Do you have a hard time keeping up with cryptocurrencies, feeling lost in the vast, roaring ocean of altcoins, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and revolutionary ideas? You’re not alone. Keeping up with just one cryptocurrency can be a challenge of monumental proportions, but it would be a great shame to let this challenge prevent you from capitalizing on excellent investment opportunities presented by both established and emerging cryptocurrencies.
We have identified five cryptocurrencies that show the most promise for mass adoption. Our list features the two biggest names in the crypto world—Bitcoin and Ethereum—and three lesser-known currencies—Neo, Iota, and KickCoin—each with its unique promise of large-scale disruption.
Lately, by the time journalists and market analysts announce one Bitcoin all-time high, there’s another price surge, often followed shortly by a sudden drop, before the whole cycle repeats. Trying to count the number of time Bitcoin was called a bubble seems pointless now. For as long as Bitcoin’s price will rise, there will be no shortage of frustrated naysayers who feel like they’ve missed the train, even though this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Satoshi Nakamoto (whoever this anonymous programmer or a group of programmers who first released Bitcoin as open-source software in 2009 is must be pleased with their creation. Just recently, the market value of Bitcoin topped both Netflix and PayPal, rising past $74 billion.
Many investors, traders, and cryptocurrency experts strongly believe that we’ve seen nothing yet. According to the legendary Bitcoin trader known as Masterluc, Bitcion will reach $15,000 before the end of this year. Masterluc isn’t the only prominent figure who thinks this way. Stock researcher Ronnie Moas predicts $7,500 by next year and $50,000 in 2027, saying, “I believe there are hedge funds and very deep-pocketed individuals going into this now, really hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Even if these predictions end up being overly optimistic, one thing is clear: Bitcoin is here to stay and make many people obscenely rich.
Despite Bitcoin’s rising price, some worry that we’re just looking at a growing bubble comparable to the infamous dot-com bubble, which occurred roughly from 1997 to 2001. Most arguments that undermine Bitcoin’s value revolve around its inherent lack of usefulness, apart from being a store of value just like gold or silver. If this worries you, then you should pay close attention to Ethereum, an open-source Blockchain-based distributed computing platform with smart contract functionality.
Ethereum is sometimes described as an immutable world computer that can’t be shut down. Similar to how it’s possible to purchase cloud compute capacity from companies like Amazon and Google, Ethereum users use a cryptocurrency token called Ether to compensate participant nodes for computations related to the execution of smart contracts.
As explained on Ethereum’s official website, “[Smart contracts are] applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud, or third-party interference.” In the future, smart contracts could be used to record financial data, digital identities, legal contracts, and much more. For example, the venture arm of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is currently testing how Ethereum and smart contracts could help the organization improve how parties transfer assets across the Internet.
NEO has been around since 2014, but don’t feel bad if this is the first time you hear about this crypto platform. In the past, NEO was called AntShares, a name that failed to capture the imagination of crypto-enthusiasts in every way. But with its new identity, NEO, often referred to as China’s Ethereum, is ready to take on the world.
NEO takes many crypto and Blockchain ideas, throws them into a pot, and stirs them with the ultimate goal of creating a new smart economy. To achieve its lofty goal, NEO makes it easier for developers to create smart contracts. “NEO developers can write smart contract code in .NET and Java/Kotlinm, and we are currently testing integration with Go, JS, and Python for a rollout in the future. This will allow a great number of developers globally to build smart contracts on NEO,” explains Da Hongfei, co-founder, and CEO of NEO.
NEO is founded on the belief that smart economy can only be achieved when transaction integrity and compatibility with existing financial systems is prioritized over anonymity. “NEO aims to integrate itself better with the real economy. Only with the introduction of a digital identity can we map off-chain assets in a compliant manner,” states Da.
What emerges is a vision of a smart contract-powered economy backed by a centralized blockchain that uses a delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) consensus mechanism, which is much more efficient than the proof-of-work consensus algorithm used by Bitcoin and Ethereum, being able to process up to 10,000 transactions per second. If NEO really manages to replace complex business contracts with smart contracts across the business world, its value will become astronomical.
Think about this for a second: 8.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2017, according to Gartner, and the number is expected to increase to 20 billion by 2020. That’s a lot of available computing power and a lot of resources that could be put to good use.
What if all the smart, connected devices could communicate with one another and be able to exchange “favors” among themselves? What if a smart, electric car could automatically pay a smart, public charger without any input from the owner? Or what if smart sensors in a manufacturing facility could pay an artificial intelligence whenever the facility’s production capacity starts nearing its maximum to optimize the production flow? A new machine to machine (M2M) economy would emerge, enabling many never-before-seen applications of the Internet of Things.
IOTA wants to enable this new realm “where anything with a chip in it can be leased in real time,” as is stated on IOTA’s official website. However, current Blockchains are unfit for this new economy because transaction fees make true micro- and nano-transactions unfeasible. To overcome this obstacle, IOTA has created a new blockless distributed ledger without any fees, Tangle. “The Tangle ledger is able to settle transactions with zero fees so devices can trade exact amounts of resources on-demand, as well as store data from sensors and data loggers securely and verified on the ledger.”
Even though IOTA is being developed with the Internet of Things in mind, the Tangle ledger could also become the backbone of modern electronic voting systems and other applications that involve secure data transmission.
Initial coin offerings (ICOs), an unregulated means by which funds are raised for a new cryptocurrency venture, are, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report, estimated to have raised $1.3 billion this year, and many herald them as the best investment opportunity since Bitcoin. Crowdfunding and crowdinvesting are also doing great, with a World Bank Report estimating that global investment through crowdfunding will reach $93 billion by 2025.
But if you tried to find a unified platform for ICOs, crowdfunding, and crowdinvesting just a year ago, you would fail. However, things are different now because KICKICO is here. Bringing all popular fund-raising methods under one roof and throwing smart contracts and tokens called KickCoins into the mix, KICKICO aims to create a shared economy where talented individuals with revolutionary ideas can quickly, easily, and securely obtain funding to realize their dreams.
“The prospects for KICKICO are better than most of their competitors in this area of crypto space,” commented Cliff High from Half Past Human in his recent report on KICKICO. There’s a similar platform on the market. They are climbed to around $5 shortly after the initial coin offering. Judging by the current buzz around KICKICO, we expect KickCoins to far exceed that value, and we also expect KICKICO to disrupt the current fund-raising market. You can read more in depth analysis on that token here.
Disclosure: at the time of writing this article I was working for KICKICO. But I still truly believe that idea is great. As well as the product that built to implement the idea. Strong management is something that missing from the project. But let’s see how it will evolve in the future. I have some hopes for KickCoin.
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