2018 has been a mixed year for cryptocurrency; on the one hand, the overall market exceeded $700 Billion in value, yet despite that growth, the month of June saw a sharp downturn for a great deal of coins. Much of this is due to market stagnation and a lack of public trust following an uptick of attacks by hackers looking to alter token value through manipulation rather than legitimate market participation. Going forward, blockchains with excellent design and security will yield the tokens most likely to bring the bulls back to the market. Some of those networks include:
The Request Network, or PayPal 2.0 as it is sometimes called, is a decentralized network that seeks to provide a secure, neutral platform for all online transactions. In concept, it offers a massive disruption to current digital transactions, which all require third parties such as PayPal or Venmo to provide the safe transfer of digital funds. Request wants to eliminate such services through their own ubiquitous blockchain that would serve as a sole guarantor of online trust.
It’s a wildly ambitious goal, and yet Request has already launched a mainnet beta on the Ethereum network. The project met all its reported goals for its first public phase, “Colossus,” and has now launched into its “Great Wall” stage. This phase includes a soft launch on the Ethereum network, in which ERC-20 tokens will be incorporated into Request’s payment option. This phase will provide a model for how different cryptocurrencies can tie themselves into Request’s blockchain, ultimately transitioning the network from a coin of its own to a clearinghouse for all coins in its system.
Request’s laser-like focus on expanding infrastructure makes it a prime candidate for building out the crypto marker into 2019 and beyond. Any coin that participates in its service will likely see a net increase in value as less secure currencies get dumped.
While Bitcoin still retains a majority of crypto market value, the technological restraints on its blockchain put a hard limit on how far its influence can spread. Other, newer projects have the potential to truly permeate the market, with several of them wrought from permutations of the second generation Ethereum network. Among them, IOST has shown to be the most promising.
Through several major technological innovations like sharding and their “Proof-of-Believability” mechanism, the Internet of Services blockchain (IOST) has pushed through the issues of slow transaction speed, high power consumption, and token mining consolidation that plague older blockchains. These improvements have yielded upwards of 8,000 TPS (transactions per second) in private testing, with the public mainnet set to launch in Q2 2018. The same results in a public launch would also yield a high increase in token value.
Because of this progress, IOST has garnered a great deal of attention in China from major venture capital firms like Sequoia Capital China and Zhenfund. A number of these partners have been pouring resources into IOST’s “Theseus” project, where their internal team is developing dApps for public launches in the near future. In short, IOST’s results so far match their ambitions, and with much farther to go, the potential for growth is massive. Combined with the market downturn, that progress could allow it to quickly scale past other less dynamic coins.
“The Ethereum of China” as some call NEO has already found a way to punch through last month’s bearish downturn. Despite a drop in value earlier in the year, NEO’s recent announcement about its “era of decentralization” has allowed it to break through the stagnation that has taken hold of the rest of the crypto market.
This news, which briefly pushed the coin back into the market’s top 10 by value, isn’t NEO’s only progress for 2018. They also appointed their “City of Zion,” a large team of open source designers who work on the network, to run the independent node. All six prior nodes had been run directly by team developers, leading to accusations of network centralization that have followed the coin up until its July 5th announcement.
The growing cooperation between the NEO team and the City of Zion shows a project that is laying the groundwork to grow outward from concept to fully applied public blockchain. Especially given NEO’s innate access to the Chinese market, it’s entirely possible that, within the next couple years, they could fuel a new boom in the crypto market and even break into the top 5 coins.