In our ever-changing digital world, there’s no telling how long cryptocurrencies will last or how much they’ll be worth in the future. But if you’re looking to invest in some of the hottest and most lucrative cryptocurrencies around, you’ve come to the right place! Here are our 10 best cryptocurrency picks!
The 10 Best Cryptocurrencies to Invest In
1) Bitcoin (BTC)
Bitcoin is still up by more than 300% since its 2017 lows. The good news: That kind of return means it’s very likely Bitcoin is here to stay and will continue growing—though it will likely take a while longer before BTC is mature enough for many individuals and institutions.
Considering its high-risk, high-reward nature, bitcoin investment isn’t recommended for newbies. If you’re looking to buy some of your first bitcoins with little risk, head over to one of our trusted exchanges in 2018 where you can buy $100 worth of bitcoin or even less.
Be careful! Only use your hard-earned money for investments that matter; don’t buy more cryptocurrency than you can afford to lose.
2) Ethereum (ETH)
Ethereum has always been interesting to me. I have a lot of friends and family members who are huge fans, and they constantly remind me of how much potential it has. The thing that makes Ethereum so appealing is its very specific use case: essentially, it’s a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts.
It’s meant to be something close to what we now think of as the internet, where applications can be built on top of it, like how people build apps on top of Facebook or Twitter.
Ethereum has a number of features that make it unique, including smart contracts and its decentralized platform.
It also has a much larger user base than other cryptocurrencies, which means more people are willing to invest in it. As a result, Ethereum has quickly become one of the most popular cryptocurrencies available for use today.
If you’re interested in using Ethereum for your application, there are several things you should know before deciding whether or not it’s right for you.
3) Dash (DASH)
DASH is an open-source peer-to-peer cryptocurrency. The altcoin began as a fork of Litecoin in 2014 and has since experienced steady growth, overtaking Bitcoin in May 2017 as one of the market cap’s top ten coins.
Unlike its competitor’s Bitcoin and Ethereum, DASH features instant send functionality for faster transaction confirmations. DASH has been listed on at least one major exchange since March 2015, with larger exchanges such as Kraken and Poloniex seeing significant trade volume in recent months. Like most alternative
cryptocurrencies, DASH offers several methods of secure payments while making transactions untraceable by employing blockchain technology. Investors can purchase Dash directly or through brokerages that trade it on behalf of investors.
DASH’s price has risen steadily since its early 2016 debut on Poloniex, as illustrated by a near-perfect correlation between DASH’s price and market cap. DASH has also experienced steady growth in terms of transaction volume.
The altcoin achieved new heights in late January 2018, when it processed $1.4 billion in trades over a 24-hour period—around double Bitcoin’s highest volume levels at that time.
4) Ripple (XRP)
One of a number of alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins) launched in 2012, Ripple is used by companies such as UniCredit, UBS, and Santander. Like Bitcoin, Ripple uses blockchain technology but its cryptocurrency is not mined.
A total of 100 billion XRP was created when Ripple’s network was launched in 2012 and was sold off initially through a series of private investors, then through an auction conducted by startup company OpenCoin (now called Ripple Labs).
The money raised during that time paid for development and administrative costs at Ripple Labs. What sets it apart from other digital currencies is that it can be traded in regular currencies, or converted into any traditional currency.
Launched in 2012, Ripple is a private cryptocurrency that can be exchanged for traditional currencies or used as payment. Currently, it’s being utilized by financial institutions such as UniCredit, UBS, and Santander.
However, unlike other cryptocurrencies on our list – which are mined – Ripple tokens were already released when its network was launched; 100 billion XRP has been created and they’re currently owned by Ripple Labs which has full control over how they’re used.
5) NEM (XEM)
NEM is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency, just like Bitcoin. However, unlike Bitcoin, it was designed and coded from scratch. This new coin came into existence in March 2015, hitting exchanges later that year. It’s currently sitting at a market cap of $1 billion USD (which isn’t bad for a newcomer).
The way NEM works is quite different from other cryptocurrencies: they use their own algorithm called Proof of Importance (PoI) and they have an integrated P2P secure multiparty multi-signature account management system named Smart Asset System that can process commercial transactions securely.
Instead of using Proof of Work (PoW) like Bitcoin, it uses a version called Proof of Importance (PoI). This works by taking into account three factors: how many coins you hold, how long they’ve been in your wallet,
and whether or not you participate in transaction verification. If your importance score is high enough, then you can create what’s called an industrial fee transaction that is confirmed in under one minute.
6) Litecoin (LTC)
Litecoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency, very similar to Bitcoin. It was created by Charlie Lee, who worked for Google before going independent. The main difference between Litecoin and Bitcoin lies in its proof of work algorithm called Scrypt.
While Bitcoin has SHA256 encryption, which can be solved with enormous amounts of computing power (and electricity), Litecoin is based on Scrypt encryption, which requires smaller amounts of computing power in order to solve it.
A lower difficulty allows more miners to join in and eventually increase network security as well as processing speed.
Other similarities between Litecoin and Bitcoin include a limited supply of tokens (83 million coins), a short block generation time of 2.5 minutes as opposed to Bitcoin’s 10 minutes, and a halving period every four years like Bitcoin. This altcoin also has atomic swaps, which allow for cross-chain transactions with no middleman.
7) IOTA (MIATA)
IOTA is an open-source distributed ledger protocol that goes ‘beyond blockchain’ through its core invention of the blockless ‘Tangle’. The IOTA Tangle is a quantum-proof Directed Acyclic Graph, with no fees on transactions & no fixed limit on how many transactions can be confirmed per second in the network.
Instead, throughput grows in conjunction with activity in the network; i.e. the more activity, the faster the network.
IOTA is a next-generation public distributed ledger that utilizes a novel invention, called a ‘Tangle’, at its core.
The Tangle is a new data structure based on a Directed Acyclic Graph. As such it has no Blocks, no Chain, and also no Miners. Because of these design choices, IOTA has no fixed transaction fees and no scaling limitations; two of the most common issues confronted by other Blockchains today.
8) Stellar Lumens (XLM)
Stellar is an open-source, decentralized protocol for digital currency to fiat transactions. It functions as a distributed exchange that allows you to convert one type of cryptocurrency into another. For example, if you want Ethereum but only have Bitcoin, Stellar’s network will automatically exchange your Bitcoin for Ethereum.
It also functions as a cross-border payment platform similar to PayPal and allows anyone in any country (with minimum KYC/AML requirements) to send money easily and quickly across borders at almost no cost. Currently, there are over 1 million accounts on their network and it was just released in July 2014.
Stellar is a distributed consensus ledger with a token (XLM) used as input and output. XLM can be traded on many cryptocurrency exchanges and has real-world applications such as micro-payments, remittances, currency exchange, and mobile payments.
Lumens were created through a crowd sale in July 2014 that raised 2,933 BTC or approximately $1.7 million USD at that time. The concept was originally proposed by Jed McCaleb of eDonkey2000 fame who also co-founded Ripple.
9) NEO (NEO/GAS)
NEO is a blockchain platform and cryptocurrency which enables the development of digital assets and smart contracts. NEO’s aim is to digitize traditional assets using blockchain technology, facilitating registration, depository, transfer, trading, clearing, and settlement via a peer-to-peer network.
NEO supports many types of digital assets and uses a unique blockchain algorithm to enable fast transaction processing with low energy consumption. The project also aims to be fully compliant with government regulations as it works towards creating new legal frameworks for commerce in digital form.
If you are thinking of investing in cryptocurrencies, it would be prudent to invest in NEO. The crypto, which is currently ranked as one of China’s top cryptocurrencies, was initially launched as AntShares before being rebranded at its launch in 2017.
Also Read: The List of the Best Cryptocurrency Websites
10) Cardano (ADA)
Cardano was developed as a robust system of peer-to-peer transfer, similar to Bitcoin. It is also a system of smart contracts, which are much more advanced than Ethereum’s. Cardano’s innovation has made it one of today’s most well-funded cryptocurrency startups and earned it a top 10 spot on our list of best cryptocurrencies for 2018.
You can buy Cardano with BTC or ETH. And if you want to store your coins, you can download a wallet right here.
With a market cap of more than $1 billion, Cardano is one of today’s most well-funded cryptocurrency startups. Its native token is called ADA and was originally distributed through an open-source initial coin offering (ICO).
By purchasing ADA through that ICO, you became a stakeholder in the system. You can send or receive ADA with your existing cryptocurrency wallet or download a Cardano wallet from its website.