8 Cryptocurrencies To Watch In 2018 If You Missed Bitcoin Boom

A passing fade? A massive bubble? A big scam? Whatever cynics out there like to call it, Bitcoin is insanely growing, enriching the crypto faithful and confusing the haters.

Build on decentralized peer-to-peer network, Bitcoin has become a standard for other cryptocurrencies. Altcoins (currencies inspired by Bitcoin) have tried to present themselves as a better version of Bitcoin. There are more than 1,300 cryptocurrencies available over the internet; some of them are easier to mine, but involve greater risk and low value retention.

If you are worried about you have missed out the chance of betting on Bitcoin, and its price is getting out of your reach, don’t worry, there will be plenty of more digital currencies whose value is going to go up. We have picked the eight valuable assets each competing to be the next Bitcoin.

Prices are updated as of December 19, 2017. (+10x means 10 times the last year price) 

8. Dash (DASH)

Price: $1218 per coin
Market Capitalization: $9.4 billion
Performance In 2017: +120x

Previously known as Darkcoin and Xcoin, Dash offers instant transactions, private transactions and operates self-governing model that enables the Dash network to pay businesses and individuals to perform work that adds value to the network.

Launched in January 2014, Dash experienced a growing fan following in a short span of time. It was created and developed by Evan Duffield (senior software developer at Hawk Financial Group) and can be mined using a CPU or GPU.

Unlike Bitcoin, Dash is self-funding – 45% of newly created Dash goes to the miner, and 45% goes to Masternodes (special nodes created by owners). The rest goes to a treasury for funding the development and marketing team.

7. Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

Price: $2332 per coin
Market Capitalization: $39.3 billion
Performance In 2017: +3x (since August)

Developed in August 2017, Bitcoin Cash is a hard fork of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. You can call it a new version of Bitcoin that is incompatible with Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Cash increased block size from 1 Megabyte to 8 Megabytes, without incorporating SegWit. It was created by a team of developers who were frustrated by slow processing times and high fees. The philosophical divide between Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin is perfectly described in Forbes as Cypherpunk vs Silicon Valley.

Recently, one of the co-founders of bitcoin.com, Emil Oldenburg sold all of his Bitcoin, saying “Bitcoin is as good as useless and others will do the same when they realize how illiquid the market is.” He believes that it’s time to switch to Bitcoin Cash.

6. Cardano (ADA)

Price: $0.55 per coin
Market Capitalization: $14.5 billion
Performance In 2017: +22x (since October)

The Cardano blockchain was launched in October 2017, and right from the beginning it exploded with massive gains in its coin, called ADA. It managed to break into the top 10 cryptos (according to market cap) in November.

Cardano is also known as “Ethereum of Japan” because 95 percent of the ADA initial coin offering were Japanese. It is also known for its heavily research based methodology containing a team of academics and scientists who have thoroughly examined the blockchain space and what makes a coin successful.

As of now, approximately 26 billion out of maximum 45 billion coins are in circulation. Backed by a team that has proven successful in this field and well-established community of developers, Cardano is in a fortunate position that could be a game changer in the digital currency sector.

5. Ripple (XRP)

Price: $0.83 per coin
Market Capitalization: $32 billion
Performance In 2017: +133x

Created in 2012 by a former Bitcoin developer, Ripple acts as both a digital payment network and cryptocurrency for financial transactions.

Currently, Ripple has a circulating supply of 38.7 billion coins and a total volume exchanged of over $1.5 billion. The company has licensed its blockchain technology to more than 100 banks. It’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse told Fortune that they are not anti-bank or antigovernment. ‘It is about liquidity. Suffice to say we are cash flow positive which give us the ability to invest in a new way, which is better for the ecosystem and company’.

The platform makes it easy to transfer almost any currency to any other currency in the world in no longer than 4 seconds. In comparison, Bitcoin payment could take more than an hour and transaction on Ethereum could take more than two minutes to be processed.

Ripple is currently focused on working with other institutions and banks in a bid to offer a cost-effective way of sending real-time payments all around the world.

4. NEO (NEO)

Price: $80 per coin
Market Capitalization: $5.2 billion
Performance In 2017: +670x

Neo, often known as the “Ethereum of China”, will explode if China eases its stance on Bitcoin. It was launched in 2014 as “Antshares”. Later, the name has been changed to reference the Matrix.

Created by Shanghai-based blockchain research and development company OnChain, Neo’s supply is limited to 100 million coins, out of which 64 million are already in circulation.

How it’s better than Ethereum, you asked? Well, the Neo is theoretically quantum machine resistant, Ethereum is not – when quantum computers develop enough, all technologies running on blockchains could be vulnerable. While Neo has designed their blockchain to deal with this, Ethereum doesn’t have that capability.

3. Monero (XMR)

Price: $384 per coin
Market Capitalization: $6 billion
Performance In 2017: +48x

Monero obscures sender, recipient and amount of every transaction made. In fact, the hackers behind the WannaCry ransomware attack, which affected about 230,000 million machines running on Microsoft Windows, demanded payments in Monero.

Created in April 2014, Monero uses CryptoNote protocol and possesses significant algorithm differences related to blockchain obfuscation. It was originally launched by a Bitcointalk forum user, ‘thankful_for_today’.

Unlike Bitcoin, Monero doesn’t have a fixed number of coin supply, and there are total 15.5 million XMR in circulation. According to a Forbes report, 45 musicians, including Mariah Carey, G-Eazy, and Sia will be accepting Monero.

Read: 15 Notable Hacker Groups and their Famous Hacks of All Time

2. Litecoin (LTC)

Price: $360 per coin
Market Capitalization: $19.5 billion
Performance In 2017: +100x

Litecoin is developed to produce 84 million coins, out of which, 54 million are already in circulation. For faster transaction confirmation, the network processes a block every 2.5 minutes, versus Bitcoin’s 10 minutes.

Litecoin is developed by a former Google employee. It uses different hashing algorithm (scrypt, instead of SHA-256), and a modified GUI.

In November 2013, Litecoin reached a $1 billion market capitalization. In May 2017, it became the first of the top five cryptocurrencies (by market cap) to adopt Segregated Witness. In the same month, Lightning Network transaction was completed via Litecoin, sending 0.00000001 LTC from Zurich to San Fransisco within 1 second.

1. Ethereum (ETH)

Price: $860 per coin
Market Capitalization: $82 billion
Performance In 2017: +122x

Launched in 2015, Ethereum is currently the most popular cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. It allows users to build decentralized applications, spending token called ether to buy processing power on computers run by other members on the network.

Ethereum-based customized networks and software, independent from the public Ethereum chain, are being tested by big tech companies like IBM, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, R3 and Deloitte.

Ethereum entered the market with 11.9 million coins pre-mined for the crowdsale. It accounts for about 13% of the total circulating supply. In 2016, Ethereum was forked into 2 different blockchains due to collapse of the DAO project. The original version continued as Ethereum Classic (ETC), while new forked version became Ethereum (ETH).

Read: 13 Biggest Illegal Businesses Around the World

At present, price hikes in Ethereum (and Litecoin) are creating most of the excitement, rather than technology.

Written by
Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is an experienced science and technology journalist interested in machines, AI, and space exploration. He received a Master's degree in computer science from Indraprastha University. To find out what his latest project is, feel free to directly email him at [email protected] 

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