The cryptocurrency market was hovering around $26 billion last April. Bitcoin’s genesis and high valuation spurred a market craze over the past decade, and now there are many other forms of cryptocurrencies, called Altcoins (any cryptocurrency that is not Bitcoin). The market is now drawing long stares with a valuation of over $200 billion, and while Bitcoin’s contribution is still dominating at over 50%, Altcoins are surging forward in popularity and gaining some serious momentum.
To follow is a list of popular Altcoins to watch for in 2018 and heading into 2019.
Ethereum is the second-most popular cryptocurrency, shadowed only by Bitcoin. Ethereum was the first cryptocurrency to employ the use of smart contracts and provides a platform to developers on which they can build blockchain-based smart contracts and decentralised applications.
Ripple has seen an explosive amount of growth in past months, at one point overtaking Ethereum to sit next to Bitcoin’s throne. Ripple was created to “eliminate all friction that banks and financial institutions have to deal with when they settle international payments using the traditional SWIFT system.” It wasn’t initially meant to be a currency for you and me, but XRP has made transitions to make it more of a “street coin” than singular to a specific group.
Named after Gerolamo Cardano, brilliant renaissance Italian mathematician, Cardano is the first completely open-source blockchain built using peer-reviewed academic research. Former Ethereum CEO Charles Hoskinson broke from Ether to make a secure crypto platform for smart contracts and dapps.
Jared Tate was annoyed with the Bitcoin’s meager transaction speeds, so he set out to produce the fastest, most decentralised blockchain available. The DigiByte team created a blockchain with more than 100,000 nodes and 21 billion coins, which are projected to be completely mined by 2035. With 1,000 time more coins than Bitcoin, DigiByte aims for whole-number payments rather than multi-decimal transactions.
Komodo is a fork from Zcash that offers complete user and transactional autonomy. Privacy with crypto isn’t quite a new concept, but Komodo makes notable improvements compared to other cryptocurrencies. Komodyo’s first block had been mined in September 2016, and now they’re well past their millionth block.
The ICO for EOS was launched in 2017, and like Ethereum, EOS provides a platform for developers to buy decentralised applications. EOS is more scalable than Ethereum based on its ability to handle millions of transactions per second with no user fees.
Dash offers higher transaction speeds than Bitcoin and went through a price increase of $10 in the beginning of 2017 to a high of $1540 in December 2017 – a percentage return of almost 15,000. Since then, Dash has simmered to approximately $153 at the time of this writing, but Dash’s strong technology and ease of accessibility make it a popular investment for the masses.