2020 will be remembered as the pinnacle of DeFi or the era of decentralized finance. Resembling the ICO mania of 2017, there were many useless clone projects or simply SCAM protocols following one exclusive goal — to capture investors’ money. Nevertheless, we’ve witnessed numerous interesting projects worth paying attention to that may have been unjustifiably overlooked. We would like to present a list of notable 2020 projects that you might have missed.
This rating is based neither on capitalization nor on the “hype” indicators. We will mention projects we find interesting mainly due to how useful they may be for the crypto community, that have a powerful team backing, or demonstrate a decisive strategy for long-term growth. We believe these projects bring unique value rather than just try to replicate the success of popular blockchains. Let’s move on to the ranking.
Band Protocol (BAND)
Band Protocol is a secure and scalable blockchain platform delivering decentralized oracles for Web 3.0. It serves as a bridge between a blockchain and external data. Oracles receive their information from external sources via API and then broadcast it to smart contracts.
Smart contracts are isolated from the Internet and cannot receive outside data such as quotes of sports events outcomes, etc. Oracles serve as conductors, allowing developers to build DeFi applications. Band Protocol runs on three blockchains:
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Polkadot (DOT)
- Cosmos (ATOM)
Band Protocol allows developers to create a wide spectrum of blockchain applications and receive rewards in BAND tokens in exchange for data. The Band Protocol solution is used by well-known DeFi platforms, such as x, y, and z.- platforms need to be added.
The Graph Network (GRT)
The Graph Network was founded in 2018, but the working protocol did not emerge until 2020. In October 2020, its developers changed the protocol’s architecture and presented the final version of the network. By December 2020, Binance and a number of other exchanges have listed the GRT platform token.
The Graph Network is a decentralized protocol aimed at creating blockchain data API requests. The platform has provided the ability to receive data without relying on centralized service providers. All members of the network deploy subgraphs while executing different roles:
- Consumers — The users who pay indexers for processing search queries. The consumer could also be an entire web service or a set of software associated with The Graph;
- Indexers. The nodes on the network responsible for the data indexing;
- Curators — Using GRT tokens (native platform tokens), curators identify information for subgraphs that is important for indexing;
- Delegators — These are project members who delegate their GRT tokens to indexers in order to receive a portion of the profit;
- Fishermen — These are the participants who check the validity of the network’s response to queries;
- Arbitrators — These participants ensure that the indexers are not malicious.
The solution presented by The Graph Network platform utilizes major DeFi protocols such as Uniswap, Synthetix, Aragon and Decentraland.
Injective Protocol (INJ)
Injective Protocol is the world’s first decentralized layer-2 exchange protocol. The goal of the project is to expand the capabilities of DEX, DeFi, and decentralized crypto derivatives.
The project’s developers were the first to present the first fully decentralized cryptocurrency exchange (DEX). Modern DEX’s are basically centralized; assets are stored in users’ wallets, but in other aspects, they are no different from CEX’s. Injective Protocol eliminates this problem by being the first to introduce a decentralized exchange order book. This allows the exchange’s users to take full control of the decentralized infrastructure.
The protocol is capable of executing orders over the sidechain, and Injective Chain is compatible with Ethereum to transmit ERC20 tokens and Ethermint-based EVMs for launching DeFi-applications.
Injective Protocol was also one of the first decentralized platforms to provide Contract for Differences (CFD), futures, and open-ended swaps trading. Another particular aspect is that holders of INJ tokens participate in the governance of the crypto exchange by voting.
Near Protocol (NEAR)
Near Protocol is an open blockchain platform designed to accelerate and simplify the development of decentralized applications. Developers can easily deploy their own asset management applications such as digital identity and currencies. An entire community of like-minded people united by a common goal is behind the development of Near Protocol.
At the heart of the protocol’s tokenomics lies the NEAR token, which allows users to pay for services, fees, and participate in the platform’s development decision-making. The developers of Near Protocol have created a secure and productive blockchain with the aim of a scalable network that allows developers to build decentralized apps which also offer lower transaction fees. For comparison, the cost of transactions in the Near Protocol network is 10,000 times lower than what Ethereum can boast.
Near Protocol provides a wide range of developer tools and SDK, such as a CLI, wallet templates, blockchain components, and much more. Unlike narrowly-focused blockchains such as Ethereum, Near Protocol solves a wide range of problems. The developers have rethought the concept of such blockchains and created a fundamentally new first-layer-1 protocol to form the Open Web stack.
The platform is positioned as a next-generation blockchain that uses network fragmentation, sharding, which takes aim at the soft spot of Ethereum and its scalability issues. Such an approach allows redistributing network resources in order to handle high user activity without decreasing the performance, even at peak loads. This is exactly what Ethereum developers are currently working on while the first developments will emerge with Ethereum 2.0, their sharding mechanism is being implemented in Phase 1.
Reef Finance (REEF)
The platform positions itself as DeFi’s first cross-chain operating system. Despite the fact that the protocol only appeared in Q3 2020, Reef Finance quickly gained popularity, and as soon as December, the REEF token was listed by major cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance and Bilaxy.
Reef is a hybrid liquidity aggregator built on top of the Polkadot (DOT) blockchain. The platform receives liquidity from both centralized (CEX) and decentralized (DEX) platforms. Lending, staking, and mining are available to the platform users. Liquidity mining is controlled by artificial intelligence, which allows the algorithm to be personalized to increase profitability depending on the amount of funds an investor is employing..
REEF token holders can do smart lending, borrowing, stake coins, vote on platform development proposals and do mining through the AI personalized Reef Yield Engine.
The Reef Finance protocol removes the problem of a fragmented DeFi market by creating global liquidity to eliminate high transaction fees and lower the entry barrier for users. Polkadot blockchain provides the Reef Finance platform with interoperability, security, high resiliency and productivity. In addition, it enables the creation of a cross-blockchains bridge for users to transact with Ethereum.
Celo’s developers came up with a unique idea of promoting cryptocurrencies among smartphone users. Popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) use long, complicated, and unreadable public addresses. Celo takes a fundamentally different approach: instead of confusing public addresses, platform users take advantage of phone numbers from their contact lists.
By doing this, Celo makes financial instruments accessible to smartphone users. In essence, transactions become similar and as simple as bank transfers. The CELO token is listed on Coinbase Pro, which indicates that the project’s perspectives are promising. The developers also released their own stablecoin — Celo Dollar (CUSD).
The project is backed by a team of experts and employees of famous international companies and graduates of respectable universities: Google, Square, Circle, Visa, GoDaddy, Twitter, Bank of America, MIT, Harvard and Cambridge Universities. Despite the fact that the project is under one year old, Celo ranks 68th in the CoinMarketCap rating at the time of writing this article.
Venus is the first decentralized lending protocol built on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC). The BSC network is significantly more productive than the Ethereum platform, with almost instant transactions and transaction fees just under a few cents.
Users can lend and borrow cryptocurrencies and stablecoins such as Bitcoin BEP2 (BTCB), Binance Coin (BNB), Ethereum (ETH), Tether (USDT), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), USD Coin (USDC), and others. Venus Protocol has also released its own stablecoin VAI.
The SXP token was launched during Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) on the Binance platform, while the Venus project is a part of the Binance Launchpad ecosystem and is backed by the basket of crypto assets and stablecoins without the centralized control mentioned above.
The projects reviewed in this article have great premises but are still relatively underappreciated despite their innovative approach to DeFi market infrastructure development. The situation is subject to change, however, when the hype around obsolete projects begins to dwindle., In the meantime, you are in a lucky position and can get to know these platforms or even become one of their first proponents!
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are not intended to be financial advice and should not be treated as such. 3commas and its authors do not take any responsibility for your profits or losses after you read this article. The article has been presented to provide readers with general information. There is only personal experience described herein. The user must do their own independent research to make informed decisions regarding their crypto investments.