The problem with the crypto world these days is that there's just so much of it. A single project on CoinGecko can turn out to be an entire ecosystem. A blockchain from that ecosystem can harbour an ocean of apps. And a single app can contain enough new ideas, jargon, opportunities and pitfalls that by the time you've researched it, understood it, and decided to invest in it, something new has already risen up to replace it.
I'm going through the general process of looking at the Cosmos (ATOM) ecosystem at the moment. I thought I would document as I go, as much for my benefit as anyone else's.
Please be aware that this research is "lighter-touch" than articles that I would typically post. Think of it as a flavour rather than a meal. If I misrepresent anything, let me know in the comments!
I've started at the blockchain level for chains connected to the Cosmos ecosystem through inter-blockchain communication (IBC). Because I had to start somewhere. And because lots of Cosmos blockchains appear to fill a specific niche, rather than being multi-purpose.
Wen mainnet is useful for finding the list of connected blockchains:
Without further ado...
Akash Network (AKT)
An open source cloud platform and marketplace for cloud computing resources. The blockchain acts as the marketplace and settlement layer with requests for resources priced by auction.
AKT is the native token and used to settle payments. It also covers the typical blockchain requirements of securing the blockchain and governance of resources.
They claim it is much cheaper than typical cloud computing. The cloud resources are provided from idle capacity in data centers. This network of data centers brings greater decentralisation than using a single provider.
Crypto.com is a centralised crypto exchange. It's fourth on the list by spot trade volume according to CoinGecko.
Crypto.com has two Cosmos blockchains:
- Crypto.org chain: This is the one currently up and running and connected to the Cosmos ecosystem. My expectation is that this will handle the payments and trading products for Crypto.com (think Binance Chain / Binance Dex).
- Cronos: An EVM (i.e. Ethereum compatible) smart-contract chain for DeFi, NFTs and so forth (think Binance Smart Chain).
Cronos launches fairly soon (next week according to the website). Crypto.com will be providing funding for developers as well as technical and marketing support. There will also be a captive audience of the Crypto.com userbase, quoted as being more than ten million users.
It will be interesting to see how much fanfare this launch receives. Most centralised exchanges have their own blockchain now so there's plenty of competition. However I remember the launch of Crypto.com itself and one thing they did well was the marketing. I'll probably write more about this when it happens.
CRO is the native token for each chain (think BNB).
Persistence aims to bridge the worlds of crypto finance and traditional finance, democratising finance in the process.
The first product on their website, Comdex, is a synthetic assets protocol. It allows for the digitalisation and collateralisation of real-world investment products such as trade finance and real estate.
The aim is to give DeFi users access to a wider range of assets for hedging and diversification than they might typically have access to. There is an exchange for these tokenised assets as well as lending facilities.
Other products include:
- Staking-as-a-service - where someone professional handles pressing buttons for you. I suppose it's useful if you have much money. Or no fingers.
- Liquid Staking. Staking with no locking.
- Cross-chain NFT marketplaces with NFTs that can move between different blockchains. This kind of thing will be huge in my view.
I've written about Sifchain before:
It's niche is in cross-chain decentralised finance. It bills itself as "The world’s first omni-chain decentralized exchange."
Sifchain has access to all Cosmos blockchains through IBC. It also has bridges to Ethereum and Polygon. So lots of wrapped assets to pool, farm and generally play with.
There ends part one! Four down, quite a few more to go!
Not financial advice. Please do your own research.
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