Top Crypto Currencies of 2018
The cryptocurrency market saw a large spike in terms of capitalization in the previous year. The figure recorded in January 2017 was at around $18 billion, and it remarkably jumped to, believe it or not, $800 billion in January 2018.
This is quite an extraordinary increase which is why a lot of investors were shaken when the prices of almost all cryptocurrencies fell down. As a matter of fact, cryptocurrency market capitalization came down to a low point, $254 billion at the start of April 2018.
But the good thing about being at a low point is that there is nowhere to go but up. True enough, the market for cryptocurrency has risen yet again. The remaining of the year is seen to be favorable, so investors and those who are planning to invest might as well know the top cryptocurrencies of 2018 so far.
These cryptocurrencies are popular, but not necessarily without some negative sides. Therefore, this article will also talk about the pros as well as the cons of the top cryptocurrencies of 2018.
The top cryptocurrencies to be discussed in detail in this article are as follows:
- Bitcoin Cash
Bitcoin or BTC
The first cryptocurrency ever created is the first on our list. Bitcoin was created in 2008 by someone or an unknown group of people who call themselves Satoshi Nakamoto. The interesting thing about this is that nobody knows for sure if the creator is a he, she, or they. Bitcoin is a kind of digital currency that is based on a distributed ledger technology called blockchain.
The primary aim of Bitcoin is to do away with people’s need for centralized mediators such as banks and credit card companies. It acts as an alternative for fiat currencies such as GBP, USD, and JPY.
Market capitalization in Bitcoin is at $163 billion, while its market share is about 36%.
Advantages of Bitcoin
- Since Bitcoin is the oldest cryptocurrency, it has already gathered a great number of investors and developers, creating a huge community that supports each member.
- Bitcoin has established roots even in the typical economy. Overstock.com, Microsoft, Bloomberg, among many others are accepting payments using Bitcoins.
- Bitcoin is supported by every exchange and wallet, so even beginning investors find it easy to purchase.
Disadvantages of Bitcoin
- Bitcoin mining is very energy intensive, and it can only be done with the use of powerful hardware that uses a lot of energy and is very expensive.
- Transaction fees are very high.
- Transaction speed is very slow. The Bitcoin network processes only 6 to 8 transactions per second. As a matter of fact, one Bitcoin transaction takes around 10 minutes.
Ripple or XRP
There are a couple of things about Ripple that makes it a unique cryptocurrency. First is that its main focus is in solving the problems that are in relation to only one industry, the International Payment Transfers. Founded in the year 2012, its purpose is to make international financial transactions faster and cheaper.
The second factor that makes Ripple one of a kind is that majority of its coins – 50 billion of the 100 billion XRP coins – are owned by one organization which is the Ripple Labs, the maker of Ripple or XRP cryptocurrency.
Since its creation, Ripple has considerably grown, now with a market capitalization of #34.12 billion. It has even risen to become the 3rd most valued cryptocurrency and one of the top performers in 2017.
Advantages of XRP
- While the traditional international money transfer takes around 5 to 10 days, Ripple can do it within seconds.
- Ripple is one of the few cryptocurrencies that is being used in the traditional setting. As a matter of fact, American Express and Santander are using it.
- International money transfer fees are lower with Ripple, compared to those charged by banks and other cryptocurrencies.
- Since Ripple is focused on only one industry, it has the ability to provide the best case solutions.
Disadvantages of XRP
- Ripple’s major users are banks and financial institutions. However, these entities are starting to develop their own cryptocurrency platform for international financial transactions.
- Many people criticize it for being centralized since half of its coins are owned by the company itself. In this case, Ripple is seen to defeat the main purpose of cryptocurrencies, which is to provide a decentralized form money system.
Ethereum or Ether
Ethereum was created by Vitalik Buterin in 2015, and it is currently one of the most valuable cryptocurrency. Like Bitcoin, it is a blockchain-based cryptocurrency. However, it is centered on the development of decentralized smart contracts and applications.
Smart contracts enable developers to use Ethereum’s blockchain when creating an application that uses blockchain technology. Therefore, developers do not need to create their own blockchain.
Ethereum was one of the top performers in 2017, and it is predicted to perform just as well this year. Ethereum’s market capitalization is at $77.5 billion, and it has given investors a return of 17,000% since its price grew from $9 in January 2017 to $1389 in January 2018.
Advantages of Ether
- Majority of the $5.6 billion worth of Initial Coin Offerings or ICO last year were created on Ethereum.
- Ethereum is the most popular and most used platform when building smart contracts. Smart contracts are agreements that are coded on blockchains which execute themselves when specific conditions are met.
Disadvantages of Ether
- Ethereum only supports Solidity as its coding language. This could be a hurdle for developers because they would need to learn a new language before they can enter Etherium.
- Ethereum is suffering from network congestion because it is still using an outdated mechanism called Proof of Work to verify all transactions. Because of this, Ethereum makes use of a lot of electricity, just like Bitcoin.
- New cryptocurrencies such as Cardano and NEO, that use the same platform but have a much better technology has risen, competing against Ethereum.
Bitcoin Cash or BCH
Bitcoin Cash was created as a faction of Bitcoin when its developer community was not able to agree on the changes to Bitcoin’s code. In 2016, Bitcoin was forked into Bitcoin Cash, which means that Bitcoin was split into two. The parent cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) still has its own features, but the child cryptocurrency (BCH) go through improvements and code changes.
The main aim in developing Bitcoin Cash is to solve Bitcoin’s scalability problems. It also aims to solve the parent cryptocurrency’s problem with transaction fees.
Bitcoin Cash has experienced tremendous growth since it was created in 2016. It was at $500 in July 2017, then increased to $4,000 in December of the same year. That is a return of more or less 10,000%, and only in less than six months.
Advantages of Bitcoin Cash
- Bitcoin Cash transaction fee is at $0.067, a far cry from Bitcoin’s $1.8.
- The block size of Bitcoin Cash is at 8MB, making its transactions much faster than Bitcoin’s 1MB.
Disadvantages of Bitcoin Cash
- Bitcoin Cash has a CEO, prompting many people to criticize it since it defeats the purpose of cryptocurrency – decentralization.
- BCH, unlike other top cryptocurrencies, is not readily available on exchanges.
- Miners do not usually go for BCH because mining with Bitcoin Cash is as expensive as with Bitcoins, but the returns are much lesser.
Cardano was created by the co-founder of Ethereum, Charles Hoskinson, in September 2017. It is also focused on helping developers build decentralized applications and smart contracts, just like Ethereum, but the difference is in the improvements in technologies being used.
As a matter of fact, Cardano ranks 3rd in the most advanced generation of blockchain technology, which makes it one of the top cryptocurrencies. Market capitalization of Cardano is also very impressive at it reached $9.35 billion despite the fact that it is relatively new.
Advantages of Cardano
- Cardano has the capability to perform 257 transactions per second, making it more scalable than its mother cryptocurrency, Ethereum.
- The community of Cardano is made up of the academe such as researchers and scientists.
- Cardano will be introducing Interoperability which is the ability to interact with other cryptocurrencies and their respective structure.
Disadvantages of Cardano
- Cardano is facing a lot of competition in the market – EOS, NEO, Ethereum, and Fusion to name a few.
- Major ideas or plans proposed by Cardano are still not being implemented, making it difficult to judge its success.
Created by Dan Larimer who founded Bitshares, EOS became one of the top performing cryptocurrency in 2017 even when its platform was not yet launched. The EOS token was launched through an ICO in June 2017, and it has gathered $700 million by January of 2018.
The EOS platform was launched in June 2018, and it is a platform that will help developers build decentralized applications and smart contracts. Unlike its competitors such as Ethereum and NEO, the EOS platform will include a lot of advancement and improvement when it comes to technology.
Advantages of EOS
- EOS supports multiple coding languages including C++, which is a far cry from Ethereum which supports only one language.
- The development team of EOS is very experienced and has a good track record.
- EOS is expected to have a better scalability than Ethereum because it is using the Delegated Proof of Stake + Byzantine Fault Tolerance mechanism in verifying transactions. This mechanism is far more advanced than what Ethereum is using, giving EOS the ability to perform 10,000 to 100,000 transactions per second.
Disadvantages of EOS
- The only downside with EOS so far is that it is newly launched and it is still difficult to determine its overall performance.
NEO is a Chinese cryptocurrency which was developed by Da Hongfei in 2014. As such, NEO is commonly known as the “Chinese Ethereum” because it has a lot of similarities with Ethereum in terms of features and offerings.
Like Ethereum, its blockchain platform is for developers who want to build decentralized applications and smart contracts.
The main reason why NEO is included in this list of top cryptocurrencies is that it gave a staggering return of 111,400% in 2017. It was at $0.16 in January 2017, but it went up to $162 in January of this year.
Advantages of NEO
- NEO supports multiple coding languages such as C++, Java, C#, and Go, among others. It is becoming a fast favorite of programmers because of this.
- NEO’s scalability is very impressive. It can perform 10,000 transactions per second.
- It is supported by the Chinese government, a major advantage in conquering the Asian market.
Disadvantages of NEO
- There is a lot of competition on the platform it chose. Ethereum, Cardano, EOS, and many others are already offering the same.
- If the Chinese government decides to develop policies against cryptocurrencies, NEO will be among the first to suffer as it greatly relies on government support.
The Bottom Line
These are just a few of the top cryptocurrencies of 2018 which investors would want to look into. These cryptocurrencies performed remarkably well in 2017, and are seen to lead the industry this year. Each cryptocurrency has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, which were presented in this article as well.
No matter which cryptocurrency you choose as an investor, it is important to do so in a secure and safe way. When dealing with cryptocurrencies, you may do well if you use a VPN for added protection and privacy.
Everything that you do while behind a VPN are encrypted, which makes it difficult and even impossible for anyone who might be looking at your internet activities, to know that you are making transactions with cryptocurrencies.
In the day and age where privacy is being attacked, it is better to be equipped and be ready at all times, most especially when doing sensitive financial transactions such as cryptocurrency transactions.