Cryptocurrency seems to be the new kid on the block that everyone is talking about. Lately, the market has been bleeding, with nearly all of the major digital currencies dipping by a big margin. However, despite the volatility that presently bombards the market, investors should focus on the best picks for crypto investment.

The development in the crypto market is the main reason more investors would like to test waters of this rather new industry. For example, bitcoin traded close to $20,000 per coin last year, with predictions of further price spikes. With that in mind, it’s no doubt that the entire digital currency market continues to draw companies, investors, and traders.

All the same, as an investor, you need to identify the best picks for your investment. Cryptocurrency is a naturally volatile industry, which is still in the initial stages. No one knows, yet, which coins will survive. However, based on the current trends and the history of performance, analysts can foretell some of the best picks in the crypto market, especially for the year 2018.

Understanding Cryptocurrencies

To begin with, there is something important about the crypto market, which every investor should know. Investing in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, Ethereum, or others is a highly speculative business. The price dips and surges follow no particular order, as the market is unregulated. While you could well make more than what you invested, it is also possible you could lose all your investment or part of it. This is bound to happen regardless of the best picks you choose to invest in.

Universal currencies such as the dollar or sterling pound come from the central banks of their respective countries. What makes these currencies valid is the fact that they are guaranteed by their respective central governments. Fiat currencies are available in coins and banknotes, which can be used to facilitate transactions.

On the other hand, cryptocurrencies operate on the blockchain technology, making them purely digital. By utilizing the blockchain, a single ledger records every transaction using encryption technology. Neither governments nor central banks control cryptocurrencies. They operate independently without interference from any authority.

Anonymous transactions

Digital currencies and their holders remain anonymous throughout the transaction process. With that level of anonymity, there is no record to identify the participants in a blockchain-based transaction. For those who would like to remain anonymous while conducting financial activities, this technology is the catch. They can make payments on the Dark Web with no traceability and control from any government.

The anonymity of blockchain-based transactions is one of the reasons that have led to the increasing value of the digital currencies. Currently, a good number of merchants and websites have accepted cryptocurrencies as a legitimate method of payment. However, with many digital currencies in circulation today, the biggest question that you should ask yourself is: how can you identify the best picks for crypto investment?

Based on a careful research on what is trending in the crypto market, the following digital currencies are the best picks for 2018 for an average person to track, other than bitcoin. This research was based on the Google searches for “Cryptocurrency.”

Ethereum (ETH)

Founded by computer programmer Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum was launched in July 2015. Last year alone, Ethereum grew by 13000 percent in value, qualifying it as a suitable investment option for crypto enthusiasts.

A decentralized platform that runs smart contracts, Ethereum enables you to build the following:

  • A tradable token with a fixed supply
  • A central bank that can issue money
  • A puzzle-based cryptocurrency

In 2018, you can choose to purchase, trade, or sell Ethereum. According to CoinMarketCap records, it is the most capped cryptocurrency in the market after bitcoin. Utilizing smart contracts, Ethereum network offers secure transactions without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud, or third-party interference.

VeChain

With headquarters out of China, VeChain is the world’s leading blockchain platform for products and information. Many people consider it one of the underutilized cryptocurrencies in the market today, which makes it one of the best picks for investors in 2018.

Utilizing the blockchain technology, VeChain seeks to build a trust-free and distributed business ecosystem, which is self-circulating and scalable. With more than 100 nodes across the world, VeChain works in collaboration with governments and luxury goods providers to deliver API Gateway service, Third Party services, and Distributed Data storage. The network focuses on Chinese corporate body, providing counterfeit-free supply chain solutions.

Ripple (XRP)

The Ripple Network connects banks, payment providers, and corporate organizations through RippNet to provide on frictionless experience to send money globally. Recently, several companies have adopted the Ripple coin. For instance, notable companies such as MIT currently accept Ripple as a verified mode of payment.

Litecoin (LTC)

Charlie Lee, a former Google employee, developed Litecoin in 2011 using the bitcoin framework. Its ability to process a block every 2.5 minutes gives it an edge over slower networks. You can purchase Litecoin in a number of exchanges using all types of currencies. You simply need to find a currency of your choice and get Litecoins in minutes.

Between November and December 2017, Litecoin experienced a substantial growth in value, making it one of the best picks for crypto investors across the world.

Dash

Established in 2015, Dash is digital cash that you can spend anywhere. You can use it to make instant, private, payments online or in-store, using their secure and open source platform. Dash has a market capitalization of $4.8 billion, handling nearly $100 million worth of transactions per day.

Dash is the next-gen P2P network that rewards miners and master nodes. Everyone has a voice and the ability to propose projects directly to the network.

Zcash (ZEC)

Zcash is the first open, permissionless, cryptocurrency that can fully protect the privacy of transactions, using zero-knowledge cryptography. It offers strong privacy protection, shielded transaction, and a secure transport layer.

While it’s a new entrant in the crypto market, Zcash seems to have a promising future based on its recent value increases. If you want a digital currency that offers fungibility, confidentiality and enables new applications, then Zcash is the better option.

IOTA (MIOTA)

Launched in 2015, IOTA could be one of the best picks for crypto investors in 2018. The coin operates on unique blockchain architecture, offering free transactions regardless of the size. IOTA enables companies to explore new B2B models by making every technological resource a potential service to be traded on an open market in real time.

Additionally, IOTA operates the IOTA Foundation and has links with reputable companies such as Deutsche Telekom, Fujitsu, and Microsoft. For the first time ever, true micro and even nano transactions are possible due to the IOTA Tangle architecture. With these factors in mind, IOTA is one of the best picks for the crypto market in 2018. The network seeks to integrate itself with the mainstream payments, as well as the Internet-of-Things (IoT) ecosystem.

Overall, IOTA aims to introduce a brand new set of business opportunities for companies that prohibitive fees have kept at bay until now.

Steemit (STEEM)

Steem is a blockchain-based rewards platform, on which publishers can monetize their online content and grow the community. Since June 2016, Steem has awarded approximately $22,728, 958.

Steemit provides an excellent way of mining cryptocurrencies through online content creation. With more people getting interested in the network, it is one of the best picks for crypto investors in 2018. Utilizing Smart Media Tokens (SMT), Steem allows anyone to create and monetize online content and to create incentives to encourage desired user behavior.

SMTs are similar to Ethereum’s ERC20 tokens, but with a certain built-in ‘Proof of Brain’ properties and a token distribution reward system designed specifically for content business.

MONERO (XMR)

Monero offers secure, private, and untraceable transactions confirmed by distributed consensus and immutably recorded on the blockchain. Monero’s unique selling point lies in its ability to facilitate completely anonymous and untraceable transactions. This makes it a potential coin for advocates of citizen privacy

Monero uses ring signatures, confidential transactions, and stealth addresses to provide all the benefits of a decentralized cryptocurrency. Since it joined the market, Monero has recorded more than 1300 percent increase in value, which makes it a suitable coin for new investors and traders entering the crypto space.

NEO

The NEO team and community have created various wallets for various platforms. The future vision of NEO is to include digital assets that exist in the form of electronic data. Such digitized assets are decentralized transparent, traceable, and free of intermediaries.

Cryptocurrencies are here to stay

Judging by the developments that occurred in 2017, in which bitcoin hit an all-time high of $19000, public interest in the crypto market has since increased. Transparency, privacy, and no third party involvement are some of the features that spark the interest of investors.

However, the price dip in the value of digital assets is something expected and investors should take with a pinch of salt. Currently, there are no strong models to foretell the price trends of digital currencies. As an investor, you should realize that crypto investment is highly speculative.

With that in mind, the blockchain technology is here to stay and will soon be the foundation of many applications that run our daily lives. With the mentioned best picks, it is safe to say that the crypto space will experience a new wave of excitement this year.

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Author info

Tony is a writer for the crypto space. He presents cryptocurrency and blockchain topics to the public in a way that he only can. While carefully researched, this article should not be taken as express investment guide. Do your own research and consult a financial advisor before you invest in cryptocurrency.

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