The cryptocurrency market has been relatively resilient to one of the worst crises in recent history. In fact, if we compare the dimension of the “crypto industry” at the beginning of the year with respect to now, the cryptocurrency market registers a growth of 75% by market capitalization. Can the market close the year with a positive outlook and continue to resist COVID-19? This article presents 4 cryptocurrencies to keep track of before the end of 2020.
# 1 ETH: The eternal wait for the Ethereum 2.0 mainnet
One of the most anticipated events of 2020 has been the launch of the game-changing platform upgrade for Ethereum. While anticipation for Ethereum 2.0 has not had as much notoriety and price impact as expected, the development team for the largest decentralized development ecosystem in the world has already had several breakthroughs.
The Ethereum 2.0 testnet was launched in August, an important step for the technological innovations that will bring these major changes to the ether network. Despite Ethereum’s resounding success in launching decentralized tokens and applications, the ecosystem lacks scalability and its performance limitations are halting momentum gathering. However with the upgrade, this will change.
The tests conducted so far on the testnet seem encouraging to Danny Ryan, an Ethereum developer who recently chatted with Coindesk. Ryan hopes that this blockchain upgrade will “radically improve network security and performance.”
“We want to increase the layer one capacity of the [Ethereum] system by approximately 100x. The benefits we hope to bring to developers is more capacity, cheaper transactions and a better environment for users to interact with and build dapps on,” said Ryan.
When is the launch expected?
The modus operandi has been one of confidentiality and change of plans with respect to dates, probably due to the fact that it is not really known when the team will be able to give the green light to the launch of the mainnet.
However, Prysmatic Labs’ Raul Jordan belongs to the task force that will launch Ethereum 2.0 and has recently published a well-demarcated roadmap, which was in fact made public via GitHub for visibility to the entire community. Thus, Ryan estimates that “if everything goes well”, Ethereum 2.0 could arrive in November of this year.
# 2 Augur and other predictability platforms: are these forgotten gems?
Ethereum’s founder, Vitalik Buterin, recently published a tweet, assuring that prediction platforms are probably the “most underrated categories” in decentralized Ethereum applications. In the letter he even ventures to talk about the liquidity of the Augur and Omen market, inviting his followers to try these platforms.
Honestly prediction markets may be the one of the most underrated categories of ethereum dapps right now. Omen and Augur v2 are both running and have active markets with pretty decent liquidity; go ahead and try them!https://t.co/BKp28ujJyGhttps://t.co/DGaNisQQhR
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) September 24, 2020
Both are specialised in creating predictive markets that allow you to “bet” on the potential outcome of a certain event or market. In the case of Augur (REP), the cryptocurrency has a history of stability in the market and is one of the first major dApps developed under the Ethereum ecosystem. As of press time, REP is ranked 68th on the CoinMarketCap ranking, with its price increasing by over 50% so far this year.
# 3 ZCash will also have its own halving in 2020
November appears to be a decisive month for global markets, and cryptocurrencies will be no exception. The month will be full of events that could turn the markets around dramatically.
The US presidential elections are scheduled for November 3 this year, in a close and controversial battle where Republican Donald Trump is seeking his second presidential term, with Democrat Joe Biden, former vice-president, running against him.
ZCash is also expecting a major event in November: the halving of its block reward for miners. According to the count estimated by Nice Hash, the rewards received by ZCash miners will be cut in half on the morning of November 18, 2020. We have already seen a positive impact from the Bitcoin halving earlier this year — will ZCash achieve similar results?
The anonymous cryptocurrency continues to be one of the most attractive assets for miners, and its hash rate continues to hit all-time highs, bordering on 7 GS / s (gigasols per second), according to Bitinfocharts.
# 4 Bitcoin Faces Approved ETF, US Presidential Election and VISA integration
Bitcoin continues to hold an overwhelming dominance of the crypto market. Although CoinMarketCap reveals there are more than 7,160 cryptocurrencies in circulation, almost 60% of the working capital is in Bitcoin
Thus, Bitcoin will continue to set the tone during the later part of the year, especially with all the important events that surround it at the level of adoption. It was recently confirmed that the Bermuda Stock Exchange would launch the first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund, a highly anticipated event that has been rejected multiple times by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Likewise, the flirtation that VISA has made with the cryptocurrency market has already been made public, with the largest payment platform in the world not wanting to be left behind in the revolution of digital currencies. However, the most important event will probably be the US presidential election, once again leaving Bitcoin as one of the great investment alternatives for those who want to protect their capital in times of uncertainty, or to speculate in different technical and fundamental scenarios.