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Crypto’s Flavour of the Month

February 20, 2023
20 Feb 2023 : 14:32
9 min read

Narratives rule the investing world. Especially in crypto!

DeFi Summer, Solana Season, the Great NFT Boom; what do they have in common?

  1. All were hype-driven narratives, promising to be of great untapped potential and set to moon.
  2. Their prices skyrocketed, people made generational wealth… and many lost it on the other side.

Solana Season, for example, saw every venture capital-controlled shitcoin Sam (SBF) could throw at us, pump.

$MEDIA (decentralised YouTube) rose over 20X instantly after its public sale.

$STEP (Solana portfolio tracker) pulled an astronomical 200X after launch, from its $0.05 IDO price up to $10 in a matter of days.

Both tokens now sit dramatically lower than their initial IDO price.

Narratives are powerful beasts. They can make you rich in seconds, or pull the floor from beneath you.

What’s the most powerful tool for making money and the key to successful research? Knowing which narratives are here to stay, and which are just a “flavour of the month”.

Today, we’re going to discuss some of the current narratives in crypto. We’ll look at which are here to stay, and which are set to fall prey to the ever-brutal reality of the crypto world.

We’ll cover three narratives and ten protocols, and share whether or not we’re investing.

Let’s dive in!

Disclaimer: This is not investment nor investment advice. Only you are responsible for any capital-related decisions you make and only you are accountable for the results.


  • Narratives are powerful growth engines capable of producing massive returns.
  • Narrative 1: Artificial intelligence (AI) is a great technology, but its use in crypto is primitive at best. We have confidence AI will play a central role in the future of crypto, but projects on the market right now should be avoided.
  • Narrative 2: Launching on Arbitrum has the power to pump a token tenfold. The ecosystem is thriving and will continue to grow, especially when its native $ARB/$ARBI token is launched. Protocols on Arbitrum deserve your attention.
  • Narrative 3: Zero Knowledge (ZK) technology is the future. We’re some way from seeing it in full swing, but tokens are pumping and there’s no reason not to get in.
  • Here’s a graph that showcases where we will be placing our attention.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence. What an incredibly powerful tool!

With its boom in late 2022, ChatGPT showed the world what AI is capable of.

In the coming years, we’re going to see AI take over – from insurance sales and stock broking, to search engines and rocket science. No one is safe.

And, of course, crypto has jumped on the hype.

Metaverse tokens pumped in 2022, .com stocks before them. Now, AI-related crypto projects are all the rave.

In February, $IMGNAI, a pretty unimpressive AI protocol, increased by 100X in under a month.

Other AI tokens have boasted impressive run-ups too.

This is a clear example of a hype-driven narrative.

Whilst AI itself is incredibly exciting, this doesn’t (yet) translate to crypto.

There’s a key question to ask when deciding value in crypto: Why does this need to be in crypto? What does it do better on-chain than off?

The answer for all existing AI projects is: either it can be done better off-chain, or it’s overly ambitious and currently impossible.

So, let’s look at the big AI projects right now and see if they’re a go, or a no.

Top protocols

Image Generation AI ($IMGNAI): A Telegram and Discord bot that creates AI generative images.

Performance (year to date): 69X

Cryptonary’s Take: Scam. Very little information. Images are poor quality. There is absolutely no need for this project to have a token.

Vector Space Biosciences ($VXV): AI modelling on how to protect and repair the human body during spaceflight.

Performance (year to date): 2.7X

Cryptonary’s Take: Extremely misguided, or a complete scam. No need for a token at all. No value capture.

Fetch.ai ($FET): An ****AI protocol that aims to connect billions of ‘Internet of Things’ devices with AI, removing any middleman (and data collector).

Performance (year to date): 4.8X

Cryptonary’s Take: It would require all devices to be on-chain. Users suffer transaction costs. Devices are less profitable (as they cannot profit from user data), those that can profit from the data will make better products. Stay away!

SingularityNET ($AGIX): An AI marketplace that connects and repurposes existing AI tools to perfectly suit the purchasers’ needs.

Performance (year to date): 9.5X

Cryptonary’s Take: Many years from being in any position to succeed. Private companies will build AI tools for each purpose over the coming years, making SingularityNET obsolete.

You’ve been warned.

Be careful with these hype-driven narratives. We call meme-coin investing a casino, because it’s hype-driven. The AI narrative is even more dangerous because many believe in its fundamental value.

Let’s be clear: there is no fundamental value. None at all, in any of these projects. Even the legitimate ones are massively overvalued, and 99% of them are not only overvalued but scams.

When the illusion of value is removed, tokens will dump, and fast.

Want to find out more about crypto and AI, and get our detailed view on SingularityNET? Check out this educational article.

Arbitrum, the future of Layer 2s

Arbitrum is an Ethereum layer 2 scaling solution that uses optimistic roll-up technology. Basically, it’s an answer to the Ethereum transaction cost problem!

It saw some impressive adoption throughout 2022.

This year, however, we believe Arbitrum will step into its own and reach new heights.

Arbitrum’s one major competitor, Optimism, is unable to keep up. Optimism’s transactions dropped off a cliff when their “Quests” initiative  (where users completed tasks and used protocols, with the promise of free tokens) ended in January.

(Arbitrum is blue, Optimism is red.)

In 2023, we expect Arbitrum’s token to launch. This will mark a significant step for the platform, and we expect it will attract millions of new users.

We’re already seeing protocols receive an instant boost simply by deploying onto Arbitrum. Gains Network is a perfect example:

Top protocols

Gains Network ($GNS): Another perpetual futures exchange.

Performance (year to date): 4.5X

Cryptonary’s Take: Very similar to GMX, this project recently moved to Arbitrum and is successfully capturing attention. However, its high current market cap means we aren’t looking to invest.

GMX ($GMX): A perpetual futures derivative exchange (allowing users to trade with leverage).

Performance (year to date): 1.9X

Cryptonary’s Take: An interesting protocol with massive revenues, but the liquidity model presents risks (read more in our deep dive). High potential but very large market cap. Not our perpetual futures winner!

Camelot Token ($GRAIL): A decentralised exchange (DEX) built on Arbitrum. It launched in September 2022.

Performance (year to date): 13.8X

Currently, the protocol is very slow with a poor user interface. To compete with Uniswap, this needs to change.

Dopex ($DPX): An Options protocol.

Performance (year to date): 1.5X

Cryptonary’s Take: This project is trying to do too much at once. The product-market fit hasn’t appeared yet for Dopex, and we believe it’s destined to fail.

This train has not stopped, check out our Arbitrum Watchlist for some high-potential protocols!

Zero-Knowledge (ZK)

One of the most important technologies currently in development in crypto is Zero-Knowledge (ZK).

Put simply, ZK is a technology that can prove that something (for example, a transaction) has happened, without showing all the data. For a more detailed look, check out this article.

We believe ZK will be the successor of optimistic roll-ups in the coming years, when it has been perfected and battle-tested.

Tokens in the ZK sector have been pumping recently, and we believe with good reason…

Whilst we believe the technology is here to stay, it doesn’t necessarily mean the current projects are.

Right now, it’s early and risky.

Top Protocols:

Mina ($MINA): A ZK layer 1 blockchain (like Ethereum or Solana, but with ZK technology).

Performance (year to date) 2.5X

Cryptonary’s Take: So far, we’ve seen very slow development. The protocol is extremely complex, but with competitors popping up everywhere, its development speed needs to increase.

Loopring ($LRC): A ZK Ethereum layer 2 scaling solution (like Arbitrum, but with ZK technology).

Performance (year to date): 2.4X

Cryptonary’s Take: High potential, but we believe ZKSync (another ZK rollup) will beat Loopring out. With such a high market cap and little adoption, we aren’t looking to invest.

Dusk Network ($DUSK): A blockchain designed for tokenising financial instruments and securities.

Performance (year to date): 3.2X

Cryptonary’s Take: Many risks, and it’s pointless. Why use another open-sourced blockchain for finance when you can use the battle-tested and secure Ethereum (and layer 2) blockchains? and

Panther Protocol ($PZK): A privacy protocol that allows customised privacy controls.

Performance (year to date) 2.6X

Cryptonary’s Take: Raises serious red flags. They want to hold your assets in a vault, and give you zAssets (essentially, they custody your assets for you and give you ones they’ve invented! Obviously, a massive risk).

Cryptonary’s Take

As the article is long, we’re going to keep the take short and sweet.

First and foremost: don’t blindly follow narratives!

AI is very exciting. AI in crypto is not (yet). Stay away from AI tokens, unless you’re an experienced narrative trader with a big risk appetite.

Layer 2s are taking over. They are the future. Arbitrum is beating Optimism and will continue to do so. We’re excited to see what comes of the Arbitrum token launch and are keeping a close eye on projects on the blockchain.

Zero-knowledge is the future. Early in development, the sector has masses of potential. Choosing genuine, sustainable projects is going to make us rich.

Visualised below, you can see which has the most potential, and how much attention you should be paying it right now.

Action Steps

  • We aren’t buying any AI tokens. They’re all shit.
  • Layer 2s are the future. Get in the weeds of what they are, how they work, and see the top protocols here.
  • Arbitrum is set to blow this year. Tied in with good market conditions, it could be massive for any protocols on the ecosystem. We’ve flagged 3 with huge potential here.
  • If you haven’t already, check out our free layer 2 airdrop report. There’s the opportunity to receive free crypto with minimal risk, so be sure to take part!


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