Return of the Alt: 5 Altcoins with 80%+ Surges This Month
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Return of the Alt: 5 Altcoins with 80%+ Surges This Month

One of the silver linings of institutional and corporate censorship is the increase in value of many altcoins.
Neither the author, Tim Fries, nor this website, The Tokenist, provide financial advice. Please consult our website policy prior to making financial decisions.

Bitcoin and Ethereum are not the only kids on the crypto block. If something is digital, blockchain protocols and tokens can be leveraged to improve it. With such tokenomics and blockchain innovations in mind, we take a look at five altcoins that have been (surprisingly) surging in value.

(Most) Altcoins Gain Value by Providing Value

Long ago, before Bitcoin took on a price-breaking stride, topping $25k, $30k, $40k, $50k, month after month, there was a phenomenon called “altcoin craze”. Also known as the ICO craze – Initial Coin Offering – it culminated in 2017 by doubling the number of cryptocurrencies from 2016.

Total number of cryptocurrencies by year, image credit: Statista 2021

Although this bubble popped, leaving behind many useless or outright fraudulent altcoins serving pump and dump schemes, the allure of becoming the next Bitcoin never subsided. As you can see from the graph above, there are now more cryptocurrencies than ever, over 4500.

We call them altcoins because we position their worth in relation to the two largest digital assets by market cap – Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Image Credit: The Tokenist, source: CoinMarketCap.com

With the growing DeFi market, currently valued at $43.19 billion and boosted by NFTs, we are seeing a specialization of altcoins for specific niches – NFT marketplaces, cross-chain interoperability, DEX staking, sports, media, crowdfunding…In other words, altcoins turned from competing with Bitcoin to becoming utilitarian. Dogecoin is a perfect example of an altcoin that has neither inherent value nor unique utility.

Dogecoin is catching headlines because Elon Musk makes it so with his 49 million Twitter followers. As Signal started to accept 12 cryptocurrencies (hint, Dogecoin is not one of them), it’s time to take an overview of some of them.

Here are five altcoins that have surged to surprisingly high prices in recent time.

Chiliz (CHZ)

Image credit: TradingView, from March 6th to March 13th CHZ went up by 719%

Creator(s)

Alexandre Dreyfus, Emma Disking and Max Rabinovitch, running Socios.com. Dreyfus had previously founded Webcity, a digital tour-guide across Europe. Chiliz blockchain uses proof-of-authority.

Coins and Blockchain

Maximum supply of 8,888,888,888 CHZ coins, of which 5.5 billion CHZ have been released into circulation. Current market cap at $3 billion. Its blockchain uses proof-of-authority consensus algorithm.

Core attraction

As entertainment and sporting events have become intensely politicized, public participation precipitously dropped. From Grammys to NBA and Superbowl, all have record-low viewerships. The last Superbowl event was the least watched since 2007 despite the uptick in internet streaming services.

This leaves plenty of space to fill the void and energize the spectator arena. Chiliz’s goal is to become the top blockchain for esports and crowdfunding of video games. In sync with Socios.com platform, Chiliz launched in 2019 to inject a direct stake and turn fans into active participants. Whenever a sports team joins Socios.com, a pool of Fan Tokens is created with a set CHZ price dependent on open market demand.

In turn, fans can use those tokens to participate in binding or non-binding surveys for the sports club, receive VIP invites to meet their sports heroes, have an input on uniform design, charities pick, and many other decisions. Out of hundreds of sports teams joining Socios.com, Juventus football club is the most famous one.

Filecoin (FIL)

Image credit: TradingView, from March 10th to March 17th, FIL went up by 93%.

Creator(s)

Juan Benet, the developer of Interplanetary File System (IPFS). He is a Stanford-educated computer scientist who founded Protocol Labs in 2014.

Coins and Blockchain

Maximum supply of 2 billion FIL coins, of which 58 million are in circulation. Its current market cap is $4.1 billion. FIL blockchain is based on proof-of-work and proof-of-spacetime.

Core Attraction

Filecoin is one of rare successes from the ICO craze in 2017. It raised $205 million to support the previously founded IPFS – a P2P storage network. As its name suggests, Filecoin’s mission is to make decentralized storage possible, competing against centralized storage solutions like Amazon Web Services or Cloudflare. With both of those services, we have seen how easy it is to stifle free speech if enough leverage is applied.

As an open, decentralizes alternative, Filecoin anonymizes data location, making it accessible and retrievable worldwide, as the internet was intended to work. Its native token FIL allows participants to become custodians of their own data. As users store more data, they win more block rewards.

Terra (LUNA)

Image credit: TradingView, from March 10th to March 17th, LUNA went up by 87%.

Creator(s)

Daniel Shin and Do Kwon, the latter serving as the CEO of Terraform Labs, the company behind Terra (LUNA). Shin had previously founded two major projects – Ticket Monster, South Korean e-commerce platform and Fast Track Asia Coins and Blockchain, a startup incubator. Kwon is a software engineer previously employed by Apple and Microsoft and a former CEO of Anyfi, decentralized wireless mesh networking solution.

Coins and Blockchain

Maximum supply of 1 billion LUNA tokens. When reached, LUNA tokens are burned to go back to a balanced supply level.  Terra’s current market cap is $7.6 billion. Its blockchain uses proof-of-stake algorithm.

Core Attraction

Terra (LUNA) represents a unique take on stablecoins. Terra blockchain serves as a collateralizing force for non-collateralized stablecoins, like Terra’s own Terra USD (UST). If its demand brings the price above USD, Terra automatically increases UST supply to align with the dollar. Vice-versa for price drops.

In turn, LUNA is the collateral for UST, with LUNA getting burned and swapped for UST every time there is an increase in UST supply. On the other and of the supply and demand chain, if there is a decrease in UST, it is swapped for newly minted LUNA, i.e., burned. This makes Terra a stabilizing system for all stablecoin-powered payment systems.

Terra Alliance, much like Ripple network, represents businesses and e-commerce platforms using the blockchain across 10 countries, accounting for over 45 million users and gross merchandise exchange valued over $25 billion.

Basic Attention Token (BAT)

Image credit: TradingView, from March 10th to March 17th, BAT token went up by 80%.

Creator(s)

Brendan Eich and Brian Bondy. Many already know Brendan Eich as the CEO of Brave Software, the company behind the popular Chrome alternative browser Brave and the BAT token. More importantly, Eich invented Javascript and was the founder of Mozilla.

After departing from Mozilla, Eich was joined by his colleague Bondy, Mozilla’s senior software engineer. In the blockchain space, BAT has definitely the most experienced and accomplished team of developers, currently consisting of 16 members.

Coins and Blockchain

Maximum supply of 1.5 billion BAT tokens, almost fully in circulation. Its current market cap is $2 billion. BAT’s blockchain is powered by proof-of-work consensus algorithm on the Ethereum miner network.

Core Attraction

One of the altcoins recently listed by the Signal messenger app, BAT aims to solve the problem of monetization in the age of ad-blockers. As its name implies, Basic Attention Token blockchain serves as a decentralized advertising platform.

Instead of stealing viewer’s time by watching ads, BAT rewards users for this attention. In turn, advertisers get a more precise feedback and return on their ad investment. As you would guess, the BAT token is fully integrated into the Brave browser. All three parties in this advertising ecosystem – publishers, advertisers and consumers – use BAT tokens, of which 70% goes to consumers.

THETA (THETA)

Image credit: TradingView, from March 1st to March 17th, THETA token went up by 125%.

Creator(s)

Mitch Liu and Jieyi Long. Liu has a string of projects behind him: video advertising company Tapjoy, mobile social gaming startup Gameview Studios and THETA.tv. Long serves as THETA’s CTO with similar experience in social media platforms, virtual reality, automation and gaming.

Coins and Blockchain

Maximum supply of 1 billion tokens, evenly distributed across network participants, developers and in reserve. Similar to Ethereum’s gas, THETA blockchain uses TFUEL, numbering 5 billion tokens. THETA’s current market cap is $7.19 billion. Proof-of-stake is used as consensus algorithm.

Core Attraction

THETA project has a serious backing, receiving input from Steve Chen, co-founder of YouTube and Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch. The goal is to replace centralized video streaming platforms with decentralized P2P network in which participants share bandwidth and computer resources. In turn, this would provide content creators a cost-effective and censorship-proof infrastructure.

Given the fact that about 2/3 of all internet bandwidth goes into video content, THETA is likely to only rise upward, much like Bitcoin. Although open-source, its THETA governance tokens are in possession of Enterprise validators. Among them is Google, notorious for aggressive censorship and search engine manipulation, which makes THETA less secure as one would want it to be.

All of the tokens listed provide a unique decentralized service. Which one do you think stands to rise most rapidly? Let us know in the comments below.

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