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You might be wondering like many others: whether the crypto is the next big thing?
It all started in 2008 when a person (or people, who know?) Satoshi Nakamoto created something they called “a peer-to-peer electronic cash system.” Simply said, using the so-called blockchain technology, Nakamoto created the first digital money or as we know it cryptocurrency. Ever since then, hundreds of new, different and innovative digital currencies have appeared.
Let’s take a look at those you have surely heard of and some that are newer, less popular but have great potential in the future.
Benefits Of Cryptocurrencies
Before we start with them, let’s discuss the benefits that come from buying, using or investing in cryptocurrencies:
Decentralization – No middleman required anymore. The process of sending money is between person A and person B. No banks, no hefty commissions.
Easy access – Virtually, anyone who has internet connection can have access to cryptocurrencies. All you need to do is have a legit email to use when setting up an account or download an app if the cryptocurrency is still in its alpha stage.
No Fees or Charges – As a rule, transactions between people who own a particular cryptocurrency are free of charge and fees. Keep in mind that in order to use that, you need a wallet. Just like PayPal, they might impose some fees.
Fraud Protection – Because of the blockchain technology, transactions and money transfers are safe. However, be careful as there are many scams out there purporting to be cryptocurrencies. In fact, they do not use blockchain technology, which a typical sign of fraudulent companies.
Faster Transfers – Everything happens so fast. Traditional money transfers usually take one or several days to be processed. For businesses, this could be crucial.
Transparency – Again because of the blockchain technology, everything is transparent and recorded on the blockchain. All the information is stored there, and cannot be deleted or amended.
Cryptocurrencies For Investment
Now, let’s take a look at the best digital currencies out there:
Talking about cryptocurrencies, we have to pay our respects to the pioneer Bitcoin. This is the first decentralized digital currency. The price of Bitcoin has been increasing ever since its introduction. For example, in February the value of Bitcoin stood at $1,000 and currently it is $6,682. Keep in mind that the price is pretty volatile and might change drastically on a daily basis.
How to invest?
The first way you can do it is by mining your own coins – buy a bitcoin mining hardware. Before doing that, you might be interested in making some calculations – use this app to see whether mining will be a profitable option.
Another way is to simply go to an exchange and buy some coins.
The last option is to invest in mutual funds that purchase bitcoins.
- Bitcoin price has been growing steadily ever since its introduction, outperforming commodities like gold and silver this year. Many people and experts call it the gold of cryptocurrencies
- More and more businesses and people alike use it as a legal payment method.
- It will always be and remain the first digital currency, which boosts its performance and price adding symbolic capital
- More and more people invest in bitcoin and diversify their portfolios.
This is maybe the second most popular and known cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. Actually, Ethereum is a whole community, something like a network of people using the cryptocurrency, which is called Ether. As you can see, Ethereum uses a slightly different blockchain technology which allows people to use it for more than just money transfers.
Let’s look at it in detail:
This digital currency was launched in 2015 and speaking of technology is relatively new. So, the expected growth potential, given the fact more and more businesses are looking for innovative business solutions, is enormous.
In order to use Ethereum, you need a digital wallet, for example, Coinbase which is a free app.
- To start with, Ethereum price is stable and not as volatile as Bitcoin.
- In addition, due to differences in blockchain technology, Ethereum blockchain makes transactions significantly faster than those on Bitcoin.
- You are investing in a network, not just cryptocurrency.
- Ethereum boasts a great team of developers and professionals.
Another fan-favorite and the so-called “silver” in the digital money industry. Litecoin was created in 2011 by Charles Lee and according to coinmarketcap is the fourth largest cryptocurrency when it comes to market capitalization.
Even though Litecoin is also a peer-to-peer payment system, there are some differences between it and Bitcoin. They result in much faster transactions than those happening in the Bitcoin blockchain.
Why is it a good investment?
well, currently one coin costs $41. Given the ever-increasing popularity and use of cryptocurrencies, especially those that have been on the market for years, it’s safe to predict the price will increase in the long-run. For six months, between March and July, the price jumped by more than 1,000% from $3.8 to almost $50. Besides, the number of coins is 84 million compared to Bitcoin’s maximum supply of 21 million.
So, if you want to take advantage of all the fad around Bitcoin, why not buy something that costs less than $50 and has a huge growth potential?
Ripple is a relatively new solution and has been making some incredible progress this year. For the second quarter, the price of the currency increased by some $3,800%, and from almost $0 it reached $0.26. Despite the fact that currently, the price stands at $0.17, the growth is still quite impressive.
What makes Ripple so different and attractive?
Well, Ripple uses a relatively less decentralized approach when it comes to making and processing transactions because they collaborate with banks all over the world. More than 100 banks worldwide use the system, and some of them include Abu Dhabi Bank, Standard Chartered, BMO Financial Group, and Shanghai Huarui Bank.
XRP is the underlying currency, and it solves the problem of processing and transferring money between banks by making it much faster and safer.
So, when banks and the latest and hottest technology go hand in hand, the future seems more than bright.
Factom is more like a business solution than a real cryptocurrency. While Bitcoin and Ethereum offer primarily monetary transactions, Factom’s main goal is to provide businesses with a safe record-keeping system. The factoid is the name of the underlying token (just like Ether in Ethereum).
It allows companies, governments, even schools to safely store information on a protocol built on top of Bitcoin. The team of Factom is currently developing other protocols using other cryptocurrency blockchains as a further measure to make data even more protected. So, what makes Factom so special is the fact that it is not just a payment method. It promises data and information security and protection.
For companies, finding the most secure and advanced technology to protect their information is key. Certainly, many will trust Factom and its price will surely increase in the future.
Broadly speaking, Sia is decentralized cloud storage. So, members of this network can rent their storage and get paid for it. This sounds like a cool and innovative idea to me. Once you find a fellow who wants to borrow some storage, you “sign” a contract. It is called a “smart contract” and verifies the payment.
Not many people know about the range of possibilities this cryptocurrency offers. This is what makes it a hot shot in the future to come. Undoubtedly, it has lots of potential.
This project uses Ethereum blockchain to store data and process information. Some people consider it the world’s “most powerful decentralised supercomputer.” Not only can you keep a record of transactions but also do research or even let the “computer” predict stock movements in the market.
The token they use is GNT (Golem Network Token).