Top 10 Cryptocurrencies To Watch In 2019
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Cardano (ADA)
- Stellar (XLM)
- Monero (XMR)
A decade has passed since the creation of the first cryptocurrency, but the cryptocurrency market remains, in general, an uncharted land to many people. According to a 2018 survey by the Global Blockchain Council, about 60 percent of Americans have heard of Bitcoin, but only five percent said they were actively investing. At the same time, financial experts have various opinions on the matter of cryptocurrency trading. Some big-name investors and economists like Warren Buffett, Ben Bernanke and Larry Fink are skeptical of investing in cryptocurrency; others are more optimistic. Bill Miller, private investor and founder of investment management firm Miller Value Partners says that having crypto in one’s investment portfolio makes sense since there’s no apparent lasting correlation between crypto markets, stocks, and bonds: while crypto can be down, traditional markets can be up, and vice versa.
If you want to diversify your trading portfolio or you’re just entering the crypto market, the crypto winter is thawing and now is the time to act. We’ve put together a shortlist of TOP 10 Cryptocurrencies to keep an eye on in 2019.
Bitcoin is the pioneer cryptocurrency, created by pseudonymous coder Satoshi Nakamoto and released back in 2009. Today in 2019 it remains the most widely used digital currency, with a current market cap of $203 billion. What made Bitcoin special was that it needed no central authority or bank to operate. Managing transactions and the issuing of Bitcoin was, and continues to be, carried out collectively by a peer-to-peer network.
Currently, there are more than 2,000 other cryptocurrencies available to choose from, many of which are faster and less energy-consuming than Bitcoin. Yet it has hung on to the distinction of being the top cryptocurrency because its significant user and developer base are able to produce much larger volumes than any altcoin. At the end of June 2018, Bitcoin crossed the $10,000 USD mark. Now, the price of one Bitcoin is higher than the price of all altcoins combined. Some industry experts suggest that the Bitcoin market share is going to be even higher in the near future.
Recently, American crypto analyst and influencer Max Keiser proposed that Bitcoin’s current market dominance of 60% could soon increase to 80%–90%, leaving even less space for altcoins. However, not everyone agrees with his projection.
Ethereum is both a decentralized platform and a digital currency. Released in July 2015, it was the first major project to offer smart contracts functionality, which allows developers to deploy decentralized applications (dApps) on top of the blockchain. At the moment, Ethereum is one of the most liquid cryptocurrencies right below Bitcoin, with over 100 million circulating coins. And with a significant user base, a new Ethereum user won’t have any problems buying or selling ETH currency. ETH made a strong showing in its first year, starting at $8.24 on January 1, 2017 and growing to almost $1400 by January 2018.
While the cryptocurrency market on the whole was strong in 2017, ETH outperformed other currencies by several thousand percent, rising 17,400%. Bitcoin prices, by comparison, rose by 2,000%. It’s yet unclear, however, if ETH’s performance in the past was a fluke or something investors can truly put their wallets behind. In June 2019, Ethereum continued to rise, but this time by only roughly 30%. Bitcoin prices, on the other hand, rose by around 60%.
Litecoin was one of the first to appear on the cryptocurrency market, released back in 2011. Throughout its almost eight years of existence, Litecoin has consistently ranked among the TOP 5 cryptocurrencies for market capitalization. Although technically identical to Bitcoin, it can produce a greater number of coins (21 million Bitcoin coins vs. 84 million Litecoin coins) and also has a faster transaction speed compared to Bitcoin (about 10 minutes per transaction for Bitcoin vs. 2.5 minutes for Litecoin). So, in general, Litecoin is a faster and cheaper alternative to Bitcoin. The downside is that because Litecoin uses the Scrypt algorithm, mining devices for Litecoin are more complicated and expensive than those made for mining Bitcoin, which uses SHA-256.
During the bull market of 2017, Litecoin experienced a steady growth from $4.33 per coin in January 2017 to about $375 at the end of the year. As of the beginning of July 2019, the price for one Litecoin sits at around $120, which makes it an attractive option for traders who want to invest in major cryptocurrencies without shelling out hundreds for Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Bitcoin Cash. And because Litecoin is being adopted at an excellent rate, LTC holders should not encounter problems trading their coins on any major cryptocurrency exchange. Using Litecoin in daily life is also possible. LTC users can use debit cards called “BlockCard” both online and in physical store locations around the world.
4.Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Despite the advantages of blockchain and Bitcoin, the reality is that Bitcoin is far too impractical for making small purchases, requiring up to four days to complete a transaction. Bitcoin Cash has stepped in to provide a solution. Sometimes referred to as Bcash, this blockchain-based currency was introduced to the market in August 2017 as a hard fork of Bitcoin. BCH allows larger blocks in its blockchain than Bitcoin, which means it processes more transactions per second. This feature gives Bitcoin Cash the benefit of being both cheaper and faster to use. It also allows for more transactions to be made on the blockchain at any given time.
Bitcoin Cash is commonly thought to be a great trading asset against Bitcoin. However, considering that the coin is still a relatively new player on the cryptocurrency market, its adoption rate and market penetration is much lower than Bitcoin’s. Also, while the price of BCH is around 5-10% of the price of Bitcoin, the cost of mining is the same for both coins. That means that a Bitcoin Cash miner makes approximately 50-60% less profit than someone mining Bitcoin with identical equipment. However, the BCH development team so far has been quick to implement solutions that give the blockchain more scalability. There is great potential for this cryptocurrency to be adopted, especially as an alternative to Bitcoin.
EOS is a cryptocurrency released by the private company block.one. It is designed to support large-scale applications. To ensure widespread distribution of the native cryptocurrency, one billion tokens were distributed as ERC-20 tokens by block.one at the launch. Similar to Ethereum, EOS offers smart contracts functionality, which lets developers build decentralized applications. One advantage of the EOS smart contracts platform over Ethereum is that it eliminates fees for sending or receiving EOS coins and also conducts millions of transactions per second by employing parallel processing technology. Between June 2017 and June 2018, EOS ran a very successful ICO, one of the longest of all time, during which the platform managed to raise over $4 billion.
Even though the project is still in the development stage and the network has yet to gain sufficient traction to threaten Ethereum’s popularity, the EOS coin is already among the TOP 10 currencies by market cap.
Throughout the last three months, EOS was one of just a few currencies to maintain a more or less stable price. EOS’ highest price in the previous quarter was $8.50 per coin. It later dropped, reaching $5 in April 2019, but has maintained this price through July.
Cardano is both a cryptocurrency (ADA) and a decentralized smart contract platform, launched in September 2017 by Blockchain Development Output Hong Kong (IOHK). The platform features a unique consensus algorithm called Ouroboros that validates transactions without high energy costs. The official wallet supporting ADA is the Daedalus wallet. There are also several third-party wallets, including a browser wallet called Yoroi and several mobile phone wallets. Cardano, which uses a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, has a current supply of 31,000,000,000 coins with a maximum supply of 45,000,000,000.
Cardano has made strides since the beginning of 2019 when it was being traded at a mere $0.043 per coin. The coin has registered almost 1.5-times growth since and may potentially cross $0.10 by the end of July, and $0.5 by the end of 2019. Although the per-coin value might still be insignificant, the promising rate of growth means that investing in ADA now could pay off down the road.
Stellar is a decentralized protocol for digital currency to fiat money transfers which allows peer-to-peer cross-border transactions in real time. Founded in 2014, Stellar has quickly become in high demand by financial service companies due to its integration of smart contract protocols, high transaction speed (more than 3,000 transactions per second) and low transaction costs. Such fluency is explained by its use of quorums, which constitute just a part of the whole pool, instead of relying on an entire network to validate a transaction, as is the case with many other cryptocurrencies.
Because of this feature, Stellar is an excellent cryptocurrency choice for small businesses, nonprofits, small banks, and inside-corporation transactions. Already, many banks have deployed Stellar’s blockchain technology to handle the multiple currency payments received from IBM’s customers.
With its market capitalization topping $2 billion and a circulating supply of more than 19 billion XLM coins, Stellar now appears in many top cryptocurrency ratings.
Ever since the Bitcoin bull rush began in mid-May 2019, Stellar has been quite responsive to the market. It kept pace with competitor coins, and is now traded for around $0.10 – $0.12.
Monero is an open-source cryptocurrency, released in April 2014. Privacy is the main selling point of Monero, as its transactions can’t be tracked or traced. The Monero ledger, unlike Blockchain, doesn’t record the actual stealth addresses of parties. Instead, it creates a one-time address that is not linked to the actual addresses of the parties. This has won the coin popularity among those wishing to avoid being tracked by governments, hackers, and corporations.
Although there are other anonymous coins on the cryptocurrency market, no other privacy cryptocurrency can match Monero for market capitalization. A maximum of 18.4 million XMR coins will be circulating until May 2022. After that date, 0.3 XMR will be put in circulation every minute. This is a pretty small limit, increasing the coins’ value.
However, it is worth noting that currently some regulatory bodies, like the French National Assembly’s finance committee or South Korea’s Financial Services Commission, are proposing a ban on anonymous cryptocurrencies. And already some exchanges have delisted privacy coins, following governmental bans of anonymous cryptocurrency transactions. It is important to take this into account if considering investing in Monero, as it cannot be traded on every cryptocurrency exchange.
Yet in spite of being excluded from many exchanges around the globe, Monero is still one of the strongest and most popular coins on the cryptocurrency market. As of the first half of 2019, Monero has risen by roughly 130%, from $45.90 to about 105$.
Dash (previously known as Xcoin and Darkcoin) is an open source cryptocurrency. It is a form of decentralized autonomous organization run by both regular miners and privileged machines called Masternodes. Similar to Monero, Dash offers more anonymity than most other cryptocurrencies by working on a decentralized master code network, making transactions nearly untraceable. Having evolved as a fork of the Bitcoin protocol, Dash at the moment offers faster and cheaper transactions than Bitcoin.
Dash is the second privacy coin along with Monero, which is staying firmly in the TOP 20 most popular cryptocurrencies on the market in terms of market cap. Dash, as a veteran cryptocurrency, is accessible for trading on all major cryptocurrency exchanges. This is good news for crypto-traders who are experiencing problems trading other crypto assets, as some exchanges shorten their trading options. In crisis-ridden Venezuela, it is being widely adopted as a more reliable alternative to fiat currency.
Dash reached an all-time high price of $1,642 at the end of 2017 and experienced a massive bear market throughout 2018 before settling to a stable price of $70-$80 per coin during the first months of 2019. Currently, Dash is traded at around $150 per coin.
NEO — often known as the Chinese Ethereum — is a cryptocurrency and smart contract platform created with the idea of establishing a scalable network of decentralized applications. NEO integrates multiple cryptocurrencies into its network, while most other platforms are focusing only on their own currency. The base asset of the NEO platform is the non-divisible NEO token, which generates GAS tokens. These can be used to pay for deploying and running smart contracts. In general, NEO is slightly more centralized than Ethereum: instead of relying on hundreds of nodes like with Ethereum, NEO’s decisions are made by less than ten. In June 2019, the platform implemented a new iteration of its consensus algorithm, providing immediate transaction finality.
Starting at just pennies ($0.07) in October 2016, NEO experienced a staggering growth, rising to $196.85 by January 2018. In June 2019, NEO was in the top cryptocurrency list, increasing over this period from $13.75 to over $17 by the end of June for an overall increase of 24%. In the first days of July, NEO shows no signs of dipping.
The future growth of crypto markets will not only be investment driven, since the adoption and usability of digital coins are increasing along with their value. And though the cryptocurrency market crashed in 2018, the industry grew by 122%. This is a clear sign that the market of digital assets now goes beyond day-to-day change in numbers on a currency board. So when you are choosing your favourite cryptocurrency to trade, take into account the specific features of each coin — coins with a low value today could be tomorrow’s hottest asset.