As 2019 gets underway, cryptocurrency investors look ahead with cautious optimism. Although 2018 saw a slowdown from the frantic pace of the year before, the pieces are in place for a solid bounce back in the next 12 months.
With more institutional money set to come on board, and a host of currencies poised for success, investors anticipate a bull market. But where does the smart investor place his focus? We break down the currencies we believe are worthy of attention, and investment, in the coming year.
Second only to Bitcoin in size and name-recognition, Ethereum has a massive community, and should prove to be a stable option for investors. Ethereum’s platform for launching decentralized applications and ICOs has had great success, and the highly-respected leadership skills of Vital Buterin makes it one of the most trusted cryptocurrencies on the market.
In 2019, Ethereum is set to take measures to deal with scalability concerns, which should make it an even more prominent currency moving forward. Although it will face lots of competition in the decentralized app platform space, Ethereum is here for the long term, and therefore represents a good investment.
BNB is the token launched by the hugely influential Binance platform. As one of the world’s most prominent cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance is often the first stop for those dipping their toes in the trading market, meaning it should see lots of activity as crypto markets continue to make gains in the mainstream. Binance’s referral scheme and discounted BNB exchange fee give this token a built-in advantage over many of its rivals, which should result in a bright future.
Cryptocurrency exchanges are, of course, vulnerable to security concerns and the prospect of increased government oversight, but with a great team in place, look for BNB to be a good bet in the year ahead.
Another of Ethereum’s challengers in the launch-platform battleground, EOS is faster and more scalable than its rival. EOS had a successful token sale, and enjoys good community support. With capital in place, there is reason to believe EOS has a solid upside.
Geared towards large financial institutions, Ripple boasts the third largest market capitalization, trailing only Bitcoin and Ethereum. As a venture-backed start-up, Ripple will enjoy freedom from SEC regulation. With huge sums of institutional capital set to enter the crypto-market, the time is now to invest in Ripple.
With an algorithm that emphasizes the anonymity of its users, Monero has aligned itself with the values of privacy and decentralization that were core to the initial cryptocurrency movement. For these reasons, expect Monero to maintain its place in the market.
Although its position as undisputed king of crypto has been challenged, Bitcoin is still the currency most likely to impress your relatives during holiday dinners. As Bitcoin’s main function is as a store of value, used as a trading partner for other coins, its rise will be tied to that of the market as a whole. The result of this ubiquity is likely to be a slow and steady rise in value, as opposed to the stratospheric roller coaster ride Bitcoin has experienced in the past. Bitcoin has the highest market cap and the largest community, and is a safe bet to be found in crypto wallets, and on the tongues of the public at large, for the foreseeable future.
Crypto markets are by nature speculative, and nobody can predict with certainty the future of any particular currency. What’s essential for clarity is to carefully monitor the situation, paying close attention to managerial competency, technological developments, and community enthusiasm. With many analysts expecting steady gains in 2019, the astute observer will be wise to consider the currencies highlighted above.