A fierce debate over legalization and future of crypto-currencies continues to rage around the world.
Majority of governments and their regulatory authorities remain largely undecided over how to cope with the rising popularity of crypto-currencies, following the widespread popularity of Bitcoin.
The unprecedented interest in crypto-currencies was caused by the phenomenal rise in prices of Bitcoin: In January 2017, Bitcoin traded for prices ranging between US$ 800 and US$1,150 each. However, on December 15, 2017, Bitcoin prices surged to phenomenal US$ 17,900 per unit.
What Does This Mean?
There are over 1,300 crypto-currencies in the world but not all are as popular.
While some may be available currently at very low prices, they are riddled with technical problems or cannot be exchanged for cash easily. However, there are three crypto-currencies that hold promising prospects, at least in near future.
Best Three Crypto-Currencies:
Based on past performance and projections made by various independent sources, following crypto-currencies appear to have a promising future.
Here we discuss distinct advantages on why you may consider investments on these three crypto-currencies:
In January 2018, the average price of Ethereum hovered around US$ 1,250 each. This is a fairly reasonable price and affordable for most investors. Further, Ethereum also ranks as the second most popular crypto-currency after Bitcoin. “Ethereum, it can be used to “codify, decentralize, secure and trade just about anything,” claims its website.
While Ethereum also operates on the blockchain, it offers users to create any type of application they desire, to suit their transactionsUnlike the Bitcoin blockchain, which keeps track of ownership of digital currency’s ownership, the Ethereumblockchainruns upon the programming code of any decentralized application.
Secondly, ‘miners’ who create blocks on Bitcoin blockchain actually generate the crypto-currency during the process. Miners on Ethereum blockchain get tokens that allot them certain rights.
Further, Ethereum blockchain allows users to build their own personalized and decentralized applications that offer several inherent benefits.
The main advantage of Ethereum blockchain offers is that you are in complete control of your data. Meaning, no third party can make any alterations to the data regarding your holdings or transactions.
Secondly, all apps generated on Ether- the blockchain- are formed by consensus. This ensures that you can access the blockchain anytime and there is no fear of being barred or censored. The Ether blockchain is completely secure against hackers. In the past, Bitcoin was hacked causing some investors to lose considerable money.
This possibility is ruled out with Ethereum. Also, all Ethereum apps have zero downtime. This means, they cannot be switched off and will not fail. Hence, you have access round the clock and throughout the year.
Like all crypto-currencies, you will require an online, software or hardware wallet to store Ethereum. According to available information, Ethereum has a market capitalization of estimated US$ 50 billion.
In January 2018, a Litecoin is traded around US$ 280 each. Litecoin offers one great advantage to investors: It can be traded much faster. While the Bitcoin blockchain takes about 10 minutes on average to pass through a block, Litecoin, in comparison, takes below three minutes.
Additionally, the price makes it a very competitive option for investment. The number of commercial establishments and crypto-currency exchanges that accept Litecoin as tender in lieu of cash is also increasing rapidly.
Litecoin operates on an independent blockchain. Its functioning is similar to that of Bitcoin. On the technical side, mining for Litecoin is more complex. Hence, miners of Litecoin have to exert extra efforts to make blocks and earn the crypto-currency for their efforts as compared to Bitcoin.
For business owners though, accepting Litecoin makes great sense: Transactions are completed faster and afford near total anonymity. Businesses interested in integrating their websites to accept Litecoin payments are easily able to do so, through a dedicated link provided on its website.
Similar to other crypto-currencies, you need to store Litecoins in an online, software or hardware wallet. These can be downloaded or bought easily and are similar to those used for Bitcoin.
Litecoin has a very high market capitalization. As of December 17, 2017, the reported market capitalization of Litecoin stood at whopping US$ 20 billion, pegging the crypto-currency at an average price of US$ 280 each.
In recent months, crypto-currency Dash has attracted the attention of investors. Unfortunately, some of this interest is due to wrong reasons: The extremely high secrecy that Dash offers. The official website of Dash states: “The peer-to-peer crypto-currency, DASH, offers the InstaSend service, instant transactions.
It also operates a self-running model allowing those who use the Dash network to pay individuals and business. This virtual coin was released in 2014 and it used to go under the name XCoin (XCO).
In February 2017 it took the name Darkcoin and in March it took the name Dash. This crypto-currency is famous for using a two-tier network and unlike, Bitcoin, the existent second uses master-modes.”
Additionally, Dash is fast emerging as one of the strongest crypto-currencies of the world. Dash is also getting pricier by the day. In January 2018, Dash commanded a price around US$ 800 to US$ 900 each. In recent months, Dash created a stir when its market capitalization crossed the US$ 3 billion mark.
However, industry experts anticipate a correction in prices of Dash. Should such market correction occur, Dash would be more affordably priced at around US$ 580 to US$ 600 each, they aver.
Like every other crypto-currency, Dash also operates on its independent blockchain. However, Dash offers one added advantage over Bitcoin.
Its multiple encryption techniques make Dash transactions almost impossible to track and trace, which offers a superior level of privacy to investors. However, complete privacy is not possible, as with any other crypto-currency worldwide.
The number of crypto-currency exchanges that now buy and sell Dash is on the rise. However, these are fewer when compared to Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Perhaps that explains the reasons for its lower price.
However, transactions with Dash are speedier than those with Bitcoin due to the inherent technological superiority of its blockchain and the mining process.
You can buy Dash online or through any physical crypto-currency exchange that operates in your vicinity. Dash too has to be stored in online, software or hardware wallets that are easily available.
Other Popular Crypto-Currencies:
There are lot more crypto-currencies that may gain prices in future. Top among these ranks Monero. However, Monero has come into limelight for the wrong reasons: It is suspected to be the preferred crypto-currency for the repressive regime of North Korea. If news reports are to be believed, Pyongyang conducts a lot of illegal weapons trade while its officials stash away money using Monero.
Zcash is another crypto-currency to keep tabs upon unless you are highly concerned with privacy and secrecy. Like its peers, Zcash also offers a fairly high level of secrecy to buyers and sellers. However, certain aspects of its trade can be tracked down, if needed, through its blockchain.
Yet another crypto-currency that is showing upwards trend is Ripple that allows fast money transfer across international borders. Ripple’s transaction process differs from the traditional ones of Bitcoin and certain others. It does not require any blockchain mining or record keeping. Instead, it works on a direct XRP solution that facilitates speedier transactions.
Investing in Crypto-Currencies
Admittedly, prices of crypto-currencies do indicate an upward trend over the last couple of years. However, investing in crypto-currencies comes with several inherent risks.
For example, Bitcoin is now under the scanner of several major law enforcement agencies worldwide including Federal Bureau of Investigation, International Police Organization (Interpol), European Union Police (Europol), India’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence as well as military intelligence units of various countries.
The reasons for crypto-currency transactions coming under scrutiny is their suspected use by terror network around the globe and use in the drug trade, human trafficking and illegal weapons deals. On the lesser side, crypto-currencies facilitate tax evasion.
Crypto-currency and Privacy:
Before rushing to invest in crypto-currency, it is advisable to read the latest circulars concerning Bitcoin and its likes issued by the US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank among others. There is loads of conflicting information about the future of crypto-currencies making rounds of the world’s financial markets.
While some renowned businessmen and billionaires aver that crypto-currencies are poised as futuristic legal tenders, others emphasize, they are a bubble waiting to burst rather violently.
A major issue with crypto-currencies is privacy. Notions that crypto-currencies are untraceable and hence can evade laws and tax is a myth. All crypto-currencies derive their value on cash. Means, you have to pay cash through debit/credit card, net banking or other conventional forms of payment while buying Bitcoin or any crypto-currency.
These transactions are invariably recorded by default by your bank and can be accessed by authorities under certain circumstances. Selling crypto-currencies means the cash will be paid into your bank account and hence, will most likely indicate the source.
All large financial transactions can be questioned following adoption of the Patriot Act in the US post 9-11 and similar laws in foreign countries.
No conclusive projections can be made about any crypto-currency due to volatile nature of their market. Unlike conventional fiat currencies that have collaterals, crypto-currencies lack any guarantees.
They are not regulated and hence, highly prone to any laws that may be enacted in future to ban them. Though crypto-currencies have been around for over a decade, they have not yet been recognized as legal by even a single government, due to above mentioned legal concerns.