Top 10 coins to watch in 2021 – Complete guide

Let’s dig straight into the top 10 most important coins of the upcoming bull market of 2021 so you can find out if they have a place in your portfolio and why. 

After 2 grueling years of the brutal bear market beating, the cryptocurrency space is finally lighting up with excitement and a long awaited positive price action. Without further ado, here are the 10 most important cryptocurrencies that you should definitely keep on your radar; 

– Bitcoin

– Ethereum

– Polkadot

– Monero

– Chainlink

– Aave

– Vechain

– Maker

– Kusama

– Ocean

In this article we will cover each and every one of them and ( for the patient among you ) we will also dissect a few bonus contenders. Before we start, it’s important to know that just like gasoline, crypto currency is extremely volatile and risky. Therefore it’s imperative that a good investor always works with capital that he doesn’t need in the immediate future and that he/she is prepared to spend time on education and simply being patient, neutral and pragmatic. Now we have the basics covered, let’s jump into every coin and discover why it’s so damn important.

Bitcoin

 

I know, I know! Everyone off course is aware that Bitcoin will be an important crypto currency during this bull market. Hell, it’s THE most important crypto currency. Yet there are a few aspects that we have to cover where we’ll need to explain exactly why Bitcoin deserves this place and why in the whole “madness to come”, Bitcoin will pull stunts that will drop jaws and cause world wide FOMO ( fear of missing out ). It will be even more contagious than the worst epidemic known to mankind. 

Remember that it’s NOT about Bitcoin! It’s about the whole global economy and what it will do FOR Bitcoin. In contrary to popular belief, it was not 2020 that gave the world a serious shakeup. It was in fact 2008 and the subsequent financial crisis that has caused all the problems that we are still choking on today. The 2020 and the pandemic were simply salt rubbed on an already bleeding wound. The mass media has been squirming in a truly colossal effort to divert our attention by any means possible so that none of us would know what’s important; namely that since the 2008 great financial crisis pretty much NONE of the problems have been solved. Nobody ( aside from some small time office plankton ) went to prison and not a single “too big to fail” bank or company was shut down. 

The very same “financial weapons of mass destruction”; like derivatives and other creative financial instruments that caused a nuclear financial meltdown in 2008 are actually more alive than ever today. Aside from this fun fact, the world central banks have become more than willing to flood the whole world with newly printed crisp Dollars, Euro’s, Swiss Francs and Yen, completely disregarding the loss of purchasing power and the ever lowering of our living standards in the process. 

Bitcoin is NOT important because it is the “Big Daddy” of all the crypto currencies. No no! It’s important because just like gold, it has morphed into a store of value. And contrary to gold, the 100% finite supply of only 21 Million Bitcoin ( coupled with a halving event that ruthlessly slashes the inflation rate every 4 years ), it will be THE store of value for many years to come. Oh yeah and did we mention that you can transport Bitcoin to any place around the world with only a combination of 12 or 24 words memorised in your head? There’s your winning combination ( pun intended ).  Make no mistake, you WON’T see gargantuan gains from Holding Bitcoin alone. What you WILL see, is a steady preservation and even growth of your generational wealth while watching the politicians, bankers and NGO’s light the world on fire the same way they did in 2008. 

Ethereum

 

Again a large cap coin? What kind of bullshit lazy-ass research is this anyway?! 

Now before you unleash a barrage of rotten eggs and tomatoes at yours truly, let’s clarify a few things why Ethereum is the key to a well diversified crypto portfolio. 

Short answer: It can do a lot and a hell of a lot more. Not only is the EVM ( Ethereum Virtual Machine ) pretty much the best decentralized super computer known to mankind, these days it’s running something that’s called DEFI ( Decentralised FInance ) and we all know that in the world of draconian financial regulation, DEFI will become the next big thing. Not only will it become an offshore haven, but also a worldwide financial sandbox that welcomes everyone to participate in, regardless of your connections to the big financial institutions and big government. Even a desert dwelling nomad armed with a 4G smartphone can now have access to pretty much ALL the financial services that were for such a long time limited to a small wealthy elite. 

Aside from these obvious facts, it’s important to mention that Ethereum is moving to a Proof of Stake system that will grease up the already stressed gears and will spray extra flammable gasses into the inlet manifold, so that the network can handle even more loads that the hungry developers and users throw at it. And those developers and users are as plentiful as they come! In fact Ethereum is pretty much THE most used crypto currency for building amazing decentralized applications ( DAPPS ) and so much more. You want to build your own crypto currency? Done! You want to tokenize your home and sell it on the internet in a form of 10 000 tokens? Why the hell not! You want to build an exchange that trades Kopi Luwak coffee beans for South African Rand at a 100x leverage? Let’s go! 

Investing in Ethereum is not only investing in an already blossoming ecosystem that’s exploding with even more potential every day. Investing in Ethereum is literally having the ability to construct something new from a whole array of financial lego blocks. It’s an open, powerful and seamless system that welcomes one and all to participate in. It’s something that poses a huge threat to our current rusted and corrupt to the bone financial system. So it’s well worth holding a nice chunk of ETH during 2021 and beyond. 

Monero

 

Let’s get one thing perfectly clear; You will most likely not see insane face melting gains when you decide to invest in Monero. Again just like with Bitcoin, the reasons why this amazing coin deserves a place under your search light is very different than speculating on price appreciation alone. 

The complete global fiasco of 2020 has taught us many things. Aside from the incompetence of many global leaders, we have witnessed unprecedented and blatant disregard for our personal privacy to the point where even the World Economic Forum is proclaiming openly that in the future “You will own nothing and you will be happy”. That begs the question of who will OWN everything? And why the hell are we being tracked like animals? 

Off course for many years people on the fringes of society have foretold this dystopian future, but unfortunately we were consumed by Netflix and Social media and we simply didn’t give a damn about these warnings. Now that the countless scandals of data abuse and relentless spying is finally common knowledge, many of us are wondering what will happen when cash will eventually be replaced by digital ( meaning; completely traceable ) central bank currency. There’s a war on privacy that’s being waged for decades. The technology ( and off course the global crises ) have made this war shift to the favour of the ruling classes. 

Enter Monero. The team behind Monero want their cryptocurrency to have first and foremost “fungibility”; meaning that 1 coin should be exactly the same as another one. When you have a 100 dollar bill, it’s in fact fungible, meaning that it can originate from a Church or a brothel, but in every case it stays the same 100 usd bill with the same privacy and purchasing power. This is pretty much what Monero is trying to achieve on a digital level. The developers are passionate about privacy and they also very often change the mining algorithms in order to prevent centralisation of Monero’s network. The whole thing is brilliant as it is complex. That being said, Monero is a beacon of financial freedom that’s a welcome breath of fresh air inside any cryptocurrency portfolio and regardless of your beliefs, privacy is a human right that’s worth investing into. 

Keep in mind that Monero is but one of many privacy coins out there, but even since the ostracism of these privacy coins from exchanges, nothing has been as resilient as Monero. Like a cockroach that survived a nuclear winter, Monero is building their own bridges to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in order to circumvent any kind of regulations that the powers that be can throw at them. If this isn’t the definition of passion and innovation, we don’t know what is. 

Chainlink

 

The world of the blockchain is a cold and dark place. It’s a space for data; ones and zeros flashing across the fiber optics and across the ether communicating information from place A to place B. This is a “closed” system without any realization of what’s happening in the real world. 

This is exactly what Chainlink is here to solve. Remember what kind of awesome tech Ethereum allows us to build? Well, with Chain Link we can actually allow this badass tech to directly communicate with the real world and have smart contracts execute certain actions depending on real world conditions. Yes you can build a program that would allow people to take out insurance without having to go through a meat grinder of a centralised insurance brokers. But without real world data, this insurance is worthless. 

So when a farmer in Bangladesh takes out insurance on Ethereum, it is exactly Chainlink that will gather all the information about a nasty hurricane that has devastated this farmer’s field. And with the help of this real world data the automated smart contract will pay out a compensation to this unlucky fellow. This example is just a tiny bit of what Chainlink can do. 

Being a relatively new project, Chainlink allows us to have exposure to an incredibly important piece of tech that’s vital to the proper operation of pretty much all blockchain technology. This data “Oracle” is what will catapult this industry to a faster world wide adoption and undoubtedly bring the early investors face melting gains in the process. 

Aave

 

AAVE is one of the newest arrivals to our list. Being at its infancy, it has catapulted to the ranks of being one of the most important crypto currencies in 2021 and beyond. In the purest form of decentralized finance ( DEFI ) AAVE protocol again welcomes anyone to play with the borrowing and lending lego blocks that it has built. There is no annoying paperwork or proof of identity needed. All you have to do is, to install a WEB 3.0 cryptocurrency wallet and you’re good to go. 

Lenders are welcome to deposit a plethora of ERC20 tokens ( cryptocurrencies that live on the Ethereum network ) and earn a nice passive income. This passive income is generously provided by borrowers who in their case take out loans for all of their wheeling and dealing. The borrowers need to be overcollateralized, meaning if they want to borrow 100 usd, they need to provide 150 usd as collateral in order to pull it off. This way we avoid scenarios where sudden plunges in price ( like we saw in march 2020 ) negatively impacts this whole lending and borrowing ecosystem. The events of sudden price drops is exactly what makes AAVE anti fragile. What usually takes decades to play out in the traditional financial markets, takes years and months in crypto. And we all learn and adapt accordingly. 

At the moment AAVE has become the pioneer of flash loans and other very creative financial solutions that not so long ago were only available to “accredited investors”. This level playing field will tear a huge hole in the classical financial markets and will vacuum up even more capital as time goes on. 

Again it’s important to mention that there are NO keyboard warriors in suits and ties who do all of the financial magic of AAVE. It’s all just software. While it’s difficult to believe, the proof is in the use case. More and more capital is being locked up in AAVE and more and more people are using it every day, so it of course has the honor of being in this list. 

Vechain

 

When the brutal bear market of 2018 was coming to an end, pretty much most of the glittering ICO projects from the past bull market mania either died out or were sitting quietly in the corner eating glue. Not Vechain thought. The team of this project has been simply crushing it with new partnerships and developments all throughout the past few years and definitely today. 

Vechain is trying to completely disrupt the supply chain industry by providing tracking and tracing of pretty much everything on the blockchain ( without even people realising that blockchain technology is involved ). Literally anything such as food, clothing, cars, pharmaceuticals and much more can be tracked and traced throughout the stage of rough materials to the end user consumption. 

Gone will be the days where the endless disputes took so much productive time away from people and companies! When you order a container of bananas, thanks to Vechain you will see exactly everything about the growth, harvesting, packaging, transportation temperature and other interesting details that are vital to the quality of your products that your customers will eventually purchase. Vechain is transparent and immutable, meaning that the recorded information is the “absolute truth” that’s registered on the blockchain and cannot be changed or altered in any way.

Not all is nice and rosy in the Vechain world. The network IS centralised and this alone would send shivers down the spine of the diehard fans of decentralized blockchain systems like Proof of work and even proof of stake. But that doesn’t mean Vechain won’t be important. In fact, 2020 has shown us the vital importance of the global supply chain. So much so, that any type of disruption ( not only due to epidemics, financial crises or good old political incompetence ) can have massive consequences for our food, clothing, medicine and pretty much for every aspect of our lives. So Vechain surely is set to breathe fire this year and later on. Definitely worth looking into. 

Maker

 

No doubt by now you realise that USDT ( Tether ) is posing a gargantuan risk to the whole cryptocurrency space. The looming disaster of a US lawsuit will have repercussions rippling across all markets. While your Bitcoins, Ethereum and others will recover, it’s without a doubt that the DEFI space would take a huge hit in case the USDT bomb finally explodes. It’s just a matter of time at this stage. 

This is why Marker is so important to the whole crypto community. It’s the governance token that allows you to have a seat at the table and have direct say over the issuance of the almighty DAI stable coin. These days DAI is pretty much the most popular stable coin in DEFI. It is literally everywhere and most DEFI platforms eagerly accept it for all of their daily operations.

Users of the Maker DAO protocol lock up collateral and “mint” DAI stable coins in return. This way you can literally own your cake and eat is at the same time.  The debt that is born out of this operation actually helps to stabilize the value of the whole ecosystem and the coins that live within it. 

Only Maker can be used for paying fees for opening CDP’s ( Collateralized Debt Positions ) that generate those yummy DAI stable coins. As stated earlier, the MKR ( Maker token ) is also used for governance purposes and will guarantee that your opinion is respected whenever new proposals are thrown on the table. There’s no doubt that big institutions are gobbling up MKR tokens this year and it sure as hell is reflecting on the price. Another use case for Maker, is that it can be used as a savior of last resort when the inevitable fecal matter hits the air circulation apparatus. Cryptocurrency space is a wild, bustling and untamed market. A financial minefield of sorts. Therefore screw ups and huge dumps are very common. Last one happened in March 2020. In case this happens Maker DAO protocol can simply sell some MKR tokens and prevent a total financial meltdown from happening. 

Without a doubt the team of Maker DAO has seen some real chaos along the way. Needless to say, they survived and became more resilient. This DEFI armadillo is now brannishing spikes, fangs and talons and will be a very important performer pushing this market to new heights in 2021. 

 

Kusama

 

It takes a brain cell or 2 to figure out Polkadot.  The whole thing is complex and makes you feel like a preschooler trying to understand the movie Tenet. Substrates, Parachians, Validators, Nominators, etc etc…  It’s frustrating enough as it is. So where does Kusama come in? 

Kusama is a testnet for Polkadot. That’s how it’s being advertised. But it’s a hell of a lot more. In order to understand the value of Kusama, we have to understand the “Battle of the Dots” that’s about to play out in 2021 and beyond. The number of para chains on Polkadot ( Those paralel running blockchains that we spoke about ) is LIMITED! That means projects building on Polkadot will have to compete in an ass shredding auction war in order to “lease” a parachain to live on. Naturally this will create a fierce battle that will give the Bitcoin hard fork warriors a run for their money. So much so, that Craig Wright ( The loudest Bitcoin SV Jesus ) should better move aside and make space for the Polkadot army.

Naturally many starting projects will be FORCED to use Kusama as their main headquarters. So you see, this is not just a test net. Not by a long shot. It’s a fully operational Polkadot sandbox that’s about to have some serious players building their digital sand castles in. 

Off course like with everything new, there will be major bugs and screw ups along the way. This is why the “canarie network” Kusama is happy to be at the front lines and accommodate the curses, setbacks and bugs along the way. It’s proving the point by its price action alone. Aside from that, the KSM staking is fully live and people can now earn a modest staking reward for owning Kusama. We won’t dive too deep into the mechanics of it, since it’s a whole separate article on its own. The key here is that Polkadot is not yet live. Kusama is more alive than ever. This is why it’s so important to have at least a small exposure to it. 

 

Ocean Protocol 

 

When the bombshell that is Edward Snowden hit the world with his revelations in 2014, it was more than evident what role the digital data plays in our lives and how important it will become for the future. The value of the European Data market is projected to be more than 800 billion Euros by this year alone. Worldwide this is a trillion dollar market. 

The data driven companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft and many more are gobbling up and hoarding tons of data every second and don’t think for a moment that they are eager to share this data with the world. Let’s not be naive here! But here is the most interesting thing to keep in mind is that less than 1% of all that data is actually used for things like analytics or those annoying targeted ads that stalk you throughout your social media feeds. 

Ocean protocol, just like Chainlink aims to become a data utility for projects like AI and data researchers in order to bring the world’s data to where it can be used to the fullest potential while remaining private. After all it’s not cool to have sensitive data floating around in the wild. The OCEAN utility tokens serve a purpose for buying and selling of data and AI services. At the moment the price of Ocean is mostly driven by speculation, yet the team is working on building a more sophisticated utility model for the future. 

The more we move into the ever interconnected future, the more data we generate for the small number of totalitarian tech giants that are slowly becoming more powerful than States and Countries. Some even speculate that the period of the East India Trading Company will repeat itself on an even larger scale. Therefore Data management solutions will become vitally important as we move ahead. 

While the Ocean Protocol is a huge and ambitious project, the team surely has a gargantuan task ahead of them. Therefore it CAN be very risky and there is definitely a possibility that the project fails. While we can say this for many cryptocurrency projects out there, it’s definitely important to keep in mind that the risk is high! That’s why Ocean deserves the very last place on our list. 

Honorable mentions

Early birds get the worm and the patient readers surely deserve some hidden gems, so do keep your eyes open on these coins during your dive into the altcoin abyss. 

Dogecoin ( DOGE ) 

Created as a joke and born from a meme, this is one of the oldest crypto currencies out there. What’s serious about Dogecoin however, is that it’s been working without any developers and innovations for such a long time, purely based on a dedicated base of devoted fans and followers. Doge is famous for having the most warm and welcoming crypto community out there. No matter what “noob” joins the crypto space, the ever helpful Doge community will guide everyone through the in’s and the out’s of this fascinating world. So this fun altcoin will still dazzle the crypto space with its fast transition speeds and ridiculously low network fees for many years to come. Off course the Tik Tok hype is pushing this coin to new highs and that’s always welcome. Speculators beware. Doge is very volatile and is famous for sudden pumps and dumps. 

Tycoon Token ( TYC ) 

This utility token lives on the Ethereum network and is used in the Tycoon copy trading platform. People who have absolutely no knowledge of trading can use the TYC token to lower the fees on the Tycoon platform when they follow a successful trader. It’s important to know that the followers only pay a fee when the trader they are following is consistently profitable. This way people who always wanted to learn the intricacies of trading can dig right in, while immediately seeing the results of what a good trader can do.

Uniswap ( UNI ) 

At the moment Uniswap is the biggest decentralized exchange in existence. It allows people to trade ERC20 tokens ( that live on the Ethereum network ) and also participate in liquidity pools that facilitate the existence of this exchange. While the UNI token was a free airdrop to the early adopters of this exchange, the price action has been nothing less than spectacular. With the launch of the V3 version, this ecosystem is the pinnacle of innovation that’s taking this crypto market by storm. Definitely worth checking out.