The year 2021 was marked by several major projects in the cryptocurrency world. As always, it was not without some scams. Which new cryptocurrencies will we remember, and which ones will become a thing of the past?
Hundreds of tokens, altcoins, and stablecoins appear in the cryptocurrency world every month. At the beginning of 2021, there were 10,000 cryptocurrencies on the market, and now there are 15,000 of them. Let’s consider the successful new cryptocurrencies that appeared this year and, of course, talk about failures and scams!
#1 Internet Computer (ICP)
The Internet Computer project, as well as its ICP cryptocurrency, have attracted huge community attention. Their creator, Dominic Williams, described the principles of the network back in 2016 when he published a manifesto with his vision of the future of the Internet. In the document, he described the idea of a global ‘Internet computer’, a decentralized world network supported by all network participants.
With the help of Internet Computer, Williams wanted to create a worldwide blockchain service on which anyone could host anything. For example, create their own server. According to Williams, the Internet Computer could become ‘Cloud 3.0’ and compete with the largest cloud services from Microsoft and Google.
In May 2021, the ICP cryptocurrency began trading on the Coinbase exchange. It entered the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap within a few days. Soon experts in the field began to criticize the project for lack of decentralization. In their opinion, the Internet Computer was created so that large coin holders could manage the entire network.
Despite all the criticism, Internet Computer is in the top 30 tokens on CoinMarketCap. At the beginning of December, the cost of 1 ICP was $40.08, and the market cap was $7.3 billion.
Analysts remain optimistic about ICP. For example, WalletInvestor believes the coin has the potential to hit $3,659.45 over the next five years.
#2 SafeMoon (SAFEMOON)
SafeMoon is a fully community-controlled DeFi token based on the Binance Smart Chain blockchain. The company has a beta version of a wallet and an automatic liquidity pool designed to prevent a collapse of prices if users decide to sell assets. Also, the creators promise to create their own cold wallet and launch a crypto exchange.
SafeMoon is currently not in the top 100 cryptocurrencies. According to the largest statistical site CoinMarketCap, it is in 209th place by market cap. At the beginning of December 2021, its price is $0.000002342 with a total market cap of $1.37 billion.
WalletInvestor believes that the price of SafeMoon will peak at $0.000067 in May 2022, and in five years, the token will be worth $0.000283.
#3 Chia Network (XCH)
Ecology has been the main trend in recent years. Cryptocurrency mining (in particular, Bitcoin mining) costs our planet so much — Bitcoin uses more electricity annually than the whole of Sweden or Norway. Because of this, Elon Musk’s Tesla even refused to sell their cars for ‘dirty’ bitcoins.
The BitTorrent file-sharing system creator, Bram Cohen, invented and launched a new cryptocurrency with the potential to change the mining world — Chia (XCH). To immediately indicate the difference between XCH and other altcoins, the process of mining tokens was called farming.
Farming works on the Proof of Space and Time algorithm. The main resource for mining tokens is not solving complex mathematical puzzles (as is the case with Proof of Work) but free space on the hard drives of blockchain participants. The more free disk space an XCH farmer has, the more tokens they can earn.
On a special Chia mining calculator, you can calculate how long it will take to mine coins on your operating system — the coin can be mined in any apartment according to the creator. True, those who have tried to mine XCH with minimally prepared equipment say that farming can take up to several years. So whether to consider this new cryptocurrency for mining on a regular computer or not is an open question.
Chia is currently ranked 275th in the CoinMarketCap ranking. The price of 1 XCH is $125.12, and a market cap is $306 million.
Despite a significant drop from an all-time high of $1600 to current prices, analysts at DigitalCoinPrice believe Chia will cost $1,327 in 2022, and SwapSpace expects its rise to $1,747 in 2025.
Failure of the Year: Facebook Diem
In the ranking of new cryptocurrencies, which will be released in 2021, Diem by the Facebook corporation was the absolute leader. The Internet giant wanted to launch the long-awaited stablecoin by the end of the year despite legal problems and the change in the original name of Libra.
Facebook was about to launch a pilot project with Californian bank Silvergate. The company was also considering allowing users to buy goods and services with Diem. Citi Bank even released a report entitled The Future of Money, which included a clause on Facebook’s cryptocurrency. The report said that Diem could become a CBDC service provider issuer.
The US authorities clearly do not intend to allow a huge corporation to create its own currency, albeit digital. On the day of publication of this note, it became known that the creator of Diem, David Marcus, left Facebook. Apparently, he will launch a private project, and Diem will be taken over by the head of Facebook Pay, Stephane Kasriel.
What is the bottom line? Instead of Diem, Facebook only launched a Novi wallet for US and Guatemala residents. The wallet also has problems with the law. The US government is demanding to immediately stop testing it and not bring Diem to the market. It is difficult to say whether Facebook will continue to fight the bans further or the project will be closed in 2022.
Scam of the Year: SQUID Cryptocurrency
South Korean series Squid Game was released on Netflix in mid-September and unexpectedly became the biggest hit of the year. A month after the show was released, the streaming service reported that 111 million accounts had watched the series — an absolute record for Netflix.
Scammers decided to take advantage of the incredible hype around the series. They released a SQUID-themed cryptocurrency and a game based on the series. The project description said that SQUID is a gaming crypto platform on which you can make money.
The anonymous creators of SQUID promised that, unlike the tournament organizers in the series, they would not limit the maximum size of the main prize and the number of participants. They argued that the more participants there are, the larger the prize pool will be. Quite typical for a pyramid promises did not prevent the world media from enthusiastically promoting it.
There were six games on the platform, for access to which one had to pay an amount in SQUID. It was necessary to pay 456 digital coins to access the first game and 15K to access the last one.
At its peak, the cost of the shitcoin grew to almost $2.9K — by several thousand percent in total. And then, the creators of Squid withdrew $3.6 million from the Binance Smart Chain on which it was built and brought the value of the cryptocurrency to almost zero. As it turned out later, the scammers swapped SQUID for Binance Coin and disappeared.
And while the Binance exchange is investigating the case and trying to find scammers, we once again ask you to study digital assets before investing in them carefully. Do not follow the hype, and never invest money that you can’t afford to lose!
This article is not an investment recommendation. Investors should take into account that the cryptocurrency market is very risky, and they make their investments at their own peril and risk.