From the ICO boom and memecoins to P2E games and layer-2 scaling, every crypto cycle had a theme – a group of coins or tokens that drastically outperformed the broader market.
So, what’s trending now, and which crypto niche is likely to lead the rally in the next bull cycle?
A gap in the market
The push toward mainstream adoption and a new internet of ownership and decentralization (Web3) is well underway.
Large businesses are recognizing blockchain’s utility to streamline operations. Governments and financial institutions are experimenting with stablecoins. Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and AI software like ChatGPT are rapidly evolving.
SPONSORED: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor
1. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn't have to be hard. SmartAsset's free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes.
2. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you're ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals get started now.
Despite their fundamental differences, these businesses, projects and software each share a common requirement – the need to securely store and access vast amounts of data.
Although blockchains such as Ethereum and Solana facilitate decentralized storage, they are not equipped for storing large files as they primarily focus on handling transactions and smart contracts.
A lack of sufficient blockchain storage functionality means that much of this data is managed by costly and sometimes vulnerable centralized services like AWS, Digital Ocean and Google Cloud.
This has left a gap in the crypto industry, which will only grow more prominent as AI and big business storage requirements grow and the transition to blockchain technology continues.
If Web3 is to be a new internet of ownership, its success is heavily dependent on decentralized storage. Users, businesses and creators must be allowed full custody of their online assets in a cost-efficient and secure manner.
Fortunately, many crypto projects are working hard to be at the forefront of decentralized storage and are helping to build an internet of ownership.
Filling the gap
Let’s take a look at some of the crypto projects likely to take the spotlight as the bull cycle heats up and the demand for effective and cost-efficient decentralized storage solutions increases.
Arweave (AR) is an established decentralized storage project that claims to be “like Bitcoin, but for data: A permanent and decentralized web inside an open ledger.”
It allows for the streamlined permanent storage of anything from files to entire decentralized applications (dApps).
Released in 2020, Arweave is widely adopted and well-known in the crypto space. AR infrastructure is even utilized by Meta as part of Instagram’s NFT storage solution.
BNB Chain (BNB), one of the highest-valued crypto projects and the native coin of the Binance exchange, has recently announced it will be doing its own take on decentralized storage.
“BNB Greenfield is decentralized storage infrastructure within the broader BNB Chain ecosystem where users and dApps can create, store and exchange data with full ownership to form a new data economy.”
The company has listed a range of potential use cases, including the following:
- Website hosting
- Personal cloud storage
- Blockchain data storage
- Social media
Although the Greenfield project is yet to be released, a whitepaper has been published, and development advancements are viewable on the BNB Chain GitHub page.
Stratos (STOS) is one of the up-and-coming projects in the decentralized storage space and aims to be the next generation of decentralized data mesh.
The team has been developing its unique proof-of-traffic (PoT) solution for the past few years and is currently in the final stages of testing before the mainnet release.
Stratos’s unique PoT algorithm tracks and calculates resources used by network participants. This information is then used to generate fees for the user and rewards for providers of the network resources.
Bin Zhu (Stratos CEO) stated that once the Stratos mainnet is released, the company will have the capacity to offer decentralized storage and database solutions at approximately 90% cheaper rates than traditional services such as AWS.
Crust Network (CRU) is another low market cap decentralized storage project. It is built on Polkadot’s Substrate framework and aims to provide storage and cloud solutions for Web2 and Web3 applications.
Crust features an incentive layer for the IPFS protocol and leverages the blockchain to enhance security, privacy and data ownership.
Transitioning from Web2 storage giants like AWS and Google Cloud to decentralized infrastructure will take time. However, there is already a lot of development in the works, and the boundaries of Web3 are being pushed daily.
With large projects like BNB Chain developing decentralized storage solutions and companies like Meta leveraging blockchain storage solutions, it’s abundantly clear that these projects are a must-have for the progression of the crypto industry and the transition from Web2 to Web3.
As the need for decentralized storage grows and blockchain adoption continues, the projects at the forefront of this crypto niche will likely gain further traction and lead the way into the next bull cycle.