Being a successful graduate of Belarusian State Economic University (BSEU), Maria has acquired competencies in economic and social studies. Given Maria’s previous research working experience, and desire to explore what's really shaping the future, the main research focus is placed on FinTech and Blockchain Technology.
As Bitcoin is still priced high, and entry to cryptocurrencies for new-comers remains hard, altcoins may become a real alternative. For all interested we’ve put together a list of the top 5 altcoins to look for this year.
Take a look at CoinMarketCap and you’ll find over 1,500 cryptocurrencies. In fact, the number of cryptocurrencies is growing at a rapid rate and there simply isn’t enough time in the day to research them all. So, to help you keep up with all of this new information, we’ve put together a list of the top 5 altcoins to look for in 2018.
You’ll almost certainly have heard of Ethereum as it’s the second biggest cryptocurrency by market cap. Launched in 2015, it’s an open-source platform that enables developers to build decentralized applications (DApps). What’s particularly impressive about Ethereum is the rate of adoption with many developers working on DApps and using the smart contract functionality based on Ethereum’s blockchain.
Another strength of Ethereum is its team. In particular, co-founder Vitalik Buterin is one of the greatest minds in cryptocurrency and the community places great faith in him for the project’s continued progression. There’s plenty in the pipeline for Ethereum this year and beyond with the upcoming roadmap phase known as ‘Serenity’. This will see Ethereum’s consensus protocol change from Proof of Work (PoW) to Proof of Stake (PoS) with Casper.
Often referred to as the ‘Chinese Ethereum’, NEO is also a platform for decentralized applications and smart contracts. This smart economy platform was originally launched as Antshares in 2014 before being rebranded into NEO in July 2017. NEO has a great deal of potential because it’s focusing on the digitizing of assets as well as digital identity. The idea is to create a smart economy and it’s not hard to see how extremely useful this could be in the future as technology continues to progress.
One of the main advantages of NEO is that by continuing to comply with various Chinese rules and regulations, NEO may be well placed to enjoy wider adoption going forward. Another reason to invest in this project is that by holding NEO tokens, you can earn GAS which is a nice financial incentive. Unlike Ethereum, the NEO Virtual Machine supports multiple programming languages, making NEO likely to attract more developers going forward.
Stellar is an open-source payment protocol for worldwide transfers and exchanges. It was founded in 2014 by Jed McCaleb who also co-founded Ripple. Indeed much like Ripple, Stellar aims to connect financial institutions while reducing the cost of cross-border transfers. It’s made up of servers which form a global exchange network.
With Stellar, anyone can send, receive or trade any kind of currency – from cryptocurrency to fiat. Transfers come with minimal cost and are almost immediate, which makes Stellar an attractive proposition. Stellar’s XLM currency can be used as an intermediary universal unit of exchange. The project has a number of big plans for 2018 including SDEX (Stellar Decentralised Exchange) and Lightning Network integration.
Monero is an open-source, privacy-oriented cryptocurrency that was launched in 2014. It has a number of features that make it not only secure but private and untraceable. The use of ring signatures and stealth addresses serves to protect both the sender and the recipient in any transaction, making Monero a popular choice for users seeking greater financial privacy.
It’s also worth mentioning that Monero has fungibility. Unlike Bitcoin, a coin’s history is untraceable and cannot be tainted. This is a very well established project with an active and passionate community. Indeed, the large open source community continue to develop Monero and it seems unlikely to lose this popularity anytime soon. If you value your security and privacy, Monero is well worth considering.
Founded in 2015, IOTA is an open-source distributed ledger and cryptocurrency for the Internet of Things – a growing network of connected devices capable of exchanging data. IOTA is unique in that it doesn’t have the typical blockchain. Instead, it has something called ‘The Tangle’, which IOTA describe as the next generation blockchain. There are no blocks, no miners and no fees involved.
Having instant transactions with no fees is clearly a huge selling point, particularly given some of the problems that Bitcoin has faced with slower and more expensive transactions in recent times. What’s more, IOTA has very impressive technology behind its own version of a blockchain. It’s a project that is still very much in development but very promising for 2018.
While we believe that the above projects are well set for 2018, it’s always recommended that you do your own research before investing. There are so many fascinating cryptocurrencies and these are just 5 that we think you should keep an eye on in 2018. Always be sure to read a project’s white paper, research the team behind the project and ask the project’s community all the questions of interest.