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Venture Capitalist Identifies Crypto’s Backbone — Here Are the Celebrated Projects

Last Updated September 26, 2023 10:40 AM
James Morales
Last Updated September 26, 2023 10:40 AM
Key Takeaways
  • Venture Capitalist Chris Burniske has identified 5 “core networks” that make up the backbone of the crypto space.
  • However, there are few certainties in an environment that is constantly evolving and innovating.
  • Here are his insights.

More than a decade since the Bitcoin Whitepaper was first published, the various innovations that underpin the crypto and Web3 ecosystem have proliferated in abundance. Yet, a small handful of components remain central.

Chris Burniske, a partner at Placeholder and former Ark Invest analyst, highlights the blockchain platforms he believes form the core of the modern crypto economy.

Just 5 Blockchains Make up Crypto’s “Core”

According to Burniske, the 5 blockchain technologies that he considers “core networks” each have a distinct appeal to users.

These networks tend to have “a defining characteristic that attracts a community to come and stay because that network offers that characteristic better than any other network,” he said.

Unsurprisingly, Bitcoin sits at the top of the venture capitalists list. And he describes the OG blockchain as conservative.


On the other hand, Bbursnike has an optimistic view on Ethereum. Meanwhile, he defines Solana, Cosmos and Celestia by their respective focus on speed, sovereignty and availability.

Crypto Infrastructure Remains Dynamic

Ultimately, the world of blockchain technology is still young. And Burniske’s model of 5 “core networks” could still prove to be way off the mark.

Of course, few people would contest his assertion Bitcoin is a foundational technology within the crypto space, whose biggest advocates tend to focus on its unchanging economic principles. 

Similarly, Ethereum’s growth and development have been driven by forward-thinking communities, rather than those resistant to change.

Burniske’s choices become harder to defend

It’s true that in 2017, Solana initially wowed observers with transaction processing speeds that left Ethereum in the dust.

However, in the years since, alternative blockchains like Sui and Sei have come for Solana’s crown, boasting transaction-per-second rates in the hundreds of thousands.

Similarly, while Cosmos is certainly a powerful blockchain interoperability solution, it is hardly the only platform attempting to build a network of self-sovereign chains.

Moreover, advocates of LayerZero and Chainlink would argue that their protocols are better suited to connecting individual Layer 1s without compromising autonomy because they don’t require an intermediary chain or token.

Finally, although Celestia may be the most well-known data availability layer, the technology is still in its infancy. 

Since its launch earlier this year, it’s still too early to assess Celestia’s competition with platforms like Avail and Kyve in the adoption race.

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