This Project might be the best in Polkadot- Part 2

In Part 1 of this article, we spoke about Astar Network and why it is an integral part of the Polkadot Ecosystem. Polkadot itself does not have smart contract capability and Astar Network brings in that capability to Polkadot. This also means that projects will have 3 options, either become a Parachain with Polkadot (for bigger projects only as this is costly), become a parathread or build dapps on parachains like Astar.

Partner Community

Astar has recently announced a $30M Astar and Shiden ecosystem growth fund. Stake Technologies, the parent company of Astar is working with Microsoft Japan under the ‘Microsoft for Startups Program. Through this partnership, Microsoft Japan will provide support in the areas of marketing and infrastructure for projects building on the Astar / Shiden Network.

 Astar has built good developer partnerships. Some of the notable ones include

·        Coinversation: A decentralized contract trading exchange

·        PolkaEx:  A cross-chain decentralized exchange

·        Standard Protocol: A Defi platform to create synthetic assets and stable coins.

Shiden

Shiden is the canary network of Astar, built on Kusama. The value proposition is similar to Astar, an interoperable smart contract platform built on Kusama.

Shiden won the 3rd Kusama Parachain auction by collecting 138,457 Kusama. It has recently distributed the crowd loan tokens to the participants and slowly, though users are now able to transfer tokens till now. The Shiden app is still in a nascent stage and needs to be deployed fully for further use. Note that the same app will be used in Astar with a simple switch of networks.

Shiden was one of the better airdrops (after Moonriver) in Kusama Parachain auction Phase 1

Competitors

There is some fierce competition in the Polkadot Smart Contract space. Projects like Moonbeam, Parastate are making big inroads. However, what falls in Astar’s favor is the strong technology behind the product. Years of working with the Kusama / Polkadot core team and delivering Grant projects have solidified the foundation of Astar. Astar has built a high reputation in the Polkadot Ecosystem that is comparable to none.

Price

Some may argue that the price performance of the canary networks (Shiden for Astar, and, Moonriver for Moonbeam) shows a different picture. Moonriver is highly valued than Shiden.

The price of Shiden is currently approximately $5.35. With a circulating supply of approximately 70 M, that is a fully diluted valuation of 375 M

Compare that with its closest competitor, Moonriver. The price of Moonriver is approximately $320 with a supply of 10M. This makes the fully diluted market cap of Moonriver as 3Bn. This is 10x more than Shiden.

Shiden is technically comparable, some would say even superior. Price in crypto is many times speculative and is not a true indicator of value. This means that Shiden has a lot more room to grow. With new dapps launching on Shiden and improved marketing, the price of Shiden should see an upward movement (not financial advice though)

RoadMap

Astar has a big Roadmap ahead of it with interesting milestones to be achieved. Recently they have initiated a program to develop an Astar / Shiden to Cosmos bridge. Solana, Dfinity, Avalanche bridges are on the cards. In Q2 2022, Astar will move to Onchain Governance, introduce L2 (Roll-ups), and then in Q3, it will enter into a DAO.

Conclusion

Polkadot needs Astar. Even though it is an able competitor in Moonriver, both can work in harmony. Polkadot is based upon the foundation on interoperability and Astar brings in multidimensional interoperability, cross parachain connections, and cross-blockchain connections. With technology, funding, and approach, it ticks off all the right boxes. This is one of the strongest Polkadot projects, one to watch out for.

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