The year of 2021 proved to be a significant one for the crypto sector overall. The global crypto market capitalisation rose to $3 trillion (roughly Rs. 2,15,66,720 crore), the highest it has even been so far, in October 2021. Along with just the coins, other crypto elements like non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the metaverse, as well as Web 3.0 also significantly took off in terms of visibility and adoption. As we step into 2022, this series will help you with a deeper understanding of the broadening crypto space and its elements.
For 2022, I am bullish on 5 crypto sectors:
- Web 3.0
- Gaming and Metaverse
- Public Blockchains
- Decentralised Finance (DeFi)
I will be discussing the top cryptos in each of these categories. Let's start with Web 3.0.
What is Web 3.0?
Web 1.0 was the first generation of the World Wide Web from the early 1990 to around 2004. During this stage, most websites were static. These websites were created by businesses and consumed by users like you and me.
Web 2.0 is the current second generation of the World Wide Web. A large amount of content is user-generated e.g. social media content, blogs, vlogs, etc. Most of this data is controlled and monetised by large companies like Google, and Meta (Facebook).
Web 3.0 is the latest generation of the World Wide Web and its focus is on decentralisation. Web 3.0 applications and services would increasingly be powered by blockchains, crypto-assets (fungible and non-fungible), artificial intelligence, and metaverses. Web 3.0 is expected to provide personalised content and also enable people to control their own data.
The top Web 3.0 cryptos
According to me, the most important Web 3.0 Cryptos for 2022 are:
- Arweave (AR)
- Audius (AUDIO)
- Basic Attention Token (BAT)
- Bittorent (BTT)
- Filecoin (FIL)
- The Graph (GRT)
- Helium (HNT)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Livepeer (LPT)
- Siacoin (SC)
- Theta (THETA)
The table below shows the primary metrics of these cryptos as of 31 December 2021:
| ||Price ||MarketCap |
|Arweave (AR) ||$61 ||$2 billion |
|Audius (AUDIO) ||$1.7 ||$0.9 billion |
|Basic Attention Token (BAT) ||$1.25 ||$1.85 billion |
|Bittorent (BTT) ||$0.003 ||$2.8 billion |
|Filecoin (FIL) ||$35.3 ||$5 billion |
|The Graph (GRT) ||$0.7 ||$3.1 billion |
|Helium (HNT) ||$37.6 ||$3.9 billion |
|Chainlink (LINK) ||$20.5 ||$9.4 billion |
|Livepeer (LPT) ||$41 ||$0.86 billion |
|Siacoin (SC) ||$0.016 ||$0.77 billion |
|Theta (THETA) ||$4.9 ||$4.8 billion |
Source: CoinMarketCap (rounded off)
Arweave (AR): Arweave is "a collectively owned hard drive that never forgets." It allows the permanent storage of data with a single upfront fee.
Arweave is a decentralised storage network for the indefinite storage of data. At its core is "permaweb" — a "permanent, decentralised web with applications and platforms like UI hosting, database writes & queries, and smart contracts.
Miners are paid in Arweave's native cryptocurrency, AR, to indefinitely store information.
Audius (AUDIO): Audius is a decentralised music streaming protocol that aims to give "everyone the freedom to distribute, monetise, and stream any audio content."
$AUDIO is the native token that enables network security, exclusive feature access, and community-owned governance.
$AUDIO can be staked to run discovery or content nodes. Artists can also stake $AUDIO to unlock artist tokens and badges, and to "receive voting power from fans who want to share in their success."
Basic Attention Token (BAT): Basic Attention Token (BAT) is the native token of a blockchain-based digital advertising platform that aims to:
- Fairly reward users for their attention
- Provide advertisers with better returns on their ad spending
This platform revolves around the Brave Browser. Advertisers pay for campaigns in BAT, 70 percent of which is distributed to users for watching privacy-preserving ads.
Bittorent (BTT): BitTorrent is a popular peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing protocol launched in 2001.
BitTorrent was purchased by the TRON blockchain in 2018. In 2019, the BitTorrent Token (BTT) was launched on the Tron blockchain as a TRC-10 token.
The focus of the project is to create a token-based economy around networking, bandwidth, and storage resources on the BitTorrent network.
BitTorrent File System is a decentralised file storage system supported by user nodes.
Filecoin (FIL): Filecoin is the Airbnb for data.
It is a decentralised data storage network where excess storage can be bought and sold. It is also the incentive & security layer for InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). In simple words, it is a marketplace for unused storage - in consumer hardware and data centers.
In the conventional world, cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure provide centralised servers and IP addresses for user data. In the blockchain world, Filecoin uses hash-addressed content structures to reduce redundancy and increase efficiency.
Filecoin is integrated with Ethereum. This enables developers to access Ethereum blockchain data and interact with Ethereum smart contracts.
Filecoin (FIL) is the native crypto of the Filecoin network. It can be used to pay miners to store/distribute data and to retrieve information. Storage providers guarantee a minimum service level by providing FIL as collateral.
The Graph (GRT): The Graph is a decentralised protocol for indexing and querying data from blockchains. Developers can build and publish open APIs (subgraphs) that make data easily accessible.
The Graph is currently used by many projects including Uniswap, Synthetix, and Decentraland.
GRT is a token that is locked up by protocol participants to provide services to the network.
Helium (HNT): The Helium network is a decentralised wireless network. It enables Internet of Things (IoT) devices to wirelessly connect to the Internet and geolocate themselves without satellite location hardware or cellular plans.
The network is powered by a blockchain whose native token is HNT. This token incentivises a two-sided marketplace between coverage providers and consumers.
Hotspots are a combination of a wireless gateway and a miner and provide network coverage over a certain radius. Hotspots also mine HNT. Helium runs on the proof-of-coverage consensus algorithm.
Chainlink (LINK): How can a smart contract get data from the outside world? That's the problem that Oracles solve. They act as middleware between smart contracts and external sources of data.
Chainlink is a decentralised network of independent oracle node operators. It provides:
- Price feeds of financial market data
- Verifiable randomness that is needed for on-chain gaming
- Proof of reserve for asset-backed cryptos such as stablecoins
Chainlink is not a blockchain.
Each Chainlink oracle network comprises multiple independent oracle nodes. These nodes fetch data from multiple independent data providers. This data is then aggregated into a single data point and delivered "on-chain" for consumption by smart contracts.
LINK is the crypto token that is used for paying Chainlink node operators for providing oracle services.
Livepeer (LPT): Livepeer is a decentralised video streaming network built on Ethereum. Its native token is LPT. Developers can build and scale streaming platforms and services through API access to the Livepeer network.
Token holders help improve and secure the Livepeer network by acquiring and staking LPT and earning ETH and LPT rewards. Video Miners run Livepeer nodes and transcode video on their GPUs. In exchange, they get ETH and LPT as rewards.
Siacoin (SC): Sia is a decentralised cloud storage platform and a data storage marketplace.
It encrypts and distributes files across a decentralised network. Users control their private encryption keys and own their data. This is unlike traditional cloud storage providers.
Sia's storage can cost up to 90 percent less than leading traditional cloud storage providers. These charges are paid using the native token Siacoin (SC).
Theta (THETA): Theta is like Airbnb for video streaming - viewers earn rewards for sharing excess bandwidth and computing resources.
Theta's benefits are:
- Users earn rewards for sharing excess bandwidth & computing resources
- Viewers get better quality streaming services
- Content creators improve their earnings
- Video platforms don't have to build expensive infrastructure
- Video platforms can increase revenues
Theta also has smart contract capability for fully digitised item ownership, payment-consumption models, transparent royalty distributions, etc. Theta Enterprise Validators include Google, Binance, Sony Europe, and Samsung.
The Theta blockchain has two native tokens:
- Theta (THETA) for governance
- Theta Fuel (TFUEL) for powering transactions
Next edition: Top gaming and metaverse cryptos
Rohas Nagpal is the author of the Future Money Playbook and Chief Blockchain Architect at the Wrapped Asset Project. He is also an amateur boxer and a retired hacker. You can follow him on LinkedIn.
Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.