Alternative digital assets, such as a coin or token that is not Bitcoin, are referred to as altcoins. This terminology stems from the notion that Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency, and all others are “alternative” or “alternative” coins. Here are the top 10 altcoins that should be checked out in 2022.
Ethereum, a smart contract platform for creating decentralized apps (DApps), was created in 2013 by many co-founders, including VitalikButerin. It engineered its own programming language for smart contracts, Solidity. To run your Solidity smart contracts on Ethereum’s blockchain, you pay a network gas fee in Ethereum’s token, Ether. Ethereum laid the foundation for what is now known as decentralized finance (DeFi). Ethereum’s early success has led to a large portion of the DeFi space relying on Ethereum’s blockchain. As Ethereum converts to version 2.0 over the coming year, fees will decrease dramatically and a whole host of new DApps will get their chance to shine. The ticket to ride on the Ethereum blockchain is the Ether token (ETH), which is becoming more useful each day.
Tokens currently represent the vast majority of smart contract applications. Chainlink aims to bring the power of smart contracts to the real world. Chainlink brings outside data into smart contracts. Ethereum Smart contracts can now act on other asset prices, global occurrences and make calls to other APIs. Chainlink makes smart contracts really smart. It also incorporates real-world data. For example, it allows farmers to hedge against a bad season. The smart contracts filtered through Chainlink pay out insurance claims if values in the contract like share price, temperature or rainfall do not meet a certain standard. Instant payments deploy as soon as the program receives the appropriate weather data. Chainlink’s potential seems limitless and many of the top DeFi apps pay huge amounts for the LINK token to use their platform.
Uniswap is an Ethereum-based DApp for exchanging Ethereum tokens through liquidity pools. Uniswap provides 2 core products: providing and using liquidity. Uniswap offers users the ability to exchange Ethereum-based cryptocurrencies instantly by tapping into its smart contract liquidity pools. These liquidity pools are filled by other users, who earn the exchange fees for providing liquidity. Uniswap fees must be paid with the UNI token, making it one of Benzinga Crypto’s top picks for this market cycle.
Stellar Lumens (XLM)
Stellar, a decentralized platform for uniting the world’s various banking systems, uses different, disconnected payment methods (ACH, SEPA, SPEI, etc). Stellar’s network connects these systems through a decentralized ledger, with on-off ramps for every payment method. Stellar’s closest competitor, Ripple, faces SEC investigation. Stellar has a prime opportunity to seize the moment and take its best shot at becoming the global payment network. To prevent spam on the Stellar Network, users must pay a transaction fee and meet a margin requirement in Stellar’s token, Lumens (XLM).
Decentralized lending offers higher interest rates than centralized lending with better security and anonymity. Aave, one of the leading lending protocols around today, means borrowers must offer collateral greater than the amount they borrow into the loan smart contract. The smart contract safely holds collateral in escrow throughout the term of the loan, replacing the need for a trusted middleman. Should the borrower default, the lender gets automatically paid by the smart contract. Aave offers 10% APY for certain stablecoin loans with no know-your-customer (KYC) required, a product truly unheard of in traditional finance.
Solana is a smart contract blockchain with an active DeFi ecosystem and over $10 billion locked-in protocols. Many see Solana and other smart contract blockchains as “Ethereum-killers”. Others see the demand for blockchain products growing to the point where many of the largest smart contract blockchains can be simultaneously fully utilized. Regardless of which outcome happens, there’s likely to be a significant amount of innovation happening on the Solana blockchain thanks to its deep-pocketed VC-backing. Solana has been embraced by Sam Bankman Fried and the FTX team, who certainly have the funds to ensure the success of the blockchain. While many financial applications require the security of a heavily decentralized blockchain like Ethereum, blockchain gaming and other applications make more sense on a high-throughput, low-fee chain such as Solana. Solana’s native token is SOL, which is required to interact with the blockchain.
Sandbox (SAND) and Decentraland (MANA) have both risen over 500% since the start of October, according to CoinMarketCap data. Enjin is up almost 170% in the same time period. It’s wise to think carefully before jumping into the latest craze, especially in cryptocurrency, where speculation is rife. But Enjin is an interesting long-term metaverse project, as the platform allows users to create and trade non-fungible tokens (NFTs). NFTs are unique digital collectibles where the ownership information is coded into the token, and they play an important role in the way people own things in these virtual worlds. It is very early days for the metaverse and we don’t yet know how it will unfold. But if it does take off, NFTs will be a core element. Since Enjin makes it easy for people to store and trade their NFTs no matter which metaverse or game they bought them in, it’s a cryptocurrency I’ll be paying attention to.
One that has performed well recently is Livepeer, a decentralized video streaming network. Network participants can earn LPT tokens by contributing their unused computer processing power. Livepeer uses this network of computers to do the intensive work of reformatting videos for different devices. This way, it doesn’t need expensive infrastructure to provide a cheaper and more reliable way to stream videos.
Elrond is one of several smart contract cryptocurrencies to grab investor attention this year. It is a faster, cheaper alternative to Ethereum and has already attracted a number of projects. Elrond recently announced a US$1.29 billion liquidity incentive program for its newly launched decentralized exchange, the Maiar DEX DeFi platform. This offers big rewards to investors who stake EGLD and MEX, the Maiar DEX utility and governance token on the platform. As various programmable blockchains jostle for position, this move makes Elrond a coin worth watching this month.
Chiliz is a cryptocurrency that is aimed at sports enthusiasts. Fans can get involved with their favorite teams by buying fan tokens through its socios.com platform. Token holders can vote on decisions like celebration songs, messages on the captain’s armband, and other social media activities. They can also win rewards, such as VIP behind-the-scenes access, signed memorabilia, and meet-and-greet experiences. One reason Chiliz is interesting right now is its new NFT offer. The first live in-game NFT drop took place during a soccer match between AC Milan and AS Roma. Live NFTs are created based on in-game action, and these limited edition NFTs are already proving popular. Another reason to keep Chiliz in your sights is that it is well-positioned as crypto exchanges move into sports sponsorship. The Crypto.com Coin (CRO) jumped this month on news it had bought the naming rights to the Staples Center. On top of that, Binance recently launched a sports fan token platform.