Weekly Crypto Update: Week of April 5th
Top and bottom projects of the week
Every Friday, I share my favorite and least favorite projects in the space — based on the events that happened in the week.
“Favorite” may be too generous of a label. I’m basically trying to highlight some projects that I really like and are really bullish on (in terms of technology, not necessarily in terms of the token price).
This is the second week of these update — which I will post on Medium and also a more succinct form on Twitter. You can read the first update on Twitter below 👇
First, some disclaimers.
This article is made for educational purposes. Hopefully, people find these updates helpful in keeping up with the breakneck pace of progress happening in crypto these days.
This is not financial advice; always do you own due diligence on coins :)
Top Projects of the Week
Binance Smart Chain / Binance Coin (BNB)
I think Ethereum is ultrasound money. IMO, it’s the foundation for developers to create the next generation of decentralized products (not just finance).
With that said, it’s got some problems right now. Problems that will realistic persist until Layer 2s are fully adopted — call it a Fall/Winter 2021 timeframe
Even then, there are question marks on how a Layer 2-first Ethereum world will work.
Gas fees are just so high right now. As a user, it really makes me second guess making a transaction on a dApp.
And depressed user demand translates to depressed activity on dApps, which leads to developers second-guessing if they should be building on Ethereum.
Enter Binance Smart Chain (BSC), where — despite its own issues of centralization — gas fees are actually affordable. I’m talking a few cents vs. $20–30 on Ethereum.
Like ETH for Ethereum, BNB is the native coin used for gas to run smart contracts on BSC.
Why I like BSC this week:
- Great price momentum — signaling to me that people are starting to HODL their BNB to use as gas, just the same as ETH. Ultrasound money.
- Some steady developments of the dApp ecosystem. Steady volume on Pancake Swap. Limit orders on Bog Charts. Lots of smaller coins are double-issuing on BSC and Ethereum because why not.
Speaking of scalable Layer 1s taking away dev share from Ethereum…
I’m super fond of Terra and its ecosystem.
When I look at signals to determine which smart contract Layer 1s will succeed, the number 1 thing I look at is the developer ecosystem:
- How many foundational primitives have been established (e.g., wallets, lending + borrowing, block explorers)? This will compound the innovation on the chain due to the composability of dApps
- How many developers are building on the blockchain and why? Is this a reasonable moat, or can they easily leave?
- What special dApps are being built that will differentiate it from other Layer 1s and get user adoption?
For Terra, it’s showing strong signal on all three buckets.
On the topic of special dApps, I really like their three flagship dApps: UST+payments, Mirror, and Anchor.
I’m talking about a ton of Layer 1s this week… I swear that this won’t usually be the case 😅
To me, Tezos looks a lot like Cardano — before the latter went ballistic in Q1 2021 with dev updates and a big Africa GTM initiative.
Tezos has a core dev team that’s cranking away at some big milestones for the protocol, and it has a small but tight-knit group of devs building foundational dApps.
One dApp I love is Kolibri, made by my friends at Hover Labs. Kolibri is a CDP-based (collateralized debt position) algo stablecoin protocol. They just announced nearly $10M locked in their USD stable, kUSD, as well as liquidity pools and mining opportunities with StakerDAO.
This is a repeat of last week’s update, but I swear the Ws keep coming for this project.
THORChain is a cross-chain protocol (with DEX+liquidity provider THORSwap) with native token support.
They’ll be releasing their “Chaosnet” next week, which will be a huge milestone towards achieving their vision of disrupting CEXes like Binance and Coinbase.
A true multi-chain DEX could be a game changer from a UX perspective — users will no longer have a million accounts at different exchanges to get the coin they want.
Just one central place to swap coins in a decentralized matter.
Why even bother with Coinbase at that point?
Earlier this week, I tweeted that I love dApps that are making it easier for non-devs like me to participate in DeFi in a braindead way.
On that vein, Furucombo makes it so easy to literally do anything in DeFi (e.g., lending, flash loans, farming).
And it really showcases just how powerful the composability of DeFi is.
Furucombo is a drag-and-drop UI that allows non-devs to create DeFi strategies using blocks.
Furucombo lets literally anyone do complex DeFi actions that were previously only available to devs — like flashloans.
The best part? It gives you a gas estimate and factors that into your ROI from a strategy.
Honestly this L was so bad that nothing else compared this week — so Fei Protocol is my only project to avoid for this week.
Fei is a USD-pegged algo stablecoin that sought (keyword) to maintain its peg using a mechanism called Protocol Controlled Value (PCV), which is basically raising a bunch of money to partially collateralize the stablecoin and using the money as a treasury to inflate and deflate supply — in order to maintain its peg with the U.S. Dollar.
TLDR; it had a big raise of $1.2B (much larger than anticipated) from token purchases, and it launched over the weekend and failed in epic proportions that basically led the coin to derail from its peg with no sustainable mechanism to realign it.
There’s a lot of drama behind it, so if you want the whole story and hear about the details of why it lost its peg, read this amazing Twitter thread: