Cryptocurrency & DeFi Projects for the Future
By now it’s safe to say that cryptocurrencies are embedded into the lives we’re living. More than that, the chaff has been sorted from the wheat — at least to a satisfactory level — a baseline functionality is now endemic to the principal players in the sector, and people’s fears have gone largely unfounded, reports Oliver Taylor.
Fintech is poised before a vast new landscape of reinvention, and cryptocurrency’s successes are inspiring both genuine legacy interests who are happy to reinvent themselves and play the crypto game, and unfortunately also those who want to own it.
As one of the most egalitarian money management models ever built, cryptocurrency comes with a dark side. Bitcoin enlivened humanity to the possibilities of a decentralised currency, but it also desensitised people towards rendering currency digital. Its anti-invasion, privacy-precious construct has pleased millions of those who value privacy and freedom as fundamental human rights, but it’s also currently being beset by a barrage of bank-as-master CBDCs- Central Bank Digital Currencies- marketed with a narrative that would allow the devil to rule. False prophets one and all, CBDCs are the chameleonic facsimiles that present as crypto, but are nothing short of a perpetuation of banking control, profits and dominion.
Fintech is currently vibrant, but as constitutional rights all over the globe are being crushed by false narratives and pandemic-related autocracy, there is a huge moral question at play in the arena. Finance houses have historically prized only their own profits, not the freedoms of the man in the street. Carpetbaggers or crusaders for the people- only time will tell.
Now is the time when our future freedom or future slavery is being built, by AI, the ambitions of Fintech within the social fabric, and the dark movements of big money. Rather than ‘‘may we live in interesting times’’, it seems the old adage should rather be “May you survive them.”
The legacy instruments of greed are being foisted onto cryptocurrencies too, slotting them into the standard exchange and trade protocols. Mostly that works, but it’s an arena where those who are exhilarated over cryptocurrency’s potential to eliminate central control as an aim, are made sad. Viciously chasing profits is how we got here, where the world continues to monetise debt and there are moves afoot to eliminate fiat from the hands of the peasantry. That’s us, in spite of most citizens thinking they’ll somehow end up on the winning side.
For cryptocurrency to emulate precious metals as a store of humanity’s wealth, it has to cling to its pure form, its anonymous tendencies, and its utterly decentralised nature. The percentage of moderately appealing ideas (those that are doomed to fail) is dropping as a statistic within the blockchain development fraternity, and there are some lively cryptocurrency projects providing encouraging use cases.
Some were slow out of their stable but are now peaking in a sense, having been around for years. Others are far younger. Having shed its false flags of Russian mafia abuse and criminal association, first among them has to be Monero.
Monero (XMR) is better than Bitcoin. That’s a provocative statement, but as Bitcoin has played mistress to the rich and famous, Monero has been quietly providing the anonymous service Bitcoin was first touted for. Monero has always, whether through intent or by default design, had an anti-establishment stance. Here, privacy is sacrosanct, and the authorities can take a hike. Monero never tried to make itself respectable, and in that way never abandoned the people who believe that how much money you have and how you spend it is no business of regulation, ever.
Extremely secure, private, and untraceable, Monero arrived circa 2014 and is an open-source currency based on CryptoNote. In a nutshell, it employs a clouded public ledger construct, one which allows anyone to send or broadcast transactions, but doesn’t allow any outside observer to pinpoint the source, the recipient, or the amount. Right there, a big one in the eye for central control. Perfectly decent people like John McAfee, Max Keiser, and the Winkelvoss Twins, also recommend Monero highly.
Uniswap was recently responsible for a glimpse of the original fever that surrounded cryptocurrencies, as it staged a massive airdrop to encourage users to get onto its digital exchange. Using the Ethereum blockchain, UniSwap is a decentralised cryptocurrency exchange with big token ambitions.
As a further blow to the ribs of ownership and greed, UniSwap is 100% open source. Here traders indulge yield farming, pooling and lending in pursuit of interest fees. They’re also still incentivised by the possibility of more largesse on the part of the exchange. Free tokens, profitable trading, and dynamic cryptocurrency action, are the three attributes of the exchange.
Polkadot (DOT) deserves a fitting mention, as it’s the out-of-wedlock child of Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood. Ethereum’s dedication to usability and practical application suffuses Polkadot, and it’s partly seen as Wood’s personal response to Ethereum — this time with improvements.
That said, Polkadot is not head-to-head with Ethereum, or any other digital currency, as it’s best described as a multiple chain interchange with the ability to connect customised side chains with public blockchains. That might sound arbitrary, but its potential future application is huge, and this is a crypto project that carries genuine value.
It had to happen, and it did. With a definite digital bookie flavour, Synthetix presents as a digital platform for DeFi derivatives trading. Anyone on board gains exposure to a large array of assets, and it’s all on-chain. Synthetix targets the digital derivatives market, and it has been remarkable for its relatively smooth and quick growth. Access and fees might be responsible too- Synthetix is a far cry from exorbitant trading fees and restricted access to desired assets and derivative options.
Rather, although it might seem no big deal to the uninformed, the platform’s inbuilt DEX interface allows for guest traders and lots of activity. It remains to be seen what becomes of guest traders as a phenomenon, because they are by their very nature void of deep KYC, no matter that they have survived what has ostensibly been the first round of global digital token and exchange regulation. Part great timing and part purposeful construct, the platform has an almost elementary simplicity that has also enabled its come-one-come-all success to date.
The Theta Blockchain is a decentralised video streaming platform with just the right balance of technical savvy and economic possibility. Some interesting collaboration means Theta is poised for a rapid growth phase and future entrenchment.
As the sole decentralised video streaming and delivery infrastructure, the chain enables the pulling of content from caching nodes, and while that might be Greek to many, it’s in effect a huge enabler for both the platform and users. Simply put, Theta’s construct allows a significant reduction in content delivery costs, and that has huge appeal.
Very interestingly — and reminiscent of the blockchain overtones of Ceek VR’s combination concert tickets and VR headsets that allow users to attend concerts no matter where they are in the world — Theta has found a sweet spot in its chosen sector. Its token is popular and found on several prominent exchanges.
All about enhanced UX, Theta has managed to combine a great user experience with cost reduction, and this makes for a dynamic emergent force, viewed solely as a cryptocurrency token by traders, and seen rather as an improved, smart service by users.
The network’s principal service is Theta.tv, and traders are already excited by the fact that the dapp will be incorporated into future Samsung Galaxy phones. That’s an integration that will put Theta on some 75 million devices — and assuming that Samsung doesn’t drop the ball, it bodes exceptionally well for rapid future uptake and global growth.
DEFI’S FUTURE REALITY
Taken as a whole, the crypto-blockchain space has survived its silent birth and tumultuous subsequent rise to fame. There are numerous projects like the ones given above, where the best of blockchain is still being pursued, and the resultant utility is becoming more targeted, more focused, and the results far better. This is the wholesale application of blockchain technology originally anticipated, and while it’s happening in fits and starts, many projects have a sleek functionality that early ICOs could only dream of.
As more developers and entrepreneurs cotton on to the fact that blockchain can still expect enthusiasm and appreciation from the world’s citizenry, a higher level of UX, a wider diversity of applications, and a faster experience of chain protocols, all await consumers of the very near future.
Possibly the greatest optimism is engendered by the participation of respected tech personalities. As unforgiving as Hollywood, big tech personalities won’t associate unless the fundamental value is there. In order that the chains and their tokens remain enabling of privacy and ease of use, the wholesale ability of cryptocurrencies to be primarily anonymous and egalitarian of people’s money, needs to be given a serious boost. EG