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Best Cryptocurrencies for 2018 | Definitive Top 20 List

best cryptocurrencies for 2018

Prominent Cryptocurrencies

 

Across the globe, there are around 7268 recognized cryptocurrency markets/platforms with more than 1350 major cryptocurrencies–with a total market cap of around $630 Billion listed in it for trading.

Given the plethora of cryptocurrencies, it becomes confusing for investors to decide which one to invest in. Moreover, the cryptocurrency market has been going crazy lately. Now the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) phenomenon has taken over the investors. To add onto the confusion, value of all the cryptocurrencies has been skyrocketing continuously in recent months. 

Given the situation, even the prudent investors are in a dilemma to decide on which cryptocurrency to invest in. Keeping all these issues in mind, we have compiled a definitive guide for the best cryptocurrencies for 2018!

Investment Strategies

 

Cryptocurrency market changes irrationally. Many of the times, price movements are haphazard and cannot be explained normally. Regular fundamental and technical analysis are not much of a use. Therefore, it is important for investors to use a combination of tools and techniques to decide on their investment strategies. Few of the pointers that investors can look for in addition to fundamental & technical analysis are:

  1. Purpose: Investors must find out about the objective of the crypto or the pain point which that crypto is going to address
  1. The Technology: Investors should check if there is any innovative technology/ idea behind the coin which would offer something unique. The key is to try and determine which cryptocurrency projects will address a true need, and are not just a fad of the year (or month)
  1. Market-cap & Current Price: This is calculated by multiplying number of coins available with the current market price. Market cap only includes coins which have been mined and not the future coins which would be mined
  1. Price History & Volatility: This is very important to understand the behavior of the crypto
  1. Availability: Investor should check which exchanges offer the target cryptocurrency, how easy is it to buy it and whether a major cryptocurrency must be bought first
  1. Developers Activity: Check the person behind the digital coin. It takes time to come up with a successful idea behind the cryptocurrency. Factors like regularity, coin wallet, originality of the idea, activities around the coin, etc will give an indication about the developer
  1. Big Bulls: Investors must keep an eye on the big-ticket investors (individuals/ funds), who have invested in the target crypto. Such investors can move price drastically therefore it is advisable to monitor such investors
  1. Cost Averaging: Buying fixed amount of cryptocurrency at regular intervals. Buying at different price points will average out the cost. This is like Systematic Investment Plans (SIP)
  1. Balanced Portfolio: In this strategy, investor buys the same amount of money in each of the selected coins 
  1. Unbalanced Portfolio: In this strategy, investor apportions his money among the coins based on his analysis or certain think tank
  1. Profit Reinvesting: With this strategy, investor can leverage on gains to make higher returns by reinvesting. However, it is necessary for investor to book profits regularly
  1. 24-Hour Volume: How much value has been traded in 24 hours. Higher volume indicates two things, one established coin with a solid base and two major events. Higher volume also indicates perceived value by the investor community. Investors should be precautions about pump & dump schemes. In such schemes, big whales buy the currency in a large quantity to drive the price up and sell as soon as currency reaches its peak. Also, investors should keep an eye on wash trading where exchanges artificially inflate the trading volume to appear more attractive
  1. Coin liquidity: This is measured in both the volume percentage and volume
  1. Wallet: Security of the digital coin is very important therefore before investing it is a must to research the wallets which accept the target cryptocurrency
  1. The coin community: Investor should be active in the chosen cryptocurrency community to understand what lies in the future for the coin

Best Cryptocurrencies For 2018

 

As consultants, we advise our clients not to invest if they don’t understand what a cryptocurrency does or why it is valuable. This is because many of these cryptocurrencies are nothing but fad.

Moreover, investors don’t have to understand every single technical detail of the coin rather they should be informed about the currency by reading about it and continuously monitoring the events around it. This will help investors to take an informed decision.

Since nobody can forecast which coins are going to be epic and which one terrible failures, we ask our clients not to put all eggs into a single basket. 

However, we have prepared a list of best cryptocurrencies for 2018, which investors can consider for investment. It should be noted that cryptocurrency market is highly volatile and unregulated market thereby making the list susceptible to frequent changes.

BEST CRYPTOCURRENCIES FOR 2018

1- BITCOIN

Symbol Since Market Cap Founder(s) Units Max Supply
BTC 2009 $280 Billion Satoshi Nakamoto BTC 21 Million

The euphoric rise of bitcoin is talk of the town not only in India but across the globe. In short, Bitcoin was first introduced as an open source software by an anonymous programmer or a group of programmers under the alias Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009.

Bitcoin is a digital or virtual currency designed to work as medium of exchange using cryptography to secure and verify transactions as well as control of mining of new units. Bitcoin uses “SHA256” mining algorithm.

BEST CRYPTOCURRENCIES FOR 2018
BEST CRYPTOCURRENCIES FOR 2018

2- ETHEREUM

Symbol Since Market Cap Founder(s) Units Max Supply
ETH 2015 $63 Billion Vitalik Buterin Ether No Defined Limit

Ethereum is a programmable blockchain that was launched in the year 2015. It is a decentralized software platform that allows developers to build distributed applications (DApps) and Smart contracts. Ethereum is favorable to many developers because it runs without any downtime, control, interference and fraud.

The philosophy of Ethereum is to provide a platform to codify, decentralize, secure and trade anything. After the attack on Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), Ethereum was split into Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC).

3- ETHEREUM CLASSIC

Symbol Since Market Cap Founder(s) Units Max Supply
ETC 2015 $2.91 Billion Hard Fork Ether 230 Million

Ethereum Classic is the original version of Ethereum which was split as Ethereum (new) and Ethereum Classic. The split happened because DAO built on top of the original Ethereum was hacked. DAO was kind of VC fund for future distributed applications that would be built on top of Ethereum.

One hacker took advantage of a loophole in the Ethereum code and siphoned around $50 million of the organizations money.

To counter this loophole, Ethereum developers suggested doing a hard fork to make previous version incompatible and refute the hacker with stolen funds.

But not everyone switched over to the new Ethereum fork because they still believed in Ethereum’s original promise of standing against financial corruption and changes to the network based on a human’s whim.

4- LITECOIN

Symbol Since Market Cap* Founder(s) Units Max Supply
LTC 2011 $14.4 Billion Charlie Lee
Lites,Photons 84 Million

Litecoin was one of the first “altcoins” to be created with the goal of making it the “digital silver” as against Bitcoin, the digital gold. It was created by former google employee Charlie Lee & director of engineering at coinbase.

Although Litecoin is a fork of Bitcoin and is similar in many ways, it can generate blocks four times faster and therefore faster transaction confirmation.

In comparison to Bitcoin’s 10 minutes, Litecoin takes 2.5 minutes to generate a block/ transaction.

Technically, Litecoin is based on an open source global payment network that is not controlled by any central authority. Litecoin uses a mining algorithm called “scrypt”, which can be decoded with the help of CPUs of consumer grade.

5- BITCOIN CASH

Symbol Since Market Cap Founder(s) Units Max Supply
BCH 2017 $46.6 Billion Hard Fork BCH 21 Million

Bitcoin Cash is result of a fork of Bitcoin which was supported by the biggest Bitcoin mining company as well as manufacturer of Bitcoin mining chips (ASICs), Bitmain.

Bitcoin cash was created mainly because Bitmain didn’t like a feature called SegWit that Bitcoin implemented.

SegWit allows for cheaper transactions (bad for miners such as Bitmain) and prefers bigger mining blocks (8MB vs 1MB for Bitcoin) as a solution to Bitcoin’s increasing problem.

Though very recent, Bitcoin Cash is having a meteoric rise continuously.

6- RIPPLE

Symbol Since Market Cap* Founder(s) Units Max Supply
XRP 2012 $38.8 Billion Ryan Fugger, Arthur Britto, David Schwartz XRP 100 Billion

Ripple is a payment network that enables protected, instantaneous and free global transactions of any size with no chargebacks.

Unlike many cryptocurrencies, Ripple doesn’t use a blockchain to establish consensus for transactions. Rather it uses an iterative consensus process which makes it faster than Bitcoin network.

However, this may make it prone to attacks. Ripple is a real-time global settlement network that offers transparent, immediate, definite and low cost international payments.

Since Ripple’s structure doesn't require mining, it reduces the usage of computing power and minimizes network latency. 

In future, Ripple plans to distribute coins through business development deals and as incentives to liquidity providers who offer tighter spreads for payments.

BEST CRYPTOCURRENCIES FOR 2018
BEST CRYPTOCURRENCIES FOR 2018

7- DASH

Symbol Since Market Cap Founder(s) Units Max Supply
DASH 2014 $8.7 Billion Evan Duffield DASH 18.9 Million

Originally known as Darkcoin, Dash is a more private or secretive version of Bitcoin that offers faster transactions by using InstantSend technology.

Dash offers more anonymity as it works on a decentralized mastercode network that makes transactions almost untraceable.

Dash uses a two-tier architecture for its network in which the first tier consists of miners who secure the network and write transactions to the blockchain, and the second tier is made of masternodes.

Masternodes relay Dash transactions and enable the InstantSend and PrivateSend types of transactions. Anyone can set up a masternode if you lock at least 1,000 DASH coins on their server.

Masternodes earn money for those who operate them, which encourages people to run these masternodes and enable DASH’s features.

Dash can be mined using a CPU or GPU.

8- IOTA

Symbol Since Market Cap* Founder(s) Units Max Supply
IOTA 2016 $8.68 Billion David Sonstebo,
Sergey Ivancheglo,
Dominik Schiener,
Serguei Popov
MIOTA 2.7 Quadrillion

 

IOTA is a cryptocurrency that doesn’t use blockchain technology rather targets Internet of Things (IoT) technology. By doing so IOTA can reduce the computational needs of the network and eliminate transaction fees.

IOTA’s ledger technology is called “Tangle”, wherein sender in a transaction is required to do a proof of work that approves two transactions. This removes dedicated miners who are needed to verify transactions on most other cryptocurrencies.

It also makes the system more decentralized because every user essentially becomes a “node” in the network. Another remarkable thing about IOTA is that it becomes faster the more users perform transactions, because all those users are also required to verify other transactions.

This is the opposite of most other cryptocurrencies that tend to become slower as more people use them and require new solutions to increase scalability.

9- MONERO

Symbol Since Market Cap Founder(s) Units Max Supply
XMR 2014 $5.1 Billion Pseudonymous XMR 18.3 Million

Monero is a secure, private and untraceable currency. Monero is one of the private transactions capable cryptocurrencies with the most active communities because of its open and privacy-focused ideals. Many consider it the most private cryptocurrency, especially after a recent Europol bust where the only cryptocurrency transactions that couldn’t be traced were Monero transactions.

Monero’s privacy is guaranteed by a ring signature algorithm, which means that the coins are “mixed” at the protocol level, which according to Monero developers, makes transactions “untraceable”.

Monero’s coins are also fungible, which means there won’t be any way for an exchange or for vendors to block certain Monero coins.

All Monero coins are interchangeable with others. Soon after its launch Monero spiked great interest among the cryptography community and enthusiasts.

The development of this cryptocurrency is completely donation-based and community-driven. Monero has been launched with a strong focus on decentralization and scalability, and enables complete privacy by using a special technique called ‘ring-signatures’.

With this technique, there appears a group of cryptographic signatures including atleast one real participant – but since they all appear valid, the real one cannot be isolated.

10- NEO

Symbol Since Market Cap* Founder(s) Units Max Supply
NEO 2015 $3.45 Billion Da Hongfei NEO 100 Million

 

Neo also known as Ethereum of China is a smart economy platform and the first Chinese Blockchain project. Neo was previously known as “Antshares”.

NEO is a smart contract platform that enables all sorts of financial contracts and even third-party distributed applications to be developed on top of it, much like Ethereum. Unlike Ethereum, where developers can also use its own Javascript-like “solidity” programing language, NEO allows developers to use any coding language they like. 

Despite the prohibitions of Chinese authorities to carry out ICO, the owners of Neo are sure that they will be able to establish fruitful relations with the government of China.

11- NEM

Symbol Since Market Cap Founder(s) Units Max Supply
XEM 2015 $7.6 Billion Utopian Future (Bitcoin Talk Forum) XEM 9 Billion

One of the things that sets the New Economy Movement (NEM) apart is its “Proof of Importance” (POI) algorithm. Unlike PoW, which requires miners to use significant processing power to get new coins, or PoS, which requires users to already own a certain amount of coins to get new ones, PoI encourages users to spend their coins.

The PoI algorithm tracks a user’s transactions to determine how important that user is to the overall NEM economy. Bitcoin has been considered “digital gold”, and one of the main reasons for that description is its limited number of coins (a maximum of 21 million can ever be created).

This means that Bitcoin’s value should keep rising over time as long as more people start buying Bitcoin. This should encourage a large portion of those who buy Bitcoin to hold it long term as opposed to spending it to purchase products. NEM, on the other hand, encourages owners of its coins to spend them fast and furiously to gain even more NEM coins.

12- CARDANO

Symbol Since Market Cap* Founder(s) Units Max Supply
ADA 2017 $9.28 Billion Charles Hoskinson (IOHK) ADA 45 Billion

 

Cardano is a new cryptocurrency that comes with some interesting new innovations. It was built by a team of technology-focused developers and academics from multiple universities.

One of these innovations is that the code was written in Haskell, a memory-safe programming language, which should minimize the existence of bugs on the Cardano network.

On top of that, Cardano's developers have formally verified some core components of the network, including its Proof of Stake (PoS) system, which should also drastically increase its security. The “Ouroboros” algorithm for PoS systems was also peer-reviewed by multiple cryptographers.

Cardano’s developers have said that the protocol’s multi-layer architecture should allow for Bitcoin levels of privacy for users while also allowing regulatory oversight on a per app basis. Cardano also comes with its own “treasury” system, which developers have said will ensure the sustainability of the protocol.

13- ZCASH

Symbol Since Market Cap Founder(s) Units Max Supply
ZEC 2016 $1.32 Billion Zooko Wilcox ZEC 21 Million

Zcash is the next generation of the Zerocoin protocol, which aimed to create the first truly anonymous cryptocurrency. It uses a recently invented, breakthrough technology called zero knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge (zk-SNARK), a novel form of zero-knowledge cryptography.

Zero-knowledge” proofs allow one party (the prover) to prove to another (the verifier) that a statement is true without revealing any information beyond the validity of the statement itself.

Although ZCash has the potential to be the most private cryptocurrency around, comments made by the developers, as well as the initial “trusted setup” for the secret key, have given many privacy-focused cryptocurrencies right now, and it has real-world data to prove it. In layman terms, “If bitcoin is like http for money, then Zcash is https,”.

Like https, Zcash claims to provide extra security or privacy where all transactions are recorded and published on a blockchain, but details such as the sender, recipient, and amount remain private.

Zcash offers its users the choice of ‘shielded’ transactions, which allow for content to be encrypted using advanced cryptographic technique or zero knowledge proof construction called a zk-SNARK developed by its team.

14- OMISEGO

Symbol Since Market Cap* Founder(s) Units Max Supply
OMG 2017 $1.24 Billion Hasegawa OMG 140 Million

 

OmiseGo is a public Ethereum-based financial technology that can be used in digital wallets and enables peer-to-peer exchanges of fiat currency (USD, Euro, etc) and cryptocurrency in real time.

The goal of the project is to “unbank” users, or in other words, to disrupt the banking industry by making people realize they don’t need a bank account to use digital money.

According to the OmiseGo developers, “anyone will be able to conduct financial transactions such as payments, remittances, payroll deposit, B2B commerce, supply-chain finance, loyalty programs, asset management and trading, and other on-demand services, in a completely decentralized and inexpensive way.

The OmiseGo decentralized exchange doesn’t treat fiat currencies any better than the cryptocurrencies on its network, which means the system is constructed so that the best currencies win.

15- LISK

Symbol Since Market Cap Founder(s) Units Max Supply
LSK 2016 $2.04 Billion Max Kordex LSK -

Lisk aims to be the first “modular blockchain,” where each distributed app on top of its not just a token (as in Ethereum’s case), but its own blockchain (or sidechain). The developers gave the following examples for how this technology could be used:

- Decentralized storage can be done on a stand-alone blockchain or on Lisk

- Anonymous transactions can be done on a stand-alone blockchain or on Lisk

- A social blogging system can be done on a stand-alone blockchain or on Lisk

The list goes on. The sidechains are operated using the same DPoS system used by the parent Lisk blockchain, and they’re secured by the top 101 delegates.

These top delegates are decided based on the weight of the voting of other users in the network.

16- EOS

Symbol Since Market Cap* Founder(s) Units Max Supply
EOS 2017 $4.16 Billion Dan Lemaire EOS 1 Billion

 

EOS is yet another Ethereum competitor that uses a “Delegated Proof of Stake” (DPOS) system, which supposedly improves on the regular PoS system because users can delegate their voting rights to others in the network to decrease transaction verification times and make the network run more efficiently.

EOS also separates read and write actions to increase speed and enables public and private blockchains to communicate asynchronously.

Instead of long address, users of the platform can also create account names, and those accounts can have different permission levels. With EOS, you can also roll back changes to fix serious bugs if a majority of users agree to changes.

Presumably, this is done to avoid the same situation that created Ethereum Classic and the new Ethereum fork.

17- STELLAR

Symbol Since Market Cap Founder(s) Units Max Supply
XLM 2014 $3.61Billion Jed Mccaleb, Joyce Kim LUMEN 103 Billion

Stellar Lumens is a cryptocurrency like Ripple and aims to become the de facto cryptocurrency system used by banks and other financial institutions.

The “Lumens” are the currency units that exist on the Stellar network. The developers behind the Stellar network believe that lumens could eventually be used as a “bridge” between different cryptocurrencies.

However, to exchange between cryptocurrencies, you would have to trust a third party “anchor,” similar to how you trust a cryptocurrency exchange to convert your money from one currency to another.

The main difference seems to be that these anchors will live on the stellar network. Recently, IBM announced a partnership with Stellar to enable banks to complete instant cross-border transactions with each other, which seems to have propelled Stellar Lumens back into the top 25 cryptocurrencies.

IBM will use its own custom blockchain solution for much of the transaction clearing, but the transaction settlement will be done on the Stellar network.

18- POPULOUS

Symbol Since Market Cap* Founder(s) Units Max Supply
PPT 2017 $1.18 Billion Stephen Williams PPT 53 Million

 

Populous, which prides itself as being “first and only” invoice and trade finance platform on the Ethereum blockchain, was able to squeeze itself into a top 25 spot, leaving better-known cryptocurrencies such as BitShares and Bytecoin.

Populous aim is to create a global trading environment for investors and sellers to trade invoices from around the world.

One idea is that Populous could help companies better manage their cash flows by presenting them with investors who are willing to buy their invoices and give them the cash they need immediately, instead of having to wait 45-90 days to receive the money from their own customers.

This way, companies that are strapped for cash have an alternative to increasing their cash flow without getting a loan from a bank. Some are skeptical about Populous plans, but the founder seems to have worked in the invoice trading industry before, so at least he has the experience and the business relationships necessary to succeed.

19- WAVES

Symbol Since Market Cap Founder(s) Units Max Supply
WAVES 2016 $1.24 Billion Sasha Ivanov WAVES 100 Million

Waves is a platform similar to Ethereum in which anyone can create and launch their own digital asset/ token on top of it.

However, Waves has more limited programming features. The developers claim this reduces the attack surface, making the platform more secure.

The Waves platform enables its own decentralized exchange, so owners of any waves digital asset can directly exchange their coins/ assets with any other owner of a waves token straight from the Waves platform.

Waves also offers users the ability to convert fiat currency into tokens that exists on the platform. For instance, owners of USD can purchase wUSD tokens, which maintain their stable USD value.

This feature allows Waves users to transfer the fiat tokens at much faster speeds on the blockchain than transferring regular USD via banks.

20- POWER LEDGER

Symbol Since Market Cap* Founder(s) Units Max Supply
POWR 2016 $293 Million Dr Jemma Green, Dave Martin SPARKZ 1 Billion

 

Power Ledger is a peer-to-peer, blockchain based energy trading platform, where renewable energy can be sold between buyers and sellers without a middleman/ third party.

Power Ledger was formed with two key objectives in mind – peer to peer trading across energy networks and peer to peer trading of energy within buildings. Power Ledger uses a software solution that measures the amount of electricity consumed or generated.

Power Ledger has a software solution and it connects to smart meters. It reads the outputs of the meters in terms of electricity that is being consumed or generated and it records that on the blockchain.

As somebody purchases or consumes electricity that is also recorded on the blockchain and those two pieces of information from the transaction for which Sparkz are transferred - so it happens syncronously.

The actual recording of electricity is the movement of Sparkz from the buyer's wallet to the seller’s wallet. Once the seller receives the Sparkz into their digital wallet, they can convert those to dollars. Power ledger has had massive success in both Australian and international markets.

 

Conclusion

 

Cryptocurrencies have their commas, semi colons, exclamations and question marks, but let us not misread them as full stops. Today the cryptocurrency market is a roaring horse which everyone wants to ride. Adding to that is growing signs of legitimacy of cryptocurrencies.

Earlier this year Japan announced that it would accept Bitcoin as legal tender, in exchange for the currency’s compliance with anti-laundering regulations within the country. 

Cryptocurrencies may offer a new payment and investment channel for the future, they are, for time being, far too dangerous for investor’s portfolios.

Therefore, it should be noted that cryptocurrency landscape can change quickly, therefore it is very important to do your research and continuously track the market.

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