Digital asset holders suffered a major setback in 2022 with the advent of what has proven to be one of the harshest crypto winters ever seen. With the global economy going down the pan, the risky world of cryptocurrencies became that much riskier, with all of the top tokens seeing their value nosedive far, far below their all-time highs.
Yet crypto markets are nothing if not resilient and many believe the crypto market is close to reaching the bottom. What that means is the sector could be about to bounce back, and there are many following the industry who believe the next bull run might not be far off. Despite the declining values, the adoption of major crypto assets like Bitcoin is on the rise. More governments are embracing the idea of digital currency too. As the markets stabilize and gear up for a possible rebound, keen investors will be on the lookout for the most promising crypto projects that can generate the biggest potential gains.
Andrei Grachev, managing partner of the venture capital and market maker firm DWF Labs, said there are three important considerations to keep in mind when looking for a crypto project with strong potential. "Firstly, how much experience does the project leader have in the crypto space?", Grachev said. "A project has higher potential if the team has successfully led previous efforts, as they know what it takes to succeed in a market where many fail."
In addition, Grachev said it's important to consider the specific market niche the product is operating in. Particularly, what problem is it trying to solve, and if it provides a viable solution or not, he said. Also, consider if it has any competitors in that niche that might be superior, he said.
Lastly, Grachev said investors should consider the overall vision of the project concerned. "A clear roadmap would indicate mid- and long-term milestones with realistic timelines," Grachev added.
With Grachev's advice in mind, and without further ado, let's take a look at some of the top crypto projects that investors should be keeping tabs on:
Blueshift bills itself as a "new-generation" crypto asset management protocol that's based on the idea of liquidity portfolios. Through its unique Automated Market Maker algorithm, the Blueshift protocol aims to provide exchange price calculations and control liquidity flow for investors.
The biggest difference with Blueshift and other AMM protocols is that it uses portfolios instead of crypto pairs to maintain liquidity. It maintains a number of portfolios, whose lists of accepted tokens are managed by its community of users. With Blueshift, liquidity providers can invest any of those tokens and receive a share of the token portfolio for doing so. Liquidity providers allow their token deposits to be freely exchanged within the portfolio, so the actual assets they hold will vary over time according to what the protocol decides. To manage the portfolio, Blueshift relies on "virtual pairs" that take the required liquidity from the portfolio. These virtual pairs are not persistent, as they're erased after each swap, with the resulting price stored in Blueshift's internal price oracle.
Blueshift has an experienced team. It was founded by Igor Mikhalev, who previously worked at MIT, and Rhys Lindmark, the Head of Long-Term Societal Impact at MIT Media Lab's DCI. Together, they developed the portfolio approach as the basis of a more comfortable and, hopefully, more profitable platform for trading and providing liquidity in the crypto ecosystem. The approach is similar to the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq Composite index funds, which hold portfolios of well known stocks. Blueshift follows the same logic, only it's applied to the crypto markets.
The portfolio approach provides several key advantages, Blueshift says, including low price slippage, low impermanent loss, decentralized portfolio management and the possibility of defining token balances through a democratic governance process. In this way, it creates a more democratic and inclusive system for investors.
Blueshift's aim is to make its portfolio approach more accessible across the numerous ecosystems and communities within the crypto economy to fulfill its goal of becoming the most important cross-chain asset management protocol in the industry.
The fantasy play-to-earn betting platform Maincard is reshaping the online gambling industry with its unique NFTs, which allow players to predict the outcomes of key sporting events and matches and earn prizes and prestige for guessing correctly.
With Maincard, users are required to purchase individual Maincard NFTs that are used as a kind of in-game currency. Once they own a Maincard NFT, they can start guessing the outcome of football, MMA, e-sports and other contests and earn both cash prizes and even rarer NFTs that can be used to wager with other players, collected or sold for a profit.
The way it works is fairly simple. First, players must acquire an NFT Maincard that allows them to start placing bets on various sporting events. Accurate predictions result in crypto-based rewards, while inaccurate guesses result in damage to the player's Maincard NFT. Each Maincard has a different number of "lives", depending on its level and rarity, so too many incorrect bets can result in that NFT essentially "dying", meaning it can no longer be used. However, the damage done by incorrect predictions can be repaired by successful bets in the future.
In addition to straightforward bets on the outcomes of sporting events, players can also play against each other, staking one of their Maincards for the chance to win one of their opponent's NFTs. For players that hit a winning streak, they'll be able to upgrade their Maincards and receive higher earnings, with each upgrade increasing outcomes tenfold. Maincards with hot winning streaks can therefore be traded on the Maincard NFT marketplace, where they're likely to fetch high prices. Each week, the top three most effective managers will receive additional cash prizes and rare NFTs.
Maincard NFTs can be upgraded to a maximum level four, which enables the holder to start fundraising campaigns to see fantasy sports events that would never happen in the real world, such as Manchester United vs Los Angeles Galaxy. They'll have to encourage other players to donate their NFTs to make these fantasy events happen.
One notable aspect of Maincard is that the NFTs record the prediction history of their holders. Players can then analyze this data to understand the most effective prediction tactics and use this knowledge to forecast outcomes with greater accuracy.
Maincard believes its unique take on predicting the outcomes of sporting events can bring new audiences to these sports, sending them directly to streaming services such as ESPN and DAZN. As such the platform aims to become a key advertising platform for sports, potentially reshaping the industry in the process and for that reason, it's a solid bet for the next bull run.
Another project that's promising to make waves in the DeFi space is Aurigami, which is a decentralized, noncustodial liquidity protocol based on Aurora that utilizes the high throughput and scalability of NEAR Protocol's blockchain. With Aurigami, users can easily lend, borrow and earn interest through their digital assets. Depositors can provide liquidity to earn passive income, while other users can take out collateralized loans at favorable rates.
Aurigami offers enticing yields of between 8% and 12%, with support for assets such as ETH, wrapped BTC, USDC and USDT, among others. The exact yield users can earn is based on market demand, but what really sets Aurigami apart is the option to use interest earned from deposited assets to offset the accumulated interest from borrowing. In this way, users can create a profitable loop that's known as "folding". Users can repeat the cycle of borrowing and depositing endlessly to obtain further rewards and mine PLY tokens, similar to how an artist might fold a sheet of paper repeatedly to create a stunning origami model.
The project aims to become one of the foundational protocols of Aurora's ecosystem by imitating the basic principle of origami to create something that's greater than the sum of its parts. Despite only launching recently, Aurigami has to date already unlocked more than $21 million worth of liquidity. What's more, there are no maximum or minimum limits on user deposits, while withdrawals are limited by user's margin requirements. In this way, both borrowers and lenders can experiment with flash loans and fixed lending rates to create their very own, customized yield farming strategy.
Jump.trade is a unique NFT marketplace that was built to support the popular Meta League Cricket play-to-earn blockchain game.
Meta Cricket League is a simple cricket simulator game that anyone can play, with simple game mechanics that involves correctly timing your shots to hit fours and sixes and score runs. However, in order to enjoy the full play to earn benefits you'll first need to buy NFTs, of which there are several - Batsmen, Bowler and Bats. There are numerous categories of each type of NFT. For instance, the Batsmen and Bowler NFTs range from Rookie, Rare, Epic and Legend, while the Bat NFTs range from rare, super rare, ultra-rare and Immortal. Each player NFT has its own individual strengths and stats, while the Bats power up the runs scored by Batsmen. Though it's possible to use the default bat that comes with the game, signed bats which are separately bought as NFTs will provide an extra advantage while calculating the runs scored using them.
As for Jump.trade, this is the platform that enables MCL's NFT-based economy, creating a living ecosystem where players can buy, sell and invest in game tokens, and even rent them out to other players.
Meta Cricket League itself continues to evolve, with additional features including an energy system based on player stamina, plus additional elements such as the weather, field conditions and player health all impacting on the game. Moreover, the game even includes commentary and multiplayer aspects, with metaverse-based stadiums and tournaments for the best players providing the opportunity to earn even greater rewards.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Meta Cricket League is that the game launched first of all, with Jump.trade and its tokenomics structure only being added later, once it had built up a significant user base. In this way, Jump.trade reduces the possibility of MCL's tokenized assets depreciating in value.
With its mission of bringing more mainstream finance into the world of DeFi, SOMA Finance is the world's first hybrid decentralized marketplace for digital assets, compliant digital securities and NFTs. The company markets itself as the sole SEC and FINRA-approved platform for providing tokenized securities including ETFs, STOs and NFTs on the blockchain through a partnership with Tritaurian Capital.
What's unique about SOMA Finance is it claims to be the world's first fully compliant DEX, offering a suite of DeFi products and services aimed specifically at institutional and retail investors. The main difference is that it, unlike other DEXs, it incorporates built-in Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering compliance, as well as the ability to trade multiple kinds of digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, digital securities and NFTs.
SOMA Finance offers more than 20 tokenized equities, ETFs, STOs and crypto assets, with more products to be added over time. Users can trade across all of these asset classes in a decentralized, peer-to-peer fashion, without the need for a centralized order book and without the risk of market manipulation. By following KYC and AML, institutional investors and retailers can also earn rewards through yield farming and liquidity provider mechanisms
These capabilities are intended to provide a compliant onramp for institutional investors to enter the world of DeFi and issue their own tokens and NFTs. Through SOMA Finance, crypto projects can raise capital from both U.S. and international investors in a compliant way. Meanwhile for consumers, they can be sure the assets and projects they invest in are safe and secure.
tomi is a project that's aiming to build an alternative, decentralized internet infrastructure that's free from government control and interference. More specially, it's worried about government interference in the crypto mining field. While cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are designed to be decentralized, unfortunately the fact is that the bulk of crypto mining today is done by large, centralized corporations at huge server farms, located in a small handful of countries. This, unfortunately, means the crypto mining industry would be very easy to shut down if governments choose to do so.
To ensure that crypto remains truly decentralized, tomi's goal is to create hundreds, if not thousands, of so-called "micro server farms" that are scattered across the world in the hands of individuals.
The tomi MP1 is at the heart of this plan. It's essentially a computer server that's designed to provide the infrastructure needed to power Web3 activities such as mining, decentralized applications, 3D printing and rendering, artificial intelligence, ray tracing and other workloads. It's designed to make crypto mining easier to get into. At present, crypto mining has a big barrier to entry, as users are required to purchase expensive, highly specialized hardware and install complex software to get up and running. What's more, so-called mining rigs are difficult to maintain and extremely power-hungry.
tomi MP1 solves these problems by simplifying the process of getting up and running with crypto mining. With all the software pre-installed, it's able to automate the startup process while supporting various efficient, high performing Web3 workloads. All users have to do is plug the machine in, push play and they'll be plugged directly into the tomi mining pool to start earning crypto rewards, while simultaneously providing computing resources to support the dApps that make up Web3.
Of course, not everyone can afford to invest in their own tomi MP1 machine. Instead, they can join in the tomi Pioneer Program and acquire a unique active NFT (aNFT) that accrues value that can be claimed by its holder. Each aNFT has different attributes based on its level of rarity, and is used to represent the holder's level of participation, and consequently, the mining rewards they're entitled to receive. As well as being issued to Pioneers, the aNFTs can be bought and sold on third party marketplaces. Pioneers also receive 18,000 governance tokens that allow them to participate in its DAO-based governance.
t3rn is a unique smart contract hosting platform that's designed to facilitate trustless, cross-chain smart contract execution with guaranteed success, or failing that the full reversion of all effects in a multichain transaction. This ensures that funds in a cross-chain transaction are never at risk of being lost or stolen should any of the multiple steps fail.
The project is aiming to solve the risks inherent with blockchain's absolute finality of transactions. The issue is that once funds have been sent to an address, that transaction cannot be revered. This is a design feature of blockchain that is meant to provide security for users, but it becomes a problem in the case of cross-chain transactions, which are especially common in DeFi.
DeFi traders often conduct cross-chain transactions, borrowing from one protocol, lending to another, in order to take advantage of profitable arbitrage opportunities. However, the danger is that if one of the steps in a complex transaction fails, the funds could be lost permanently as there's no way to reverse what has happened.
t3rn aims to solve this. The protocol is based on the Polkadot blockchain and was developed using funding from the Web3 Foundation's Grants Program. Its key feature is something called "Reversible Interoperability", which enables any transaction to be reverted if it fails. Essentially, what happens is that each step of a complex, multichain transaction is escrowed, so if any one of those steps fails, everything can easily be reset and the funds returned to the original wallet address. t3rn also solves issues regarding blockchain interoperability through its unique Gateway service that connects to the most popular networks and provides uniform standards for integrating smart contract execution. Simply, what it does is it breaks down execution into a number of composable steps (execute, revert and commit) that are uploaded to its Circuit solution.
Thus, t3rn not only resolves failed crypto transactions but also facilitates the exchange of funds between multiple different chains, making it the most suitable and efficient platform for cross-chain transactions. t3rn's end goal is to enable trust-free collaboration between various blockchain platforms, creating an ecosystem that will allow anyone to create and deploy interoperable smart contracts, with developers being rewarded for their contributions.
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Digital Arms is an NFT trading platform that aims to bridge the world of digital firearms with the real world.
The company has established relationships with some of the world's biggest firearm manufacturers and accessory brands. It's also the creator of a unique NFT marketplace that hosts hundreds of different tokenized firearms and accessories that people can buy, sell, swap and rent out.
The basic premise of the Digital Arms NFT marketplace is to enable tokenized firearm interoperability for the emerging world of blockchain-based video games. At the same time, it aims to build new use cases for the metaverse and play-to-earn gaming guilds. Each Digital Arms NFT has its own unique identifier that can be leveraged by video game developers to recreate weapons inside their virtual worlds.
The NFTs have strong utility. For instance, owners can buy skins and accessories for their tokenized firearms and use them to create brand new NFTs, resulting in even rarer and more valuable tokens. Holders can also stake their NFTs to create new tokens via breeding, while simultaneously earning rewards in the shape of Digital Arm's native HNTR token. Moreover, firearms manufacturers can create their own digital stores where they can sell NFT-based firearms, accessories and services.
Digital Arms is an exciting project that recently announced a key collaboration with AFKDAO, the creator of a DeFi infrastructure for NFTs. Through this partnership, Digital Arms' NFTs have become available on the AFKDAO chain, where they can be rented and used to access various NFT-based DeFi services. These include low-collateral lending and borrowing that aims to unlock the liquidity in Digital Arms NFTs.
CEEK is a unique blockchain project that aims to revolutionize the entertainment sector with virtual reality-based experiences.
CEEK's main product is its VR headset, which is available to buy on Amazon for just $99. Through the CEEK headset, users can virtually experience various concerts and live shows, attend digital seminars and workshops in an immersive way that feels as if they're attending the event in-person.
Not only does CEEK create its own VR experiences, but it partners with various companies to create and distribute VR content, including some that is exclusively only available to its own subscribers. These partners include stars such as Lady Gaga, Elton John, U2, Katy Perry and Megadeath, whose concerts can be experienced in virtual reality. In addition, users can also access charity fundraising events, sports meetings, VR commerce and educational meetings.
CEEK's virtual reality experiences take place within the CEEK metaverse, an immersive virtual landscape that empowers creators with the tools they need to connect their digital worlds with the real-world economy. Using the native CEEK utility token, users can buy, own, and monetize land by building virtual venues, hosting events, online games and experiences within the CEEK metaverse.
With the recent completion of phase one of its land sale, land ownership becomes a crucial element of the CEEK ecosystem, enabling its wider community to participate in its metaverse ecosystem and be rewarded for doing so. Creators, advertisers and projects can select where and when they want to host their concerts, performances, games and NFT airdrops, while venue owners can request to host upcoming events and other kinds of content.
"For example, a sports venue can request to host the Dwyane Wade Celebrity Sports Academy content featuring the likes of Lebron James' trainer," CEEK said in a blog post. "Venue owners will receive rewards based on the total virtual tickets sold in their venue."
Besides using the CEEK headset, users can also access the events in a less immersive way through an Android or iOS device by downloading its application from the Google Play and Apple App stores. Once users have installed the app, they can purchase tickets to various concerts and experience them virtually.
For artists, the benefit of CEEK is that it enables them to create unique performances, increase their revenues and expand their fan base, potentially leading to increased album and merchandise sales. For fans, they'll be able to experience their favorite artists more easily, virtually attending concerts and events that, for whatever reason, they're unable to attend physically.
Through the CEEK cryptocurrency tokens, users can benefit from discounts to the various virtual concerts and events on the CEEK platform. CEEK token holders also gain exclusive access to special, immersive VR experiences exclusive to them, as well as the opportunity to earn tokenized rewards. Finally, holding CEEK enables users to participate in CEEK's DAO-based governance, where they can vote on programming, partnerships and more besides.
NFTs and Guns