If your interest has been recently peaked by the spike in cryptocurrency prices, namely the soaring prices of Bitcoin and Ethereum, you may have just opened Pandora’s box of crypto-possibilities. Last month I found myself in awe of the opportunities that lie within the block chain, and I went down a google rabbit hole to dig up as much information on these digital currencies as I could. That being said, I would like to reiterate that I am writing this article strictly to state my opinion, as I am not qualified, nor do I intend to give investment advice.
If you are not too sure how Bitcoin and Ethereum function, I would advise you to read my previous article, “Ode to the Cryptocurrency Skeptics- It is not too late!” In the article I explain the basics of the block chain system and how it allows for these cryptocurrencies to function. While Bitcoin and Ethereum are a great start to diving into cryptocurrency, there are many others where they came from. The importance of exploring these alternate coins lies in the opportunity to invest in a coin that could become greater than Bitcoin or Ethereum.
The cryptocurrency world has transformed the digital era into a place where currency is no longer subject to countries or continents, each coin is created to serve a purpose. Alternate coins are designed to represent different goals, even though they all function on a decentralized block chain. There are currently over 1000 digital currencies out there waiting to be invested in. So how do we know which ones may actually be profitable?
To see if an alternate coin is worth investing in it is important to look at the purpose behind the coin. You should look at ICO’s (Initial Coin Offering) in the same way you look at a startup. Evaluate the problem the coin is solving, what solution the technology brings, ponder the pro’s and con’s, and do your due diligence.
In order to simplify each coin down to its key differentiators, I will briefly go over three coins. Over the next week I will release a few more articles that dive deeper into each of these coins.
Litecoin, one is silver and the other is gold
Market Cap: $3,051,605,760
If you had purchased Litecoin six months ago, you would have paid $3.90 for one coin. In mid March of this year, Litecoin began to rise and today it is worth around $57. It is no surprise that Litecoin rose alongside Bitcoin; Litecoin is the silver to Bitcoins gold. The main differentiator that we see in Litecoin is that it has shorter transaction times, which means it is ideal for smaller transactions. While Bitcoin has a mean block time of 10 minutes, Litecoins’ is 2.5 minutes. Litecoin will be important to have in your portfolio as more businesses start accepting cryptocurrency as payment.
EOS, not a lip balm
Market Cap: $226,605,945
EOS is another cryptocurrency that I have been closely following. This cryptocurrency is tied to a new platform that intends to make decentralized apps easier to create. The currency is called EOS tokens, and while the platform is still in development, I believe the tokens have great potential. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, the EOS tokens are never consumed, you simply put the tokens into contracts. Tokens show your ownership of a certain percentage of the EOS network. EOS also eliminates the idea of mining. I will go deeper into this process in my EOS article next week.
NEO, moving East
Market Cap: $1,414,975,000
Perhaps my favorite cryptocurrency, NEO, is a coin with tremendous potential. Not only is NEO supported by companies like Microsoft, but it has a team of experts that have found a way to make coding decentralized apps easier for everyone. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, NEO programmers don’t have to learn a new language before coding in their mother tongue. The platform is very similar to Ethereum, but some might argue that they have fixed Ethereums bugs. They also created an entirely new way to mine called dBFT, that I will further elaborate on in my NEO article.
While these are only three of the 1000+ alternate coins out there, they are a good introduction to discovering the investment potential of these currencies. Each coin differentiates itself in the cryptocurrency world and has potential to become the next Ethereum. The possibilities for new coins are endless, and the systems that outline them become more complex every time you refresh your browser, understanding the process is key to making good investments. Hopefully these articles will inspire you to dig into more alternate coins and diversify your portfolio with some crypto-seeds.
Martin Hauge & Sophia Noel