David Angliss, an analyst with Australia’s leading cryptocurrency investment firm, Apollo Capital, shares the fund’s weekly take on what’s happening in the fast-changing and volatile cryptocurrency space.

Decentralisation is both an ethos and an imperative in the crypto space, which is filled with rebellious types who distrust central authorities and big institutions.

Decentralisation can sacrifice efficiency, but it makes protocols, platforms and networks more resilient. That’s especially important in the crypto space, which can seem constantly under attack from repressive governments threatened by its permissionless nature.

But while Ethereum is very decentralised, there’s one component of it that isn’t. A lot of infrastructure on the network runs through a service called Infura, says David Angliss.

When that service went down in November, it caused havoc across the network, with delays in price feeds for Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens.

Big exchanges such as Binance and Bitthumb had to temporarily limit withdrawals and Metamask had issues.

“Essentially 90 per cent of the dapps (decentralialised applications) that run on Ethereum and other chains, they get their data from Infura,” Angliss says.

“It’s a subsidiary of the company ConsenSys, but as a centralised entity, it leaves (Ethereum) exposed to outages.”

In a nutshell, that’s why Apollo is investing in the Pocket Network (POKT), which offers a trustless API protocol based on over 5,000 nodes.

“What Pocket is, is it’s a network of nodes … you can ensure that you don’t have any downtime. If one of the nodes were to go down in the Pocket Network, there’s another one who can provide that information. So it’s like a decentralised Infura, if that makes sense.”

Right now POKT is available on Ethereum, Polygon, Avalanche, Binance Smart Chain, xDai and – as of Friday – Harmony.

“Essentially, it’s a way for projects to get the information they need in a decentralised manner,” Angliss says. “So it avoids outage risk, which is very important for projects. Infura has gone down in the past, and there’s no guarantee that it won’t again in the future.”

So more projects are relying on the Pocket Network, and more people are running nodes, Angliss says.

“So the more nodes you have on, the more secure and faster it is,” Angliss says. That’ll lead to more people wanting to use the network, increasing each node’s revenue.

“So it’s like continual positive reinforcement,” Angliss says.

Apollo bought its token allocation as part of its primary deals, but retail investors can get exposure to the project through a Balancer liquidity pool.


Maple and Pendle

Last week was a big week for two of Apollo’s past “moonshots”, Pendle Finance and Maple Finance.

Pendle was up 78.8 per cent in the past seven days on Friday, while Maple was up 102.8 per cent.

“They’re definitely projects that we like, and are keeping an eye on.”

The much larger Polkadot, which Apollo highlighted in August, was also up 22 per cent.

The views, information, or opinions expressed in the interview in this article are solely those of the interviewee and do not represent the views of Stockhead. Stockhead has not provided, endorsed or otherwise assumed responsibility for any financial product advice contained in this article.

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