When choosing which cryptocurrencies to invest in this year, it’s important to consider what will be the major trends and where will the industry be going from here.
We’ve outlined a few of the trends that we see as having a major impact, and several projects that exemplify an ideal implementation of these concepts. So read on for our suggestions on which five cryptocurrencies to keep an eye on during 2018.
For this list, we are going to avoid those that are in the top 10 market cap and instead focus on those that have a lot of room for growth.
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Privacy in a Blockchain World
As the IRS and other government agencies around the world are developing blockchain analysis technologies, it is becoming more and more important for an investor to focus on privacy as a key issue.
Not only is the taxman a concern, but thieves can also use similar techniques to identify large honeypots of cryptocurrency to target. And for the same reason that we keep doors on bathroom stalls, privacy is just a basic human right and as more people enter blockchain investing, they will be looking for privacy options.
Image Source: pivxmasternode.org
PIVX is a somewhat new blockchain that is based on well established and highly tested X11 technology. It is also the first, and currently only, cryptocurrency that simultaneously supports absolute privacy and proof-of-stake mining.
Not only is it private, but it supports and is fully compliant with the Zero Coin protocol, which is a highly specific set of standards that outline how a theoretically perfect privacy currency would operate.
PIVX is not without its flaws, however. For example, if you want to conduct proof-of-stake mining, you will be unable to use privacy features, as the two are currently not yet inter compatible.
The privacy feature works by minting a sub currency called ZPIV that can be thought of like casino chips. When you send the ZPIV, it will arrive at its destination as regular PIVX tokens. You can keep both PIVX and ZPIV tokens in the same wallet, but currently ZPIV tokens cannot be staked.
This currency also offers master nodes. However at current prices, they require a hefty initial investment in excess of $100,000 in order to participate. Many reports are indicating that operating a master node does not provide much more rewards than just staking.
These admittedly small issues aside, PIVX has a dedicated following and a highly secure network that should meet the needs of anyone seeking total privacy as well as a reasonably good store value.
On-Ramps to the Crypto Highway
An important issue in the coming years is so called on-ramps into crypto currency. As described by Andreas Antonopoulos, an on-ramp is a service that allows regular people to exchange something such as fiat currency into cryptocurrency. As more people are looking to enter the space, on-ramps will become increasingly critical.
For this category we have chosen two interesting cryptocurrency projects.
Image Source: celsius.network
Celsius aims to provide all the financial services to millennial’s and other young people that are often not available to them due to their lack of credit history or otherwise simply being ignored by the traditional banking system.
Celsius will allow users to both borrow fiat currency and lend cryptocurrency. The platform operates transparently. Unlike a bank, it allows its users to benefit from the system the most through low-interest loans and high-interest savings.
The stated goal of the project according to its chief investor Alex Mashinsky, is to onboard the next 100 million people into Ethereum (which Celsius is based on). Celsius tokens are required to gain membership in the platform and so could become quite popular.
Image Source: gems.org
Aside from using money to buy or loan cryptocurrency, what if anyone in the world could earn it through simple tasks on the Internet? That’s the goal behind the Gems project, which aims to be a competitor to the Amazon Mechanical Turk program.
How this works is requesters that need human completed microtasks can offer jobs through Gems. Then as users complete tasks, they are rewarded with Gems cryptocurrency.
Not only could this act as an income source, but it could also prove to be a very important on-ramp and introductory gateway as it allows users to earn tokens as opposed to buying them.
Creating New Economies with Blockchain
Entirely new economies will be an exciting aspect of cryptocurrency in the near future. Previously untradable assets and unrentable power are suddenly sellable on the blockchain and on a global scale.
Image Source: golem.network
One particularly exciting example of this is the Golem project. Golem is a platform where people can sell their unused computing power to a network of requesters.
For example, a Hollywood studio that needs to render millions of high definition frames of 3-D animation can, instead of investing a fortune in hardware that will quickly become obsolete, rent the computing power from the Golem network.
This power could also be used for an unlimited variation of projects. Another example could be for medical research, scientific research, and even cryptocurrency mining.
The Golem platform will be launched later this year, and it’s dedicated fan base is chomping at the bit to get their systems running and start selling or renting their computing power.
Demand for Flexible Exchanges Will Grow
As the number of cryptocurrencies grows, the need to exchange them will also grow. Websites like Shape Shift and Changelly have taken off and are earning a fortune for their owners.
This is because investors want safe and fast ways to change one type of cryptocurrency into another without the risk of exposing them self to an exchange. An exchange which could be the target of hackers such as what happened with the Youbit exchange hack in South Korea.
While some of the services such as Shape Shift operate in ways that steadily increase fees or change fees without warning, other platforms are starting to appear that not only are more simple in their exchange rules, but offer a way for normal people to invest and earn what is essentially a dividend just for holding their token.
Image Source: flyp.me
The exchange we would like to talk about today is called Flyp.Me. The service since it’s launch has seen steady volume increases as it’s posted on his website and can be observed on the blockchain. The website has a very simple two percent fee and allows for very small exchanges.
It currently supports 15 cryptocurrencies including the previously mentioned PIVX. Holders of its FYP token will be entitled to quarterly dividends equal to 50 percent of the exchange fees earned by the site. Exchange dividends are paid in Ether and are automatically delivered to the wallet that holds the token.
While Flyp.Me may not prove to be the most popular, it’s business model is compelling as holders of the token will almost certainly prefer to use Flyp.Me for their own exchanges as they will essentially be paying themselves a portion of the fee.
Disclaimer: These are writer opinions and should not be considered investment advice.
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