The new year began with financial trials and tribulations. A government shutdown put 800,000 federal employees on furlough until a deal was reached to re-open for three more weeks. While the stock market has made small gains during shutdowns, investors are probably clamoring for safer bets. Cryptocurrencies are, once more, coming to their rescue.
Sure the price of Bitcoin dropped by $6,000 in 2018, but it’s looking to make a re-bound in 2019 from institutional investments. Blockchain technology is becoming a desirable asset to industries beyond cryptocurrencies. Even when the value fluctuates on one flagship cryptocurrency, there’s a whole marketplace of alternatives that are emerging to take the lead. Listed below are just a few of the cryptocurrencies to watch for in 2019.
Created as a “silver” counterpart to Bitcoin’s “gold,” Litecoin represents a smaller denomination of currency. It’s for this reason that Litecoin can complete transactions faster than Bitcoin.
Litecoin benefits the most from Lightning Network transactions. Lightning Network technology increases the speed of transactions on the blockchain network. In May 2017, the Lightning Network was used to transfer a unit of Litecoin within less than a second. Because of this new advancement, Litecoin is set to increase in value.
What makes Etherium different from other currencies is how customizable it is. Etherium’s blockchain can be used by business owners to generate their own supply management applications.
Etherium’s flexibility also hides security drawbacks. A user’s account was hacked in 2016 causing the price to drop from $21.52 to $9.96. The beginning of 2018, however, saw Etherium reach a total market cap of $138 billion. Part of these gains are due to the influx of Initial Coin Offerings enrolled in the Etherium blockchain. These new funds are contributing to improvements in their security features.
Steemit is known primarily for their blogging and social media services. Their own brand of cryptocurrency, Steem. Back in 2018, the market cap for Steem was $72,595,646. As of this year, that number expanded to over $93 million, and rising!
Steem currency is used as a sort of reward tokens for bloggers on the platform. Bloggers and social media accounts that receive the most upvotes increase their share of Steem tokens. Similar to most crowdsourcing platforms, readers can even “tip” their favorite content creators. Steem tokens can come in liquid, vested, or stable form. Tokens can be traded through exchanges for cash payouts or other perks.
As mentioned in the second paragraph above, institutional investors will be shopping for a trustworthy blockchain system. Ripple, also known as XRP, is outpacing Bitcoin to be that service. Ripple’s “low risk, high reward” principles guarantee a 100-return on investment.
Another great feature of the XRP is its transaction performance. Ripple’s blockchain can complete 1,500 transactions per second on a consistent basis. Partnerships between American Express, MoneyGram, and SWIFT are just three big names added to their RippleNet project. A global payments network like Ripple network will be able to lower transaction fees while providing fluid assets.
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