The Shiba Inu (SHIB) has had an extraordinary run in 2021. At the start of the year, the market capitalization of this popular pet currency was so low that neither CoinMarketCap nor CoinGecko barely registered it in the data. on prices. Yet, by October, Shiba Inu had overtaken Dogecoin (DOGE) and briefly ranked ninth by market capitalization. But SHIB has taken a heavy hit from the recent cryptocurrency tumble, and its price is now 75% below its peak.

AVAX, ADA, LPT, SAND... Here are the altcoins to watch in 2022

Most cryptocurrency prices have seen significant losses in recent months as changing economic conditions have made investors nervous about riskier asset classes. Shiba Inu and other meme tokens have been among the hardest hit, in part because they don't have very strong fundamentals. With anonymous founders and misleading language, Shiba Inu is a highly speculative investment that raises several red flags.

With that in mind, here we list four altcoins with strong use cases that are more likely to thrive in the long term.

Avalanche (AVAX)

Avalanche is a cryptocurrency with smart contracts that has gained popularity as an alternative to Ethereum. Ethereum is struggling with network congestion and high fees, which means few other programmable cryptocurrencies have been able to gain market share. Avalanche has already surged over 3,000% in 2021 and is now the 12th largest cryptocurrency by market cap.

Two important metrics when it comes to cryptocurrencies with smart contracts are the number of applications running on the network and the amount of money stored in their ecosystem, called the total value locked. There are 160 apps running on the Avalanche network, and according to DefiLlama, it's the fourth-largest chain in terms of total value blocked.

Cardano (ADA)

If meme currencies are at one end of the spectrum in terms of usefulness and respectability, Cardano is at the other end. With a popular and respected head, Cardano has a huge vision: it wants to use blockchain technology to make the world a better place. It has already entered into a number of partnerships in Africa, including one with the Ethiopian Ministry of Education to record student learning outcomes on its blockchain.

This cryptocurrency takes a slow and deliberate approach to development, garnering both praise and criticism. It only launched its smart contract capability in September 2021 and plans to launch a number of apps in the first half of the year. The biggest risk for Cardano is that if it is too slow, it could be overtaken by newer cryptocurrencies before it can fully establish itself.

Livepeer (LPT)

Livepeer is one of many decentralized networks and protocols that are beginning to gain attention. These decentralized systems use a network of computing power or people to provide storage, streaming or other services. In the case of Livepeer, the service transcends videos, meaning it reformats them so they can be played at different bandwidths and on different devices.

Transcoding can be very expensive, but Livepeer's decentralized model allows people to contribute computing power to their computer. These people receive LPT tokens as a reward, and businesses can significantly reduce their video streaming costs.

Sandbox (SAND)

Sandbox is a metaverse token that skyrocketed in price last year following Facebook's renaming of Meta. Metaverses are virtual worlds where people can gather, spend money, work, and play — in fact, people can do many of the same things they do in the real world. Cathie Wood of Ark Invest thinks Metaverse could one day be worth trillions, and she's not alone.

Therefore, everyone who has a dog wants to get into the metaverse game. And that includes Shiba Inu, who recently announced plans to create a metaverse called Shiberse. Since there's a lot of uncertainty about how the metaverse world will evolve and how well the countless projects will succeed, it makes sense to stick with bigger players like Sandbox, who have proven themselves.

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