When the average person thinks of cryptocurrency, they likely think of Bitcoin. Not only is it the most popular, it is also the most expensive, and some say the most volatile. While most cryptocurrency are tied to Bitcoin, either by using similar code to create it or simply through the market, each coin has its own distinct use and purpose. I suspect that in the future, a few altcoins will rise above the rest and will stay. Although I think everyone should put many hours of research into anything they invest in, here are some interesting altcoins to keep your eye on.
Litecoin is, in its basest form, a copy of Bitcoin. However, Litecoin comes with some distinct advantages that set it apart. It has a limited number of coins, just like Bitcoin, but it is larger at 84 million versus Bitcoin’s 21 million. It also processes transactions 4x faster than Bitcoin (with an average time of 2.5 minutes), and allows for better technology to be implemented. This has resulted in lower waiting times for transactions, as well as lowered fees. Finally, Litecoin is more fair to miners when they are rewarded.
Another reason Litecoin is a great altcoin to watch is it is easily accessible for even the most tech-illiterate. You can quickly buy Litecoin on Coinbase, which also offers a Litecoin wallet. Also, Litecoin is tremendously less expensive than Bitcoin, coming in at a few hundred dollars, rather than several thousand. While I cannot suggest anyone go and buy Litecoin, I think it is an altcoin that is worth watching out for.
Another altcoin making waves is Ripple. Many people looking to exchange currency are doing so through Ripple. The currency itself has a built-in way to switch currency instantly. For example, people looking to travel may use Ripple, because they can convert from their country’s currency into their destination’s.
Likewise, banks are interested in Ripple for these reasons. It becomes much faster and less expensive to exchange currency through Ripple, rather than the traditional way. This is a bonus to both the bank and the consumer, as rates to transfer are significantly lower. Furthermore, Ripple can be a benefit to overseas merchants, and may eliminate excess fees for foreign buyers. This one factor is why I think we can expect to see Ripple adopted on a broader level than Bitcoin or Litecoin.
One benefit of cryptocurrencies on the whole are their anonymity. However, none is safer than Monero, which claims to provide complete discretion with your transactions. Because Monero is completely decentralized, you are 100% in control of your money, and if you lose it, there is no way to get it back.
Due to the nature of Monero, it is used heavily by criminals. While I do not condone criminal activities, I would be foolish not to recognize that this cryptocurrency has staying power for this reason. Also, many celebrities and companies are offering discounts to anyone who makes a purchase using Monero. I have mixed feelings about Monero, however, I will continue to watch it and see what happens next.
As I’ve said previously, I cannot and will not give you advice on how to invest in cryptocurrency. However, these three altcoins are becoming quite popular, and anyone interested in the options available may want to watch what happens to them. I believe that altcoins, just like Bitcoin, are going to become even more mainstream, and we will likely see more great altcoins join in the future. For now, we will have to watch the market and the news carefully before deciding where to place our money.