Kyros Research’s Quarterly Report – Q3 2021

The third quarter of 2021 marks a number of significant changes compared to previous ones. Not just with global regulation over Bitcoin or Ethereum upgrades, but many trends have become new use cases, improving market dynamics and as catalysts for future sustainable growth. Let’s rewind the time capsule to understand how far the crypto market has grown in the last three months in this Kyros Ventures Q3 2021 report.

Bitcoin overview

Q3 Price Outlook

After a 3-month long bearish market in Q2, Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market bounced back during the third quarter in correlation with the many pieces of exciting news regarding cryptocurrency legislation around the globe.

According to Coinbase, after the 55% sharp decline from all-time highs at $64,800 USD in the second quarter, Bitcoin price in July sustained the bearish trend until it reached a $28,800 low and began a trend reversal. From there, Bitcoin price recovered strongly by 81.11% and closed 8 consecutive weekly candlesticks in a row before correcting from a local high of 53,000 USD in September. Ending Q3, Bitcoin stabilized at above 43,000 USD, which is an increase of 25.03% this quarter.

Historical Milestones in Q3

Quarter 3 remarked significant milestones in the development history of Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market

  • July – The U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continues to constantly call for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency regulation.
  • Aug 2 – Germany’s new law changes now allow “Spezialfonds” to store crypto assets
  • Aug 8 – Infrastructure Bill Amendment regarding unclear definition of “Broker”  is shutdown 
  • Sep 7 – Bitcoin officially becomes legal tender in El Salvador
  • Sep 8 – El Salvador Government buys “the dip” is now holding 350 bitcoins
  • Sep 24 – China’s regulators release a blanket ban on all crypto transactions and mining

Institutional Bitcoin Adoption

Large capital allocators continue to show interest towards Bitcoin and Bitcoin products.

No new Bitcoin was added to the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust during the third quarter and this entity is still holding 654,855 bitcoins, accounting for 3.12% of max supply.

MicroStrategy and its CEO, Michael Saylor continue to bet big on Bitcoin and added 8,957 Bitcoins (5,050 Bitcoins recorded in September and 3,907 Bitcoins recorded in August) to their balance sheet. At the end of quarter 3, MicroStrategy held a total of 114,041 Bitcoins.

No new Bitcoin was purchased by CoinShares, Tesla and Square during the third quarter.

Moreover, many major service providers and institutions caught up quickly to the rising demand of cryptocurrency products and have been adapting lately.

  • Vast Bank became the first chartered US bank to offer Bitcoin services
  • JPMorgan Chase submitted a Bitcoin ETF application with the SEC; Bank of America approved Futures Trading; Wells Fargo unveiled a private Bitcoin Fund
  • Twitter added Bitcoin integration to the new Tip Jar feature on IOS.
  • PayPal launched a cryptocurrency service, allowing British customers to buy, hold, and sell digital currencies.
  • U.S. Global Investors bought 566,389 USD worth of GBTC

Bitcoin Supply Squeeze

On-chain metrics at the end of the third quarter suggest that a bitcoin supply squeeze is under way.

Over-three-month HODL waves reached an all time high of 84.87%, meaning only 15.13% of Bitcoin circulating supply was moved in the last quarter.

Total Bitcoin balance on exchanges also confirmed this phenomenon, where total supply on exchanges witnessed a trend reversal around March, 2020 and until September 29, 2021 has reached the lowest amount of Bitcoin available in over three years with 2,457,417 Bitcoin.

Additionally, Bitcoin illiquid and non-exchange supply percentages increased sharply during the last three months. As observed from the figure above, these two metrics have shown a striking correlation with Bitcoin price for the last 18 months.

Ethereum Overview in Quarter 3

Hard fork London and EIP-1559

Q3 marked an important milestone in Ethereum’s evolution with the London Hard-Fork and numerous proposed updates. Among them, EIP-1559 is the most notable update with a proposal to improve transaction savings based on the network density and another proposal to burn a portion of Ethereum’s transaction to mitigate the impact of inflation on ETH price. As of October 1st, the record has witnessed a total of 409,669 ETH being burnt.

Ethereum price has had a strong recovery right before the London Hard Fork event and quickly rebounded to the 4,000 USD level. In addition, various indexes of the Ethereum network also experienced significant changes in Q3 such as Total Locked Value, Number of Individual Wallets, Amount of ETH 2.0 Staked and Average Gas Fees.

Layer 2 Overview and Arbitrum’s hype

The Layer 2 Scaling Solution on the Ethereum network in Phase 3 experienced a tremendous explosion of Arbitrum when the Arbitrum mainnet was completed and officially launched in early September. During this quarter, Arbitrum raised a total amount of 120M USD from a list of many well-known Cryptocurrency Venture Capitalists and the Total Value Locked on Arbitrum has reached 1.8B USD just 4 days after the mainnet.

Prominent Market Trends in Quarter 3

The GameFi Boom

GameFi (abbreviation of Game Finance which is a combination of Gaming and DeFi) has recently become one of the most prominent trends in the crypto market in Q3 and has risen to be a new craze that’s making games built on the blockchain to become popular. These games have attracted a lot of investors and players from even the traditional gaming market.

Axie Infinity has been the project to trigger this boom – the most popular crypto-based game and blockchain-using metaverse project. In July alone, Axie Infinity recorded nearly 200M USD in revenue, 16 times higher than the revenue in June thus pushing the cumulative revenue to grow 1,050%. Other than that, Axie’s capitalization also witnessed an increase from 315M USD to nearly 2.4B USD in just one month. The rise of Axie has helped a series of other blockchain games in the market to surge in capitalization during the July period.

According to the leading explorer Token Terminal, the total protocol revenue of Axie Infinity in Q3 had reached 800M USD marking an increase of nearly 5,000% compared to the second quarter of 16M USD, and therefore became the first game or dapp with the largest revenue in the world. Axie Infinity’s NFT assets recorded 1.8B USD in trading volume in Q3, up more than 1,400% compared with Q2 with only 118M USD (data from DappRadar). With the success of Axie Infinity (AXS), gamers have now had a whole new look in the blockchain gaming industry, especially towards play-to-earn games.

At the initial stage, most P2E games were developed on the Ethereum blockchain. There are many successful projects that have attracted a huge amount of players such as Axie Infinity, Decentraland, The Sandbox, and Sorare.

However, in Q3, Binance Smart Chain (BSC) has had a strong performance as there are more and more gaming projects that continue to flourish on the chain. Names such as CryptoBlades, MyDefiPet, Faraland or Mobox have recently gained a lot of attention in the gaming community.

The end of July marked a typical event as daily trading volume in Binance Smart Chain had tripled the amount of the previous period. This was mainly triggered by the craze of GameFi projects, especially CryptoBlades. CryptoBlades had ranked on the top of all games with the highest 7-day transaction as it reached 9.23M transactions around mid-August. In addition, CryptoBlades was also ranked #2 in terms of 30-day users of all games that have released tokens according to Dapp.

Apart from Ethereum and BSC, Polygon is also a name that has been in the spotlight in the GameFi world after launching Polygon Studios to develop its own Game & NFT ecosystem in Q2. Many NFT gaming projects are deployed on the Polygon network. Additionally, WAX, Enjin or Flow are also the top blockchains that are attracting many gaming projects.

The NFT craze

NFTs have been widely predicted by the community to become a major trend in the crypto market, and it came to fruition in Q3. August reported a record NFT trading volume of 5.2B USD, followed by September, also reaching an impressive figure of 4B USD. As a result, the Q3 NFT trading volume reached over 10.6B USD, up 704% compared to the previous quarter (DappRadar).

Among the NFT trading platforms, Opensea is the most popular with 7.4B USD in Q3 trading volume, accounting for more than 70% of the total market share. The runner-up was Rarible, which recorded 73.3M USD, while SuperRare came in third with 66.6M USD.

GameFi Trends has contributed significantly to the overall growth of the NFT market, NFT in-game assets recorded a trading volume of 2.3B USD in Q3. 

Another major contributor is digital collections or NFT avatars, the most prominent names CryptoPunks. In Q3, CryptoPunsk’s trading volume reached approximately 360,000 ETH (equivalent to 1.3B USD), up nearly 400% from Q2’s 75,000 ETH. On peak days in early September, the floor price for an NFT CryptoPunk was almost half a million USD (Dune Analytics statistical data). We have also witnessed many Punks traded for millions USD in Q3.

Besides CryptoPunks, the BAYC “ape” collection has also become very popular in the NFT market. Peaking on August 28, BAYC’s daily trading volume reached 53M USD. In addition, many NFT collections also contributed to the craze of Q3, namely a few: Meebits, Pudgy Penguin, CyberKongz, Loot, etc. with daily trading volume of up to millions of USD. 

The explosion of new ecosystems

Regarding the development of top blockchain platforms besides Ethereum, Q1 witnessed the strong growth of Binance Smart Chain followed by Polygon in Q2. By Q3, many new ecosystems recorded outstanding performance and became the spotlight in the market.

During Q3, the price of blockchain platform tokens surged significantly such as LUNA, AVAX, FTM, SOL, NEAR and these tokens continuously reached new all-time highs.

After a long period of infrastructure building, new blockchain platforms are ready to receive the inflow of money. In Q3, the Defi space experienced the releasing of many incentive programs to support the development of the ecosystem from building better infrastructure to encouraging projects and users participating in. Celo started with 100M USD, after that Avalanche, Algorand, Harmony, Fantom, Hedera, Kava and Cardano also launched their own incentive programs to attract liquidity with great value of money.

Due to the incentive program, the total value locked also changed significantly, money continuously poured into new ecosystems in Q3.

Notable among these new ecosystems are Avalanche, Solana and Fantom with steady growth in both market capitalization as well as TVL. All of them have already completed their core products in the ecosystem:

  • Bridge
  • Exchange (AMM/DEX)
  • Lending protocol
  • Yield farming products

With the more mature ecosystems reinforced by incentive programs; Solana, Avalanche and Fantom had witnessed a great movement in Q3.

Solana (SOL)

The Solana ecosystem experienced an impressive quarter thanks to the “Solana Season” Hackathon which took place during May and June. After the Hackathon, a series of new projects gradually appeared on Solana and achieved a huge growth, typically Saber (SBR) and Sunny (SUNNY). Although both of them are newbies in the ecosystem, they rapidly achieved the highest total value locked on the Solana ecosystem.

At the peak in Q3, Saber achieved a record in TVL with over 4.15B USD. Sunny’s TVL also surpassed 3.4B USD from zero within 2 weeks. The TVL of the entire Solana ecosystem reached a record on September 12th with 12.2B USD, nearly 20 times higher than on July 1st, making Solana the 3rd largest blockchain platform by TVL, just behind Ethereum and BSC.

Additionally, the game sector on Solana also made a mark with the token launch of Star Atlas, a space war game. After listing, 2 tokens of this game which are ATLAS and POLIS, they achieved a ROI, at all-time high, of 194 times and 134 times, respectively.

Avalanche (AVAX)

The Avalanche ecosystem recorded a breakthrough when the Avalanche Foundation announced Avalanche Rush, a liquidity mining program to introduce more applications and assets to its growing DeFi ecosystem. Soon after that, the TVL on Avalanche ecosystem quickly reached more than 2B USD in just 10 days, which was an increase of 570% (data from DefiLlama).

Moreover, in September, the Avalanche ecosystem has gained outstanding growth momentum, when it successfully called for 230M USD in  investment, which included participation from many famous venture funds: Polychain Capital, Three Arrow Capital, R/Crypto Fund, Dragonfly, CMS Holdings, Collab+Currency and Lvna Capital. The TVL of Avalanche continuously grew and reached a height of nearly 4B USD at the end of Q3.

Many tokens on the Avalanche ecosystem made a record growth during Q3, notably TraderJoe (JOE) and Teddy Cash (TEDDY).

Fantom (FTM)

Fantom Foundation also launched an incentive program valued at 370 FTM to promote DeFi and GameFi development in the Fantom ecosystem. Due to the incentive program, TVL on Fantom witnessed huge growth reaching 2.07B USD at the end of Q3, increasing 984% since July 1st (data from DefiLlama).

Besides, projects in the Fantom ecosystems also had an outstanding surge in capitalization in Q3.

Furthermore, Fantom’s game and NFT sector also had a bright spot in Q3 when Andre Cronje, founder of Yearn Finance, was actively building 2 products: RarityGame (Game) and Artion (NFT marketplace) at Fantom and promises about NFT bridge between Fantom and Ethereum.

Vietnam solidifies its position in the crypto market

Vietnam became the brightest name in the global market in Q3. Many studies reflect that Vietnam is leading in the crypto and DeFi adoption. These impressive numbers are shown in the video below.

In order to have an overview about the Vietnamese cryptocurrency market, let’s take a look at the Vietnam Blockchain & Crypto map in the infographic below.

Epilogue

The third quarter ended with strong growth of the entire market and opened up huge potential for GameFi, NFT, and new ecosystems. The crypto market was more refreshing and ready than ever for further growth in the last quarter of the year and beyond. Let’s embrace all challenges and opportunities ahead with Kyros Ventures.

Research Team

Blockchain Gaming Landscape

After two months of correction, the cryptocurrency market has been bouncing back and more active recently, led by the blockchain gaming trend. After DeFi, blockchain gaming is on its way to be the next big cryptocurrency market trend in the future. 

Let’s dive deeper into the blockchain gaming landscape with Kyros in this article.

A signal from the Vietnamese investor community:

According to The Vietnam crypto market report H1.2021 made by Kyros Ventures at the beginning of July 2021, there are three main trends expected by the Vietnamese community:

  • Blockchain platform
  • Ethereum and Layer 2
  • NFT and Blockchain gaming

Many investors expect NFT and Blockchain gaming to be one of the key trends in the second half of 2021. In addition, the most expected NFT tokens to rise are game or game-related such as AXS, ALICE, ENJ, SAND, MANA, CHR, FLOW,…

Undoubtedly, the performance of the above tokens is far from the rest of the NFT market in particular and the cryptocurrency market in general.

Axie Infinity is the leading project of the NFT-gaming trend. Let’s take a look at the rising of Axie Infinity in the below video produced by Kyros Ventures:

Besides Axie Infinity, many games have received much awareness from the community, such as:

  • Alien World
  • Crypto Blade
  • My DeFi Pet
  • X World Game

Blockchain gaming ecosystems:

There are many projects on the gaming segment, which are built on various blockchain protocols. However, most of the popular games are built on widespread blockchain such as:

  • Ethereum
  • Binance Smart Chain
  • Polygon
  • WAX

Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain:

Ethereum is the leading ecosystem from the number of products and capitalization perspective. Some of the most popular blockchain games have been built on Ethereum like:

  • Axie Infinity
  • Decentraland
  • The Sandbox

Nonetheless, Binance Smart Chain also shows that it is a robust gaming ecosystem that has the ability to compete with Ethereum. Games on BSC are mainly brand new projects, but they have acquired more users compared to Ethereum.

Crypto Blades has had approximately 700,000 users in the past 30 days (July 9th – August 9th), nearly three times more than the top game on Ethereum, Axie Infinity (according to the data provided by DappRadar).

Polygon and WAX:

Polygon and WAX also have a diversified gaming ecosystem. On top of that, the two’s advantage is very low on-chain fees:

  • Fee on WAX: 0$
  • Fee on Polygon: 0.0001$

At the moment, Polygon hosts as many NFT gaming projects like Ethereum and BSC, yet its user base couldn’t compete with the two juggernauts.

Unlike Ethereum, BSC, and Polygon, WAX is a blockchain protocol focusing on NFT and games with zero blockchain fees. Alien World, built on WAX, owns the most significant number of players in the blockchain gaming space, with nearly 1 million users in the past 30 days.

Enjin:

The ecosystem of Enjin is worth taking a look at because it is a pioneer in the blockchain gaming sector. Completely different from the above ecosystems, Enjin isn’t a blockchain protocol having a smart contract but providing a solution to simplify the NFT application for game products instead.

At present, there are a lot of games powered by Enjin.

In addition to the large ecosystems above, several ecosystems in the process of development are also worth noting, such as:

  • Solana
  • Flow
  • ThunderCore
  • Chromia

Blockchain gaming studios:

Many gaming studios are focusing on blockchain right now, some familiar names such as:

  • Animoca Brands
  • Dapper
  • Lucid Sight
  • Sky Mavis
  • Antler Interactive
  • Everdream Soft
  • Horizon

Types of games:

Although it has been developed for a short time, blockchain gaming also has diversified types of games:

  • Sport
  • Card
  • Battle Royale
  • Building
  • Tower Defense
  • Action
  • Turn-based

If you are a blockchain enthusiastic and interested in games, why not try some games below:

Kyros Ventures Team

Highlights from The Vietnam Cryptocurrency Report H1 2021

After comprehensive research conducted by the Coin68 and Kyros Ventures Team, the Vietnam Cryptocurrency Report H1 2021 is now published.

The team has collected a lot of interesting information and would like to share it with all of you in this report. Before going into the finer details, let’s take a look at some of the key points in the report!

Opinions on Vietnam market

Vietnam is on its way to becoming one of the biggest crypto markets in the world with favorable economics and environments, outstanding developers, and great innovators in technology.

Vietnam investors

The cryptocurrency market went through a major bull run in early 2021, bringing waves of newcomers into the market. Nearly 40% of survey respondents said that they have just entered the market in 2021. Yet this group of people expect very high returns from crypto, mostly to double/triple their initial investments or even higher.

Trading behavior

Long-term trading or “HODL” has become more and more popular among the Vietnamese crypto investor communities over time. 

The Vietnam Cryptocurrency Market Report 2020 showed that HODLing was the least chosen trading style, accounting for only 25%. The majority was for the short-term or mid-term. The latest data, however, shows that 50% of respondents are long-term investors.

Download the full report on the banner link below.

Perspective on Bitcoin

This is probably the part that many people are looking forward to. At the time of writing, Bitcoin keeps moving sideways around the 30,000 USD area. Many investors fear that the market will fall into a long-term downtrend. 

According to the report, the majority of respondents have had a positive view towards the Bitcoin price especially in the long term. Some even expect that the Bitcoin price would surpass 100,000 USD in the near future.

Future market trends

Most investors expect the Altcoins season would arrive in H2 2021.

The most promising trends voted by our community are Blockchain platforms, Ethereum and Layer 2, NFT and Blockchain games. Blockchain platform coins are expected to bring high profits to investors in H2 2021.

Perspectives on NFTs

NFTs, especially the blockchain gaming segment, are flourishing in just a short period of time. The survey demonstrates that more than half of the respondents are hesitant about participating in the NFT market because they don’t understand the value of NFT or how it works and the initial investment is just high. However, when being asked which segment of NFT to invest in, the majority chose Blockchain games.

Blockchain gaming platform tokens are also the most bullish NFT tokens in the report.

This is just an overview of the report, there are still many other interesting insights waiting for you to discover. Download theVietnam Cryptocurrency Market Report H1.2021now for more high quality information!

Kyros Ventures Team

Kyros Report: NFT Market in 2021

The record was set

On March 11, 2021, a digital artwork named “Everydays – The First 5000 days” was sold for $69 million and made Beeple, the painting’s creator, own one of the top 3 most expensive auctioned artworks of any artist currently alive.

Within the past few months, the emerging world of NFTs has accelerated rapidly to reach new heights of success due to the increased uptake from the blockchain community, talented artists, celebrities, and athletes worldwide all hoping to make their mark on this digital frontier. Recently, the two most prominent crypto exchanges – Binance and FTX, have announced the launch of their NFT marketplaces. 

These findings show that NFTs are becoming widely acknowledged and are constantly growing. However, it must also be questioned whether NFTs are a  “here to stay” trend and will it become the breakthrough technology that brings crypto and blockchain to the masses? Let’s delve into the big picture of the current NFT ecosystem to get a better understanding as we enter a new era in NFT Blockchain Technology.

NFT market overview 

Figure 1: NFT Ecosystem

An NFT (Non-Fungible Token) is a unit of data held on certain blockchains like other tokens but is individually unique and not interchangeable. The original concept for NFTs dates back to 2015, but it wasn’t until 2017 when the first projects began to appear on the Ethereum blockchain under the ERC-721 standard. Over the next two years, more NFT standards were accepted and utilized. 

NFT can represent various physical assets such as photos, videos, audio, paintings, or any kind of digital data. Thus, NFTs help to transform data into verifiable assets that are easy to trade on the blockchain.

An NFT is dynamic as it is made up of various segments, as displayed in Figure 1.

  • Infrastructure: blockchain protocols used to restore and transfer NFTs
  • Gaming: Games using the NFT standard. These include role-playing strategy games, trading card games, or any fun-based gaming experience incorporating NFTs
  • Metaverse: Parallel digital universes which offer a set of unique experiences to users
  • Arts & music: Projects featuring famous artists or musicians to generate digital masterpieces
  • Sports: This features personalities from the world of sport most often connected with real-world players and teams such as Formula 1 teams, football clubs, basketball teams, etc.
  • Collectibles: Project whose primary function is to issue collectible items intended to be collected
  • Marketplace: Platforms to buy, sell and auction NFT
  • Domains: It consists of unique domain names created on the blockchain
  • Others: NFT Wallet, NFT Defi, NFT-focused fund, and NFT News and Analytics.

Market capitalization

Market Capitalization represents the total value of assets present in a market. The NFT ecosystem has had an explosive development over the past year. The video below will show a visualization of this growth.

NFT in details

Infrastructures and Game studios

Currently, Ethereum is still the leading blockchain protocol for NFTs as it hosts the highest number of projects, with over 50 currently running on top of it. WAX, a fork from the EOS blockchain, ranks second with more than 35 projects. New blockchains entering the space are BSC, Polygon, and Flow. It worths mentioning Chiliz, which is fully dedicated to the sports fan token segment.

Despite its dominance, Ethereum’s transaction fees remain a persistent problem as it tends to skyrocket far too regularly. Today, performing any transaction on the network can prove rather costly. Users will have to pay approximately $21 for each transaction which is much higher than other blockchains such as Binance which costs approximately $0.45, Flow $0.02, Polygon $0.0001, and WAX which has no gas fee.

Figure 3 also displays major NFT gaming studios and their products. They have more potential than other kinds of segments within the NFT ecosystem to engage with your everyday normal people. Thanks to the solid base of many blockchain protocols, game creators now have more opportunities to leverage their products through this technology. Recently there have been some big blockchain-focused game studios that have entered the current market including Dapper, Animoca Brands, LucidSight, and EverdreamSoft (Figure 2)

Figure 2: Top NFT Infrastructure and Game Studios

Games and Metaverses

From the gaming market’s standpoint, this market reflects a mature segment that is well developed yet still looks favorable with a high probability for significant growth in the coming years. In addition, this segment has rapidly driven the growth of the NFT ecosystem and now has very compelling liquidity of its assets. 

Currently, the most played game on Ethereum, Axie Infinity, is continuously evolving by adding new features and game modes. Developed by Sky Mavis – a Vietnamese game studio, Axie has attracted thousands of newcomers to blockchain technology from developing countries with nearly 90,000 active wallets and about 22,000 daily users. However, it is God Unchained that currently holds the highest sale value of $22 million while the number of sales reached 569,561 in total (figure 3).

Besides the gaming industry, the more established Metaverses focuses on virtual world-buildings and in-game experiences. Decentraland is currently leading this segment as its sale values account for $62.2 million, making up 58% within its whole market. Despite its dominant position, Decentraland is confronted with challenges by other players like The Sandbox and CryptoVoxels. They offer a vast array of supporting assets to the market including names, wearables, and various objects in the form of ERC-1155 tokens.

Figure 3: Top NFT Projects in Games and Metaverses

As reported by Newzoo’s global games market research, by the end of 2021 there will be approximately 2.9 billion gamers worldwide. Blockchain technology, via NFT’s, gives property rights to gamers. For the first time, gamers can now take ownership of the digital assets they acquire in games. This is enormous as it represents the final stage in the evolution of free-to-play gaming. As gaming is the largest entertainment medium globally with a consumer audience almost as big as the global population, NFTs can leverage this fertile land to bring mass adoption into the blockchain space. A few names to watch: My Neighbo Alice, Derace, X World Games, My Defi Pet, and Ethermon.

Collectibles, Art, and Sports

NFTs peaked in sales on May 3 when $102 million worth was sold in a single day. And the crypto-collectibles market made up $100 million of those sales. Figure 4 illustrates this exciting upshoot in the NFT ecosystem and presents a compelling argument for a very fruitful future for NFT Arts, Collectibles, and Sports.

NFT collectibles like CryptoPunks, Meebits, and CryptoKitties have so far proven to be the most resilient assets and are still the largest of the seven markets ranked by NonFungible.com. Data collected in Figure 5 shows that CryptoPunks still reigns in sales with a value of nearly $400 million and $25,532 in average transaction volume which is far ahead of the other two competitors.

Figure 4: Top NFT Projects in Collectibles, Sports, and Arts

The Sports segment has all the hallmarks of a growing platform in its infancy whose development looks very promising over the next few years, with buyers showing increasing interest. The total sales value of assets traded is exploding having almost reached $600 million, which is surprisingly exceeding the Collectibles segment. The top three contenders of the Sports segment are NBA Top Shot, Sorare, and Topps MLB.

From the NFT Arts perspective, the market still remains very limited. At the moment a common pattern amongst buyers is to build a collection and they are here for the long run. The most prominent in this segment is Hashmasks with the highest sales value of $50.4 million, followed by Art Blocks and KnownOrigin with $20.5 million and $6.4 million respectively.

According to the annual Art Market Report from Art Basel and UBS, the traditional art market is worth about $50 billion in 2020 and has reached new heights in 2021. Although the NFT art market volume is still relatively small compared to this, it has a lot of room to grow in the future.

Marketplaces

The marketplace is the backbone of every ecosystem, and its development explicitly reflects the general landscape of NFT ecosystems and the particular segments in it.

Figure 5 points out that at this moment, Ethereum is still the top NFT blockchain. In particular, OpenSea outperforms the rest of the market, capturing $48.5 million in sales volume with more than 22,000 users in the last 30 days. However, Binance Smart Chain with its minimal transaction fees and speed of transactions has allowed BakerySwap, AirNFTs, and Treasureland to push the limits of the NFTs capabilities so much better. It is also an omission not to mention WAX which is labeled the “King of NFTs brand.” It is now working towards a fairer and more equitable NFT ecosystem that can allow the general public to collect affordable NFTs. The users of WAX are giant compared to any other blockchains in the marketplaces accounting for nearly 420,000.

Figure 5: Top NFT Marketplaces

Domains

This segment presents a great diversity of projects and uses cases; however, one should notice that the segment is mainly driven by the Ethereum Name Service, Unstoppable Domains, and Handshake. 

The context of these projects and their markets, with the sheer numbers and remarkable names, can explain their constant growth and expansion through all the NFT ecosystems. As demonstrated in Figure 6, millions of domain names are registered on these platforms with more than $10 million in sales value. ENS takes first place with $7.01 million calculated at the beginning of June 2021. Nonetheless, Handshake has acquired more names registered than the rest of the market, gaining around 53.7% overall. 

The ecosystem of these domains is highly diverse, ranging from wallets and browsers to exchanges and other kinds of applications. However, ENS once again proves its dominance and popularity with 231 integrations, quadrupling Unstoppable and being nearly twelve times bigger than Handshake.

In line with ReportLinker, the global domain names market is forecasted to reach 512.3 million domain names registered by 2027. This number is tremendous and if NFT domain names can take only 5% to 10% of the market share, the whole NFT domains market will grow more than twenty times compared to today.

Figure 6: Top NFT Domains

Binance NFT

The NFT sector on Binance Smart Chain is still in its infancy with consistently increasing growth and adoption which is closely followed by global companies around the world. And recently, Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, has launched its own NFT marketplace on the 24th of June 2021. As stated, this marketplace “will bring together artists, creators and crypto enthusiasts from around the world,” and it will then “ become the premier destination for NFTs and digital collectibles across mediums, from visual arts and gaming to music and sports.” 

We had a sneak peek at the first iteration of the Binance NFT marketplace on launch day, displayed in Figure 7.

Figure 7: Lineups at Binance NFT Marketplace on launching day 

With the weight it possesses in the space, Binance is predicted to form a new trend in the market. And one day, when unique and irreplaceable assets are issued as NFTs on the blockchain and globally adopted, these names in Figure 8, with their partnerships and developments on BSC, could make several remarkable achievements.

We are all waiting to see the long-term evolution of this new ecosystem after this exciting start.

Figure 8: NFT Projects on top of Binance ecosystem

Where will it go and What awaits us?

The Non-Fungible Token industry is an extremely young sector rapidly expanding in trading volume, liquidity of assets, and the number of new users over time. Yet we are only at the very dawn of starting to explore how many industries can utilize NFTs. 

The massive acceleration during the second half of 2020 with the adoption of many mature use cases and structured projects indicates that its development is about to speed up dramatically. 2021 is poised to be an eventful year as several major realizations about the NFT ecosystem have enabled it to move on to the next level. 

NFTs have opened a new opportunity for the digital economy where virtual assets can be verified and traded in just one click. It is no longer just a speculative industry; it is now a value generation industry. When compared to the traditional market, NFTs market share is still negligible. Yet with the inevitability of the digital revolution, there is little doubt the world of NFTs may soon become mainstream and disruptive to both new and established industries. What remarkable milestones are awaiting the NFT ecosystem in the future? Only time can tell.

Kyros Research’s Quarterly Report – Q1 2021

The Big Picture

  • Bullish momentum continues to rule the market sentiment throughout the first quarter of 2021. The total market cap soars 144% from $787B to $1,919B in Q1, 2021, according to Coingecko.
  • Institutional sector participation in the market marks all-time-high (ATH) with several public firms and investment funds that either announce Bitcoin investments or launch cryptocurrency products.

Institutional Investor

  • Network effect has passed onto institutional investors on Bitcoin in 2021 with a large wave of adoption (Figure 1). Joining forces with Grayscale, Square and MicroStrategy, Tesla did not only add Bitcoin into its balance sheet but also allowed its users to purchase Tesla cars by Bitcoin. The institutional adoption continues to spread like wildfire, in the context of highly-concerned global economic status post-Covid-19.

Figure 1: Bitcoin Mass Adoption in QI/2021

  • Grayscale, for the first time in the past 3 years, has added 5 new tokens into its investment product lines, providing indirect access to crypto for accredited US investors and institutions (Figure 2). The latest batch includes Basic Attention Token, Chainlink, Decentraland, Filecoin and Livepeer. In the meantime, the largest institutional Bitcoin-hodler also expands its current portfolio of existing crypto assets, accumulating a higher stake of those coins’ total supply.

Figure 2: Grayscale holding over coins’ supply

Bitcoin

Figure 3: Bitcoin Price Returns in Q1 & Q2

The Summer Time

  • Figure 3 depicts that Quarter 1 2021 has seen the best return since 2017. The market size is double with bullish sentiment carried over from the second half of last year.
  • Quarter 2 has been a pivotal period of the crypto cycle ever since 2017. Either carrying on the previous bullish momentum or cooling down the bear, crypto summer brings a fresh vibe for new trends. Q2 2017 was the start of the peak half a year later. Q2 2018 marked the market’s second rebound before the crypto winter. Q2 2019 was the best performed season for that year. Q2 2020 witnessed a great recovery from  Black Thursday. Forecasting Q2 2021 from a limited dataset would not be a piece of wise advice, yet a green quarter can be the modest expectation.

The Trillion-Cap Assets Universe

  • Bitcoin market capitalization has surpassed the 1 trillion USD mark for the first time ever in the last quarter. The next milestone for Bitcoin is Silver before achieving its ultimate goal, e-Gold (Figure 4). 
  • Needless to say, Bitcoin was the best-performer among the trillion cap asset universe in the first quarter of 2021. The cryptocurrency skyrocketed 102%, with the market cap finishing the first bullish round at 1.1 trillion USD.

Figure 4: Bitcoin among other trillion cap assets

Ethereum Challengers

  • The second-largest cryptocurrency, Ethereum is on the right track for its potent network upgrade, the eth2.0 staking event. At the end of Q1 2021, the total staked Ether reached 3,611,147 ETH, equivalent to $6.7B or 3.13% of the total circulating supply.  

Polkadot

  • Polkadot has risen as one of the most competent Ethereum challengers. Figure 5 depicts how the ecosystem’s public awareness has grown. The Google search trend for “Polkadot” keyword peaked twice in the first three months of 2021. Correspondingly, DOT price reached ATH in late February.

Figure 5: Polkadot Price vs. Google Search

  • The Polkadot ecosystem has expanded rapidly in many aspects. More and more wallets now support Polkadot with respect to the rising demand from the users, which also explains why the quantity of multi-chain wallets already outnumbered that of Polkadot-only wallets in the ecosystem (Figure 6). That is not to mention the fact that the project is still under development for its fully functional mainnet.

Figure 6: Polkadot-supported wallets 

Binance Smart Chain 

  • The next candidate for an Ethereum-challenger title is Binance Smart Chain (BSC). Daily transactions of BSC have surpassed Ethereum for the first time in Quarter 1, 2021 (Figure 7). Since then, it continued to perform well and ended up almost 3x over Ethereum on the metric.

Figure 7: Daily transaction on Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain

  • BSC’s flagship, PancakeSwap, also surpassed Uniswap, SushiSwap, and Curve to be ranked as the top 1 Decentralized Exchange (DEX) by 24h volume. All of these achievements have contributed largely to upward demand pressure on the price of BNB, the utility token of the BSC ecosystem. As the result, BNB marketcap has passed Tether and Cardano to be the top 3 biggest altcoins, following Bitcoin and Ethereum, for the first time since the inception.

DeFi

  • Following the trend of 2020, DeFi is still on fire. The Total Value Locked (TVL) in DeFi platforms has almost tripled since the beginning of the year, reaching nearly 65 billion dollars in both Ethereum and BSC. The pie is still growing; no one seems to be eating each other’s piece, just yet.

Figure 8: TVL on Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain

  • As Figure 8 demonstrates, Ethereum is still the dominant player when it captures $51.5 billion in total economic value, quadrupling that of BSC at the end of March. Meanwhile, BSC has risen as an ideal protocol for DeFi projects, proved by its escalating TVL from just a few million to now $13 billion, and that seems to be just a start.
  • According to the leading explorer DappRadar, there are 4764 Dapps in the crypto space, 46,5% of which are running on top of Ethereum, while BSC is a home for 276 dApps or 5,8% of the pool. However, BSC looks more ‘DeFi-focused’. Out of 503 DeFi projects, 33,2% is based on Ethereum while 41,4% uses BSC. In summary, despite Ethereum’s adoption being more impressive, BSC is still a redoubtable challenger in the DeFi corner.

DEXs

  • Without DEX, the DeFi greenfield would never have taken the spotlight for 2020. Thus, the year of 2021 is undoubtedly the right time for DEX to mature and possibly become mainstream. With optimized usability, deeper liquidity, and emerging composability, the DEX ecosystem is as strong as ever.

Figure 9: Monthly DEX volume (source: Dune Analytics)

  • Figure 9 points out that DEXs have already processed more transaction value in Q1 2021 than all previous periods combined. Notably, the volume hit ATH of nearly $77B in February, carrying on the exponential growth momentum. In the Ethereum-powered DEX sector, Uniswap represents more than double Sushi’s volume, gaining around 50% of the market share (Figure 10).

Figure 10: Top DEX volume in Q1 2021 (source: Dune Analytics)

  • February also marks the highest-ever level of monthly revenue for Ethereum miners, roughly half of which has come in the form of transaction fees. The revenue numbers reflect the price of ETH, which exceeded the $2000 mark briefly this month. Data collected in Figure 11 shows that, for the first time, Ethereum miners have brought in more than $1 billion in revenue for the month of February.

Figure 11: Ethereum miner revenue in Q1 2021

Scaling Solutions

  • Despite its burgeon, the DeFi ecosystem is in somewhat of a bottleneck crisis, as more and more projects are developed and launched on the Ethereum network with growing transactions’ volume, causing gas fees to skyrocket. The good news is that a group of layer-two (L2) scaling solutions has already bloomed around Ethereum. They are offering variable avenues to scale Ethereum for the mass. A variety of L2 models is displayed in Figure 12.

Figure 12: Ethereum scaling solution model

  • Layer-2 protocols are perhaps the greatest hope for Ethereum devotees at the moment. In short, layer-2 chains operate on top of the Ethereum mainchain but function in a much more efficient way with drastically reduced transaction fees and a few-second transaction speed. One such Layer 2 technology is rollups, which take much of the burden of computation and storage out of the blockchain, utilizing it just for its security sake.
  • Figure 13 mapped out many projects inheriting L2 technology in which the cutting-edge ZK-Rollup technology is well-positioned to be a leader. Overall, as long as Ethereum block space is expensive, scaling solution demand is still high.

Figure 13: Ethereum scaling solution map

NFT 

  • Well-known since 2017 with the CryptoKitties phenomenon, NFT segment silently exists alongside other crypto major trends for years. Covid19 seems to be a catalyst for NFT frenzy in Q1 2021. From art, trading cards to music and other collectibles, things are now on a digitizing trend when offline exhibitions, concerts or auctions have found it hard  to cope with social distancing situations. 

Figure 14: Crypto art market share in Q1 2021

  • Figure 14 shows how well Nifty Gateway is dominating the marketplace for the crypto art segment. Following up are SuperRare and Foundation. 
  • Meanwhile from the  NFT sales from projects’ point of view, we have the major names including NBA Top Shot by Dapper Labs, CryptoPunks, Hashmasks, etc. (figure 15) The all-time sales boom matched with their impressive market cap growth up to 1800% in Q1 2021. The rise of these projects aligns closely with how well the relevant traditional market is transforming into digital. NBA Top Shot is an example. Partnership with NBA and NBA Players’ Association was a crucial milestone in the sport NFT field and blockchain industry as a whole. One successful case will lure a gigantic wave of adoption because nothing can bring people together better than sport.

Figure 15: NFT collectibles market share in QI/2021 

We hope you enjoyed a little journey back to the first start of 2021. A road is still long and time is all we’ve got. In an unpredictable world like crypto, nothing is certain. Trade responsibly, and we look forward to another lookback in the next quarters!

Kyros Infographic: Vietnam Blockchain & Crypto Map

Vietnam has marked itself as one of the most potential lands for crypto development, with achievements from not only international investments but also local entities. With the start of 2021, Kyros Ventures would like to showcase the Vietnamese Crypto Map, presenting the overall crypto ecosystem that Vietnam has built up over the past years. This map will guide you through the Vietnamese Blockchain & Crypto landscape, including the leading faces in fields of exchange, wallet, Dapps & DeFi, Stablecoin, Media, and so on.

Vietnam Blockchain & Crypto Map, presented by Coin68 Media and Kyros Ventures

TomoChain, KardiaChain, Axie Infinity, and Kyber Network are Vietnamese projects that stood out both locally and internationally. Not only did these projects experience growth on their technical side with a full set of new products, but they also attracted a large community of supporters all around the world.

List of the most popular projects in the blockchain and crypto industry in Vietnam, voted by the Coin68 readers.
Source: Vietnam Cryptocurrencies Market Report 2020

International exchanges have been very active in Vietnam, with famous names such as Binance, Huobi, OKex, and FTX. Wallet and exchange services developed by Vietnamese (Coin98, FMX) have also marked their footprints with unique product features and an easy-to-use interface. English was no longer a language barrier for those who are enthusiastic about crypto as Vietnamese materials are now available. 

In terms of legislation, Vietnamese laws have banned cryptocurrency as a form of issuance, provision, and payment. Vietnam is currently under the researching phase of different CBDC models, especially using the one from China’s DCEP. However, Stably and VND are 2 Vietnamese projects with high potentials. 

While the government takes careful legal steps, Vietnamese and other users can still learn about blockchain and crypto from formal universities such as RMIT Vietnam, University of Technology, and FuniX, a unit of FPT University.

List of the most favorite trading platforms in Vietnam. Source: Vietnam Cryptocurrencies Market Report 2020

In addition, specialized media channels are becoming a rising trend after the boom in quantity from the peak of 2017. Coin68 is a great example of a reliable source of information, regardless of the market being uptrend or downtrend. Using our expertise and speed in catching up with the latest trends, Coin68 is confident to be your gateway to wider knowledge in blockchain in general. 

More specifically, in the past year, Vietnam is proud to introduce the first generation of crypto investment funds, Kyros Ventures, a venture capital fund developed on the solid foundations of Coin68. The fund has been supported and invested in more than 30 large and small deals, contributing to bringing many quality international projects to Vietnam.

Overall, 2020 has been a very successful year for the blockchain & crypto market in Vietnam. We have a positive look at 2021, the year of the Ox, and look forward to the creation of many more new projects and new aspects to the blockchain industry.

6 highlights of the Vietnam Crypto Market in 2020

Vietnam is one of the most dynamic cryptocurrency markets in the world. To get here today, we have overcome many difficulties together. For the first time in history, Kyros Ventures and Coin68 are proud to introduce to the crypto community, the “Vietnam Cryptocurrency Market 2020” report. This document includes collective market insights, Vietnamese investors’ perspectives on many issues that we gathered through a survey conducted at the end of 2020. Let’s take a look at the 6 main points of the report. 

Vietnam Crypto Market

It will not be strange if you will find that crypto advertising in Vietnam is the image of a successful businessman with a luxury car, a penthouse. Men under 35 years old are the biggest participants in the Vietnamese crypto market. Other features include:

  • The two big cities, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, have the highest concentration of interest for crypto, with 43% and 27% of the total number of respondents respectively.
  • In addition, nearly a quarter of respondents were engaged in crypto part-time, along with their other major jobs.
  • More than a quarter of respondents say they have a basic understanding of crypto but need guidance when exploring new products/trends.
  • The most common channel to acquire knowledge voted by the community is the reputable cryptocurrency news portals like Coin68.com.

Trading Behavior

Coin68 observes that the longer a person participates in crypto, the more likely it is to trade the longer term and the more confident they are to use more products. This is in contrast to newbies. But whether you are new or experienced, one piece of advice you will often hear is:

“You don’t trade margin, you lose. You trade margin, you lose x2.”

Perhaps that is why the most popular crypto product is Spot trading.

In Vietnam, there is an exchange that is leading in all 3 categories: Favorite Spot Trading Product, Favorite Derivative Product, and Favorite P2P/OTC Trading Product.

Portfolio Preference

More than 90% of respondents said they want to remain or increase the proportion of crypto in their portfolios for 2021 compared to the previous year. This is especially true for groups with a low crypto allocation of 50% or less.

The report also specifies the most common annual earnings of crypto-participants, along with their expectations for crypto return 10%, 30%, or x2 account this year.

Community View on Bitcoin

When the survey took place from mid to late December 2020, Bitcoin’s price fluctuated between $19k1 – $26k5. Our market report states that the community has little expectation of Bitcoin’s price reaching $ 40k in less than a month from the survey. In fact, most expect BTC to be between $16k – $20k in Q1/2021.

  • No one is expecting BTC to reach $50k, whether in the next 3 or 12 months.
  • The majority believes that Bitcoin will replace gold.
  • This confidence increases over a longer timespan, as the market grows stronger.
  • The paper reports the top 3 candidates voted by the community to threaten Bitcoin’s current leading position.

Perspectives on Altcoin

DeFi marks a brilliant 2020 year, occupying the top trends thanks to DeFi yield farming and liquidity swaps. However, the most expected trend in 2021 is Games on Blockchain and Non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The prominent views on Altcoin are summarized as follows:

  • More than 70% expect Altcoin 2021 season to take place.
  • Large-cap altcoins are expected to moon the most next year (but there are some surprises).
  • Uniswap dominates the Vietnam DeFi market, while other DeFi tokens still have windows of opportunity to challenge the lead.

Projects from Vietnam

The Vietnamese crypto community has voted according to 3 categories: Top 5 most popular projects, Top 5 projects with the best awareness, and Top 5 most used products.

As a result, only 6 names to be announced. Wonder what are the best Vietnam projects? Download your copy of the official report file.

On behalf of the research team of Kyros Ventures and Coin68, we’d like to thank all of you who have been supporting us from the very beginning. Sincerely send you and the crypto community the Vietnam crypto market 2020 report, as a tribute to all. We shall see you in the next report.

Certik – Provable Trust for All

Project Summary

  • CertiK was founded in December 2017 by acclaimed computer science professors. The company specializes in developing cutting-edge security solutions for blockchains, dApps and software applications. CertiK has serviced more than 100 clients and secured over $18B worth of digital assets with high-quality auditing and consulting services, ranging from stablecoins such as Binance’s BGBP and Paxos Gold to decentralized oracles such as Band Protocol and Tellor and well-established DeFi protocols including Aave and Ampleforth.
  • The CertiK Foundation is a nonprofit, research-driven organization with the mission to empower people to trust the blockchain technology. The foundation launched CertiK Chain in late 2019.
  • CertiK Chain is a cross-chain protocol designed to ensure the security and reliability of blockchain infrastructure and decentralized applications built on top of it. CertiK Chain is able to achieve this with native in-chain features including Security Oracle, CertiKShield Reimbursement Pool, a secure programming language – DeepSEA, and a hacker-resistant OS kernel – CertiKOS (Figure 1).
  • The project launched on October 27 2020 on the Binance Launchpad. According to Binance Research, the project raised 39.4M USD from two rounds of private token sales, where 38.00% of the CTK total token supply has been sold at 0.77 USD/CTK and 1.90 USD/CTK.
Figure 1:  CertiK Chain components’ mapping (Source: CertiK Chain Whitepaper)

Main Features of CertiK

For economics and performance, CertiK Chain uses a Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) consensus protocol. For accessibility, CertiK Chain is built with the inter-chain friendly Cosmos framework and is fully compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine. The CertiK Chain leverages and provides the safest infrastructure for the blockchain ecosystem, including the CertiK Virtual Machine, CertiKOS, and DeepSEA programming language. A blockchain can fulfill its promise of a fairer, safer, and more transparent system only with verified layers.

– CertiK Security Oracle

CertiK Security Oracle aims to enable users to assess the risk of a DeFi protocol/smart contract in real-time before interacting with it. The oracle retrieves a set of security scores from a decentralized network of security operators which assess the reliability and security of the source code, and compete to earn $CTK (Figure 2). Security scores are displayed on a scale of 1 to 100 enabling users to assess smart contract risk at a glance.

The CertiK Security Oracle makes audit reports available on-chain and decentralizes security intelligence from a handful of security auditors to the entire blockchain community to be accessible on-chain upon demand.

Figure 2: CertiKShield status (Source: CertiK Foundation)

– CertiKShield Pool

This is a decentralized pool of CTK that is used to reimburse lost, stolen or inaccessible crypto assets from any blockchain. As a member, if your funds have been stolen, you can submit a detailed request for reimbursement. The rest of the members vote on your request, and if it is deemed to be legitimate and appropriate for reimbursement, you’ll get paid back.

CertiKShield Pools consist of Collateral Providers and Shield Purchasers. Collateral Providers receive staking rewards for staking CTK in the CertiKShield Pool, while also collecting a portion of the fees paid by Shield Purchasers, as depicted in Figure 3. The cost of reserving funds from the CertiKShield Pool for personal reimbursement of lost assets will be directly tied to the CertiK Security Oracle score, with lower scores (which represent more risk) requiring higher fees for protection.

Figure 3: CertiKShield pool mapping (Source: CertiK Foundation)

– CertiK Virtual Machine (CVM) is built to support a security-first blockchain and enable security intelligence to become an on-chain, expressible value. The CVM is unprecedented in its ability to empower users to access, check, and dynamically establish blockchain and smart contract security. It is fully compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

– DeepSEA is a security-first programming language and a compiler toolbox that is fully compatible with CertiK Chain’s virtual machine, along with Ethereum WebAssembly and Ant Financial’s AntChain. The DeepSEA toolchain was developed by the CertiK team with support from the Ethereum Foundation, Columbia-IBM, Yale University and the Qtum Foundation.

– CertiKOS is an operating system kernel originally developed at Yale University, receiving international acclaim as the world’s first “hacker-resistant” OS kernel. It was the subject of five papers published at top computer science conferences from 2015-2020. CertiKOS is the bedrock for the security infrastructure of CertiK Chain, and plays a pivotal role in running CertiK Chain nodes and the CertiK Security Oracle.

– CertiK QuickScan can be used to secure the Binance Smart Chain smart contracts; this is a lightweight, yet powerful scanning system that can complete a smart contract auditing process within 15 minutes. The CertiK QuickScan uses automated scanning technologies to analyze a wide range of known security vulnerabilities at scale. Once finished, the scanned smart contract will receive a score broadcasted through the Security Oracle network via CertiK-maintained oracle operators.

CertiK Foundation Ecosystem

  • Development partners include Ethereum Foundation, Columbia-IBM and the Qtum Foundation
  • Leading exchanges including Binance, Huobi, Liquid and Coinone have chosen to partner with CertiK’s expertise to audit blockchain projects before allowing them to list on their exchanges
  • Research partners include Yale University and Columbia University

A more exhaustive list of CertiK’s notable clients and partners includes Hyundai, Ant Financial, yearn.finance, Ampleforth, AAVE, Band Protocol, Binance Coin, Bitcoin.com, Crypto.com, Kava, Terra, ThorChain, ICON, Matic, Swipe, Reserve, Paxos, TrueUSD, Universal Protocol and hundreds of other projects.

Figure 4: CertiK ecosystem

CTK Token Distribution

CTK token specifications are as follows:

  • Initial valuation / market cap (MC): $27M
  • Total supply (TS): 100,183,153 CTK
  • Initial circulating supply (CS): 23,796,787 CTK (23.75% of total supply)
  • Detailed token distribution as illustrated in Figure 5

CTK is the native utility token of the CertiK platform. The token utility includes:

  • Gas consumption for smart contract operations
  • Shield purchases for insurance against hacks, theft and code malfunction
  • Payments for real-time Security Oracle audit requests
  • Staking for network consensus and hosting validator nodes
  • Rewards for participating in the Security Oracle network and providing real-time security analysis
  • Collateral and reimbursements for providing collateral to the CertiKShield pool
  • Community voting for decentralized network governance

CTK token has been allocated to two Private Sale rounds. The first Private Sale round sold 29M CTK at 0.77 USD/CTK raising USD $22.33M, while the second Private Sale round sold 9M CTK at 1.90 USD/CTK raising USD $17.1M.

Figure 5: CTK token distribution (Source – Binance Research)

Comparable Projects

Within the blockchain industry’s security sector, CertiK, Quantstamp and OpenZeppelin are considered the three most prominent companies with an excellent track record of auditing top-notch clients worldwide. Among the three projects, OpenZeppelin was founded the earliest (2015 vs 2017), focusing on an open-source library besides security auditing. However, it was left behind in the smart contract security race when CertiK pioneered its automatic auditing tool, and Quantstamp followed shortly. Moreover, only CertiK and Quantstamp have their own token. Thus, in this report, we cover a comparison between CertiK and Quantstamp.

As demonstrated in Figure 6, we observe that CertiK outperforms Quantstamp with better metrics in audited assets despite a smaller client pool. CertiK’s excellent performance also resulted in higher stakeholders’ confidence, vividly depicted by the higher funding and market cap.

Figure 6: Comparison between CertiK and Quantstamp

Upcoming News and Development Progress

CertiK chain mainnet has been launched on Oct 24 2020. The team is working to launch CertiKShield Pools with existing clients as well as integrate with major protocols to provide on-chain security through the Security Oracle mechanism. Furthermore, CertiK team has released CertiKShield yield farming to reward collateral providers with CTK. We expect the team to continue the momentum and add more projects to CertiK’s portfolio. Besides, CertiK will focus on community building in China, South Korea, North America and Europe.

CTK token is fully released for 2 out of 7 allocations i.e. Private Sale 2 and CertiKShield Pool. The rest will be distributed gradually until August 2023. Details for the CTK release schedule are illustrated in Figure 7.

Figure 7: CTK token release schedule (Source: Binance Research)

Reasons to be Bullish

  • Centre of expertise: CertiK Chain brings some of the world’s brightest minds in computer science to solve a painful issue in DeFi – security of unaudited contracts. In DeFi it has become increasingly popular for unaudited smart contracts to be released pseudo-anonymously and the community to interact with them in the hunt for lucrative financial rewards. These contracts often go unaudited because it has normally been seen as the responsibility of the contract developers to seek audits, but in many cases the developers seek not to. The CertiK Security Oracle decentralizes the responsibility of conducting security analysis and instead gives the power to the people to request security intelligence themselves.
  • Emerging DeFi security risk: With over $1.4B of crypto stolen in the first 5 months of 2020 alone, a CertiKShield membership is a wise step in the right direction for individuals and projects involved in the DeFi space.
  • Reputation and a supportive ecosystem: A highly active community with the growth campaign including regular technical updates and education sessions via blog posts, online and face-to-face product education sessions, and social media engagement

Factors to Watch

  • Competitors: ‍Various types of decentralized applications and networks are emerging at a rapid rate, and the industry is increasingly competitive. It is possible that alternative networks could be established that utilize the same or similar code and protocol underlying CTK and/or the CertiK Platform and attempt to re-create similar facilities. The CertiK Platform may have to compete with these alternative networks, which could negatively impact CTK and/or the CertiK Platform.
  • Loss of talent: ‍The development of the CertiK Platform greatly depends on the continued co-operation of the existing technical team and expert consultants, who are highly knowledgeable and experienced in their respective sectors. The loss of any member may adversely affect the CertiK Platform or its future development. Further, stability and cohesion within the team is critical to the overall development of the CertiK Platform. There is the possibility that conflict within the team and/or departure of core personnel may occur, thus negatively influencing the project in the future.

Executive Summary

Projection Milestones

Note: This projection evaluation method considers both the CTK token price and the CTK circulating supply as variables. This is an accurate representation since both are subject to change over time.

  • At the time of writing, the circulating supply (CS) is 23.8M CTK, and the market cap (MC) reaches $27M. The token’s initial price on Binance Launchpool was $0.77/CTK. At the time of writing, the token price had passed the $1.13 mark.
  • CertiK is expected to carry on its market leader’s advantage by expanding its product suite and industry network. CTK CS will be around 50M CTK in August 2021, and CTK may reach the Top 100 ranking at CoinMarketCap.
  • At full token release, the CS will be around 100.18 million CTK. CTK token price may potentially reach $5 per token, giving it a circulating market cap exceeding $500M.

Finally, Figure 8 presents the different possible scenarios determining the potential CTK market cap and the associated return on investment (ROI) in the future.

Figure 8: Future CTK market cap projection

Concluding Remarks

The CertiK’s Security Oracle and Shield Pool are necessary in the DeFi space. The Kyros research team expects CertiK to continue to grow as the leader in the smart contract audit niche. Furthermore, we are bullish on this project, and we believe that the crypto enthusiasts and investors alike will also be able to foresee its potential. 

Taking into account CertiK’s favorable metrics versus comparable projects i.e. Quantstamp, we would be extremely surprised to see this token stay under $2 within the first half of 2021.

Due to the volatile nature of the crypto markets, short term price estimates are difficult to establish. We, however, expect to see the CTK token price soar to $2.8 – $4 in the mid-to-long term, giving it a circulating market cap in the vicinity of $330M. 

Even higher token price milestones are feasible in the long term, our most bullish prediction envisaging CTK potentially reaching $4.5 – $5.5 in the future. Taking into account that CTK has the market leader advantage in the blockchain security industry, it will probably remain a force to be reckoned with.

FinNexus – Innovative Multi-Blockchain Decentralized Options Protocol

Project Summary 

Main features of FinNexus 

  • FinNexus is a next-generation DeFi “supermarket” which enables a global audience to  discover and use decentralized finance products in a frictionless and intuitive manner.
  • The flagship product is the FinNexus Protocol for Options (FPO), which features the world’s first Multi-Asset Single Pool (MASP) in addition to decentralized and permis sionless option writing, trading, and exercising. 
  • FPO is designed to be multi-chain compatible, including with Ethereum, Wanchain, Elrond, XRP Ledger, and KardiaChain.
  • Uniswap Liquidity Mining program currently ongoing (226.2% APY at time of writing).
Figure 1: FinNexus model

FinNexus Product Suite 

  • FinNexus Protocol for Options (FPO) is a permissionless, censorship-resistant, and non-custodial protocol that enables anyone to write, trade, and exercise options. FPO is the first protocol to feature a Dynamic Margin Mechanism that enables the minimum  collateral to back an option to change with price fluctuation. All transactions are on chain, and FinNexus also enables multi-coin collateral, cross-chain transactions, and  infinite liquidity for options.
  • Multi-Asset Single-Pool (MASP) DeFi options model – FPO platform’s liquidity is  pooled together into a single monolithic pool, which acts as the sole counterparty writing, trading, and exercising options. The MASP feature ensures that users do not have to  worry about the availability of enough liquidity.
  • FNX Liquidity Mining – Options writers will be incentivized in several ways, including  the distribution of FNX tokens as rewards regarding minting and trading volumes on the FinNexus options platform once it goes live. In the future, FinNexus will provide a collective pooled model, using FNX as the major collateralized asset, to mint both call and put options, with multiple underlying assets. The pool will be acting as both the minting collateral pool and liquidity pool for the creation and transaction of options. The holders of the pool will be granted pool share tokens. Risks and rewards will be shared among the pool participants.
  • Wandora Box – The first decentralized prediction game to launch on Wanchain.
  • Jack’s Pot – A no-loss lottery game built on Wanchain.
  • UM1S – a real asset-backed token with a fixed rate of return. 
Figure 2: FinNexus features

FinNexus Founding Team 

  • Boris Yang, Founder & CEO. Boris is a former Vice President at Wanglu Tech, co founder of Wanchain, and the leading designer of Wanchain’s technology stack. Boris has  many years of experience in internet startups and is a serial entrepreneur. Boris holds  degrees in finance and law from Beijing’s University of International Business and Economics.
  • Bob Chen, Co-founder & CTO. Bob has worked as a technical expert for internet giants  such as Alibaba and Qihoo 360. He has developed an asset management wallet within the  blockchain industry, specializing in blockchain asset security management, high concurrency applications, and high-frequency quantitative trading. Bob graduated from  the Harbin Institute of Technology.
  • Ryan Tian, Financial Specialist. Ryan has worked as an investment banker at a well known securities company and led IPO, SEO, and M&A projects. Having worked in the  financial industry for more than ten years, he specializes in securities products and  financial and risk control. Ryan has a Masters in Finance from the University of York.
  • Jack Tung, Regulatory Compliance Specialist. Jack is a senior FinTech consultant with  more than ten years of experience in asset management services for high net worth  individuals. He specializes in framework design for asset management compliance and  architecture design for financial enterprise compliance.
  • Veerender Singh, Community Manager. Veerender is an experienced community mana ger in the blockchain space, currently serving as a Community Manager for MANTRA DAO, and is the Editor and Business Development Manager for blog.goodaudience.com 

FinNexus Ecosystem 

Integral parts of FinNexus’ ecosystem are presented in Figure 3, namely the founding partner Wanchain, enterprises, DeFi partnerships, and crypto exchanges/liquidity providers for the  FNX token. Each of these plays a significant role in the overall success of the FinNexus platform. 

Figure 3: FinNexus ecosystem

Strategic Partners:

  • Wanchain is an innovative public blockchain project which has made advancements in privacy protection, cross-chain integrations, multi-asset transactions, and proof of stake consensus mechanisms. Wanchain’s team will provide comprehensive technical support  for FinNexus.
  • SuperAtom is a Southeast Asian-based FinTech company aiming to make financial services more accessible for the masses. SuperAtom is incubated by New York-listed Cheetah Mobile and will work together with FinNexus to tokenize financial products, which will provide stable investment returns.

A more exhaustive list of FinNexus’ cryptocurrency industry partnerships include: 

  • Band Protocol – Band Protocol is a cross-chain data oracle platform that provides reliable and real-time price data and is a backbone for the truly secure and decentralized financial products that FinNexus provides. 
  • Chainlink – FinNexus has integrated Chainlink’s price feeds to power the FinNexus Protocol for Options platform. 
  • Elrond – FinNexus is planning to build a version of its unique multi-asset single-pool (MASP) DeFi options model on Elrond, an open source blockchain platform with high output and execution speeds. 
  • XRP Ledger – FinNexus has announced plans to bring real-world assets to the XRP  Ledger and connect the passionate XRP fanbase with the exciting world of DeFi.
  • KardiaChain – KardiaChain will operate the first fully decentralized and interoperable blockchain ecosystem in Vietnam. FinNexus is exploring the potential to develop DeFi  services on the KardiaChain mainnet. 

FNX token’s liquidity:

FNX token is currently listed on five exchanges: BitMax, BKEK, Bitrue, Uniswap, and Hoo.com. The corresponding volume proportions are depicted in Figure 4. 

Figure 4: FNX volume proportion on top 5 exchanges (Source: Coingecko)

Enterprise partners and investors include: 

  • Consensus Lab: an APAC VC aims to empower inspiring projects in the blockchain space. Since 2018, the firm has 21 investments in prominent blockchain and crypto  companies, a few of which are the FTX exchange, CertiK, QuarkChain and BlockCloud.
  • Genesis Group: A Hong Kong-based veteran crypto venture capital having 20 invest ments in the field over the past few years. Some projects under their portfolio include Quarkchain, Pchain, and Edenchain. 
  • TRG Capital: An Amsterdam-based seed-stage venture capital firm. The firm’s focus  area is startups fundamentally disrupting digital assets’ global transfer, mainly Layer2 solutions and startups decentralizing finance (DeFi). Notable projects in its portfolio include Polkadot, Kava, Frontier, Avalanche, Zilliqa, and Solana.

FNX Tokenomics 

APY token specifications are as following: 

– Current market cap (MC): 1.3M USD 

– Circulating supply (CS): 13.7M FNX 

– Total supply (TS): 500M FNX 

– Token distribution as depicted in Figure 5 

At the time of writing, FinNexus’ fully diluted market cap is US$64.7 million. Note that  28,036,823.22 FNX tokens have been converted 1-for-1 to UM1S, a real asset-backed token with a fixed return rate. More data on FNX distribution can be found at the FinNexus site

Figure 5: FNX tokenomics

Token Utilities

  • Collateral for writing options and liquidity for exercising options within the Multi-Asset Single Pool (MASP) for the FinNexus Options Protocol (FOP) 
  • The medium of exchange to buy and sell options on the FOP 
  • Uniswap Liquidity Mining currently ongoing 
  • Right to higher rates of return on tokenized products 
  • Rights to invest in tokenized products with lower cost 
  • Discount on transaction commissions 
  • Derivative rights, like early settlement, resale, or interest swap 
  • Benefit from FinNexus’s development
Figure 6: Application of FNX in FinNexus’ ecosystem

Comparable Projects 

FinNexus ultimately aims to be a multi-blockchain DeFi ecosystem and protocol and is commencing with the ‘unsolved’ use-case of a decentralized options and derivatives trading platform. FinNexus Protocol for Options (FPO) has a strong case for becoming the dominant decentralized options and derivatives platform: 

  • Multi-chain compatibility including but not limited to – Ethereum, Elrond, XRP Ledger, KardiaChain and Wanchain. 
  • Infinite liquidity via the Multi-Asset Single-Pool (MASP) mechanism.
  • The dynamic margin model enables the same collateral to write multiple options when options prices move further out-of-the-money. 
  • An intuitive and visually appealing user interface supports the above features, leveraging user experience to the next level.
Figure 7: FinNexus’s competitors

Upcoming News and Development Progress 

  • The team is currently working to create synthetic assets, including stocks, bond, and exchange-traded funds.
  • FinNexus Protocol for Options is aiming to provide universal support for any underlying asset and develop further protocol layers to empower users to hedge, speculate  and insure their digital assets, including Blockchain Interaction Protocols (BIP), Protocol Cluster for Assets Payments (PCAP), and an Assets Distribution Protocol (ADP).
  • Staking mechanism in development to provide staking users with higher returns and lower transactions costs, and provide further security to the FinNexus network.
  • The FinNexus is focused on developing further partnerships with public blockchains and more real-asset-backed tokens.

FNX Token Release Schedule 

Figure 8 depicts a detailed schedule of how the FNX tokens are released into circulation over three years. The team estimates that around 90 million FNX tokens will be injected as the vesting periods are completed. 

Figure 8: FNX token release schedule over three years

Reasons to be Bullish 

  • Despite the recent correction of the decentralized finance (DeFi) bubble, total value  locked (TVL) in DeFi protocols continues to steadily grow from USD$700 million at the start of 2020 to USD$12 billion as of 24 Oct 2020 (as reported by Defipulse). The next frontier for DeFi is decentralized options and derivatives, a multi-trillion-dollar market that remains untapped, and FinNexus is firmly positioned to be a market leader in this segment. 
  • A strong and ardently passionate team with combined decades of experience in technology, finance, FinTech, and blockchain industries.

Factors to Watch 

  • More popular exchanges branching out into DEX options is one of the greatest threats to FinNexus. Examples of such events would be Binance DEX launching its options trading or, most likely, Synthetix announcing its trading platform for options.
  • One of the rising DeFi segment concerns is smart contract security. Over 62 million USD worth of assets were lost in several DeFi attacks by hackers in 2020, with the most recent and significant case being Harvest Finance. Such hacks are an emerging alarm for the industry in general and options trading operators like FinNexus.

Executive Summary 

Projection Milestones 

Note: This projection evaluation method considers both the FNX token price and the FNX circulating supply (CS) as variables. The method is an accurate representation since both are subject to change over time. 

Figure 9 presents the timeline for different scenarios determining the potential FNX market cap in the future: 

  • From May 2021, projected CS would be around 30M FNX (6% of total supply); FNX price can potentially x2-3 with the full launch of crypto options products From the second half of 2022, projected CS would be around 67M FNX (13.4% of total  supply); FNX price can x5-7 and surpass Hegic’s current market cap (MC).
  • In Q3 2022, the FinNexus team predicts their token’s circulating supply will reach around  87M FNX (17.4% of total supply); We expect the project to provide universal support  toward its options protocol and add more underlying assets (commodity, stocks). FNX  price can x10-12 and reach the top 100 largest cryptocurrencies by MC.
  • At full token release, CS will be around 460M FNX (note that 6.12% of total supply was  burned); FNX price may potentially reach the x15-20 range ($1.5 – $2 token price) assu ming adherence to the development roadmap. 
Figure 9: FNX market cap projection

Concluding Remarks 

The FinNexus platform has caught the attention of the Kyros Research team. We are bullish on this project and believe that the investors will also be able to see its potential. Considering FinNexus’s favorable metrics versus comparable projects with a higher market cap (e.g. Hegic), we would be astonished to see this token stay under $0.3 during the next 6-month period.

While short term price estimates are difficult to establish due to the volatility of the crypto markets, we expect to see the FNX token price soar to an ATH of $0.7 – $1 in the mid-to-long  term, giving it a circulating market cap in the vicinity of $90M. Even higher token price milestones are feasible in the long term, with our most bullish prediction approaching $2 at full token release.

Introducing APY.finance – Yield-farming Liquidity Aggregator – The Wealthfront for DeFi

Project Summary

APY.Finance automates yield farming to get users the best, risk-adjusted returns in DeFi. APY.Finance smart contracts continuously route user’s funds to the latest-and-greatest yield farming strategies. The project aims to democratize yield farming by making it accessible to the average user and not just the DeFi experts.

The project uses the technology previously developed by DALP, which won the second place at the HackMoney 2020 hackathon hosted by ETHGlobal.

Main Features of APY.Finance

APY.Finance is a liquidity aggregator with 3 main features:

  • Pooled liquidity: save gas fee by economies of scale
    • Funds are deposited to APY.Finance thus adding to the liquidity pool. APT tokens then represent an individual’s share of the pool. APY.Finance can achieve economies of scale by collectively routing funds together in a single transaction
    • Massive gas savings in excess of 99% are expected as the system’s TVL increases. This innovation alone could revolutionize the accessibility of yield farming. Added to user experience, token redemption can be applied anytime, allowing one to withdraw yield farming profits from the liquidity pool easily
  • Smart routing
    • After the initial deposit, APY.Finance will then automatically route funds to the most optimal yield farming strategies, optimized not only for profit but also risk level
    • In particular, capital is spread across multiple strategies, depending on each strategy’s risk score. Taking a risk-averse case as an example, a small proportion of capital is allocated into high-risk high-return pools, whereas the remaining capital is to be assigned to low risk pools
  • Community-owned
    • Security is APY.Finance’s primary concern so strategies will be rolled out carefully and slowly. At first, the platform will be run by DeFi experts that codify yield farming strategies and monitor for time-sensitive incidents 
    • Concurrently, a liquidity mining rewards program will run in order to get the APY token into the hands of real users. APY governance token holders will be able to propose and vote on easily verifiable changes to the DeFi landscape, such as strategy risk score changes or even yield allocation

APY token specifications are as follows:

  • Initial valuation / market cap (MC): $13.5M
  • Total supply (TS): 100M APY
  • Initial circulating supply (CS): 8M APY
  • Token distribution as illustrated (Figure 1)

APY token holders will be able to vote and change system-wide parameters such as fees, risk score, and rebalance thresholds. However, this is just the first of three distinct phases of the project’s roadmap and APY token functionality.

In the second stage, APY holders can propose changes to existing strategies simply by drag-and-drop, without the need for Solidity engineering knowledge.

In the final stage, APY token holders will be able to propose entirely new strategies and influence the deployment of billions of dollars into various DeFi protocols.

Figure 1. APY token distribution

APY.Finance Team

The founding members of APY.Finance are:

  • Will Shahda, CEO & Solidity engineer
    • Partner at Wired Capital which develops algorithmic cryptocurrency trading bots that use arbitrage strategies and machine learning techniques
    • After founding WP-Science, a small business developing, marketing, and distributing WordPress plugins, Will wrote and audited Solidity smart contracts for companies such as Jarvis Network and Squarelink 
    • He organized and lead teams competing in blockchain hackathons, frequently placing and winning sponsorship prizes. Furthermore, Will handled Solidity development, project management, and pitch presentations for hackathon projects 
    • Prior to focusing on blockchain technology, Will led development and delivered flagship products for international brands including Kraft, Mondelēz International, Green Mountain Coffee and Spin Galactic international franchise when working for Blue World Inc and Arana Interactive
  • Chan-Ho Suh, Smart contract developer at APY.Finance
    • Backend developer with 6+ years of experience spanning across structured and unstructured environments, small and large teams, and rigorously tested production code and ad-hoc rapid application development.
    • Currently working as a smart contract developer at APY.Finance and Tech Lead for Capital One 
    • Prior to that, the Cornell alumnus was a senior software engineer for a loan syndication platform (LoanStreet Inc.), a quant developer leading development of the trading desk for volatility derivatives at MIO Partners, an application developer at JPMorgan Chase & Co and an electronic trading developer at Nomura
  • Jonathan Viray, Full stack engineer at APY.Finance
    • Jonathan is a self-taught freelance software developer and a licensed contract attorney
    • Jonathan served as an associate attorney for Zhang & Associates and Special Counsel, and as a contract attorney for Epiq and TransPerfect Legal Solutions. 
    • He used to work at the Earl Carl Institute for Legal and Social Policy and U.S. Attorney’s Office early in his career

APY.Finance advisors include:

  • Sunil Srivatsa, DeFi strategy advisor and co-founder of Urza DAO
    • 8 years of experience in Uber, Square, Cultivation Capital as a software engineer and analyst
  • Pascal Tallarida, advisor, founder of Jarvis
    • prop trader with 12 years of experience, founder and trainer at Diabolo Menthe Trading SAS

APY.Finance Ecosystem

Integral parts of the APY.Finance ecosystem are presented in Figure 2, namely the key investors and DeFi partners and networks. Each of these plays a significant role in the overall success of the APY.Finance platform.

Figure 2. APY.Finance ecosystem

APY.Finance’s DeFi industry network encompasses well-established brands such as Uniswap, Sushiswap, Balancer, Compound, Synthetix, Jarvis, PieDAO, 1inch, Yearn.finance, dY/dX, Aave, and Curve.

APY.Finance’s investors enable its long term vision to become reality. The key investors include Alameda Research, Arrington XRP Capital, Cluster Capital, CoinGecko, Genblock Capital, TRG Capital, The LAO, 12 Capital, and Vendetta Capital.

Comparable Projects

APY.Finance is one of the three most popular liquidity aggregators, including yearn.finance and Delphi from Akropolis. All three of them have already attracted funding into their pools prior to their IDO launches. Here APY stands out with the highest TVL prior to IDO/token issuance as compared to the other two, with around $34 million locked into the smart contract thus far. Meanwhile the APY range is similar across platforms as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3. APY.Finance versus Yearn.finance and Delphi

Upcoming News and Development Progress

APY.Finance Token Generation Event

Around 2.6M APY tokens will be available for sale on Balancer’s liquidity bootstrapping pool (LBP) on November 5, 2020 at 14:00 UTC.

The LBP will run for 48 hours on a fair Dutch auction format, ending on an exact block number to be announced.

The token will be released on a declining price mechanism, which effectively wipes out all front-running bot attempts. For instance, if a bot snips all APY tokens in the very first seconds, the changing pool weights will cause the APY token price to drop below the initial acquisition price as confirmed by the project’s CEO.

Such a mechanism and commitment will truly provide fair chances for those with real needs and interests in the token governance, rather than allow speculation and whale manipulation.

Token Release Schedule

APY.Finance has a fixed cap of 100M APY on total supply. The token release schedule has lengthy lock up terms, indicating long-term commitment from both the team and its investors:

  • Around 7.5M APY tokens in circulation at the IDO event
  • The team has adopted a 4-year vesting schedule (1-year cliff, 3-year linearly vested)
  • All seed and strategic investors are also aligned on a 1-year vesting schedule with 9c and 13.5c cost basis, respectively

Development Roadmap

Completed milestones and the plan for the rest of 2020:

  • Launch of the liquidity mining program with more than 1,500 unique addresses participating, locking a round of $40 million in liquidity mining smart contracts
  • Updates to the liquidity mining user interface to make it more intuitive
  • Preparation for IDO strategy
  • Alpha product development

Reasons to be Bullish

  • Impressive growth in the DeFi industry boosts project confidence:
    • DEX volume skyrocketed 80x from the beginning of this year until October
    • TVL in smart contracts for DeFi projects exceeds $12B at the time of writing, reaching the 20x YTD growth rate milestone
    • However, liquidity aggregator TVL market share is still only 8%, relatively small compared to DEX and lending protocols (Figure 4)
  • Green field in the liquidity aggregator niche – there is a small number of projects participating. Thus, APY.Finance has a higher chance to capture market share at this early stage
Figure 4. Yield farming market components and structure by TVL

Factors to Watch

  • Potential emergence of new liquidity aggregator projects with more competitive advantages, especially ones developed and supported by popular DEXs or pools like Uniswap, Curve.fi, etc. The development from Yearn.finance is also a factor to watch since they are currently the market leader in the liquidity aggregator niche market.
  • Annual percentage yield (APY) is the key reason that attracts individual investors (based on the CoinGecko survey), who tend not to be loyal to any platform unless it provides most benefits to them. The SushiSwap $800M liquidity “steal” from Uniswap always remains a practical case study for the DeFi industry.

Executive Summary

Projection Milestones

Note: This projection evaluation method considers both the APY token price and the APY circulating supply as variables. This is an accurate representation since both are subject to change over time.

  • At the time of writing, the circulating supply (CS) is 8M APY, and the market cap (MC) reaches $2M
  • Right after the IDO, we expect 25M APY tokens will be in circulation. Considering the price may rise modestly due to the current hype (x2-4), MC could be in the range of $12.5M to $25M
  • One year after the launch, when strategic and seed round investors’ tokens are fully released, APY CS will be around 68M APY. APY then has a chance to surpass FARM’s MC
  • At full token release, the CS will be 100M APY. APY token price may potentially reach $5 per token, giving it a circulating market cap in line with YFI’s MC and in the vicinity of $500M

Figure 5 presents the different possible scenarios determining the potential APY market cap and the associated return on investment (ROI) in the future.

Figure 5. Future APY market cap projection

Concluding Remarks

The APY.Finance’s advanced solution seems like a necessity if the yield farming industry is to grow and lead the DeFi adoption trend. The Kyros Research team is bullish on this project, and we believe that the crypto enthusiasts and investors alike will also be able to understand its potential. 

Taking into account APY.Finance’s favorable metrics versus comparable projects with a higher market cap (e.g. Yearn.finance), we would be extremely surprised to see this token stay under $0.5 at the IDO in the tail end of 2020.

Due to the volatile nature of the crypto markets, short term price estimates are difficult to establish. We, however, expect to see the APY token price soar to $2 – $2.5 in the mid-to-long term, giving it a circulating market cap in the vicinity of $170M. 

Even higher token price milestones are feasible in the long term, our most bullish prediction envisaging APY potentially reaching the Yearn.finance’s market cap in the future. Taking into account that the total market capitalization of the liquidity aggregator segment of the crypto market is relatively small compared to that of the DEX and lending segments, APY.Finance definitely has a promising future ahead.