Bitcoin caught the eye of investors when it topped $60,000 last year. That’s quite an achievement for the world’s first and largest cryptocurrency. It is important to remember that Bitcoin was only worth around nine cents in 2010.
Since then, thousands of cryptocurrencies have entered the market. Some are mainly used as currency. Others aim to become leaders in the field of decentralized applications (dApps). And some crypto readers exist to support a virtual world that they have created. What could be the next Bitcoin? (And by that, I mean winning over a period of years and establishing a reputation as a top performer.) Read on to find out.
Solana (CRYPTO:SOL) skyrocketed last year as developers and users flocked to blockchain. According to a report by Electric Capital, the number of developers increased almost fivefold during this period. This is essential because it shows that the network is on its way to offering more and more applications. Solana is making a name for itself in the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). These are certificates of ownership used to collect art or sports memorabilia, for example. Solana is the second largest player by sales volume over the past 30 days, according to CryptoSlam.
Users love Solana because of its transaction speed. At present, it processes over 2,500 transactions per second. That’s compared to around 30 for the market giant Ethereum. Solana’s speed is due to its proof-of-history consensus mechanism. This involves marking blocks of data with timestamps. And it streamlines transaction verification.
Solana has already climbed more than 11,000% last year. But if it can continue to grow in dApps and NFTs — and ensure long-term network stability — more gains may be to come.
Blockchain networks face a particular problem. And it achieves a high level of speed, security and decentralization. Sometimes success in one leads to lagging performance in one of the other two. Phantom (CRYPTO:FTM) addresses this problem. The way the blockchain validates transactions ensures speed. This is because its consensus mechanism is asynchronous. This allows validators to confirm blocks at different times.
At the same time, Fantom maintains decentralization and security. It’s thanks to a consensus protocol that allows anyone to join or leave at any time – and all validators are considered equal.
Users love Fantom’s speed and network usage price. Transactions are completed in a second and costs total less than a penny. Fantom transactions hit a daily high of over 1.8 million in September. And on occasion, daily transactions have even exceeded those of Ethereum.
Today, more than 80 dApps exist on Fantom. It is still far behind the leader Ethereum which has more than 2,000. But Fantom has what it takes to catch up.
avalanche (CRYPTO:AVAX) is another blockchain known for its speed. The network processes 4,500 transactions per second. And these transactions complete in less than two seconds. One of the reasons for Avalanche’s speed? Its structure. The blockchain is made up of three chains. Chain X is for asset exchange, chain P coordinates validators, and chain C is responsible for smart contracts. This streamlines operations and reduces congestion that could arise when everything is happening on a mainnet.
Another big advantage of Avalanche is that it is compatible with Ethereum. This is significant given the importance of Ethereum in the crypto world. So, for example, a developer can launch a dApp built in the language of Ethereum on Avalanche.
Over 170 projects currently exist on Avalanche, from decentralized finance to gaming. But we can expect more and more in the future. Developers on the network tripled last year, according to Electric Capital. And with more projects available, usage and investment in this dynamic network can skyrocket.
This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a high-end consulting service Motley Fool. We are heterogeneous! Challenging an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and wealthier.