With a market cap of over $165 billion ether is still the world’s leading Layer 1 blockchain. It is the recognized leader in nearly every blockchain system category, including NFTs, DeFi, gaming, and the Metaverse. In its seven-year history, Ethereum has brought investors an amazing 38,332.43% return. As a result, investors have always sought “the next Ethereum” that could make them crypto millionaires.
2022, Solana emerged as the most likely Ethereum challenger. However, Solana is down more than 80% for the year, and investors might be ready to move on with another option next year. So what will be the next big Ethereum challenger in 2023? A prospect is Algorand (Algo -16.23%)a crypto well known in the crypto community but largely overlooked by cryptocurrency investors.
First class references
Since its official launch in June 2019, Algorand has been on a mission to create a world-class blockchain superior to Ethereum in every way. It ranks at the top of all blockchains in terms of speed, security, scalability and overall performance. It is also the first-ever “pure” proof-of-stake blockchain.
In addition, Algorand is constantly receiving new upgrades, so it doesn’t rest on its laurels. For example, in early September, Algorand received a major speed upgrade. It also received a major new security upgrade called Falcon, which will make it completely impenetrable to quantum computing attacks in the future. Algorand is the only major blockchain talking about post-quantum technology.
The greenest blockchain in the world
Algorand is also one of the most sustainable blockchain projects in the world. There are only a handful of blockchain projects that are widely considered “green” blockchains, and Algorand hasn’t been shy about announcing its credentials. For example, on Earth Day this year, Algorand blacked out electronic billboards in New York’s Times Square to highlight how much energy the world’s blockchains are consuming.
In 2023, it could be huge for Algorand to engage with green sustainability. The White House just released a major report on crypto’s energy and climate impact, forcing investors to think about the issue. At the same time, Ethereum is playing up the fact that moving from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake blockchain reduces energy consumption by 99.9%. But Algorand has gone one step further: not only is it carbon neutral; it is CO2 negative.
But who uses Algorand?
Given its superiority over Ethereum in all of these areas, why has Algorand stayed off the radar of most casual investors? For example, in terms of market cap, Algorand ranks only 29th among all cryptos.
One reason could be that Algorand had a harder time getting people to use its blockchain than expected. If you look at Total Value Locked (TVL), a useful metric to see how much activity is happening on a blockchain, Algorand ranks 16th of all blockchains with a total value of $240 million. That might be better than Cardano, but it’s only a fifth of Solana’s TVL and a seventh of Avalanche’s TVL.
A great year-end catalyst
As such, I look forward to a big catalyst for Algorand in late 2023: the World Cup in Qatar. This is arguably one of the most watched sporting events in the world, and Algorand was the first official US blockchain partner of this event. Anytime you watch a soccer game during the holidays you might see the Algorand logo, which could do wonders for the name to gain worldwide recognition. Additionally, being an official blockchain partner of the 2022 FIFA World Cup could improve usage metrics for Algorand. For example, FIFA has announced that it will launch an NFT marketplace for football artworks on Algorand by the end of September.
Will 2023 be the year for Algorand?
For now I will wait with Algorand. While it’s always been ahead of the curve in areas like quantum cryptography and blockchain environmental sustainability, Algorand has paid less attention to attracting regular, everyday crypto enthusiasts who are more focused on playing games and trading NFTs.
In addition to supporting the US men’s national soccer team, I will be supporting Algorand in November and December. If there’s a year when Algorand could become a groundbreaking crypto investment, it’ll be 2023. If all goes according to plan, people could actually start talking about Algorand as “the next Ethereum.”
Dominic Basulto has positions in Cardano and Ethereum. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Avalanche, Ethereum, and Solana. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.