Five crypto projects that run on Ethereum

Explore the top five projects running on Ethereum. Learn how they leverage Ethereum’s blockchain technology to offer unique solutions in web browsing, decentralized finance (DeFi), and tokenization.

Ethereum is the second largest cryptocurrency by market value, only surpassed by Bitcoin. However, Ethereum extended the scope of blockchain technology with the addition of smart contracts.

Bitcoin’s goal is to decentralize money, and its features focus on serving as a store of value and a means of payment. Smart contracts on Ethereum, on the other hand, allow for the development of decentralized applications (DApps). 

DApps can be used for lending platforms, NFT marketplaces, video games, oracles, and plenty of other services open to anyone. To use any of these applications, users only need to buy Ethereum and the tokens native to the DApp, and they’re ready to participate in that platform. Let’s review five interesting projects running on the Ethereum blockchain today.

1) Brave

Brave is a decentralized browser focused on providing privacy and safety, with built-in crypto properties. The browser is based on Chromium, but it adds a set of features that aren’t found on any other browser. At its core, Brave utilizes blockchain technology to offer a new advertising model, where the customer’s privacy is at the center. 

Its users can choose either not to view any ads in the browser or view them and get paid in BAT tokens for doing so. This way, advertising companies pay directly to the users, and there is no central authority who gets a cut of the revenue. 

In 2021, the Brave team added a built-in crypto wallet. This came a few months after the implementation of an Ethereum upgrade that reduced the fees charged by the blockchain. The London upgrade improved the usability of DApps, and the Brave wallet allows its users to interact with the applications directly in the browser.

2) Compound

Compound is one of the most popular DApps in the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem built on Ethereum. It consists of a platform for borrowing and lending assets, similar to many existing in traditional markets. The difference is that by operating on a blockchain, it is completely decentralized. 

Users can borrow any of the available assets by locking a collateral. But one key feature of Compound is the ability to provide liquidity to lending pools. This means that users can deposit their assets in these pools and earn interest. This helps secure the network and ensure that there’s constant liquidity, by incentivizing investors to provide their tokens to the platform. 

Since it works similarly to traditional markets, it can be a starting point for new investors who consider participating in crypto DApps. This becomes especially relevant in bullish markets like the one we are experiencing now.

3) MakerDAO

MakerDAO works similarly to Compound, but it has some defining characteristics. It’s worth noting that MakerDAO was the first Ethereum protocol to bring lending services to the blockchain. It features a native stablecoin called DAI. Unlike other stablecoins, like USDT or USDC, it is not backed by fiat assets. Instead, its reserves are entirely based on ETH. 

This approach looks for a more decentralized market that doesn’t rely on traditional money although benefits from its value marker. MakerDAO can deposit any of the supported tokens based on Ethereum as collateral and take loans from the DApp. 

4) Loopring Pay

Ethereum had major issues with congestion on its network before implementing a series of upgrades. This came in a moment when adoption was on the rise, DApps were being developed and used massively, and the blockchain couldn’t handle that much usage. That gave rise to many Ethereum competitors and protocols that aimed to improve the network itself. 

Loopring Pay belongs to the latter. It is a Layer-2 payment protocol that utilizes ZkRollups to speed up the process of making payments on Ethereum while maintaining safety and privacy. It works by batching transactions on a second layer, verifying them off-chain, and then validating them on the main blockchain. Loopring Pay can process transactions in ETH, as well as in any ERC-20 token.

5) renBTC

RenBTC is part of the Ren protocol. Through the Ren Virtual Machine (RenVM), users can deposit BTC on a special address and, in exchange, get renBTC. This token is pegged to the price of Bitcoin, but it runs on the Ethereum blockchain. It works similarly to alternatives like Wrapped Bitcoin, but it is more decentralized since reserves of WBTC are held by a centralized company. 

The protocol maintains the peg because the ratio is 1:1. For every BTC deposited, the platform mints 1 renBTC. This offers users the opportunity to leverage the price and market prevalence of Bitcoin while participating in any of the available DeFi protocols on Ethereum. 

For example, it can be used to provide liquidity to decentralized exchanges, like Uniswap. By doing this, investors can earn interest on the liquidity pools. If they want to get their BTC back, all they have to do is burn the corresponding amount of renBTC and claim their coins.

The Ethereum DeFi ecosystem

The Ethereum DeFi ecosystem comprises many different applications, all targeting different markets and functions. They can focus on marketplaces, loan services, and payment processors. They all work together to decentralize traditional financial markets and make them available for anyone, anywhere.