Narrative upgrade: the new focus of hype

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introduction

The cryptocurrency market has entered a bull market since 2024, and investment opportunities in the market continue to emerge. Historical data shows that the cryptocurrency market has the characteristics of alternating rises. Usually, BTC is the pioneer of the rising trend of the entire industry, and then other tokens will begin to follow the rise. However, unlike in the past, most Altcoins performed relatively weakly in this bull market. Although BTC rose by 70.86% in 2024, most Altcoins failed to exceed BTC in terms of growth, and some even fell. Take the leading projects in the main track as an example:

  • ETH (the leader of the public chain) has increased since the beginning of 2024: 55.65%;

  • ARB (leader in the ETH-L2 track) 2024 year-to-date increase: -37.81%;

  • LDO (the leader in the LSD track) 2024 year-to-date increase: -34.84%;

  • STX (the leader in the BTC-L2 track) has increased by 30.46% since the beginning of 2024;

This rare phenomenon can be explained from two perspectives: macroeconomics and crypto market:

  • From a macroeconomic perspective: The Federal Reserve has maintained a high interest rate environment of 5.25%, and there is uncertainty in the expected returns for risky funds, resulting in fewer new investors than in previous bull markets.

  • From the perspective of the cryptocurrency industry: the supply side has increased significantly, and the market value of tokens released each month has continued to be high, which has made investors silent.

Although the overall cryptocurrency market performed mediocrely, there were some bright spots. For example, Meme tokens and AI tokens achieved gains that surpassed Bitcoin this year, attracting widespread attention from investors. In addition, some tokens that focus on the narrative upgrade of crypto assets have been ignored by most investors, and tokens with the concept of narrative upgrade are expected to become the new focus of market speculation this year.

Definition of the Narrative Upgrade Track

The narrative upgrade track is an emerging concept that is no longer limited to a single project change, but covers a wider range.

The core of this concept is to make the project brand new and regain competitiveness through comprehensive upgrades and reforms. Specifically, the narrative upgrade track can be achieved by changing the narrative of the project, adjusting the basic logic of the project, upgrading the business model, launching innovative products, adjusting the token mechanism, merging with other projects, and even upgrading the brand.

In short, as long as a project can reshape its image by introducing transformative initiatives, it can be classified as part of the narrative upgrade track. The introduction of this concept has injected new vitality into the development of projects and opened up a new path for the advancement of the industry. Therefore, the narrative upgrade track will become one of the important directions for the development of future projects and will certainly play an important role in future development.

Advantages of the Narrative Upgrade Track

  • Possessing a user base: Most projects in the narrative upgrade track have usually experienced at least one bull and bear market and have a stable community and user base. In contrast, new projects usually need a certain amount of time to build their own community and cultivate loyal users. The consensus gained by narrative upgrade track projects makes it easier for them to be accepted by the market for their new changes.

  • High market trust: In narrative upgrade track projects, the team is more stable. After a long period of operation, the team has a deeper understanding of user preferences and market characteristics. Compared with new projects, the team of old projects is more likely to gain the trust of the market and users. The team of new projects needs time to gain a foothold in the market and gain recognition.

  • Strong resource integration capabilities: After long-term operation in the cryptocurrency market, such projects have accumulated various resources, including capital recognition, familiarity with more market-making teams, and exposure to more operational strategies, which is an advantage that new projects cannot compare with.

  • Richer experience: In the cryptocurrency market, in addition to having advantages in its own business and operations, projects also need to be familiar with the operating rules of the entire market. Experienced teams can seize as many opportunities as possible at different time points in the market.

Although the saying speculate on new but not old is widely spread in the cryptocurrency market, the reason why old projects can survive in the market for a long time, especially those teams that have experienced bull and bear markets, are still actively promoting project changes. This is because they have various advantages that other new projects do not have, which also provides impetus for the rise in token prices.

Classic Case – Vanar Chain

Before the narrative upgrade

Terra Virtua, the predecessor of Vanar Chain, was founded by Gary Bracey and Jawad Ashraf. In 2018, the Terra Virtua mainnet was launched. At that time, Terra Virtuas main business was to build a public chain project based on the metaverse. It was originally a VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) content platform based on paid subscriptions and supported cryptocurrency payments. At that time, it belonged to the public chain and metaverse track category.

After the narrative upgrade

The first narrative upgrade: In 2020, Terra Virtua underwent its first narrative upgrade. At that time, the entire cryptocurrency market started a wave of NFT issuance. Terra Virtua kept up with the industry trend and added an NFT service platform on the basis of its metaverse business, transforming itself into a digital collectibles (NFT) platform project.

Second narrative upgrade: In 2023, Terra Virtua carried out a second narrative upgrade, changing the name of the project from Terra Virtua to Vanar Chain, and replacing the original project token TVK with VANRY. Users who originally held TVK can exchange TVK for the new token VANRY at a ratio of 1:1. This project upgrade not only changed the project name and token, but also proposed changes in the main business of the project. The Gamefi narrative was added on top of the original public chain based on the Metaverse and NFT, allowing users to experience and unlock games in the interactive Metaverse Player Lounge, and earn rewards such as Virtua XP and free collectibles in the process.

The third narrative upgrade: In 2024, Vanar Chain carried out the third narrative upgrade. Vanar Chain announced a partnership with AI giant NVIDIA and introduced multiple AI solutions into its products, including AI-driven IP tracking for brands, AI analysis for creators, AI-enhanced identity verification, and AI-powered DApp building and review. Vanar integrated NVIDIA technology into the Vanar platform, providing developers with tools to create advanced AI solutions, adding another narrative to the AI track.

In summary, Vanar Chain has undergone three narrative upgrades and has transformed from a metaverse public chain project to a public chain project that spans metaverse, NFT, Gamefi, and AI narratives. Vanar Chain can be said to have occupied the hot narratives of cryptocurrency in various periods, making it always appear in the hot topics of the market.

Narrative escalation effect

Although Vanar Chain occupies the Metaverse, NFT, Gamefi, AI and public chain tracks, its project currently focuses more on AI and public chain tracks, so we chose FET, a project that also covers AI and public chain tracks.

Narrative upgrade: the new focus of hype

Classic Case – Beam

Before X Narrative Upgrade

Beams predecessor, Axie 420, was founded in July 2021 by Marco van denHeuvel, Tommy Quite, and Mark Borsten. The original purpose was to enable players in low-wage countries to play Axie infinity. However, in September 2021, it was renamed Merit Circle, and the project positioning was expanded from focusing only on Axie infinity to more popular games and the metaverse. Merit Circles main business is to establish a game guild similar to YGG, and set up a scholarship system and SubDao model. It mainly provides funds to players to let them go to gold, and then Merit Circle gets a share, which is equivalent to a large gold-making studio and belongs to the category of guilds in the Gamefi track.

After the narrative upgrade

Because the entire cryptocurrency market entered a bear market in 2022, the prices of tokens of various projects plummeted, and the revenue of the Gamefi track also dropped sharply. If Merit Circle still insisted on the original scholarship system and SubDao model, in addition to being surpassed by YGG in various businesses, the original system and system could not enable Merit Circle to make profits and might not necessarily support Merit Circle through the winter of cryptocurrency. Therefore, Merit Circle decisively transformed in 2022.

In 2022, Merit Circle began to transform the structure and positioning of DAO, hoping to build a gaming DAO. Merit Circle divides DAO into multiple sectors. Currently, its main sectors are investment, studio, games, and infrastructure (based on the Beam game chain built by Avalanche), and the original token MC will be exchanged for BEAM at a ratio of 1:100.

Investment: The project investment funds come from 100 million USDC raised on the Copper platform. According to the MIP-2 proposal, an investment committee is formed to be responsible for investment. The specific members are: Flow Ventures LP, Sergei Chan, CitizenX and Maven 11. The investment projects are clearly marked on the treasury of its official website, mainly including: USDC held, blue chip coins, NFT assets and tokens/equity related to the blockchain game track. Now the investment sector is the main source of income for Merit Circle.

Studio: The Studio brings value to other sectors in the DAO ecosystem. It is the birthplace of creative projects within Merit Circle DAO and collaborates with existing projects and projects from non-web3 companies. It mainly includes three aspects:

  • Grants: These are divided into research grants and development grants, which are provided to researchers of specific projects and to project developers respectively.

  • Edenhorde NFT Collection: The original NFT artwork was created by illustrator Andy Ristaino, and the IP story behind the NFT was written by Celia Blythe, the author and historian of Edenhorde. There are currently eight episodes released. It mainly releases the projects own NFT.

  • Merit Circle Tactile: Also an NFT creative project, Merit Circle Tactile is a set of 650 merchandise boxes exclusively for the community, which contains seven wearable items (T-shirts, hoodies, scarves and hats). Holders of Merit Circle Tactile NFTs can obtain these merchandise boxes. NFTs are distributed in two stages, and the distribution targets are proposal creators, contributors, Edenhorde NFT holders, etc.

Games: Promote and market the partnered games to acquire game users; provide players with learning tutorials for popular blockchain games; provide early access to games to Merit Circle game community users, and players receive rewards (NFT, lucky draws, etc.) by completing tasks.

Infrastructure: The infrastructure product that has been released is the Beam game chain built on Avalanche. According to the MIP-28 proposal, the original MC token will be converted to the BEAM token at a ratio of 1:100, but the Merit Circle name will continue to be the overall brand related to the Beam network and BEAM. In the future, BEAM will be used as the gas consumption and node staking token of the Beam chain. Games have been released on the Beam chain one after another.

In summary, Merit Circle has transformed from a former gaming guild into a comprehensive gaming industry platform by investing in the primary market of blockchain games, cooperating in game development, building a blockchain game market distribution channel platform, and constructing infrastructure. Through business transformation, Merit Circles business scope has become broader and more profitable.

Narrative escalation effect

Now Merit Circle has become a comprehensive gaming industry chain, so we chose XAI, which is also a gaming chain, to compare with it.

Narrative upgrade: the new focus of hype

Classic Case – Fantom

Before the narrative upgrade

Fantom was founded in December 2019. Fantom positioned itself as a public chain because the emergence of various projects on the Ethereum chain at that time caused high gas fees and network congestion on the Ethereum chain. Therefore, Fantom aims to solve the limitations of scalability and transactions. It positions itself as a high-speed, low-cost alternative for developers building dApps and users seeking to interact with DeFi protocols.

After the narrative upgrade

On May 18, 2024, Fantom community members initiated a series of governance proposals for the Sonic network, the main contents of which include: Sonic will be a brand new L1 chain, and will be connected to chains such as Ethereum through native L2 cross-chain bridges. It is called the Sonic upgrade by the market.

The Sonic upgrade mainly includes: generating a new L1 – Sonic Network. The upgraded network mainly uses parallel EVM to greatly improve the networks TPS, increasing the original 30 to 2000+, and improving the network experience by several levels. Developers and users can operate very smoothly and have a very good experience; at the same time, when designing node storage, the node requirements are reduced by more than 90%, greatly improving the speed of block synchronization; and in order to attract more liquidity to the chain, the new public chain is allowed to be bridged to Ethereums L2; a new native token S is issued, and users can choose to exchange FTM tokens for S at a ratio of 1:1.

In summary, although this upgrade of FTM did not change the original narrative, it made a qualitative improvement in the performance of the project and occupied the track of parallel EVM.

Comparison with projects on the same track

After the upgrade, Fantom is a parallel EVM public chain. Let鈥檚 compare it with SEI, which is also a parallel EVM public chain:

Narrative upgrade: the new focus of hype

other projects

Nervos Network

As a public chain project, Nervos Network was originally designed to address the expansion limitations faced by traditional networks such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Nervos blockchain is a layer-1 protocol that uses proof-of-work (PoW) consensus and supports smart contract development. It also contains a series of layer-2 expansion solutions to facilitate high-capacity use cases. Nervos native token (CKByte or CKB) allows users and developers to apply for storage space on the Nervos blockchain in proportion to their holdings.

On February 13, 2024, Nervos Network announced the release of a new product: RGB++, which represents the beginning of the transformation of Nervos Network from a public chain like layer-1 such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to a project dedicated to Bitcoin layer-2, using its own advantages to concentrate on the second-layer expansion of Bitcoin.

CKBs performance in 2024 was very eye-catching, rising from 0.00397 U at the beginning of the year to a high of 0.0379 U, an increase of more than 900%.

Arweave

Arweave was originally a decentralized data storage protocol designed to optimize long-term permanent storage through its unique access proof mechanism and token economic model. Since February 2024, Arweave has launched a new product, Arweave AO, which has changed the basic narrative level of Arweave, changing the main narrative of Arweave from decentralized storage to public chain. Arweave AO has the advantages of low fees, high-speed computing power, permanent storage of data, and very friendly contract deployment and state implementation, which gives Arweave a great advantage in the competition of public chains.

In 2024, ARs performance was very eye-catching, rising from 9.64 U at the beginning of the year to a maximum of 49.55 U, an increase of 414%.

Track Risk

During the development of a project, most projects that improve the original project and enhance the narrative level are new changes made to cope with the unsuccessful development of the original track and the loss of competitiveness. Although the project may attract market attention again, it also faces risks in long-term development.

Projects in the narrative upgrade track may only make superficial improvements and fail to truly solve the original problems. It is unknown whether the team has performed well in overcoming the previous problems. Therefore, such projects have greater development risks.

Even if the project undergoes changes and attracts some market attention, it may still fail to achieve the expected results and still face the risk of not being accepted after the market is developed, or even remain indifferent as before.

Therefore, when conducting investment research in the narrative upgrade sector, investors need to think deeply and conduct comprehensive evaluations to ensure that the new changes truly solve the original problems and can bring long-term development. At the same time, it is necessary to realize that the markets acceptance of new changes may not be high, so sufficient research work needs to be done.

Summarize

Narrative upgrade projects are those that quickly gain market attention and financial support by changing the original narrative, project logic, business model, launching revolutionary new products, reforming the token structure, or merging with other similar projects, and possibly changing the project name. Such projects usually have advantages such as broad consensus, stable teams, rich resources and experience, which enable them to quickly increase the price of coins, brand influence, and return to the competitive arena. However, such projects often experience failure or bleak stages, and the market has doubts about their prospects. Investors may have doubts about their future development because of their poor performance in the past, and worry about whether the project can continue to develop and solve the problems they encountered before. Therefore, narrative upgrade projects are easily overlooked by investors. Despite this, the potential of these projects is still huge, and old projects that have been upgraded and transformed usually show amazing token price performance, bringing a sense of rebirth to the market. Therefore, these projects still deserve enough attention from the market, and more narrative upgrade projects are expected to emerge in 2024.

This article is sourced from the internet: Narrative upgrade: the new focus of hype

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