The crypto world has matured significantly thanks to several factors. One of such is the growing appeal of digital assets as an investment instrument. Then there is the individual growth recorded by the emerging sectors in the crypto industries.
From what we have learned so far, crypto and blockchain are still nascent technologies. And so, it is impossible to put a cap on their innovative potential. The more we explore the possibilities of cryptocurrency, the higher the probability of discovering more compelling applications of the technology. In turn, the potent applications of crypto are the foundation on which the current crypto industry is being built.
Today, the crypto industry encapsulates a collection of niche markets focusing on creating and achieving unique value propositions centered around a specific crypto application. For instance, the DeFi market captures all the crypto solutions designed to enable and promote the ethos of open finance. NFT, on the other hand, encompasses projects poised to build a billion dollar economy powered by digital and real-world items uniquely represented on the blockchain. Like DeFi and NFT, several other niches have positively contributed to the growth of the crypto industry.
That said, it is important to note that each niche owes its successes to the operations of its constituent crypto projects, especially those that constantly raise the bar and set the tone for future innovations. These projects have established themselves at the top echelon of their respective crypto sectors because they strive to adapt to the volatile crypto economy while ceaselessly remaining at the forefront of the ongoing crypto revolution.
With this context in mind, we have decided to handpick the best project in selected crypto niches. Here, we will consider the prominence of the projects, the impact they have had in their respective sector, and their direct competitors. In this guide, we will be restricting our list to the following niche:
Decentralized Exchange (DEX)
Best Crypto Exchange: Binance
When Binance burst into the spotlight in 2017, not many thought that it would quickly become a household name in the crypto industry. The exchange is currently the largest and the most popular digital asset exchange today thanks to its progressive policies and competitive nature. Now averaging over $24 billion in trading volume daily, Binance offers one of the most affordable and flexible trading services. It also helps that it is available globally and supports over 300 coins. Notable exchange platforms vying for Binance’s position are Coinbase and Bittrex.
Best NFT Project: CryptoPunks
There are several projects making waves in the NFT market today. At the center of this latest crypto frenzy is CryptoPunks, which market metrics show has the highest collection net worth. It is worth noting that CryptoPunk had existed way before the NFT explosion in 2021. In fact, it was the first NFT collectibles launched on the Ethereum blockchain. There are over 10,000 unique and verifiable characters within the CryptoPunks collection. And while each sold for around $50 to $100 back in 2018, the most expensive Cryptopunks character was purchased for a whopping $7.56 million earlier this year. The entire Cryptopunk market is said to be worth $350 million.
Best DeFi Project: Aave
There is no doubt that the DeFi craze of 2020 helped demystify the role of crypto in the future of finance. It also showed that the concept of open finance is not mere wishful thinking but a realistic financial paradigm compelling enough to power a new generation of solutions designed to promote an inclusive economy. At the forefront of this movement is Aave, a decentralized lending solution. Currently, Aave accounts for $13 billion of the $60 billion worth of digital assets locked on Ethereum’s DeFi ecosystem. This highlights the dominance of the lending sub-niche in the DeFi market and also showcases the growing demand and robustness of the Aave protocol. Notable competitors include Maker and Compound.
Best Decentralized Exchange: Uniswap
Even after facing several adversaries in the last 12 months, Uniswap has been able to hold on to the top spot in the DEX market. This is largely due to the simplicity of the protocol and the high liquidity that it provides to traders. Note that Uniswap has recently reaffirmed its dominance in the DEX ecosystem. Its latest series of upgrades offer more flexibility in terms of fees and significantly reduces the possibility of price slippage. Following the launch, Uniswap V3 quickly emerged as the number 1 DEx with an average of $800 million worth of trading volume recorded daily.
Owing to the ascendancy of Uniswap V3, there are even more reasons for traders and liquidity providers to choose decentralized exchanges over centralized counterparties. However, for Uniswap to hold on to the number 1 spot for the long-term, it must contend with the likes of SushiSwap, PancakeSwap, and 1inch Exchange.
Best Marketing Agency: X10 Agency
It is hard to imagine the crypto industry we have today without acknowledging the work put in by individuals and teams to market the commonly misrepresented crypto ecosystem to investors and users. These entities specialize in building thriving communities and increasing the market visibility of crypto projects such that investors and users are willing to overlook the nascency of crypto. One platform that has excelled in this regard is X10 Agency. X10 Agency provides services for projects that intend to set up, promote or manage crypto or fintech brands, including a division dedicated to promoting NFT products.
Best Crypto Media/News Platform: Coindesk
There are no mincing words when it comes to the importance of crypto media houses. These platforms are the gateways to the latest crypto neлws and have persistently served as unbiased alternatives to the one-sidedness of traditional media networks, especially when covering crypto-related topics or news. Leading the way in this critical sector is Coindesk. The news platform has remained the go-to website for anyone looking to access prompt, factual, and quality crypto news. Launched in 2013, Coindesk upholds the highest of journalistic standards at all times. However, like most of the platforms mentioned in this guide, Coindesk’s long-standing status as the best crypto media outlet is increasingly being threatened by the emergence of new generation platforms like BTC Peers, Decrypto and Cointelegraph.
Best Crypto YouTube Channel: Coin Bureau
YouTube remains one of the crucial gateways to get mainstream users interested in crypto and blockchain. Coin Bureau spans a wide range of topics with videos that get 200,000 views and more with ease. Whether one is interested in individual projects or the broader developments across the industry, Coin Bureau will get the word out in video format quickly. With over 1.38 million YouTube subscribers, it is one of the most popular crypto-related channels on the platform. They also have a Spanish and Japanese channel to reach a broader non-English native audience.
The crypto industry is highly competitive. Therefore, the platforms highlighted in this guide must continue to evolve to stand a chance of retaining their number 1 spot in their respective sectors. For now, though, we cannot help but applaud their current dominance.