In the past two months, the number of cryptocurrencies with a market cap of $ 1 billion has doubled since Cointelegraph last reported the milestone. There are currently 100 projects with a market cap of $ 1 billion.
Unicorns are typically private startups valued at more than $ 1 billion. However, traditional financing is increasingly using the term for high-quality cryptocurrencies that institutions are only now exposed to.
The entry of institutional investors into the cryptocurrency sector during 2021 has been one of the driving forces of growth for the entire ecosystem as billion dollar companies like Tesla, Square, and MicroStrategy converted some of their cash reserves into Bitcoin (BTC) and others -Altcoins.
These are the top 8 #bitcoin holding companies.
What other #cryptocurrency could be part of the corporate stake? $ MSTR $ TSLA $ GLXY $ SQ $ MARA $ HUT $ VYGR $ RIOT pic.twitter.com/wqRD9qdRmb
– Delta Investment Tracker (@get_delta) March 6, 2021
Decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFT), and oracles have been some of the hottest growth sectors of the cryptocurrency ecosystem providing solid foundation for the industry to grow.
Check out this thread for an update on some of the best crypto unicorn projects, as well as an introduction to some of the latest additions to the billion dollar club.
Non-fungible tokens are stealing the limelight
Non-fungible tokens took the world by storm in the past two months as celebrities, influencers, fast food restaurants, and established auction houses stepped on to participate in the creation, sale, and distribution of unique digital assets.
Enjin Coin (ENJ) was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the surge in NFTs, which helped push the price of ENJ to an all-time high of $ 3.08 on March 15 and the project with a market cap of $ 2.6 billion to raise firmly to the status of a unicorn.
The upcoming April 6 launch of JumpNet will enable the royalty-free creation and distribution of ERC-1155 tokens in the Enjin ecosystem, and the community excitement over this launch seems to keep investors optimistic for ENJ.
Other notable NFT-related additions to the Unicorn Club include the virtual reality platform Decentraland (MANA), which enables the purchase of digital real estate that can be developed and monetized, and Flow (FLOW), a developer-friendly blockchain developed by the Basis for “the next generation of games, apps and the digital assets that power them”.
The DeFi ecosystem is expanding
The impact of decentralized funding on the cryptocurrency ecosystem is undeniable, as much of the sector’s growth over the past two years has been driven by DEXs like Uniswap and Yield.Farming platforms like Yearn.finance (YFI).
High transaction costs and network congestion in the Ethereum network triggered an exodus of users and liquidity to cross-chain compatible platforms, and also helped push several Binance Smart Chain (BSC) -based DeFi protocols above the billion dollar mark to lift.
PancakeSwap (CAKE) was one of BSC’s shining stars, rapidly climbing the charts in February and March to hit a market cap of $ 2.55 billion.
Data from Defi Llama shows that CAKE is now ranked as the fifth largest DeFi platform by total value, currently locked in the log at $ 6.18 billion.
One protocol running on the Binance chain and Ethereum network is THORChain (RUNE), whose price growth of 700% since January 1 has increased the project’s total market cap to $ 1.95 billion.
Recent optimism for the project has centered on the launch of THORChain Multichain, which is dedicated to Genesis on April 2nd and is expected to launch between April 13th and 16th.
Cross-chain bridges and interoperability protocols are increasing
Platforms that offer a lower fee environment than Ethereum, including Layer 2 solutions and separate blockchain networks, have received special attention in the past two months due to record-breaking gas costs.
Binance Coin (BNB) is the token that powers transactions on the BSC and has seen a surge in price enough to put the token in the top 3 by market cap, which is now hovering around $ 53.55 billion.
Polygon (MATIC) has also grown in prominence, becoming one of the selected Layer 2 protocols for the Ethereum network, having become the “Polkadot on Ethereum” helping to stem the flood of projects and liquidity that leave the network.
With many popular unicorn-level projects already running under the Polygon Protocol, including Aave (AAVE) and SushiSwap (SUSHI), MATIC appears to be well positioned to continue its gallop as the ascending unicorn star.
Stable coins and storage platforms keep getting stronger
Stablecoins and their associated protocols got a boost in early 2021 when the U.S. Treasury Department gave the currency validator the green light for national banks to run independent nodes for distributed ledger networks.
After Bitfinex and Tether settled their landmark case with the New York Attorney General’s office, enthusiasm for stablecoin projects continued to rise as market caps for Tether and USD Coin (USDC) increased by billions of dollars.
One protocol with a stable coin component that has made great strides in building stable prosperity in hyperinflationary countries like Venezuela is Reserve, whose Reserve Rights (RSR) token rose more than 400% in 2021.
Another new addition to stablecoins is TerraUSD (UST), whose market capitalization rose from $ 182 million on January 1 to $ 1.66 billion on April 2 as a native Terra (LUNA) blockchain protocol, the has specialized in the creation of fiat pegged stablecoins, has increased by leaps and bounds In order to operate price-stable global payment systems, the price has increased by 3,000% since the beginning of the year.
Real-world use cases and partnerships are driving altcoins high
Several projects with specific use cases and first mover advantage have joined the unicorn herd, offering unique solutions to problems encountered in both cryptocurrency and traditional sectors.
Theta (THETA) was a standout performer for the blockchain industry in 2021 as the token value of the streaming video-centric platform rose more than 900% since early January after several high profile announcements resulted in record trading volumes for the token.
Institutional investors @Sierra_Ventures, Heuristic Capital, @TheVRFund and @GFRFund hold over USD 100 million in theta in a collective enterprise validator Nodehttps: //t.co/pfGqxaYnxs
– Theta Network (@Theta_Network) March 23, 2021
The blockchain-based web browser and digital advertising platform Basic Attention Token (BAT) achieved a unicorn-level rating thanks to its own announcements related to NFT and DeFi. The project revealed plans to roll out a DEX aggregator and an NFT wallet in the next browser.
Helium (HNT), a decentralized blockchain network for Internet of Things (IoT) devices via a network of nodes (hotspots), recently joined the Unicorn Club.
By running a hotspot on the Helium network, the user can inexpensively participate in mining to maintain network security at a fraction of the cost of mining Bitcoin and Ethereum.
This helps create a global network of 25,000+ hotspots and a total market cap of $ 1.12 billion for the HNT.
Now that institutional investors are slowly entering the cryptocurrency asset class, the number of unicorn-level projects is likely to continue to grow as traditional funding includes the rise of DeFi and digital assets.
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