The cryptocurrency space has evolved at breakneck speed over the past 14 years. Since Bitcoin launched in 2009, the crypto ecosystem has become a hotbed of innovation and the home of thousands of new tokens. By the end of the decade, as tokens become more widely used in everyday life, there will likely be over 1 million tokens catering to different use cases. The wide variety of tokens available in the cryptocurrency space presents an opportunity for early adopters. While assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum have established their place in the ecosystem over several years, there are many newer, promising tokens that could see huge growth in adoption over time. For our Under the Radar Gems Collection, we curated a list of some of our favourite tokens that are still relatively unknown, but we think they could have big growth potential. Learn more below.
Please note: Investing in cryptoassets is risky. Due to the volatile nature of the cryptocurrency market, investors run the risk of losing their funds when they make an investment. Returns from cryptoasset investing are not guaranteed, therefore users should always be aware of the risks.
An introduction to the token universe
The cryptocurrency market of today can be divided into several segments. While there are already tens of thousands of crypto tokens, the two biggest assets, Bitcoin and Ethereum, account for over 50% of the global market capitalisation. As such, they are sometimes referred to as “majors” or “Crypto Giants” while assets with lower market caps are popularly known as “alternative” tokens or “alts.”
Bitcoin has always maintained its place as the top crypto asset (accounting for roughly 40% of the market), while Ethereum has ranked at number two since it launched. The broader market, however, is subject to changes. The changes seen in the list of the top 10 tokens is a testament to this unpredictable environment; the list of the top 10 tokens in 2017 features six tokens that have since dropped off the top 10 in 2022.
As Bitcoin and Ethereum have larger market capitalisations, they tend to be less volatile than other smaller tokens. This means that while they often perform better and preserve their market value in downward trends, they tend to see less upside than other lower cap assets during “bullish” phases when the market rallies. As Bitcoin and Ethereum represent such a large chunk of the market, many investors choose to allocate a significant portion of their portfolios to either one or both assets.
Tokens with lower market capitalisations are considered riskier than mainstays like Bitcoin and Ethereum because they tend to be more volatile. However, there are many tokens that have emerged with low market caps over the years and seen huge growth, yielding outsized returns for early investors. While there are no guarantees of seeing a return when investing in any crypto token, picking the right gem early on can be one of the best ways to grow a portfolio.
How tokens could evolve
The world of tokens is famously unpredictable. As the industry evolves at such a fast pace, it can be difficult to tell what could come next. This means that picking the right tokens to invest in can be challenging, particularly when selecting from assets with lower market capitalisations.
Nonetheless, making investments in projects that have strong fundamental value propositions and offer real-world use cases is one way to better your chances of success. Many tokens specialise in niches such as DeFi, NFTs, the Metaverse, and Layer 2—innovations that should see significant growth if tokens hit mass adoption. Identifying the winning projects within each category is a popular strategy for unearthing potential gems.
Although the token universe technically launched in 2009 and Bitcoin is now 14 years old, it’s important to remember that it is still early in the lifetime of tokens. While many tokens that have launched over recent years have seen huge growth and are likely to be around for a while, there are still many promising projects that remain under the radar or have not yet even launched.
Just as many of the most successful crypto investors choose to allocate their portfolios predominantly to Bitcoin and Ethereum, it follows that they have less exposure to riskier tokens with lower market capitalisations. However, it’s not uncommon for users to make small investments on lesser known tokens in hopes of seeing outsized returns.
The token.com Collection
Token.com’s Under the Radar Gems Collection features several tokens that are relatively unknown outside of the token ecosystem, but they are all aiming to become big players by catering to unique use cases within the space.
Our Collection features 1inch, the popular decentralised exchange aggregator that launched on Ethereum and has since expanded to BNB Chain, Avalanche, Polygon, Optimism, Artbitrum, Gnosis and Fantom. 1inch helps traders get the best price for their swaps by offering access to various exchanges through one interface.
Other DeFi projects included in the Under the Radar Gems Collection include Curve, Convex Finance, and dYdX. Curve is a popular decentralised exchange best known for offering deep liquidity on stablecoin swaps, and Convex Finance helps Curve users earn boosted yields. dYdX, meanwhile, is a decentralised exchange that allows for seamless, low-cost perpetuals and futures trading through a central limit order book on Ethereum Layer 2.
The Collection also features Trader Joe, Avalanche’s Uniswap equivalent. Although Trader Joe is lesser known than other decentralised exchanges, if Avalanche gains adoption, it could see increased utility in the future.
Under the Radar Gems also includes Optimism. As one of Ethereum’s top Layer 2 projects, Optimism could see growth in the future as the ecosystem matures. If Layer 2 takes off, Optimism is likely to be one of the projects to benefit.
The Collection also features two of the most hotly tipped trading venues in the token ecosystem: GMX and WOO. GMX has had a rapid rise since launching in late 2021, with traders flocking to use the decentralised exchange on Arbitrum and Avalanche. WOO, meanwhile, has ambitious plans to become one of crypto’s premier trading venues with zero fees.
One of the token ecosystem’s most popular “liquid staking” offerings, Lido helps token holders get more rewards from their holdings, offering a liquid token that can be put to work in DeFi in exchange for deposits. The project also features in the Under the Radar Gems Collection.
Arguably the most mind-bending addition to Under the Radar Gems is Alchemix, a lending protocol that aims to capture the magic of tokenization by offering “self-repaying loans” on Ethereum. Users can deposit tokens as collateral and borrow up to 50% of their deposit; their debt gets paid off by yield accrued on their deposit.
Under the Radar Gems also features several tokens that are unlike any other in the ecosystem. Helium wants to support for Internet of Things by establishing a vast network of miners, Immutable X is focusing on bringing the fast-growing NFT space onto Ethereum Layer 2 to usher in mass adoption, Stargate is aiming to build crypto’s most accessible cross-chain bridging network, UMA is working to help Web3 grow through its optimistic oracle, Secret is offering users customisable privacy for DeFi and NFTs on its emerging network, and THORChain is working to enable cross-chain swaps across networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum. All six tokens feature in our Collection.
While it’s important to have an understanding of major assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum, there are many other tokens to discover across the ecosystem. In some cases, tokens that are not yet widely known or even deployed on the blockchain could see growth in the future. While we would like to reiterate that there is no guarantee of profit when investing in cryptoassets, it’s worth learning about the various tokens available and how they could fit into the ecosystem in the future as it evolves. If you want to learn more about our Under the Radar Gems, head to token.com to check out the Collection today.
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