It seems that 2017 should be named “year of the cryptocurrency” with the ascension of Bitcoin and others alike. It’s gone from a dark, unknown underworld to a mainstream asset class on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Now the question is whether there is sufficient scope in investing in cryptocurrencies.
Is it still worth investing in the cryptocurrency market? Of course.
There is a huge scope for investment in terms of returns and the blockchain network is considered to be in the initial stage of development. I’ve stayed away from the top two cryptocurrencies (by market cap Bitcoin and Ethereum) but what coin or tech has the potential to be amongst the best cryptocurrencies in 2018?
Kicking off our list of the best cryptocurrencies to consider in 2018 is Factom. Factom is a really interesting cryptocurrency that used to be known as “Notary Chain”. Cryptocurrency experts anticipate it will grow by a lot the end of this year. Its core application is it allows companies to create an immutable database. Essentially allowing them to store information in their own blockchain and then create a version of that data and store it into the Bitcoin blockchain.
Last year, Factom won a contract with 20 smart cities in China and are working with other countries to create an immutable database. This will allow governments to streamline and secure their data.
Market Cap: $200,466,597
Maidsafe has been in operation for over 10 years now and is part of a decentralized database. Its unique selling point is instead of storing data on your computer, you can encrypt and upload it on to the decentralised server. This means no one person can access your data without your authority rendering it as 100% secure, in addition, it will not take up space. This decentralised database will make it, in theory, available for users to share information without having the fear of the establishment seeing their information.
In early 2017 it increased in value 10 fold, but it has plenty more potential. Currently, it is losing the interest of many with their long development timeline, but a full launch will send this skyward – whether it will happen before the end of 2018 is another matter though. It should, however, remain on everyone’s cryptocurrencies watch list.
Market Cap: $266,171,416
Fourth on our best cryptocurrencies list and one I can personally endorse is Ripple. Ripple is my personal favourite and one I have invested heavily in. I could and probably will write a separate article as it’s not a true cryptocurrency in the sense when compared to Bitcoin etc. Ripple, is a real-time gross settlement system, currency exchange, and remittance network (intrinsic value). It has a strong focus on banking market (with over 100 financial clients now), real-time settlement, low transaction costs and therefore immediate real-world application. Notable clients include Santander, UBS and American express.
The Banking system is trying to catch up on several areas of tech and speed, transparency and security of transactions is one part. Ripple does all of these and has pivoted into the banking sector. Ripple makes the top 5 because I can see it continuing to disruptive to the banking industry and payments industry in the future. The one thing that’s for certain is the finance industry wants to deal with professional, credible and stable cryptocurrency and Ripple is exactly that.
Market Cap: $9,130,390,348
IOTA is a relatively new virtual currency in the crypto world that is focused on Machine to Machine(M2M) transactions. It is the first cryptocurrency that provides the whole ecosystem based on the block less blockchain. Furthermore, the IOTA enables companies to explore new business-2-business (B2B) models by making every technological resource a potential service to be traded on an open market in real time, without any fees. For this reason alone we feel it has earned a place on our best cryptocurrencies listing.
IOTA blockchain technology is different from others because it promises to provide the completely free transactions system. It is highly probable therefore that many more will adopt the technology and IOTA’s price could potentially rocket. Even if this speculation is just based upon Metcalf law.
Market Cap: $11,315,523,373
Stellar Lumen (XLM)
Stellar is similar to Ripple and spawned by one of the founders of Ripple. It’s a non-profit organization whose mission is to achieve cheaper monetary services. XLM uses blockchain technology to deliver quick, secure and cheap transactions. The organization desires to act as an intermediator between banks, payment systems and people, very similar to Ripple. The Lumens are engineered into the “Stellar network.”
The Stellar network launched with a hundred billion STR tokens in 2014, that were eventually renamed to Lumens in 2015 as a part of a serious platform overhaul. Its main success to date is the announcement that it’s the official partner with the giant, IBM.
In the last month, Stellar Lumens have gone from a value of $0.011 to $0.16 at the time of writing. It could be due to the Bittrex platform acknowledging and allowing them to be traded or a classic “pump and dump” but a clear example of how this could blow and make quick easy money.
Market Cap: $2,820,470,531
Our final place on our best cryptocurrencies list is Zcash and Monero. These two cryptocurrencies are technically very different, but I’ve combined them as they endeavour to solve the same problem: anonymous transactions. Having held the reputation as a way to launder money, Bitcoin’s blockchain is in fact quite transparent; every single transaction is logged and public, and anyone can see how the money moved around, just not by who.
Both Zcash and Monero aim to change this — for better or for worse. They do it in very different ways; the technical details are complex, but the main difference is in the blockchain, which is partially public on Zcash and opaque on Monero.
The jury is still out on which approach works better, and Zcash still hasn’t fully implemented all of its technical wizardry. But the main point is that if you want privacy, these are the two most interesting options out there. As regulation undoubtedly approaches from governments or greater powers its anyone’s guess which privacy-focused cryptocurrency will emerge on top, there’s definitely demand for this type of cryptocurrency and it will not go away anytime soon.
Market Cap: $950,873,788
Market Cap: $4,318,254,794