Crypto Project Types

By Simple Like 1 | Simple Crypto | 21 May 2022


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Currencies, Memes, DeFi, Metaverses, Oh My

Introduction

Initially, crypto as a field was kickstarted by Bitcoin. This was meant to be a decentralized currency that was governed by code execution in a distributed computing network. This is in contrast to the centralized control of supply of fiat currencies. Soon afterwards, smart contracts were invented with the launch of Ethereum. Since then, the basic block chain and smart contracts have been applied to solve different types of problems. As the crypto field matures, there will be more applications to solve particular problems that are well suited to crypto around social contracts. In this article, I’ll go over the 5 major types of projects: Currency, Meme, DeFi, Metaverse and Utility. This are an exhaustive list but it should get you started in making sense of 19k+ cryptos (as of 5/2022 on coinmarketcap.com).

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Currency Projects

Currency projects are crypto projects that attempt to mimic currency but take advantage of crypto. Some of them are attempting to replace cash, i.e. everyday transactions can be made using these projects due to low transactional fees, low latency, and high throughput. With the usual properties of crypto as a secure and non-censorable form of money, the currency projects aims to make these currencies to be easily available through mobile apps since you carry them with you while you wouldn’t carry your laptop everywhere.

Property that you want of a currency is to have a stable price such that you don’t try to invest to grow your money or use it as a store of value. You want to have consistency in the price so that if you get a certain amount, a similar amount can be used to buy goods, facilitating the financial transactions.

Cash Replacement

Bitcoin Cash, a fork of Bitcoin that aims to lower transaction costs, increase in transactions per second, and speed up in blocktime so that the transactions are settled much more quickly. This is accomplished by increasing the block size such that there’s less overhead per block. At the time of the hard fork, anyone with Bitcoin received the same amount of Bitcoin Cash. Since its inception, it has grown to rank 23 with a market cap of $3.8B (as of 5/2022 on coinmarketcap). There are many pure currency projects and differences in approach with a community ends up forking Bitcoin or other chains with their own take.

Privacy Coins

As many know, the blockchain is public. That is, anyone can inspect the ledger to verify all the wallet’s balances and the whole history of the wallet since its inception. For many, this is too transparent, i.e. they’d like their transactions to be private. To fill this need, privacy features were added to crypto. The most popular privacy coin is Monero, launched in April 2014 as a fork of Bytecoin. Money anonymizes the transactions by generating a new wallet address (sender and receiver) for every transaction. The sender sends the public address of the new wallet along with the amount. The receiver can only view the current transaction but not the history or the current state of the sender’s wallet. Thus, you cannot trace the transactions within Monero’s ledger. There are other privacy coins such as ZCash, Decred, Secret and Horizen.

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Meme Projects

Even the Daily Show, back in 2017 made fun of crypto as anyone could create their own coin using a website. It did seem ridiculous that you can create a cryptocurrency from a meme and that people would take it seriously. However, this was the exact purpose of Dogecoin, to leave behind controversies with other coins and create a community of friendly crypto enthusiasts.

Here we are in 2022 and the first meme coin, Dogecoin is thriving with a valuation of $19B and a coinmarketcap rank of #11 since its launch in 2013. Dogecoin’s success has inspired other meme coins such as Shiba Inu, Dogelon Mars and Mona Coin.

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DeFi Projects

As currency was the original intent of launching Bitcoin, expanding crypto into the financial system is a natural move forward. Therefore, the DeFi projects have legacy financial system equivalents. So, let’s go through each of these to understand their legacy financial system and therefore, they will have similar utility and potential pitfalls.

Stablecoin

The idea of a stable coin is that the value of the coin is pegged to a fiat currency, such as the Dollar or the Euro. This is useful because you don’t have to exchange the crypto to fiat and then back again. Instead, you can trade other crypto based on a stable coin, such as Tether that’s pegged to the Dollar. This means that you can run an exchange without having fiat currency reserves. Instead, the exchange would have to have the stable coin reserves to enable customers to trade crypto based on the stable coin. Of course, having a stable coin also means that you can easily move it and “store” it without a centralized system, such as a crypto exchange holding it for you. You can move it to your wallet that only you control.

Exchanges and Brokers

In the beginning of crypto, there were no exchanges to buy crypto. Instead, you had to either mine the crypto or get it from a faucet. Then, exchanges started to pop up to facilitate the buying and selling of crypto. In the beginning, there were a few and some even went out of business. As of May of 2022, there are 300+ crypto exchanges around the world. This proliferation of exchanges shows how crypto has gained acceptance. Moreover, they provide similar services, such as margin trading, futures trading, leveraged trades and lending your crypto. Making these crypto exchanges to be on par, in terms of services with traditional exchanges and brokers. Check out the list of Top Exchanges at coinmarketcap.com.

Loans

As mentioned above, exchanges provide a way to loan your crypto to others. There are also other ways to lend your crypto to gain rewards or essentially interest payments. Liquidity pools gives you some rewards for locking in your crypto to facilitate crypto exchanges without being a customer of the exchange. Delegated staking allows you to lend your crypto for staking purposes. These staking services pool the loaned crypto to run their own nodes to facilitate the validation of transactions to keep the blockchain running. In return, they get some rewards that’s shared among those that lent the crypto. In most cases, the annual percentage yield (APY) is higher than any other similar financial instruments, such as money market, CDs, and savings accounts. Many exchanges provide these services.

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Metaverse Projects

Metaverse projects are attempting to create virtual worlds where you can use crypto to buy, sell, trade and create virtual goods. For metaverse projects, such as Sandbox and Decentraland, you can buy/sell land, event tickets, clothes, and even permanent usernames. The company running the project or other creators can create virtual goods that people own, thus creating a virtual economy. As with any goods, if there’s demand there will be some price to the virtual goods. If there’s zero demand, the price will go to zero. Of course, the crypto technology that powers these virtual goods is non-fungible tokens (NFTs). These enable creators to set a limited number of digital goods, similar to how Bitcoin has a max number of coins that will ever exist. This is enforced by the code that’s running the blockchain. With the limited copies of a digital good, you can start creating scarcity and uniqueness and investment opportunities based on demand.

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Utility Projects

As the name suggests, these crypto projects are applying the crypto concept to provide utility for its users. For instance, Flux is a project where they provide running Docker containers for their customers by running these containers on the node operators. The customers pay in Flux for the services. The node operators receive a portion of the payment as rewards. Anyone can be a node operator as long as they know how to run servers and stake a certain amount of Flux. The staking requirement ensures that every node operator has a stake in ensuring that the Flux network is healthy. If they cause issues for the network, the operator can lose the staked Flux.

Presearch is a crypto web search project where users can be rewarded in PRE tokens for using its search engine and node operators with staked PRE can earn rewards. The project aims to decentralize the web search engines and provide services that are driven by users instead of earning money for the web search engine companies.

Conclusions

As the crypto field develops further, the type of crypto projects are also proliferating as crypto enthusiasts find more ways to apply the technology to improve the existing systems. The currency projects, such as Bitcoin Cash embody the original crypto’s aspirations where they try to improve financial transactions. The meme projects are fun projects that a community of users can get behind. DeFi projects are applying the crypto approach to finance, attempting to create the crypto equivalent of the legacy financial system. Metaverse projects are applying crypto towards creating a virtual version of what’s in the real works, such as real estate, clothes, trading cards, event tickets, etc. The utility projects are applying crypto consents towards the web services such as running docker containers, object storage or web searching. With the development of all of these areas, I expect more crypto equivalent of what people use in the real world.

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