- Skrill, MANTRA DAO, Cartesi and Jelurida are four crypto companies to keep an eye on in 2021.
- Leading payment platform Skrill could play an important role in onboarding more users and putting crypto in the mainstream.
The crypto space has enjoyed significant growth in 2020. Though Bitcoin generated the lion’s share of press coverage (doesn’t it always?), and 2020 will likely be remembered for heralding the start of a mega bull run, many of the industry’s cutting-edge platforms and projects scored major victories. Between Binance’s acquisition of CoinMarketCap and FTX’s takeover of Blockfolio, via essential protocol upgrades and novel new products coming to market, there was plenty to get excited about in 2020.
Looking ahead to 2021 and there are plenty of reasons to be bullish, not least due to the developing infrastructure that bridges the gap between the legacy financial system and a thriving digital economy. Here are four crypto companies to keep an eye on in the year ahead.
Leading payment platform Skrill celebrates its 20th birthday in 2021, and with CEO Lorenzo Pellegrino a big fan of cryptocurrencies, it’s expected to introduce a slew of new features to help onboard more users. Pellegrino, who is also the CEO of Neteller and Income Access at Paysafe, noted in August that more people are switching to frictionless digital payment solutions as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Even as cash-based money transfer options reopen, preferences towards digital options, induced by the pandemic, are unlikely to subside,” he said. Skrill already allows users to open a free account and instantly convert 40 fiat currencies into digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP. They can also set buy and sell triggers and take advantage of over 100 deposit methods using the Skrill app.
With competing payment platforms Square and PayPal having also upped their game of late – the former via its Cash App, the latter by announcing support for digital assets in October – Skrill has no choice but to pick up the gauntlet in 2021. Watch this space.
MANTRA DAO is an interoperable platform concerned with staking and lending digital assets. A community-governed, cross-chain defi protocol, MANTRA is part of Polkadot’s expanding ecosystem since it utilizes RioChain, a Substrate-based blockchain known for its interoperability. Having already listed its native OM token on major exchanges this year, as well as becoming a Polkadot validator node, 2021 will see the launch of MANTRA’s proprietary lending protocol and the release of a MANTRA stablecoin. Interoperable staking pools are likely to generate plenty of interest too: MANTRA have released three to date, enabling users to liquidity mine OM tokens by providing liquidity. To date, over 100 million OM has been staked natively and the community will be eagerly anticipating the addition of new interoperable pools in the year ahead.
MANTRA recently completed the sale of 88 limited-edition Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), and with the digital resource economy (gaming goods, digital art, etc) getting bigger all the time, we’re betting this won’t be the last time we see an NFT program ties to the all-purpose defi platform.
Cartesi helps developers build scalable dApps using the Linux operating system and familiar software stacks. Late this year, the project commenced implementation of Descartes 2.0, an SDK that will introduce a variant of optimistic roll-ups with interactive dispute resolution on Cartesi’s architecture. Optimistic roll-ups will enable transaction data to be bundled and made available on Ethereum, something that will help Cartesi tackle one of blockchain’s most pressing and persistently problems – namely, that of scalability and high fees. With most top 20 Ethereum-based dApps actively exploring roll-up solutions, Cartesi seems poised to be a major beneficiary, taking the strain off-chain.
2020 was a landmark year for Jelurida, the software development firm behind the Ardor and Nxt blockchains. Back in June, at the height of the pandemic, it was announced that the Austrian government would leverage its Ardor multi-chain architecture to facilitate secure communication between authorities, institutions and citizens, particularly as pertaining to data exchange relating to COVID-19 tests. The same government also funded HotCity, a sustainable energy project that launched on Ardor in May.
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With a series of novel projects building on both platforms, and post-Covid management likely to be the focus of many governments’ attention, it’ll be fascinating to see how Jelurida’s solutions develop in the year ahead. Of course, enterprise use is just part of it; the company recently developed an on-chain version of Bridge on its child chain Ignis, with Jelurida Director Lior Yaffe opening the door to tokenized gaming. Might we see more of this in 2021?
Whatever happens in crypto in 2021, we’re betting on these four companies to continue generating headlines for all the right reasons. Who have you got your eye on?