Yesterday, major U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced that it was reviewing a total of 17 still-in-development cryptocurrencies and “digital assets” for listing on their service. The exchange currently supports a relatively small selection of major cryptocurrency tokens, and all of them were well established and trading on multiple exchanges before their Coinbase listings. It’s not clear why Coinbase decided to announce their interest in these yet-to-be-launched cryptocurrency projects, although at least two of them — Telegram and Filecoin — would likely be traded on the exchange eventually.
A Coinbase listing typically provides a degree of legitimacy in the cryptocurrency market, with investors and analysts taking the token more seriously. This often translates into a substantial boost to the token’s trading price, a phenomenon often referred to as the “Coinbase Effect.” It’s not clear that this same effect applies to pre-launch tokens, but by showing interest in these projects Coinbase may simply be giving them a PR and potential fundraising boost.
In this post, we’re going to take a quick look at the utility, use cases, and value propositions for each of the tokens Coinbase currently has under review for an eventual listing.
1. Avalanche: This token’s developers describe the project as an “Internet of Active Assets.” It appears to be a blockchain designed for launching initial coin offerings (ICOs) and similar tokenized assets.
2. Celo: Described as a platform “to connect people globally and bring financial stability to those who need it most,” Celo appears to be a remittance-focused blockchain.
3. Chia: Aiming to become the first “enterprise-grade digital money” blockchain, Chia is built around a so-called “Proof of Space” consensus algorithm to reduce the network’s power demands.
4. Coda: Described as a “cryptocurrency with a tiny portable blockchain,” Coda is designed to bring blockchain-backed security features and payments to browser-based applications.
5. Dfinity: This blockchain project aims to create “The Internet Computer,” which it describes as a serverless, cryptocurrency-fueled “tamperproof open cloud platform.”
6. Filecoin: One of the better-known projects on Coinbase’s list, Filecoin essentially allows users to rent out their unused hard drive space in exchange for FIL tokens. FIL futures are currently trading at $3.55.
7. Handshake: Described as a “decentralized, permissionless naming protocol compatible with DNS,” Handshake appears to be another twist on the Namecoin concept.
8. Kadena: An enterprise-focused smart-contract platform developed by former members of JPMorgan Chase’s blockchain team.
9. Mobilecoin: A project with a frustratingly vague description — “Cryptocurrency designed to be used. Cryptocurrency designed for everyone.” — and a two-person dev team.
10. NEAR: Designed as a platform for quick development of decentralized applications, NEAR also features a proof-of-stake blockchain.
11. Nervos: Developed by mining group Spark Pool, Nervos aims to “solve” the problems with bitcoin and Ethereum with a new “multi-asset” and “store of value” blockchain.
12. Oasis: Looking over the Oasis Labs website, you might not even realize this “decentralized cloud” development platform is tied to a cryptocurrency.
13. Orchid: Once you look past the ecology-themed website copy — the site claims that Orchid is a “natural internet” where people can have their feelings “awakened” and “freely express their agency” — this project turns out to be a tokenized open marketplace for internet bandwidth.
14. Polkadot: This project aims to create a fully interoperable network for “cross-blockchain transfers” using mechanisms called “parachains” and “bonding tokens.” Polkadot’s pre-launch IOU tokens are currently trading at $154.
15. Solana: A speed-focused blockchain designed to support commercial, fast-scaling decentralized apps.
16. Spacemesh: Unlike many of the other tokens on this list, Spacemesh is a fully dedicated cryptocurrency. The centralization-resistant token is intended to operate in areas with limited technical infrastructure.
17. Telegram: Already a hugely popular messaging app, Telegram caught the attention of the cryptocurrency world in 2017 when the platform’s planned payment token raised a reported $1.7 billion through a “pre-ICO.” Should the token actually be given a green light by U.S. regulators, it will likely become a major new cryptocurrency.