After a relatively uneventful Week 31 the total cryptocurrency market capitalizations sits at around the same valuation of $1.15 trillion as 7 days before. However, we are likely going to see more market shake-ups as the Ethereum mainnet merge approaches. As we have already mentioned that Ethereum should be on everyone’s watchlist for (at least) the whole month in our recent Top 3 Coins to Watch article, we have selected 3 other coins/projects that could rally in the week that’s ahead of us because of the upgrades, announcements and other project developments.
3. Optimism (OP)
Optimism is a popular Ethereum Layer 2 network that approaches solving the scalability issue through the use of Optimistic Rollups technology. This also allows the network to operate with low cost and latency of Ethereum transactions. OP is Optimism’s governance token. Optimism’s governance model consists of two groups – the Token House and the Citizens’ House, which together form the Optimism Collective, a large digital democratic governance community that votes on protocol upgrades, directs incentives to projects, and determines the allocation of treasury funds.
Optimism Foundation revealed that the Bedrock upgrade is coming in Q4 2022
The Optimism Foundation recently revealed their plans to release the Bedrock upgrade in Q4 2022. According to the Optimism team, the Bedrock upgrade will represent an important improvement to their rollup-based Ethereum Layer 2 network as it will than significantly reduce the time needed for crypto assets to be deposited from layer 1 to layer 2. In addition, Bedrock will bring a 20% decrease in the price of submitting data to layer and add support for other proof systems, such as zero-knowledge proofs. Finally, Bedrock will separate the Optimism’s consensus layer from the execution layer, resulting in a network design like the one of Ethereum after The Merge. You can find an in-detail insight in Bedrock here. The team will also answer Bedrock related questions in a dedicated Twitter Space that will open on Monday, August 8th at 4:30 PM UTC. The announcement was very well received by the market, as OP climbed from les than $1.40 to more $2.19 in a matter of two days. Currently, OP is changing hands at $1.93 but is still up by 17% in the past 7 days. OP’s price performance is even more astonishing when looking at a 1-month scale, as the coin is up by more than 230% in that timeframe. Can the coin surge even higher once the announced improvements get deployed?
2. Flow (FLOW)
Flow is a gaming and digital collectables-focused blockchain developed by Dapper Labs, the team behind the cat breeding and collecting game Cryptokitties that seized the attention of the cryptocurrency world (and clogged the Ethereum blockchain) in 2017. Designed to be developer-friendly and as simple for the end users as possible, Flow aims to successfully cater the needs of the world franchise owners and attract many mainstream consumers. Flow already hosts several NFT apps officially-licensed from major sports leagues including the NBA Top Shot and NFL All Day. The Flow network relies on a proof-of-stake consensus model, but it is more scalable as well as environmentally friendlier compared to Ethereum.
FLOW price spiked following Instagram partnership announcement
The price of FLOW jumped by more than 40% on August 4 as the team revealed that Flow will be one of the first blockchains supported by Meta’s applications, most notably Instagram, as they begin to roll-out NFT support. The announcement claims that Instagram has started to gradually deploy digital collections functionality backed by blockchain and NFT technology to its more than 2 billion active users. Furthermore, select users may already be able to connect their Dapper Wallet to Instagram and display their NFTs directly on their profiles. Since this partnership has a huge potential to boost Flow’s adoption, it is not surprising that the market reacted the way it did. Nevertheless, it is a bit more unusual that FLOW did not face a readjustment after the hyped-up traders exit their trades. Quite the contrary, the network’s native token is still trading at $2.65, which is roughly around the top of the initial price spike. In fact, the rally could soon continue as Instagram will add the NFT functionality to more accounts every day. However, the mainstream audience has not showed a huge interest in NFTs just yet and even the crypto community’s affinity to these digital collectibles has rapidly cooled of as the crypto space entered the bear market, so we cannot sure that the Instagram integration will actually drive up the adoption and valuation of these NFT-focused networks.
1. Binance Coin (BNB)
Binance Coin (BNB) originally launched in 2017 as an ERC-20 token sold through an initial coin offering (ICO). In April 2019, the Binance Chain was launched, and all the existing ERC-20 tokens were replaced with the BNB coin, which became the native cryptocurrency of the new blockchain. Binance Chain is still completely centralized, with Binance having complete control of block management. Binance users who utilize BNB to pay for trading, withdrawal and listing fees enjoy discounts. While this used to be pretty much the only use case of BNB, the coin has a far greater utility now as it allows users to pay for gas fees, earn cashback on Binance Visa card purchases, stake BNB and participate in liquidity pools and other DeFi activities. BNB is also used to determine eligibility to participate in Initial Exchange Offerings (IEOs). In addition, the Binance ecosystem keeps expanding, which means that new products and services are regularly added.
BNB sets a new ATH price in Bitcoin
BNB was the most successful coin out of the crypto Top 10 last week – while all the other coins ended the week in the red or with minuscule gains, BNB price grew by 11.50%. In fact, on August 7, BNB was changing hands at the price of 0.01398 BTC per BNB which is the highest BNB/BTC exchange rate in the history. This means that BNB is currently trading at its ATH Bitcoin price. By looking at the crypto news headlines we can find a few reasons why the coin is performing so well lately. For example, Binance has recently revealed that it is partnering with Mastercard to launch a prepaid crypto card in Argentina, a 45 million people market. Binance’s Visa card allow its holders spend their cryptocurrency on everyday purchases while earning a crypto cashback of up to 8% at the same time. Binance’s cashback offering is hard to beat and the fact that another popular crypto Visa card provider Crypto.com has been repeatedly slashing rewards is only channelling the cashback-hungry customers to other providers, including Binance. Nevertheless, the growth of Binance’s Visa program is by far not the only reason for the optimistic sentiment on the BNB markets. The BNB Chain’s Total Value Locked (TVL) is also growing. According to DeFi Llama, BSC’s TVL is up by 11.7% in the past 30 days. Finally, Binance is a company with a relatively good reputation that has weathered out the bear market without any major lay-offs or reward cuts. Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao himself recently posted that Franck Muller, a luxury watch manufacturer, is accepting BNB payments. More than anything else, this shows that Binance is a reputable and big enough player in the crypto industry that large companies from other industries are willing to accept Binance’s currency as a form of payment. This is why we believe BNB will not go away easily and will continue to perform well in the future.
Andrew is a writer that does most of his work on cryptocurrency-related topics. While he’s primarily interested in Bitcoin, he also follows major altcoins and the innovative ideas that new cryptocurrency and blockchain projects are bringing to the table.