April 2018 Top 10 Projects

Let’s have a little fun here. Everyone loves a top “X” list. Below are projects I’m bullish on. I may or may not own these projects myself but nonetheless they crack my list. The criteria for getting onto this list is the following:

  1. I have examined the project to some degree. There are too many projects out there and I cannot possibly look at all of them.
  2. These tokens are traded on an exchange. I write plenty of content covering ICOs. You don’t need more of that.
  3. They display dominance in a certain sphere of decentralized computing.

If your favorite project is not listed… I do not apologize. Let’s engage in conversation so you can educate me.


#10 – Steem ($STEEM)

3 second block times. Live in action. As of this morning, I ran a snapshot of the Steem blockchain and there were over 964,000 accounts. I’m currently working on calculating the Gini Coefficient of the chain but it’s going to take me two or three days to run through every account on a single threaded Python script. I run a parallel blog on it (here) and I’ve been fortunate enough to earn some Steem just for contributing to the community. This is what crypto needs more of: working products. Hard Fork 0.16 introduced a reduction in block reward inflation and stabilized the weakened price of Steem vs USD, thus incentivizing investing and saving into the platform.

Of course, there are downsides. Intimidating ramp onto the platform. It’s confusing to use. What is the difference between Steem Power, Steem, and Steem Dollars? Why are there so many bots that comment? The distribution of influence on the platform can certainly improve but remember, there’s always the opportunity to propose changes to the network. Hard fork 0.20 is coming up.


#9 – Zilliqa ($ZIL)

Beating Ethereum to the punch in releasing sharding. Its testnet has launched and is currently undergoing rigorous testing (albeit with homogenous Amazon AWS EC2 servers). At the time of this writing 940 peers were on the network with a 117.30 TPS. In their internal testing, they were able to achieve 2-3K TPS. Clearly this needs to go out in the wild with heterogenous hardware specs and increased capacity demands against the network. Their alpha code was named “Durian”. I really dislike this fruit and therefore this has to be a negative.


#8 – Ontology ($ONT)

Multichains. Onramp for enterprises to move onchain. Shared co-founders with well known blockchain Neo. Multiple consensus algorithms. See my previous post on Ontology. At the time of my previous writing their VBFT consensus algorithm hadn’t yet been written. I’m still eagerly awaiting for it to drop into their GitHub repo. Full disclosure: I received 500 ONT tokens at Neo Dev Con in San Francisco. With the attention its been able to generate at the Neo Dev Cons, Ontology is in a strong position to recruit developers and entrepreneurs to work on its platform. Given enough time, base level protocols with the largest number of participants will end up capturing value and thus increase switching costs for developers.

Also, if I were to rank just based on logo – Ontology would have to be the worst out of this entire list.


#7 OmiseGo ($OMG)

Banking the unbanked. What can be more noble of a use case for decentralized technologies. We’re all here for the promise of change right? Rather than just waiting to see if my token of choice is going to increase in price! OMG is ahead of schedule in its development, backed by a real world company, and is one of the only projects advised by Vitalik Buterin. In fact, both projects Vitalik advises are ahead of schedule. The other project is Kyber Network ($KNC).


#6 – Ark ($ARK)

Originally a fork of Lisk but has since taken on a life of it own. The Ark project is active on their Medium and blog account. To win the war of developer network effects, Ark is building developer tools to increase adoption of building on Ark. Several tools such as Symfony (a PHP web development framework), and Ark Deployer (allowing you to create your own blockchain in minutes) are out in the wild. Ark features a DPoS consensus algorithm, similar to EOS and Steem. There is also a proof-of-concept migrating Ethereum’s Virtual Machine into Ark. The trend of other projects are incorporating the EVM onto their chains (i.e. Qtum) is likely to continue to steal Ethereum’s developers. Lastly, Ark has a mobile wallet that runs silky smooth on Android.


#5 – Waves ($WAVES)

Waves launched as a decentralized exchange and a platform for token generated events. If you want to build your own token, you can do so on Waves. In addition to that there is a fiat gateway that mirrors a “Waves” version of fiat currency on their platform. The US Dollar (USD) becomes wUSD. The Euro becomes wEURO. Creating a fiat onramp can only help to increase mass adoption of digital currencies.


#4 – Ethereum

The first smart contract enabled platform. Scaling is a well known issue with Ethereum but several projects are underway to improve the protocol. Truth is, Ethereum still has massive network effects. First gen dApp developers are familiar with Ethereum’s programming language Solidity. Ethereum still has the most dApps on its platform and will continue to do so for the intermediate term. ICOs were basically invented and popularized by Ethereum. What other invention has made fundraising so astonishingly easy. Raising $50M in a matter of minutes


#3 – EOS ($EOS)

2 second finality. 0.5 second transaction times. Faster than Dan Larimer’s previous project Steem. EOS is a smart contract enabled platform that maximizes for scale and security by trading off maximum decentralization. Larimer has a track record of success with launching real world applications in the cryptocurrency space. Despite leaving his previous two projects, he has left repeatedly to bring platforms that bring real world utility. EOS is likely to do the same. Its long running ICO is comical but anyone that can continue to raise money because they can – will do so. Amassing a huge war chest to win the race to network effects will surely come in handy.


#2 – Bitcoin ($BTC)

Bitcoin is synonymous with cryptocurrency to the uninitiated. Papa Bitcoin is the oldest and most battle tested protocol. Originally thought of as a Medium-of-Exchange or popularly referred to as “Money Over IP”, but has lately started to be viewed as a Store-of-Value. The gateway to buying altcoins, remains in many places, is Bitcoin. Sovereign grade censorship resistance provides real world utility for many countries around the world where you would be worse off holding sovereign currency.


#1 – Dogecoin

Because… why not. Woof!

Don’t take these rankings too seriously. Just thought I’d put a fun article out for once. Over time, I may turn this top 10 into a monthly series with objective criteria. For now, this will do.

Notable projects left out that I am familiar with: Kyber Network, Icon, Aion, Binance Coin, Cardano, Monero, Wanchain, Qtum, Dash, Stellar Lumens, Vechain, Rchain, Dragonchain, Aelf, Mithril, Cindicator, Neblio, Lisk

Projects I’m eagerly excited about: Cosmos, Dfinity, Loki Network, Quarkchain, Holochain

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