Four Crypto Projects that Will Shape the Narratives for 2023
The year 2022 began as quite an optimistic one for the crypto market as prices were still ranging at all time highs. At the time, Bitcoin was hovering around $45,000 while ETH traded slightly below $4,000.
But things soon took a different turn as the U.S Federal Reserve signaled a hawkish stance. Overall market prices including stocks have been on a downtrend since then, with the FED continuously hiking interest rates for three consecutive quarters.
However, on the brighter side, ‘alpha is built during bear markets’. Most crypto stakeholders who believe in the fundamentals of decentralization and privacy have gone back to the drawing book to build better solutions for the next era of Web3 innovations. As we usher in 2023, there is a likelihood that macro uncertainty is going to prevail for some time. That said, the most important question is which crypto projects will emerge stronger from this hullabaloo?
While there are many Web3 projects that have a solid value proposition, I believe based on the trends that specific themes will thrive more than others. They include the metaverse, interoperability solutions, decentralized exchanges and privacy solutions. I took some time to analyze some of the Web3 projects in these niches and found a few that will potentially be game-changers. Here is a brief highlight of the projects that crypto natives should look out for in 2023:
Currently the most liquid DEX, Uniswap’s popularity has been rising since the DeFi summer days of 2020. As of writing, the platform enjoys a total value locked (TVL) of over $3.52 billion. But it is the recent events surrounding FTX’s collapse that will probably scale Uniswap’s market dominance to new heights. Crypto natives have been moving funds from centralized exchanges, with a majority flocking to the Uniswap DEX as the non-custodial alternative.
While it may take time before disrupting the likes of Binance, it is quite noteworthy that Uniswap has stood the test of times and evidently surviving the bear market. The project’s parent company Uniswap Labs is currently valued at $1.66 billion following a recently completed series B funding where they managed to raise$165 million. That aside, Uniswap’s value proposition as a non-custodial DEX has never been felt before as it is now given the uncertainty around centralized exchanges.
2. Fashion League
As the name suggests, Fashion League is a novel Web3 platform designed to enhance the experience of the fashion industry through the metaverse. Imagine a virtual world where the participants can engage in various fashion-oriented game modes powered by NFT technology. In the Fashion metaverse, players can design virtual 3D styles, run a virtual clothing store or create personalized fashion NFTs. But more importantly, it is possible to trade one’s products via a decentralized marketplace.
This Web3 project was founded by Theresia Le Battistini, who was formerly a retail and finance expert, now a blockchain evangelist. According to a TechBullion interview with Battistini, one of the main goals is to introduce a metaverse world where both individuals and brands can display their digitized products. Citi estimates that the metaverse will potentially balloon into a $8 trillion market by 2030, there is a high chance that an integration with the fashion industry will be one of the primary drivers.
For a long time, interoperability has been a hurdle in the development of decentralized applications (DApps)t; the t3rn interoperable smart contract hosting platform is designed to address this challenge. At the core, t3rn provides Web3 developers with a fail-safe smart contract execution environment alongside an open source repository. What’s more fascinating is that anyone can use the smart contracts stored in the registry, while developers have the option to get remunerated anytime their code is executed.
Although a nascent project, t3rn has completed several milestones, including a $1.3 million seed round and a recent $6.5 million strategic sale led by Polychain Capital. The team also enjoys a close relationship with the famous Web3 Foundation, having received two grants over the past three years. For the future, t3rn is positioning to become one of the leading smart contract interoperability solutions, a theme that will likely get a lot of attention in the next phase of DApp innovations.
4. Calamari Network
Another major theme likely to shape the landscape in 2023 is privacy; Calamari Network, a plug-and-play privacy-preservation protocol, leverages the substrate infrastructure to introduce privacy features on Kusama’s DeFi stack. The project is the 7th and 41th winner of Kusama’s auctions and crowdloans, they currently have a leased slot set to last up to June 2023. In addition, Calamari Network has been backed by several heavyweight crypto VCs, including Polychain and Multicoin capital.
On the product front, Calamari’s MantaSwap DEX provides a private payment channel and DEX services. A much needed privacy solution given the ongoing scrutiny of crypto market participants by regulators from various jurisdictions. Going by these developments, it would be safe to assume that as we enter 2023, more and more people will gradually embrace privacy-focused DeFi solutions.
As briefly highlighted in the introduction, it is not yet certain when the macro turbulence will eventually cool off. However, for those who have been around crypto for some time, such cycles have historically come and gone. And after the dust settles, projects with a fundamental value proposition finally get an opportunity to shine. Similarly, the current bear cycle will not last forever but what’s important is to identify the themes that will drive the next phase of adoption.