It seems like only yesterday that the crypto community was bemoaning the siloed design of blockchains. Thankfully, the industry moves at something approaching warp speed, and a number of recent innovations have facilitated interaction between once incompatible platforms.
Between cross-chain liquidity networks, cross-chain wrapped assets and swaps, and data oracles that connect disparate blockchains with real-time price feeds and APIs, the industry has come a long way in a short timespan. While there are a multitude of cross-chain projects making interoperability possible, the following five look set to have a breakout year in 2021.
Wanchain professes to be the “world’s most advanced blockchain interoperability platform” – a bold claim indeed. Look under the hood, though, and you’ll see that the boast isn’t mere hyperbole. Wanchain supports ring signature-based private transactions and decentralized cross-chain functionality, with developers able to write smart contracts, build dApps and issue tokens (including NFTs) on the network.
The EVM-based solution has ambitions of becoming a major player in the world of cross-chain defi in 2021, enabling the smooth flow of assets between blockchains via proxy-tokens such as wanBTC, wanEOS, wanXRP and wanDOT. The Wan team believes that Ethereum assets alone simply cannot hope to sustain the defi ecosystem, giving rise to the need for agnostic assets that can be used as collateral for lending/borrowing on protocols like Compound or Cream, as well as in liquidity pools.
With the recent launch of Wanchain 5.0, the WanSwap AMM and a Web Bridge that enables in-browser asset conversions between Wanchain and Ethereum, Wanchain is looking forward to a bright 2021.
A community-governed platform focused on staking, lending and governance, MANTRA DAO is busy building bridges across the DeFi ecosystem. One of the first wave of products built on Parity Substrate for Polkadot, the user-friendly interface utilizes open-sourced and proprietary lending protocols to facilitate the provision of cross-chain, multi-asset loans.
Since the new year, MANTRA DAO have slated an exciting suite of new products including a multi-asset CDP style lending product, a swapping mechanism, and a fundraising platform equipped with staking and other features. Their lending platform protocol, ZENTEREST, is making waves with the launch of a handful of both small and large-cap ERC-20 crypto assets. As one of the most comprehensive DeFi ecosystems in the market, MANTRA DAO is well positioned for 2021’s cross-chain race.
As a pioneer of liquid staking and cross-chain liquidity on/off ramps, RAMP DeFi lets users unlock liquid capital from staked, non-ERC20 assets and utilize a stablecoin (rUSD) to borrow fiat-backed currencies such as USDT and USDC. Ethereum users can also mint their own eUSD by depositing ERC20 stablecoins into the platform’s eUSDT liquidity pool.
The potential of RAMP DeFi has been recognized by backers including Alameda Research and Signum Capital, who pledged over $1 million in backing in August. Ramp, meanwhile, aims to hit $1 billion in Total Value Unlocked (TVU) come the end of 2021. Based on RAMP’s traction with partners and recent performance, this goal seems very obtainable. Make sure to keep an eye on RAMP in 2021.
Kylin Network is a project that seeks to power the data economy on the much talked-about Polkadot network. Comprising data analytic tools, an advanced decentralized data feed, an open marketplace for data exchange and pricing, and a native token to handle governance, the Polkadot parachain – which received a Web3 Foundation grant in late 2020 – will launch its mainnet next year while continuing to pursue partner network integrations.
Interestingly, Kylin CEO Dylan Dewdney recently touted the cross-chain platform as a potential solution to disputes surrounding the U.S. Presidential election, claiming “Decentralized validation of local electoral results could provide a very powerful tool against some of the problems we are currently seeing.”
A decentralized network of independent parallel blockchains, Cosmos relies on the Interblockchain Communication (IBC) messaging protocol to facilitate dialogue between exterior networks. One of the best-known interoperability projects, Cosmos styles itself as “the Internet of Blockchains'' and comprises an eponymous Hub and Zones, both of which are built atop Tendermint. A number of intriguing projects have built on Cosmos in recent years, including Binance Chain, IOV and Sentinel Network.
October saw the launch of Starport v0.12, a game-changing developer toolkit that allows devs to create tokens on one chain and transfer them to others via Cosmos. As an interoperable O.G., Cosmos is a sure bet to make a splash in the year to come. If the elusive dream of mainstream adoption is ever to be realized, cross-chain projects will play a major part. Let’s hope these innovators and disruptors stay on their game.
Disclaimer: This post is informational in nature and does not constitute financial advice. Please consult your financial advisor before investing in any cryptocurrencies or exploring new technologies as they could be volatile and pose risks for the average investor. The writer is a user, investor, or could have a personal relationship with some of the companies mentioned.
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