What’s Happening in Blockchain During Summer 2021?
Even if the bull market is over, there are still plenty of developments being made across the cryptocurrency sector. Projects such as Ethereum, Polkadot, and Cardano, along with many others, are rolling out new changes and upgrades this summer which will help them become closer to revolutionizing the financial system.
Projects with strong fundamentals continuously develop their product, regardless of the coin price. This summer, we can expect to see some of the biggest and most important developments in the cryptocurrency space’s history. Let’s take a look at some of these projects and what they are planning to release over the coming months.
Even though Ethereum 2.0 will not officially be released for a couple more years, there are still lots of developments being made to the protocol that will allow it to keep its title as the king of smart contract platforms. Arguably the biggest change will be the London hard fork in July. This hard fork will introduce EIP-1559, which is the protocol change that will stabilize gas prices and burn some of the transaction fees, instead of giving them all back to the miners. If there are more transaction fees burned than Ether mined per day, ETH could become a deflationary asset, which would make it an incredibly appealing store of value and could help the asset surpass Bitcoin in market capitalization.
Another change coming to Ethereum is the release of Layer 2 solutions, specifically Optimistic Ethereum and Arbitrum. Both of these scaling solutions use rollup technology, which will drastically decrease transaction times and increase speed. Arbitrum had their official release in late May, and Optimism is planning to release in July. This will almost completely solve Ethereum’s current transaction fee and scaling problems, and will allow anyone to use dApps without paying hundreds in gas fees. Some of the dApps already building on these solutions include Uniswap, Sushiswap, and Chainlink, and Aave is already available on another L2 solution, Polygon. Once exchanges like Coinbase offer the option for users to buy Ethereum on the Layer 2s, everyone will be able to use Ethereum as it was intended, thus bringing it closer to its goal of being the world’s computer.
Even though Cardano has been a so-called “Ethereum Killer” since its release in 2017, it has yet to add a crucial feature: smart contract functionality. Without this, it is nothing more than a blockchain, with no tokens, dApps, or smart contracts. This is going to change with their Alonzo upgrade in August. After the upgrade, developers will be able to build on Cardano and take advantage of its groundbreaking technology and programming language. This should make Ethereum fans nervous, as it will be the first time Ethereum will have a true competitor in the smart contract space, which will be a great development for the blockchain ecosystem as a whole.
Much like Cardano, Polkadot also does not have any tokens building on top of its ecosystem. This is not due to a lack of technology, but instead due to the way Polkadot works. Polkadot supports 100 parachains, each of which is like a separate blockchain that one project can use to build their ecosystem. Instead of giving these parachains away, they are auctioned to the highest bidder in a system known as the Parachain Slot Auction. These auctions, which have drawn the attention of hundreds of projects, are slated to begin on Kusama, Polkadot’s canary network, in the coming weeks. Assuming everything goes well, they are expected to start on Polkadot shortly after. This will be a significant milestone in Polkadot’s history, as projects will begin to build on the so-called “internet of blockchains” and take advantage of its high throughput and interoperability. It will also cause more demand for the DOT token, which is used to bid on Parachains, that may lead to a significant price increase over the coming months.
One of the most hyped projects in recent history, Flare, will begin airdropping its FLR token to XRP holders sometime in June. Flare is creating a smart contract blockchain for the coins that currently have no smart contract functionality, such as XRP, XLM, Litecoin, and Dogecoin. The FLR token will be supported at release by most major exchanges, including Coinbase, Binance, and Bitfinex. The last coins to receive immediate and synchronized listing include Internet Protocol, Uniswap, and The Graph, all of which are still thriving. Flare will bring tens of billions of dollars into the smart contract and DeFi ecosystem, and could pose a threat to already-established smart contract platforms.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, will be hearing many cases about approving a cryptocurrency ETF this summer. Currently, they are expecting to release a decision about a VanEck ETF sometime next month. They also are reviewing a Fidelity ETF and a First Trust SkyBridge Bitcoin ETF as well, and their decisions could come out as soon as July, but they also could be delayed until sometime next year. If approved, an ETF would allow trillions of dollars to begin pouring into cryptocurrencies, and potentially bring Bitcoin to never-before-seen highs.
Finally, the team behind Bitpush is releasing Uniquehash, an NFT platform allowing for the seamless buying, selling, and creating of NFTs. It will be based on an EVM-compatible blockchain, and is slated for a release in July. This release will be significant, and offer users easy access into one of the fastest-growing fields in the blockchain space.
This summer is full of massive developments across the blockchain space. Due to these new developments and the possibility of a Bitcoin ETF, many investors hope that this summer will revitalize the bull market, and may lead to new all-time highs for the cryptocurrency market.
By Lincoln Murr