What is Сryptocurrency?
Сryptocurrency is a digital currency designed to function as a medium of exchange for financial transactions. Cryptocurrencies work in tandem with Blockchain which is a secure public ledger that holds records of transactions in a decentralized way. The first
cryptocurrency that came into existence was Bitcoin. Today, it is the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency.
There are thousands of crypto coins and crypto tokens out there and each of them serves a particular purpose. This fact has made the cryptocurrency sector a new breeding ground for investors.
Why Are Investors Flocking to Cryptocurrency?
In less than a decade, cryptocurrencies have grown to become one of the world’s fastest- progressing sectors. The total market cap for all cryptocurrencies is currently at $280 billion. That figure was under $15 billion in 2017. This represents an increase of almost 2,000% in just a year. There is no doubt about it – cryptocurrency is attracting investors with the numbers. The unregulated nature of most cryptos affords them the opportunity to increase in value at unprecedented rates. Last year, the value of Bitcoin increased to $19,783 making a ton of regular investors millionaires. Other factors inciting investors to cryptocurrency include:
- Cryptocurrencies are decentralized;
- Cryptocurrency transactions are highly secure and almost instant;
- Transferring cryptocurrency does not require the participation of a third party.
It is established that cryptocurrencies are a quick and accessible source of investment. Why don’t we take a look at the top 5 cryptocurrencies garnering attention of investors?
Five Investment-Worthy Cryptocurrencies of 2018
1. Ethereum: Currently trading at around $490, some say that Ethereum is a better version of Bitcoin. A primary merit of this cryptocurrency is the fact that it allows users to digitize any form of financial/business instrument on the almighty blockchain. Given its advanced functionality, Ethereum is favored by not only investors, but the whole cryptocurrency community as well. Another killer feature of Ethereum is that it is widely used by start-up companies for initial coin offerings and developers for creating multi-purpose apps. This set of features makes Ethereum highly valuable and increases the probability that its price will go up.
In the same vein, there are a couple of improvements in place that set Ethereum ahead of other cryptocurrencies according to investors. Ethereum is well on the way to Proof of Stake, a streamlined approach to validating transactions on the network. The Proof of Work algorithm that is utilized by most cryptocurrencies consumes a whole lot of energy and power during mining. The Proof of Stake system, on the other hand, is cost and energy efficient. Once this system is in place, the price, security, and applicability of Ethereum is bound to go up.
Where to buy? Ethereum is the second largest cryptocurrency, so it can be easily found at almost any cryptocurrency exchange. Some of the most popular are GDAX, Kraken,
2. Litecoin: Litecoin is another cryptocurrency that most investors are interested in holding. The current value of Litecoin sits around $100 and investors seem to think that it will only increase. Last year, Litecoin successfully debuted its Lightning Network. As a result it takes about two-and-a-half minutes to approve a Litecoin transaction, while in the case of Bitcoin you will be waiting for nearly ten minutes.
Aside from this, investors are leaning heavily towards Litecoin due to a statement made by its founder Charlie Lee earlier this year. Charlie Lee tweeted that a huge surprise was on the way as regards Litecoin. This has definitely increased the hype and excitement surrounding Litecoin.
Other factors attracting investors to Litecoin include:
- It is used for 30% of transactions on the dark web;
- With Litecoin, transaction fees are almost zero;
- Litecoin enjoys high trading volume, which means that it is easy to find buyers and sellers for it.
Where to buy? Litecoin is also quite popular among investors and traders, so finding an exchange that offers it on its platform will be no trouble. Take Coinbase, Cryptopia, HitBTC.
3. Ripple: Ripple is another favorite among cryptocurrency investors in 2018. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, Ripple is still trading for less than a dollar, and it has the potential to increase in value exponentially. Ripple’s secure channel makes it a suitable pathway for the exchange of money, information and anything in digital form. Ripple has also been endorsed and adopted by banking institutions. Some of the banks currently using Ripple are;
- Axis Bank;
- Cambridge Global Payments;
- Star One Credit Union;
Where to buy? If you are looking to buy Ripple, check mostly altcoin exchanges. Binance
and Bitfinex, to name but a few.
4. Stellar Lumens: Stellar Lumens come under the scrutiny of many cryptocurrency investors this year. Stellar’s scalability, speed and almost zero fees on transactions have endeared it to a large number of investors and traders. Despite being a freshman in the cryptocurrency space, Stellar has already partnered with the tech giant IBM to create a blockchain network that will unite banks worldwide. Since 2017, Stellar has managed to grow from $0.002 to $0.22. A lot of investors are definitely keeping an eye on this cryptocurrency.
Where to buy? Stellar is less popular than all the coins mentioned above and it can be bought at crypto-to-crypto exchanges mostly. One of the most prominent crypto-fiat exchanges offering Stellar for trading is CEX.IO (for a full list of supported fiat currencies check a more detailed review of CEX.IO).
5. Bitcoin: This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the all-powerful Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency that was introduced to the world. Bitcoin experienced a price increase of over 2,000% last year. Although its price currently sits around $6,500, many investors believe that it is only bound to go up again. Some even predict that the price of Bitcoin can
go as high as $250,000 by 2022.
Where to buy? Any cryptocurrency exchange.
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