By now you’ve probably heard your fair share of stories about cryptocurrencies making people into millionaires overnight. I know I have.
While it sounds unbelievable at first, it’s not that difficult to see how this can happen when you begin to dig down into the charts. For example, look at this chart of the cryptocurrency RaiBlocks. It shows that for every $0.15 invested in November 2017, you would have had $33.14 just two months later, in January 2018.
Those are insane returns found nowhere else outside cryptocurrency, and that’s what has so many people so excited.
Of course, for every RaiBlocks there are 100 other projects which didn’t skyrocket that way. That’s just how it goes, and picking the right projects is a combination of luck and experience.
That doesn’t do anything to stop the search for the next big thing, though. In that spirit, I’ve been digging around looking for the next x100 coin to get involved in, and I believe I have uncovered some real gems. I’d like to share them with you so you can check them out for yourself.
Here are 5 coins I’m excited about in 2018. I believe at least one of these will make those who get involved today very happy indeed by the end of the year.
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First of all, full disclosure, I own a good chunk of Litecoin. That said, I’ve got a neutral head on my shoulders and like to think I can fairly assess the pros and cons of a project, even if I have skin in the game.
Litecoin is what’s known as a major cryptocurrency. That means it’s one of the top 10 according to overall market cap and has huge brand power within the crypto world. It has even been featured on CNBC.
Litecoin is basically a faster version of Bitcoin — much faster. Lots of people liken it to silver and Bitcoin to gold. Litecoin is touted to be the cryptocurrency people actually use for transactions in the marketplace, the way Bitcoin was supposed to be.
Some people are even convinced that Charlie Lee, the founder of Litecoin, is the original Satoshi Nakamoto behind Bitcoin, although he denies the claim.
Litecoin certainly had a good year in 2017, starting at $4.65 a coin and topping $400 briefly towards the end of the year.
So, why do I like Litecoin? For a few reasons, actually.
I like that it’s an established, old-school coin with a history.
I love that the founder has his face out all over international TV promoting it, rather than hiding in the shadows somewhere.
I also dig the huge Litecoin community and that lots of merchants are beginning to accept Litecoin.
One small concern I have is that Charlee Lee sold off all his coins at the end of 2017. That spooked a lot of people, but Lee claims that he made the decision to sell because it would be a conflict of interest to continue holding, sparking rumors that Facebook or some other giant company had a deal in the works to accept Litecoin.
When Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced that they believe in cryptocurrency and plan to get involved soon, but won’t accept Bitcoin, the Litecoin community connected the dots and went into overdrive.
Are the Litecoin community simply dreaming, or could Charlie Lee have sold because he is about to take Litecoin mainstream? He has promised a huge, unexpected surprise this year, so we will have to wait and see if a global company accepting it as legal tender is in the works.
Either way, I’m not missing out on an opportunity like this one. Whatever it is, I feel something BIG is afoot with Litecoin.
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This is one crypto I would hold for the medium term, expecting to take profit in a few years’ time, rather than this year. There’s a lot of money to potentially be made here, but it’s going to take patience.
A solid community is another of the points on my cryptocurrency pre-buy checklist, and it’s one of the reasons I think ECC has a bright future.
This was an old, abandoned project which was taken over by the lead developer Greg Griffith a couple of years back. It has recently been reborn with the launch of a brand-new website and several promised software updates in 2018.
The price has also utterly exploded. If you had bought ECC in December 2017 you would have picked it up for an incredible 3 satoshis (the smallest unit of Bitcoin), giving you nearly 30 coins for every 1 cent invested.
ECC recently peaked at 36 satoshis before dipping down again to the mid-twenties. That’s x12 in a little more than 30 days.
So, what does ECC aim to do? It aims to be the Google Drive of the blockchain. That means messaging, file storage, and a currency which can be sent from wallet to wallet, all in one. The developers dub it internet 2.0.
That’s an idea I like a lot, with the potential to change the web as we know it, if it is successful.
The only real concern I have about this project is that I can’t find out much information about the development team. I know there are two well-known leads, but the rest of the team is somewhat of a mystery.
Another potential sticking point to keep in mind when investing is that ECC is the ultimate altcoin, meaning it’s as new as they come (in its current form). There’s a long road ahead before it reaches its full potential, reflected in the fact that this coin is only available on two minor exchanges.
While those factors could put some off, I believe this coin is going to explode over the course of 2018, possibly x50 or more. The hype surrounding it is intense, the community is fanatical about getting the word out, and the team seems to be actually delivering what it promises, on time.
If ECC does what it claims it can, it will be a top 20 coin someday. We’ll have to wait and see if it gets there, though. For now, it’s just a great idea and helpful community of enthusiastic people.
One of the main reasons Bitcoin hasn’t gone mainstream yet is the insane impracticalities surrounding wider-scale usage. Fees are too high, and transactions take up to 7 minutes.
I just can’t imagine paying for my groceries and waiting 7 minutes for the transfer to complete. I also can’t imagine someone buying rice at a market in Thailand paying $15 transaction fees a pop.
This is where Stellar Lumens steps in. It aims to be the fastest, cheapest cryptocurrency in the world. It also aims to be accessible to the world’s poorest people, which is the vast majority. This has revolutionary implications if successful.
The only concern I have about this coin is that there are several competitors working around the clock to beat it to the punch. Still, Stellar is a top 10 coin, meaning it is by far the biggest of the bunch.
I really like this idea, and so, apparently, do other cryptocurrency speculators. The price of this cryptocurrency shot from $0.002 at the beginning of 2017, to an all-time high of $0.76 in January 2018. That’s close to a x380 return.
People clearly believe in Stellar Lumens, and so do I. This is one to watch in 2018.
When I said ideas matter in cryptocurrency, I meant it.
This is a project which takes an old, time-tested idea, and applies it to the blockchain.
SALT aims to offer a peer-to-peer platform for financial services, allowing people who wish to use their cryptocurrency as collateral to obtain financing.
I think this is a genius idea. As more and more people begin using cryptocurrencies and don’t want to cash out because they believe what they are holding has further to grow, or because they don’t want to sell at a loss, they will turn to services like SALT.
For example, let’s say you invest $10,000 in Litecoin and think it could easily still triple in price. Then, out of nowhere, you get a bill for car repairs.
You’re faced with the prospect of selling your Litecoin and missing out on the potential returns, or depositing it with a lender on SALT, getting the money you need for your bills, and getting your Litecoin back when you repay the loan.
This is a problem cryptocurrency speculators all over the world face on a regular basis. It’s heartbreaking to watch a coin you once held skyrocket after you sell it, and SALT could provide the solution to that.
SALT doesn’t underwrite any loans itself. It is simply the secure platform on which a free market of lenders and borrowers will operate. Therefore, there’s no risk of it going bust like a bank might.
There are no doubt obstacles to overcome here, not least of which is complying with varying financial regulations around the world. Still, SALT is a phenomenal idea and has gained lots of attention despite only launching in 2017.
You can watch a great video presentation on exactly how SALT works here.
Ultimately, backing any cryptocurrency project is a form of educated gambling. It’s a wildly volatile market. Even sound ideas can go under for any variety of reasons. The one and only thing you can be sure of is that cryptocurrency will deliver the unexpected.
I’ve picked the above-mentioned coins because I think the fundamental ideas backing them are sound, the projects seem to be run by competent, professional people, and because I can find out what I need about them from the information published and from interacting with the community.
Ultimately, you will have to make up your own mind. I’m not a qualified financial adviser, so this isn’t financial advice, and all cryptocurrency speculation carries risk. If you do your own research on these projects, however, you will soon see that they are the brightest stars in cryptocurrency.
What do you think? Are these picks you agree with? What projects do you believe in for 2018, and why? Share all you can with us in the comments below.
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