What’s Next: The Future of Cryptocurrency

by Modis on August 15, 2017

It’s easy to see why cryptocurrencies are attractive. They are entirely controlled by the market, they are anonymous and they are difficult to copy. Bitcoin is the best-known form of cryptocurrency though others exist. To differentiate between Bitcoins and other coins, the term ‘altcoins’ is often used.

Here are some cryptocurrencies that aren’t Bitcoin – just in case you’re looking for something new to invest in.

Popular Altcoins

  • Ether: Ether is the transaction token (or ‘gas’ as the company likes to put it) associated with the Ethereum platform. Ethereum is an open-source platform based on smart contract scripting. To complete a transaction through the Ethereum platform, you have to have Ether. Ether can’t be used for anything other than this purpose.
  • Monero: Monero is an open-source currency that allows you to be ‘your own bank.’ All accounts and funds are private and secure, according to the Monero website. Monero was originally founded in 2014 under the name ‘BitMonero.’ The name was eventually shortened to simply ‘Monero.’
  • Litecoin: Litecoin was launched in 2011 by a former Google employee (Charlie Lee). Litecoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that’s also an open-source software platform. Like Monero, Litecoin is not controlled by any one person or entity (users control their own currency).
  • Dash: Dash is another peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that was founded in 2014. Originally Dash was called ‘Darkcoin’ and then ‘Xcoin.’ Dash largely runs on a volunteer employee network (though the company does employ some employees). With Dash, users control all currency, which is kept secure within the platform.

Investing in Altcoins: Criteria to Look For

The cryptocurrency market is volatile. A number of these currencies go through scams commonly referred to as ‘pump-and-dumps‘ – market prices are increased with the end goal of selling currency to make a fast profit. Investors often lose out when these scams occur at a rapid pace.

Consider the following criteria when looking for a new altcoin to invest in and beware of coins that have a fraudulent history.

  • An Active Development Team: some cryptocurrency platforms are ghost-towns with no dev team to be found. Before investing in the latest altcoin, check to see whether or not a company has an active team that interacts with community members regularly. Otherwise, you might be investing in something that doesn’t have any core support.
  • Clear Contact Information: part of the allure of cryptocurrency is that it’s anonymous – but the team behind the currency shouldn’t be. If there’s a problem (like you’ve lost all of your money seconds after investing), it’s a good idea to have a way to contact the people that started the currency.
  • Decentralization: cryptocurrency should be pre-mined. Coins that have no movement might mean that there’s very little interest in the currency, and coins that suddenly ‘rise from the dead’ might mean that the team behind the coin are attempting to drum up false interest in the currency.

Investing in cryptocurrency can be interesting and does have benefits, but it pays to know what you’re investing in.

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