In the past two months, the number of crypto projects using a $1 billion market cap doubled as increased adoption compels market valuations higher.
In the previous two months, the number of cryptocurrencies with a $1 billion market cap has doubled since the previous time Cointelegraph reported to the milestone. As things now stand, there are 100 projects that have attained a $1 billion dollar market capitalization.
Unicorns are usually privately held startup companies valued at more than $1 billion, but standard fund is increasingly applying the term to high-value cryptocurrencies that associations are just now gaining exposure to.
The entrance of institutional investors to the cryptocurrency industry over the span of 2021 has been one of the driving forces of expansion for the ecosystem as a whole as multi-million dollar firms such as Tesla, Square and MicroStrategy have converted a part of their cash reserves into Bitcoin (BTC) along with other top altcoins.
Decentralized finance (DeFi), nonfungible tokens (NFT) and oracles are some of the hottest growth sectors of this cryptocurrency ecosystem, helping propel multiple projects to Unicorn degree status, while stablecoin-related protocols have also vaulted in value as they help provide a solid base for the industry to develop from.
On this thread, here's an update on some of the highest crypto unicorn projects, in addition to an introduction to some of the most recent arrivals into the billion dollar team.
Nonfungible tokens slip the spotlight
Nonfungible tokens took the world by storm over the past two months as actors, influencers, quick food restaurants and established auction homes jumped on the bandwagon to take part in the creation, sale and distribution of one-of-a-kind digital assets.
Enjin Coin (ENJ) has been among the largest beneficiaries of the rise of NFTs which helped rocket the cost of ENJ to an all-time large of $3.08 on March 15 and firmly elevated the project to Unicorn status with a $2.6 billion market cap.
The forthcoming launch of JumpNet on April 6, will permit the zero-fee production and distribution of ERC-1155 tokens in the Enjin ecosystem and community excitement within this launching appears to be maintaining shareholders bullish on ENJ.
Other noteworthy NFT-related arrivals to the Unicorn club include the virtual reality platform Decentraland (MANA), which empowers the purchase of digital plots of land that can be developed and monetized, and Flow (FLOW), also a developer-friendly blockchain supposed to be the base for"the next generation of games, apps, and the digital assets that power them."
The effect that decentralized finance has had about the cryptocurrency ecosystem is incontrovertible as a lot of this growth in the industry over the past two years can result from DEXs like Uniswap and yield-farming platforms such as Yearn.finance (YFI).
High transaction costs and network congestion on the Ethereum network triggered an exodus of liquidity and users to cross-chain compatible platforms and also helped to raise several DeFi protocols constructed over the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) over the billion-dollar mark.
PancakeSwap (CAKE) has been one of the shining stars of BSC, quickly climbing up the charts during the weeks of February and March to hit a market cap of $2.55 billion.
Statistics from Defi Llama demonstrates that CAKE is currently ranked as the fifth-largest DeFi platform by complete value locked with $6.18 billion now locked in the protocol.
One protocol that works on the Binance Chain and also the Ethereum network is THORChain (RUNE), whose 700% cost increase since January 1 has lifted the project's overall market cap to $1.95 billion.
Recent optimism for the project was focused around the launch of THORChain Multichain, which committed to genesis on April 2 and is expected to establish between the 13th and 16th of April.
Cross-chain bridges and interoperability protocols soar
Platforms that offer a lower fee surroundings to that of Ethereum, including layer 2 options and different blockchain networks, have received additional attention over the past two months due to record-breaking gas expenses.
As the token which forces transactions on the BSC, Binance Coin (BNB) has seen its cost surge enough to vault the market to the top 3 by market capitalization, which currently fluctuates around $53.55 billion.
Polygon (MATIC) has also risen in stature to become one of the chosen layer 2 protocols for the Ethereum network following its pivot to become the"Polkadot on Ethereum" and help stem the tide of liquidity and projects exiting the network.
Together with many popular unicorn-level projects currently usable on the Polygon protocol, including Aave (AAVE) and SushiSwap (SUSHI), MATIC looks well-positioned to keep its gallop greater as a climbing unicorn celebrity.
Stablecoins and storage platforms grow in strength
Stablecoins and their related protocols received a boost early in 2021 when the U.S. Treasury's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency gave the green light for national banks to conduct independent nodes for dispersed ledger networks.
1 protocol using a stablecoin component which has made great strides in helping establish a stable store of wealth in countries experiencing hyperinflation such as Venezuela is Reserve, whose Reserve Rights (RSR) token has risen by over 400 percent in 2021.
Real-world use cases and partnerships drive altcoins greater
Several projects with specific use-cases and first-mover advantage have combined the unicorn herd by providing unique solutions to issues faced in both the cryptocurrency and conventional sectors.
Theta (THETA) has been a stand-out performer for its blockchain industry in 2021 as the streaming video-focused platform has seen its token worth swell more than 900% since early January after several high-profile statements led to record-high trading volumes for the token.
The blockchain-based web browser along with electronic advertising platform Basic Care Token (BAT) managed to attain a unicorn-level evaluation thanks to its NFT and DeFi related announcements, together with the project unveiling plans to launch a DEX aggregator and NFT pocket in its next browser.
Running a hotspot on the Helium network provides the consumer a cheap chance to participate in mining to maintain network security in a fraction of what it costs to mine Bitcoin and Ethereum.
This is helped create a worldwide network of over 25,000 hotspots and a entire market cap of $1.12 billion to the HNT.
Now that institutional investors are slowly gaining exposure to this cryptocurrency asset class, the amount of unicorn-level jobs is likely to continue to grow as traditional fund embraces the rise of DeFi and digital assets.