Cryptocurrencies are all the rage today. What seemed like a niche product for tech geeks and enthusiasts has now enveloped the whole world with its charm. However, this meteoric rise in popularity has given birth to a lot of copycats and the market is now flooded with numerous cryptocurrencies. This has made it really difficult for regular investors like you and me to invest in cryptocurrencies as people are really not sure which cryptocurrency will be the right investment for them. While its impossible to predict the future of any specific cryptocurrency, we can look at their underlying infrastructure to see which ones are worth your time and which ones are just hacks. In this article, we are going to list 6 different cryptocurrencies which you should consider before investing your hard earned money:
Best Cryptocurrencies to Invest in 2018
Even if you have never ever tried to learn about cryptocurrencies, chances are you have heard of Bitcoin. While Bitcoin is the largest and most valued cryptocurrency in the world, we are not including it in our list as Bitcoin has become way too pricey to generate any substantial gain without having to take too much risk. So, with that out of the way, let’s get started with our list of the best cryptocurrencies, you should invest in 2018:
This one is a no-brainer. After Bitcoin Ethereum is the most popular and established cryptocurrency in the world. Some people are now preferring Ethereum over Bitcoin as the technology underlying its cryptocurrency is more advanced with far too many applications. Ethereum is a blockchain platform that can run smart contracts. What it means is that basically any contracts which we use today to form mutual agreements such as investments, debts, and contracts can be structured using Ethereum’s technology.
Let’s understand this using an example. Suppose I am investing money in a company. As it is the nature of investment, the company will not get all the money at a single time, rather the money will be delivered in installments. There will be certain milestones along the way that a company has to reach before it can take the next installment. Now, currently setting up this kind of contracts requires a lot of lawyers, book-keepers, and other services that cost a lot of money.
Ethereum’s blockchain platform allows us to bypass all the middle-men as the whole contract can be hard-coded into the platform which will release the payment as the milestones are met. Obviously, the underlying technology is way more complex than I made it seem here, but you get the idea right? While Bitcoin is just a cryptocurrency, Ethereum is a platform which has business applications. Ethereum’s cryptocurrency which is called Ether is just a part of it.
That’s why Ethereum is becoming popular as it’s not only a way to send money, rather it’s a platform which has serious business application. The cryptocurrency has already crossed $1000 mark and at the time of writing this article, it’s trading at $1,050.01 with a total market cap of more than a 100 billion dollars. Although costly, I believe that Ethereum will be one of the safest cryptocurrency bets of 2018.
Learn More: Visit Ethereum
If you want to invest in cryptocurrencies, Ripple is one of the hottest in the market right now. Just a few days back, Ripple overtook Ethereum to become the second largest cryptocurrency in the world by market capitalization. At the time of writing this article, the cryptocurrency is trading at a healthy $3.06 with a total market capitalization of over 118 billion US dollars. In fact, the cryptocurrency has been so popular that it has skyrocketed 37,900% in a span of 12 months from $0.0065/coin in January to $2.47/token by the end of 2017.
This meteoric rise made Ripple’s co-founder Chris Larsen, one of the wealthiest people in the world with a total wealth of $59.1 billion dollars. He has left behind the likes Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who are the founders of Google, which is just mind-boggling. The price of Ripple makes it a really good investment for anyone looking to get into the game of cryptocurrency.
But that’s not the only reason Ripple is a good investment avenue. Ripple has a solid foundation in its platform. Unlike Bitcoin which was born with the aim of creating a decentralized economy, one without banks and regulating agencies, Ripple wants to work with them. Ripple’s underlying blockchain technology will allow banks to quickly make international transfers with a fraction of cost. They have a very good video (linked above) explaining their technology and I think it’s the best way to understand what the company is trying to do. Needless to say, Ripple has huge potential application and is the one you should invest in right now.
Learn More: Visit Ripple
Stellar is yet another blockchain platform which wants to make international payments easier for people and businesses by collaborating with banks. While its underlying core technology might be different from Ripple, its application and premise are the same. The rise of Ripple has also helped Stellar in growing exponentially over the last few months making it one of the largest cryptocurrencies in the world.
At the time of writing this article, Stellar has circulated more than 8 billion lumens giving it a market capitalization of more than 13 billion US dollars. If you don’t know what lumen is, don’t worry, it’s just a terminology Stellar uses for its coin. Currently, one lumen is trading at 0.75$, making it one of the cheapest cryptocurrencies to invest in.
Learn More: Visit Stellar
IOTA is a cryptocurrency which is really futuristic in its approach. It’s one of the coolest concepts I have heard in a while and that has helped the currency to rise over 1000% in the last couple of months. It is a blockchain platform focused on the future of IoT devices (Internet of Things), and hence the name IOTA. According to their website, what differs IOTA from other cryptocurrencies is its underlying blockchain technology, which the company is calling as Tangle.
According to the company, “Tangle is a revolutionary new block-less distributed ledger which is scalable, lightweight and for the first time ever makes it possible to transfer value without any fees. Contrary to today’s Blockchains, consensus is no-longer decoupled but instead an intrinsic part of the system, leading to decentralized and self-regulating peer-to-peer network.”
While that’s a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo, what you need to understand is that IOTA allows for unrestricted scalable payment system, which can transfer funds with zero charges. That means that businesses and people will be able to carry out micro and nano transactions, as there are no fees involved. The company believes that the world is moving towards a completely autonomous and connected future where machines will talk to each other. IOTA will help these smart machines to trade resources like electricity and WiFi for money, which will be transferred using its Tangle technology.
IOTA’s imagined future might still be far away, but that has not stopped people from investing in it. As mentioned above, its value rose over 1000% in the last couple of months. IOTA now has a total market cap of over 12 billion dollars and was trading for $4.33 at the time of writing this article. It’s certainly a good investment for people looking to invest in the future.
Learn More: Visit IOTA
Litecoin was created by a Google Engineer, Charles Lee, in 2011 as a better alternative for Bitcoin. While Bitcoin is a good for peer-to-peer payment service, the resources required to mine Bitcoin are just too costly and the currency also has a slower transfer speed when compared to other new cryptocurrencies. Charles Lee founded Litecoin to solve these problems that the consumers and miners are facing with Bitcoin.
Unlike cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Stellar, which aim at providing a platform for business application, Litecoin is a plain and simple cryptocurrency. It follows the principle of Bitcoin and wants to create a decentralized economy where consumers and money are not regulated by any banks or central regulating agencies. That said, Litecoin is better than Bitcoin as it offers a higher coin limit, a resource-friendly mining experience, and faster transactions.
While the likes of Ethereum and Stellar depends on businesses to adopt their technology for ultimately being successful, Litecoin solely depends on its adoption by people. Litecoin has certainly seen a lot of enthusiasm from people as the currency has seen more than 1000% growth in last year. It’s a solid investment for someone who is looking to invest in Bitcoin but cannot afford to do so. Currently, Litecoin is trading at $299.95 with a total market cap of more than 16 billion dollars.
Learn More: Visit Litecoin
Neo is a Chinese blockchain based company which aims to utilize blockchain technology and digital identity to digitize assets, automate the management of digital assets using smart contracts, and to realize a “smart economy” with a distributed network. Neo was founded in 2014 and is an open-source project hosted on Github.
Neo’s aim is to digitize physical assets using decentralized, trustful, traceable, and highly transparent blockchain infrastructure. The physical assets can then be traded digitally without the need of intermediary agencies. Every digital asset is attached to owner’s digital identity which is created using set of X.509 compatible digital identity standards. All this means that Neo wants to make it easier to trade physical assets while cutting the cost and providing a more secure and trusted platform.
Neo has grown a lot since its inception and is currently trading at $106.42. It is one of the fastest growing cryptocurrencies in the world with a total market capitalization of over 6 billion US dollars. The best part about Neo is that it has not seen much volatility in its valuse as it is the norm with other cryptocurrencies in the market. It’s one of the safest bet for cryptocurrency investors in 2018.
Learn More: Visit Neo
Invest Wisely With These Cryptocurrencies in 2018
2018 will be the year when cryptocurrencies will truly become mainstream. As the value of cryptocurrencies is rising exponentially, not only the general public but even the big hedge funds are looking to invest in them. That said, many experts are also terming this phase as crypto bubble and warning people against investing in them. However, just because there’s a bubble doesn’t mean people can’t earn money from it. You just have to smart about investing your money.