Five Cryptocurrencies to Buy in 2018
Digital currency alternatives have increased since the advent of Bitcoin in 2009. If you want to ride the next big currency move — and you think the Bitcoin ship may have sailed — you now have over 1,500 “altcoins” from which to choose.
But how to pick the best alternate cryptocurrency?
Take a look at some aspects of a currency before deciding to buy, like:
• Where is the currency in the roll-out process — still in beta?
• How does the current valuation look — altcoins are “pumped and dumped” all the time.
• What problem is the currency trying to solve — real or ridiculous?
Most of all, consider the team behind it and their cryptocurrency experience.
Five cryptocurrencies easily pass the test for 2018:
Software company Ripple started up in 2012, launching its currency soon after. But XRP was meant to be more than just a currency. Connecting banks with payment providers and digital asset exchanges via its own RippleNet, the creators aimed to provide “one frictionless experience to send money globally” — a system through which any currency can be traded (including Bitcoin). The New York Times calls Ripple “a cross between Western Union and currency exchange, without the hefty fees.”
Many see XRP as a logical successor to Bitcoin. Already Ripple has licensed its blockchain technology to more than 100 banks worldwide, and a pioneering hedge fund has just announced XRP as its denomination of choice.
Created by former Bitcoin developers, this altcoin sports a market cap of $95.45 billion (with less than half of that already out) and 2017 price growth of over 40,000%, making it the best-performing cryptocurrency last year.
Litecoin is a peer-to-peer digital currency that enables instant, near-zero cost payments to anyone in the world. It’s an open-source, global payment network that is entirely decentralized (i.e., it has no central authorities). Former Google star Charlie Lee created Litecoin in 2011 as an altcoin that shares many traits with Bitcoin. But he aimed to cut transaction confirmation time while tweaking the mining process to popularize it.
Litecoin was designed to produce more coins ultimately than Bitcoin, and it already has more coins in circulation than its progenitor. Originally serving as a modification of the core Bitcoin protocol, Litecoin can generate more blocks in less time, thereby handling a higher volume of transactions.
Litecoin price leaped more than 6,000% in 2017, and it has a market cap of $13.95 billion.
IOTA is designed to become the backbone for secure machine-to-machine payments in the coming Internet of Things economy (thus the acronym). It was the first prominent cryptocurrency created without blockchain technology. It has no trading fees, blocks, or even miners.
Instead, with every transaction you make your processing power goes to validating two further transactions. In this way, every owner of Iota becomes a miner through the blockchain-replacing system they call “The Tangle.” Asking a sender of IOTA to create and verify a transaction, at the same time, removes the dependency on miners and completely decentralizes the system.
IOTA’s transaction speed increases as the number of users rises — as opposed to Bitcoin where speed decreases with growth of adoption. As a “blockless” trading network, transactions can be made for free — helping resolve a major constraint to blockchain technology (high transaction fees).
The currency has grown over 500% in 2017 and has a current market capitalization of $11.10 billion.
Created by a noted “blockchain evangelist” in China, NEO was dubbed the “Ethereum of China.” NEO aims to play a significant role in creating an entire “smart economy,” one that does not require legal ICOs in China.
Some cryptocurrency experts consider NEO one of the best long-term altcoins. It has a strong management team and a superlative global open community of developers (known as “City of Zion”), and the company has slated big NEO-based ICOs.
NEO’s circulating supply is currently at 65 million, out of a total of 100 million coins. The currency price is up over 80,000% in 2017, and it has a current market cap of $9.05 billion.
*called “Antshares” when initially introduced in 2014, the name was indeed changed to reference the movie Matrix.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Bitcoin cash was created by “hard forking”* the original Bitcoin protocol, enabling an increase in the number of transactions and the size of available blocks. Halfway through 2017, Bitcoin Cash miners decided that blocks should be eight megabytes of memory each — compared to one megabyte per block for Bitcoin.
The hard fork means older applications won’t function with the new blockchain, creating a new version of Bitcoin that’s incompatible with the old. Miners join the Bitcoin Cash network via a more dynamic “difficulty adjustment algorithm.”
Created by the team who originally forked the Bitcoin blockchain ledger, multiple independent groups of developers now control the currency.
Bitcoin Cash circulating supply is currently at 16.8 million out of a maximum of 21 million. With a market cap of $45.61 billion and price growth in 2017 (just the half year it’s existed) was over 600%.
*”forking” occurs when a group of miners decides that different rules should apply to what comprises a valid transaction.
The cryptocurrency market rose to a record $814 billion the first week of 2018, before dropping off. Bitcoin may have been the first big crypto mover, but you now have some altcoin options from which to choose. Adding the above five currencies to your “crypto assets” in 2018 seems like a smart move to many experts.