Leo of Bitfinex which we can keep an eye on as these platforms captures an important share of market volume.
These tokens are blessings for exchanges. They make it very easy to raise funds at first, while still enjoying the potential price appreciation of the asset as they usually keep a share for themselves.
For investors, the value proposition is interesting either as a user of the platform or as long as the exchange generates lots of volume.
More recently, Bitfinex launched Unus Sed Leo, which follows a more aggressive burn mechanism. This time, buybacks happen every three hours, represents 27% of profits, and will keep going until the last circulating token. In a speculator’s point of view the model is attractive, but let’s not forget that we are talking about a Bitfinex product, a company that lost control over 850 millions dollars belonging to their clients and got 60 000 BTC hacked in 2016. The LEO tokens have been sold in a private IEO for one billion dollars in order to make it up for Bitfinex’s mismanagement of funds.
Privacy coins (i.e. Monero, Zcash, Grin)
A lot of people associate privacy with illegal transactions, but it is important open up our vision to have a better understanding of why privacy matters for honest people and activities too. Privacy is of paramount importance for a company who transacts with its employees and partners for example. They have no interest whatsoever in exposing their financials to their competitors or anyone else. Also, we live in a world where all of our behavings are being looked at closely whether be it for marketing purposes or plain surveillance. Financial privacy is a form of fundamental freedom.
Cryptographic techniques developed by Monero, Zcash or Grin are to be followed even more closely as other public blockchain networks wish to integrate these techniques in order to offer the possibility of using their networks in a more confidential way.
Libra is a “cryptocurrency” project initiated by Facebook. It was unveiled on June 18th, 2019.
Libra is not an investment per se but more of a mean of payment or stable store of value. Indeed, Libra will be indexed on a basket of devices at first and then also on low volatility assets such as bank deposits or short-term government securities.
Even though this is a centralized project that is not available yet, it must be followed closely for the impact its success could have on real cryptocurrencies. Whe Libra goes live, it will probably be used extensively by the laymans. Your friends will use it on What’s App, Instagram, Facebook, Uber, Spotify, and other applications that are part of our daily lives.