Bitcoin is looking both technically and fundamentally strong after its six-month correction, as the Halvening approaches. The last leg up in 2019 saw altcoins brutally sold off as traders positioned for BTC’s parabolic move. This time, the alts are showing some signs of rising with the tide. With prices still near the bottom after a brutal crypto winter, we look at five altcoin projects we view as interesting – and potentially significantly undervalued.
Waves Platform launched with great fanfare back in 2016 after raising 30,000 BTC. Since then the team have diligently – but relatively quietly – worked away on a host of DeFi features. Waves is now an extensive and powerful ecosystem that includes user-friendly mobile and desktop wallets; easy token creation; a decentralised exchange that combines speed, security and privacy; safe and accessible smart contracts; an algorithmically-backed stablecoin, Neutrino; and many other products and services. It contains everything needed to launch scalable dApps, and the LPoS network and community-run monetary policy provide a great way to earn on your holdings. With its core tech in place, Waves is now looking to expand globally. Neutrino dollars (USDN) are very promising: there is huge demand for stablecoins (Total Value Locked for the Maker Protocol alone is $600 million), and TVL for Neutrino is almost $4 million after just a few weeks of operation. It’s growing fast, and the more WAVES are locked to generate USDN, the more net demand there will be on the market. Add to that the fact that Waves’ corporate arm, Waves Enterprise, has already established some impressive industry partnerships – if the same success follows for the open Waves platform, it’s going to start looking very underpriced.
In terms of fundamentals, it’s hard to find a coin stronger than Ergo. Ergo has taken a different approach to smart contracts and DeFi, using Sigma protocols to enable use cases that are either impossible or risky on other platforms. Sigma protocols allow for very flexible and elegant coding of functionality, enabling developers to implement dApps that would be very expensive or horribly messy on Ethereum. Think of it like this: it’s possible to build a rudimentary jet engine with junk from your garage. But it wouldn’t be efficient or safe, because you don’t have the right tools or materials. With Ergo, you do. Ergo’s team have been involved with several other crypto platforms, and have drawn on this experience to create something unique. The issue – and the opportunity – is that they’ve focused on development and not marketing. It’s not easy to mine and beginners will be better off with the lite wallets rather than running a full node. This is now changing. The first mining pools are coming, and at a $5 million market cap, Ergo could easily outperform many other alts in the short-to-medium term.
With a half-billion-dollar market cap, this is by far the largest project on the list. But it’s an excellent one, and given the interest in DeFi – in which Maker is a leader – it’s likely undervalued. Maker’s strength comes from several sources. A very solid economic model, a highly professional development and marketing team, and full decentralisation. MakerDAO, for those who don’t know, is the protocol that underpins the Dai stablecoin, which is backed by crypto collateral and smart contract-enforced algorithms. There are no middlemen at all. Best of all, every time users issue Dai against ETH and other collateral, they start accruing fees – some of which is used to buy and burn MKR. $600 billion is currently locked in Maker Vaults and DeFi is growing fast, so you can see where this is going.
Along with Grin, Beam is one of two very exciting projects based on Mimblewimble – an impressive new privacy protocol that offers significant advantages over existing approaches. While coins like Dash and Monero seek to obscure the flow of money on the blockchain, Mimblewimble enables users to avoid putting critical information on the blockchain in the first place. That makes it both more private and scalable. Of the two, we’ve chosen Beam because it has a well-funded development team and limited coin supply – plus it’s just passed its first halving, so there’s a good chance the reduced block rewards will have an effect on price in the coming months. At $40 million market cap, it has a long way to go.
Sentinel is another micro-cap ($3 million) and another privacy project, but this one’s a dVPN – decentralised Virtual Private Network provider. Sentinel Network is a decentralised VPN that cryptographically guarantees the safety of your personal information, maintained by a collection of nodes around the world. It’s built on Tendermint, which is a solid technical choice. We’re interested because it’s tiny, but there are a lot of people who use VPNs. A lot. And after a spate of VPN hacks (including NordVPN), a large proportion of those users must be wondering how safe their ‘private’ data really is when surfing the web…
These are just five of the many, many interesting and attractive altcoin projects out there – we couldn’t include all the ones we’d want in our portfolio. Are you involved with any of these five? Are there others you think should be on the list? Retweet and let us know why!