In recent years, several new and innovative cryptocurrencies have emerged that are designed to enhance existing blockchain technology or target new use cases. Here is an overview of some of the most notable new cryptos that have arrived on the scene in recent years.
One of the most prominent «Ethereum killers», Cardano aims to create a more scalable and sustainable proof-of-stake blockchain. It hopes to eventually convert from a centralized governance system to a decentralized one through its community voting mechanism. The ADA token saw huge growth in 2021 and some are predicting it could overtake Ethereum in the coming years.
Another proof-of-stake contender vying to unseat Ethereum, Solana boasts an ultra high transaction speed of over 50,000 transactions per second while still maintaining decentralization. The SOL token saw meteoric price increases in 2021, at one point becoming a top 10 crypto by market cap. Solana continues to aggressively expand its DeFi and NFT capabilities.
Founded by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood, Polkadot aims to be a fully interoperable protocol allowing independent blockchain systems to exchange information and transactions. It seeks to connect private and consortium chains, public and permissionless networks, oracles, and future technologies. The DOT token allows holders to vote on protocol upgrades and helps secure the network.
Basic Attention Token (BAT)
Filecoin is a decentralized storage network that allows users to rent out their spare storage space to receive FIL tokens. Businesses and consumers can use Filecoin to store data securely and inexpensively. The network verifiably proves storage space and transfers of data, acting as a next-generation cloud storage provider.
Chainlink is focused on bringing real-world data onto the blockchain in order to enable smart contracts to execute based on external inputs. It operates as a decentralized oracle network made up of independent node operators who are incentivized to provide reliable data feeds with financial rewards in LINK tokens.
DeFi, NFTs, and Metaverse Tokens
Decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and metaverse projects were some of the hottest crypto sectors in 2021. New cryptos emerged aiming to facilitate and expand these use cases.
Aave is a major DeFi protocol enabling users to lend and borrow crypto assets with algorithmically set interest rates. Lenders can earn interest on deposits, while borrowers can use their crypto as collateral to obtain flash loans. The AAVE token allows holders to receive discounts on fees and influence the project’s governance.
Axie Infinity (AXS)
A Pokémon-inspired digital pet universe, Axie Infinity allows players to breed, battle, and trade token-based creatures called Axies. Players can earn income through the game’s play-to-earn model, and ownership of Axies is recorded on the Ethereum blockchain via NFTs. The AXS token supports in-game governance.
As interest in metaverse experiences grows, new cryptos like Decentraland’s MANA token have emerged to fund development of virtual world infrastructure and applications. Decentraland is a blockchain-based virtual reality platform where users can explore 3D realms, socialize, and purchase virtual real estate mapped to NFTs.
The world of cryptocurrency never stands still for long. With so much investor and developer interest, we can expect many more ambitious new crypto projects to arrive throughout this year and beyond. But for now, this crop of fresh cryptos shows the breadth of innovation possible in applying decentralized, blockchain-based technology across a multitude of use cases.