Given its recent explosion in value, it’s easy to see why Bitcoin currently reigns supreme as the cryptocurrency. However, Bitcoin is far from the only digital currency available. In fact, some argue that alternative cryptocurrencies will soon take over. Rather than get in on the Bitcoin phenomenon train, here are some new cryptocurrencies that may be worth your consideration.
New Cryptocurrency | 6 Cryptocurrencies You Can Invest in Today
The Rise of Altcoin
Altcoin refers to any digital currency that is not Bitcoin. Most work similarly to Bitcoin, with differences typically surrounding the mining process, and, of course, current value. Altcoin systems are typically easier for beginners to break into, especially given the current competitive nature of Bitcoin. Enthusiasts compare investing in altcoins to trading penny stocks — an excellent opportunity for those looking to invest small amounts of money that could one day generate significant returns.
The downside of any altcoin is the inherent risk it poses for serious investors. Bitcoin, for all its volatility, is a major player, and experts expect it to stick around. In contrast, altcoin systems fold on a regular basis. There’s never any guarantee that a new cryptocurrency in which you invest will actually pay the dividends you desire. This is why research is critical, as some altcoins are far more reliable than others. Keep an eye out for these particularly promising altcoin opportunities, which can be used for everything from online shopping to funding an individual retirement account.
Former Google employee Charlie Lee founded Litecoin with the hopes of opening up mining to those discouraged by Bitcoin. Often compared to silver (as opposed to Bitcoin’s gold), while Litecoin is more easily accessible, it’s still a valuable asset in the cryptocurrency market. Lee hopes that Litecoin will one day be the payment method of choice for everyday transactions. With an 84 million unit supply compared to Bitcoin’s 21 million units, Litecoin currently boasts 54 million coins in supply, versus just 17 million for Bitcoin.
A new player in the blockchain world, an impressive team in Hong Kong created Cardano. Its coin is known as Ada, and its blockchain is backed by peer-reviewed research. While many digital currencies do their best to ignore the possibility of eventual regulation, Cardano acknowledges that government involvement is upon us. This approach may prime the blockchain for mass adoption. Although its framework remains in development, the future appears to be especially bright for Cardano, which experts suspect will be a top player in the new cryptocurrency market.
Originally introduced as a joke currency, Dogecoin quickly climbed the ranks to become one of the world’s most in-demand cryptocurrencies. Its developer prioritizes a fun and fresh approach, which distinguishes it from the more controversial elements of Bitcoin and competitor Monero. Dogecoin is widely used on Twitter and Reddit, where users often provide small tips to one another in exchange for quality content. The currency has also proven successful in raising money for various charitable causes. For example, in its infancy, the Dogecoin community raised substantial funds to send the Jamaican bobsled team to Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Like Bitcoin, Ethereum has surged in value over the course of the past year. However, its blockchain system is radically different from Bitcoin. Ethereum is, first and foremost, a platform designed for the construction of decentralized applications. In contrast, Bitcoin was developed purely as an alternative to traditional currency. Ethereum’s currency is known as Ether, and as with Bitcoin, it can be mined. As of mid-January, 2018, a single Ether token was worth over $1,240. Although a fraction of Bitcoin’s then value of nearly $14,000, this still constituted an impressive increase of the value of Ether compared to just one year earlier — where it was a mere $10. Ethereum largely appeals to developers. The system holds a bright future but remains largely dependent on the quality of the applications on which it runs.
Privacy and decentralization may be priorities for Bitcoin, but these concerns are even more evident in popular altcoin Monero. The open-source currency is allegedly untraceable and therefore ideal for those who desire completely invisible transactions. Enthusiasts also appreciate the ease and speed of transactions, with new blocks developed every two minutes (compared to every ten minutes for Bitcoin). However, Monero has attracted its fair share of controversy thanks to its alleged use among distributors and manufacturers of illicit drugs.
Similar in some respects to Monero, a specialized engineering team developed Zcash after extensive cryptographic research. This new cryptocurrency uses zero-knowledge proofs and other privacy-enhancing techniques to guarantee transaction validity without revealing any information about those using the currency. As with Bitcoin, Zcash maintains a 21 million unit fixed supply.
Choosing the Right Cryptocurrency
Given the sheer abundance of options in today’s digital currency market, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Typically, beginners opt for Bitcoin simply because it’s the most established and is currently generating the most buzz. However, breaking into a less established system with minimal competition can be a good thing. So which cryptocurrency is the best to invest in? Ultimately, your choice will depend on your priorities. Intrigued by app development? Then you’ll prefer Ethereum to Bitcoin. Demand privacy? Stick with Monero or Zcash. In the end, analyze all options carefully to determine which best fits your priorities and your wallet.
While Bitcoin is sure to remain a major player in the digital currency market, there are plenty of other alternatives to consider. As cryptocurrency enthusiasts discover new options, many are embracing the competition. Although inherent risks accompany all cryptocurrencies, it’s likely that digital currencies such as those outlined above will play a huge role in a variety of everyday transactions.
What new cryptocurrency are you considering as an investment? Let us know in the comments below.