Welcome to Altcoin of the Week, the column where I review and release an alt coin that I feel has some good potential for future gains. In the cryptocurrency space, we now have over 1’400 listed coins on Coinmarketcap, with more coming every single day; naturally, that means plenty of opportunity and money in picking the right horse. Please keep in mind that these are all speculative picks and none of these calls are anything close to “sure money”. At least, that’s what my lawyer tells me. This week we’re going to discuss another recent ICO with some big potential – you may have heard of this little coin called Zilliqa.
Altcoins as a place to experiment
Historically, Bitcoin maximalists have generally had a large displeasure when it comes to altcoins as they feel they take away from the rarity and attention of Bitcoin. Most maximalists years ago tried to build many of the more advanced chains we see today onto Bitcoin itself, and sidechains were seen as a way to improve and evolve the Bitcoin protocol.
That was then – nowadays, we have over a thousand altcoins. Eventually, most maximalists realized that altcoins were likely a much better testing ground for people to try their crazy ideas, because if something went wrong, it wouldn’t be on the main Bitcoin chain. We’re talking things like Proof of Stake, DAG, lending, smart contracts, and anonymity services. We even have projects such as Decred that focus on the governance aspect – in truth, many of these altcoins exist as experiments in whatever the blockchain designer deems it to attempt (and hey, the money doesn’t hurt either).
When successful projects do hit that mainstream success, we’re seeing attempts to bridge that over to the core network. An example of this is the rootstock project, which aims to add smart contracts to Bitcoin, learning from the massive success of Ethereum.
Moving over to Ethereum, one of the things that has kept it from really gaining traction in the real world is its scaling issues that keep the networked bottlenecked. With the recent cryptokitties debacles, and other historically similar events, Ethereum has shown that it simply lacks the TPS required to be everything that it could be. Solutions are being worked on however, in dark lit rooms that together form the Ethereum Foundation. One of these solutions is a concept called sharding, where the blockchain itself is split into a piece of the whole. You can think of this like reading a book – instead of reading an entire book by yourself (which might take a month), you work together with 10 of your friends, split the chapters up and all of you put together have read that book in a tenth of the time. Sharding works similarly, by splitting up the work and then reuniting the results of each shard’s work into the blockchain.
However, there’s one problem with this whole thing – sharding is a completely untested idea (outside of test nets), and some critical bug or instability, even a fundamental error in the concept itself could bring the whole thing crashing to a halt. So, what’s the solution?
Apologies for the large preamble, but those top few paragraphs were key to my fundamental analysis of Zilliqa. Zilliqa will be the first sharding enabled blockchain to exist with the tech in its native state, and will truly put sharding to the test. While other blockchain projects such as Universa have shown TPS of over 10’000, they are structurally different from Ethereum and would not truly be a compatible “test” of sorts – it’s simply a different beast (being DAG based). With Zilliqa, however, we can truly see whether the concept of sharding will succeed or not, and investors can place their bets early on whether this will be the proper solution for Ethereum moving forward.
Zilliqa has plenty of other things that make it attractive, such as it’s low cap during ICO, large initial hype, and great backing behind it, but the main thing that makes me bullish on these tokens is their concept of sharding, a truly unique idea in a sea of cryptoassets.
It’s a platform…
Zilliqa is also a platform, which is one of the things that makes a crypto investor salivate. Platforms historically have been projects that have moved on to hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars in valuations. and a starting point of 20 million for Zilliqa makes this project a simply great buy. If you’re the risk taking kind (and you likely are if you’re in this business), you can make a bet that Ethereum will be able to scale with sharding by investing into Zilliqa as the proof of concept. Personally, I missed out on this ICO (I was… incapacitated in a Russian jungle at the time.. but that’s a story for another day), but will definitely be headed to my local exchange to purchase these tokens as soon as possible – anyone can look at this in a fundamental basis and tell that it’s a winner.
My lawyer’s been on a 90’s cartoon binge the past week. He wanted me to post this.