In a world increasingly disrupted by diplomatic and trade wars, various rebellions and insurgencies, topped by new virus variants closing countries for travelers again and again, cryptocurrencies look like our ultimate unity tool of last resort. Cryptos thrive for the simple reason of being an efficient “cavity filler”, on top of their direct functionality. Not all of them, of course, but as Bitcoin and Ether remain on track for their best performance month after April’s dive, altcoins gradually return to a spotlight as well.

Last week the combined cryptocurrency market capitalization has grown by about $100 billion to over $ 2.1 trillion. Open interest in BTC futures continues to grow along with the price of the underlying asset. Recently this indicator has renewed its 3-month high and reached $17 billion. This is a sign of perfectly healthy growth.

According to Bittrex Global CEO Stephen Stonberg, “… Crypto has now gone mainstream. We have double-digit percentage adoption in both developed and developing countries. We even have Bitcoin adopted as legal tender in a country and many other countries are considering adopting Bitcoin as legal tender.”

In a recently concluded event, Brazil’s Central bank chief, Roberto Campos Neto endorsed cryptocurrencies and said that there is a need for greater regulation concerning digital assets in the country. Campos has been a faithful supporter of bitcoins and other coins and was addressing an online event organized by the Council of the Americas, Brazil’s central bank.

Contributing to the extension of our list of growing institutional involvement in the crypto industry, the BlackRock investment company (assets under management $ 8.7 trillion) has invested a total of almost $ 400 million in the mining companies Marathon Digital Holdings and Riot Blockchain. And interestingly, even such a skeptic of the cryptocurrency market as Peter Schiff admits that it was a very big mistake not to buy Bitcoin at the beginning of its wide acceptance, and now he thinks the BTC price can easily reach $ 100,000.

Revival of altcoins in the wake of Bitcoin and Ether’s comebacks was perfectly expected according to the base case scenario. However, this time around crypto investors need to think twice before they leap. Altcoins are no longer self-sufficient stories by definition, despite they still look nice as a crypto portfolio diversification tool. But as this market is gradually maturing, it won’t be enough just to present another tricky blockchain protocol type and drop a line or two in the accompanying white paper. In order to succeed, altcoins need to address their true uniqueness, concrete problems they are solving or intend to solve, as well as evidence of their durability and sustainability.

As the bull run continues in the crypto market, Cardano (ADA) has become the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization after Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum’s (ETH) tokens. The ADA prices are at their 12-week high. Earlier last week, Cardano’s ADA crossed the $2 threshold and has jumped over 12% over the past week as ADA reported a massive ~50% price hike. Following the uptick, ADA’s market capitalization is now past $65 billion leaving behind the popular stablecoin Tether USD as well as Binance Coin (BNB).

The unprecedented surge is largely attributed to Cardano’s upcoming launch of smart contract support on its main network through the Alonzo upgrade. While the latest upgrade will see smart contracts deployed and Dapps created on Cardano, it will put ADA at the forefront of other Ethereum competitors.

Cardano has always promised to be some kind of alternative to Ethereum. However, critics of Cardano claim that it has been procrastinating with the promised upgrades, so it has been increasingly risking missing the boat. However, the ADA prices rallying past $2 shows that Cardano still has the confidence of investors.

Meanwhile, Charles Hoskinson, founder and CEO of IOHK, the company behind the Cardano blockchain, took the Twitter platform to respond to his opponents of what they often claim to be ADA’s huge float. He told the audience about a document that describes the «Proof of Burn» mechanism, which allows anyone to destroy cryptocurrencies by sending them to an address from which they cannot be withdrawn or otherwise spent:

  • creating an unspent cryptocurrency address to which cryptocurrency coins are sent and thus burned (destroyed);
  • a proof mechanism verifying if such an address is indeed non-billable.

I believe Cardano (ADA) will stay. As its closest competitor Ether is rolling out a much-needed Ethereum 2.0 (Eth2) upgrade, each step Cardano takes is peer-reviewed by experts. This thorough testing means it’s own mechanisms’ upgrade is being developed much slower than the Ethereum’s, but slower doesn’t mean poorer.

Cardano calls itself a third-generation blockchain. It wants to solve some of the scalability and other issues faced by Ethereum and Bitcoin. Rather than layer solutions on top of the existing technology, it started from scratch and built a whole new blockchain.

Solana (SOL), a high-performance blockchain, in its turn, recently surpassed $ 2 billion in various projects. Solana, which became a blockchain through its whitepaper, released in 2018 and initially launched on Mainnet Beta in 2020, proved to be a more scalable blockchain compared to the earlier launched Ethereum. It can process up to 50,000 transactions per second. Solana’s self-proclaimed mission is to support all high-growth and high-frequency blockchain applications and truly decentralize the global financial system. The core of Solana is:

Scalability: Solana can support more than 50,000 transactions per second, while maintaining a block generation time of 400 milliseconds.

Decentralization: Using the Turbine block propagation protocol, the platform can support thousands of nodes while maintaining performance and scalability.

Low costs: The network transaction cost of 1 million transactions is estimated to be $10.

Solana’s huge global community: More than 360,000 Twitter followers and a few dozens of Reddit/Telegram groups.

Admittedly, Solana does carry a comprehensive portfolio that could achieve the desired effect. The new injection of funding gives Solana some leeway to speed up the development, and it is developing at a rapid pace. A Twitter post indicates that Solana is becoming a primary currency for traders, showing the blockchain has positive connotations for traders.

Recently Solana set a new all-time high of about $80 after a 11% gain.