Vitalik Buterin may think that the days of 1,000x returns are over, but the crypto community is hoping otherwise. True, the barrier of entry is now much higher and the days of $30 bitcoins are long past.
The floor is getting higher, but the ceiling is anyone’s guess.
The thought of the rising coin prices, like Bitcoin’s realization of $20,000 in December 2017, has led to the creation of a now legendary phrase in cryptocurrency — “to the moon.”
McAfee has predicted the peak value of Bitcoin to be $1 million in a few years; more conservative opinions have Bitcoin’s value at a few hundred thousand dollars.
The prospect of moonshots and general bullish sentiment has been quickly embraced by cultish investors, often to describe their own favored projects as a surefire success, with the hope that it will create a new batch of crypto-millionaires.
That sentiment might betray some irrationality, but the idea that there are projects whose potential is extremely undervalued right now is still sound.
Since the crypto boom, many startups have jumped on the blockchain bandwagon.
A closer look will reveal that there exists several projects in the huge market that are incorporating blockchain solutions with sound business logic, have teams with a strong work ethic, and have the long-term goal of carving out a more permanent place for the fledgling technology.
It brings us to the question, though: how can well tell if a project can go big, become a potential moonshot?
Is it purely in its use case? Is it in its attempt at upgrading the technical fundamentals of an existing project, like in the efforts of EOS and Zcash? Is it in working with regulators and finding a more abstract purpose, as security tokens are doing?
It’s a tough question to answer and everyone will have their own opinion.
In our view, the ultimate test of a project’s potential is in its use case. Specifically, rather than compete with existing entities, it should work with them to better existing processes, services and products. The platform should be able to the bring decentralization to systems in such a way that it improves efficiency and reduce costs.
A more subtle indicator of potential is in the network’s ability to redistribute power.
The BAT project is an example of this, taking power from advertisers and platforms to content creators. In the same way that the printing press and the internet opened up possibilities for the masses, platforms that give more power to the general individual will have a good chance of succeeding.
Lastly, there is the nature of the technology itself.
Being so nascent, there is much development yet to be done. We do not know if today’s top blockchain network’s will be the highest performing ones in the future. An entirely new project could make a fundamental breakthrough in scaling, transaction costs and consensus.
The development of blockchain technology is an ongoing process that will no doubt capture many investors’ attentions in the years to come.
Though this is by no means an exhaustive list of criteria, blockchain projects that check these qualities are certainly ones worth monitoring, and is why the following have been chosen as potential moonshots.