IIf you think the stock market has been unstoppable since the stock markets hit the initial low of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, check out the cryptocurrency space. While the broad base S&P 500 Has grown by over 100% in just over 20 months, the overall value of cryptocurrencies has jumped over 1,500% to $ 2.36 trillion in the same period.
While fear of running out (FOMO) and investor sentiment were the primary drivers of these gains, crypto investors were also impressed with the number of partnerships entered into.
As you can imagine, the biggest names in the crypto space have forged a number of significant partnerships or market victories. For example, Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) is the most widely accepted digital token on the planet by retailers. Meanwhile, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, which focuses on promoting the use of the Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH) blockchain, has more than 100 members. Same coin Shiba inu has grabbed a few well-known merchants in recent weeks.
Image source: Getty Images.
But what you might not realize is that cryptocurrencies under the radar are forging major partnerships as well. Here are three lesser-known cryptocurrencies with partners that raise eyebrows.
Qtum: Amazon and Google (subsidiary of Alphabet)
Let’s start with the smallest digital token on this list, sorted by market value, Qtum (CRYPTO: QTUM). According to CoinMarketCap.com, Qtum is the 87th largest crypto, with a market value of $ 1.11 billion as of December 7.
Although it is relatively small, Qtum is a blockchain project that I have already highlighted as very intriguing. This is because Qtum has developed its blockchain using the best qualities of Bitcoin and Ethereum. It integrates the transactional security of Bitcoin’s UTXO model with the Ethereum virtual machine. In other words, it is a UTXO-based platform that can support smart contracts – protocols that verify, enforce, and facilitate an agreed transaction between two or more parties. Smart contracts are the foundation from which decentralized applications (dApps) and decentralized finance (DeFi) are built.
Qtum is also differentiated by its Account Abstraction Layer (AAL). The AAL is Qtum’s ticket to deploying smart contract upgrades while still remaining backward compatible with Bitcoin’s UTXO transaction model.
But the real surprise could be that Qtum was a chosen partner for both. Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL)(NASDAQ: GOOG). Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud services arm of Amazon, first partnered with Qtum in October 2018. At the time, this was described as a way for AWS to empower developers to leveraging its cloud platform using Qtum, as well as expanding Amazon’s offerings to corporate clients.
In May 2019, Qtum partnered with Google Cloud to offer developers and people with little technical know-how a cost-effective way to launch nodes on the Qtum blockchain. It’s not everyday that a relatively unknown crypto project lands on Amazon and Alphabet’s Google as a partner.
Image source: Getty Images.
Zcash: JPMorgan Chase
Another cryptocurrency under the radar that has landed a major partnership is the privacy-focused payment coin. Zcash (CRYPTO: zec).
In a traditional crypto payment transaction, the money moves from point A to point B with partial obscurity. That is, although names and identities are not revealed on the public blockchain, blockchain forensics can be used to trace the public addresses of a sender and a recipient. Zcash deploys zk-SNARK- zero-knowledge cryptography which helps scramble these addresses. This is why Zcash is known as a privacy room.
While the obfuscation of sender and recipient addresses is Zcash’s main draw, it should be noted that users have the option of revealing this data for audit purposes or to maintain regulatory compliance.
The interesting thing about Zcash is that it is about landed bank stocks JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) as a partner in May 2017. I say interesting given CEO Jamie Dimon’s disgust with cryptocurrency and his belief that Bitcoin is “worthless” in his own words.
Still, that hasn’t stopped JPMorgan Chase from implementing Zcash’s zero-knowledge layer of security on top of its Ethereum-based Quorum project to bolster blockchain security. With Zcash’s zero-knowledge security solution designed to work with multiple blockchain networks, the hope is that this could be the first of many financial institutions to adopt or test its technology.
Image source: Getty Images.
IOTA: Dell Technologies
One latest cryptocurrency under the radar that has caught a major partner is IOTA (CRYPTO: MIOTA). With a market value of $ 3.26 billion, IOTA is the 50th largest digital currency.
In keeping with the theme of this list, IOTA and its developers bring a degree of differentiation to the table that is simply not seen with the vast majority of cryptocurrency projects.
A unique aspect of IOTA is that it does not use blockchain technology to handle payments and data transfers. Rather, the developers of IOTA rely on the “Tangle”. The Tangle is a direct acyclic graph (DAG) that requires new transactions to confirm at least two previous transactions. Since the blockchain can be slowed down by the need to generate and validate new blocks, IOTA’s DAG solution provides a fast way to execute transactions at no cost that are connected to each other like a tangled website. This means that the network must be rapidly scalable without affecting performance.
Earlier this year, IOTA made waves by announcing a partnership with the information technology giant Dell Technologies (NYSE: DELL). Known as Project Alvarium, this partnership will focus on measuring the confidence of data before it is used by an application.
According to the February 9 IOTA press release, Dell first presented its Data Confidence Fabric (DCF) in 2019. IOTA then redesigned DCF to improve its scalability and security. Travel data from an Internet of Things device sensor or perimeter network until it reaches the cloud will receive a trust score and connect to IOTA’s Tangle to establish an immutable score.
This partnership could play a role in improving predictive analytics for edge networks – this is precisely what Dell and Intelligence are teaming up to test – and could even be useful for gauging the reliability of data during the pandemic, such as determining which manufacturing plant a vaccine originated from, or recording how many people received a vaccine.
In short, remember that there is a world of intriguing projects that are not called Bitcoin and Ethereum.
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