No one likes to miss out on a great opportunity. Yet, a lot of people share this sentiment when talking about what they witnessed in the cryptocurrency market in 2017. If you were living under a rock in 2017 or were spending a majority of your energy on tracking Elon Musk's latest innovative shenanigans, you might have missed out on the meteoritic rise of cryptocurrencies.
2017 was the year of the cryptocurrencies -- or better yet, it was the year of Bitcoin. These digital tokens moved their way from the computer savvy to a cultural phenomenon that everyone and their mother seemed to talk about. For the uninitiated, a cryptocurrency is a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank. The cryptos, as some like to call them, aimed to disrupt industries across the world with its promise of new, decentralized, fast, efficient, and secure payment technology. In short, cryptocurrencies make it significantly easier to transfer funds between two parties in a transaction.
The leader of the pack in the world of cryptocurrency was Bitcoin. You have probably seen countless think pieces, blog posts, and news reports on the hyped-up cryptocurrency. With a market cap well over $130 billion, far exceeding its biggest rivals, Ethereum and Litecoin, Bitcoin played a huge role in attracting people to the cryptocurrency market. Early in 2017 the cryptocurrency was worth around $800 and peaked near $20,000 before the year ended. If you had the vision to invest $100 in Bitcoin around its inception, it would now be worth upwards of $3 Million.
Though very polarizing, the combination of high ROI paired with its practically revolutionary usability has attracted investors and users from all walks of life. Though some of the most popular cryptocurrencies have slowed down in 2018, it does not mean that you have missed your opportunity. Any investor will tell you that a market always behaves cyclically, having bullish runs and bearish drops a cycle that will continue. As stated by Robert Kiyoaskai, As a bull market turns into a bear market, the new pros turn into optimists, hoping and praying the bear market will become a bull and save them. But as the market remains bearish, the optimists become pessimists, quit the profession, and return to their day jobs. This is when the real professional investors re-enter the market.
So do not worry, there is still time to invest in the cryptocurrency market. However, to do so you will need to look beyond Bitcoin. In the market, there are currently a little over a few hundred cryptocurrencies available. Nevertheless, as the world decides what purpose cryptocurrencies will serve shortly, there are only a few cryptocurrencies that you should be paying attention to in 2018. Some investors and thought leaders do not believe that the Bitcoin will peak over $10,000 before the year ends. Here are some of the cryptocurrencies you should be paying attention to in 2018.
With a market capitalization of $13.95 billion, Litecoin has grown in value over the last 12 months well over 6,000%. Litecoin makes perfect sense as investment tool after the Bitcoin frenzy. Litecoin has been described as the better alternative to Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency more useful and faster than bitcoin. As stated by the founder Charlie Lee, My vision is people would use Litecoin everyday to buy things. It would just be the payment method of choice." Litecoin boasts that is four times faster when settling payments and is even more secure than Bitcoin. At the moment, there are 54 million coins in the market out of the 84 million coin limit, more than Bitcoin. Litecoin could be the safest bet in a post Bitcoin world.
A little less popular than its counterparts, NEO has flown quietly under the radar of the mainstream. Nevertheless, do not let that deter you from investing in NEO. In just one year, NEO has grown 83,570% bringing its current market cap over 5 billion. Specifically centered around the Chinese market the popularity of the cryptocurrency is expected to surpass Bitcoin within in the year.
Many thought 2018 would be the year of the Ripple. Towards the end of 2017, into 2018 everyone was talking about Ripple and for good reason. Ripple has one of the most potentially disruptive cryptos in the financial industry. Traditionally, for a bank to settle a transaction internationally, the costs would be high and the process time-consuming. Ripple will end that. Ripple promises to settle payments instantly across borders, generating a lot of interest in the financial sector. Though it has fluctuated and has even dropped recently, at its peak, within just a couple of weeks, Ripple value grew 41,040%.
IOTA is not your traditional cryptocurrency. Unlike other cryptos like bitcoin, all those investing in IOTA are miners. Your processing power or ability to mine is what is used to validate transactions, meaning there are no trading fees or blocks. In short, it is a secure machine to machine payment method based on the Internet of Things economy. So far IOTA has grown 525% within a year bringing its market capitalization over $11 billion.
Bitcoin Cash just entered the market a few months ago in the late summer. The youngest of the bunch, it has been described as a refined version of Bitcoin that is incompatible with Bitcoin. Though the transaction fees have been described as exuberant, the cryptocurrency shows promise growing 623% in just six months bringing the current market cap to over 45.6 Billion.
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