In case you haven’t noticed yet, I have been learning more about up and coming cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology space. It is important not to turn a blind-eye to cryptocurrencies as a whole as each and every coin is different. Bitcoin has been a ‘proof-of-concept’ for me showing that there is a real demand for this new asset class.
I believe that cryptocurrencies are here to stay as an alternative to fiat (cash) currency. The market cap in the cryptocurrency space is about $453,547,447,095 (from coinmarketcap.com) and does not seem to be slowing down at all. The big problem is that much of the blockchain technology we have today is not fully matured and does not resolve the increasingly large problems of (1) scalability for global mass adoption, (2) security/privacy of individual users, (3) slow transaction times, (4) daily utility/use of a coin and (5) massive energy consumption.
Once you have learned a bit about the cryptocurrency space, you’ll realize that the next wave of big money will be targeted at promising altcoins that are trying to address the problems above. More importantly, which coins should we buy/mine and then HODL (hold on for dear life)?
Join me as I go through my top 5 altcoins that are trying to address the problems stated above! (rankings are based on current market cap from coinmarketcap.com)
Electroneum (Rank #45)
Summary: Electroneum is my definitive #1 altcoin to hodl for the next 5 years! Electroneum CEO, Richard Ellis, understands that the key to any cryptocurrency becoming ‘sticky’ is global mass adoption. The key to global mass adoption is the transformation of mining from being a costly and complicated endeavor to becoming a simple one-click mining app. Electroneum is taking major steps to be the first cryptocurrency to participate in the Mobile World Congress and the first cryptocurrency to partner with the GSMA.
Electroneum is the first and only coin that will enable ‘mobile mining’ for anyone who downloads their app. Once you download the ‘Electroneum’ app (Andriod only for now), you will be able to sign up and get free Electroneum by mining from your phone! Who wouldn’t want to mobile mine from their phone and receive free ETN?
Pros: Mineable, mobile mining, global mass adoption goals, strong social media platforms, relatively new.
Cons: Only a few months old, only in a couple exchanges, no retail partners to accept Electroneum currently
Monero (Rank #12)
Summary: Monero holds the honor of being the most secure and private altcoin in the cryptocurrency market today.
Currently, Bitcoin is not entirely private as the entire history of transactions are listed on the actual blockchain. The actual names used in the transaction are not shown, but the wallet addresses from the sender and recipient are public knowledge for the world. Meaning that you can search for all the history of a particular wallet address and find every single transaction that the wallet has been involved in.
Where Bitcoin fails in protecting user privacy, Monero focuses on making that their primary strength by hiding/encrypting sender and recipient information for every transaction on the Monero blockchain.
Pros: Mineable, Secure, #1 Privacy Coin, Other altcoins that want to focus on privacy use Monero’s code base
Cons: Can be used in cyber crimes, Could be targeted by regulators and governments for being too opaque
Nano/LiteCoin/Dash (Rank #22/#5/#11)
Summary: I am grouping all of these coins in a bucket together due to the reason that all of these coins try to fix Bitcoin’s issue of scalability – in terms of cost and speed. All of the coins listed in this section, Dash, Litecoin, and Nano are promising faster transactions with lower fees than the more well-known Bitcoin.
As people begin to adopt and use Bitcoin in transactions, the need for performance enhancements and updates becomes painfully obvious. It is possible that one of these better ‘transaction’ coins like Litecoin may become more widely used than Bitcoin in the next 5-10 years. In all fairness, Bitcoin developers are not asleep at the wheel.
SegWit is a new Bitcoin upgrade that promises faster transaction times and lowers fees by having a segregated blockchain reduces the load on the main blockchain, but still provides a ‘witness’ structure that allows transactions to be verified by blockchain miners.
Pros: Faster transaction times than Bitcoin, lower fees when transferring BTC, mineable, more scalable for mass adoption
Cons: Bitcoin may fix their current issues with SegWit upgrade (or future upgrades), these altcoins may not have enough support, fierce competition to be the new and improved transaction currency
Steem (Rank #29)
Summary: Steem, the cryptocurrency for content creators, is one of my favorite coins that provides a real utility for their users. Steemit.com, the official website for Steem, is a reddit-like platform that allows users to post content in certain categories. Steemit.com rewards its users by rewarding Steem whenever a post or comment gets upvoted by another user.
So, by curating high-quality content and obtaining up-votes, users now receive Steem instead ‘karma points’ – like they would if they posted their content Reddit.com. These Steem coins can then be traded on an exchange for other currencies. With Reddit having a solid history of user growth and credibility as a real platform, I am confident that Steem will have a promising future for anyone who participates on their platform.
Pros: Good for content creators/curators, the only coin of its kind, provides real utility and means of obtaining the coin w.o complicated mining rigs
Cons: Not mineable, not decentralized, poorly designed UI, no censorship of content (like hate speech or revenge photos), no way to form groups/communities
Envion (Rank #1245)
Summary: Envion is a seriously new coin that differentiates itself not by being faster, cheaper, or better, but focuses on being more green. Envion is focused on using green energy for all blockchain related mining – connecting their ‘off-grid’ mobile mining units to solar panels.
It is no big secret that Bitcoin mining is consuming egregious amounts of electricity every day- and even more in the future. This type of energy consumption used in blockchain mining is down-right appalling to anyone that cares about the environment and the limited resources we have on this planet. Envion has all the right intentions in terms of going for a renewable source of energy for their blockchain.
My only concern would be how they would obtain mass adoption with so much noise in the cryptocurrency space. Currently, Envion being ranked 1245 on coinmarketcap.com would be enough to have me be skeptical about the longevity of this altcoin.
Pros: Using green energy to power their blockchain
Cons: Not mineable, not a decentralized blockchain, small following and market cap