As 2018 begins, the top 10 most traded cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, Litecoin, NEM, Stellar, IOTA and EOS. There is no doubt that Bitcoin is the most valuable and prominent cryptocurrency at present, but as 2018 unfolds some of the lesser-known variants will attempt to challenge its positioning of supremacy.
Ripple is considered to be one of the most exciting of the top 10 most traded cryptocurrencies, with the founders of the solution having already built ties with the financial industry. Moneygram International Inc (NASDAQ:MGI) is already interested in the technology on which Ripple is built, and the existing economic hierarchy has been surprisingly positive about the potential of the Ripple blockchain.
Still, although Ripple can possibly be considered the emerging competitor in the top 10 most traded cryptocurrencies, the fact remains that it is an upstart in comparison to the established Bitcoin. With just over $2 per unit value at the time of writing, it is obviously priced at a tiny fraction of the market leader, with Bitcoin still worth $14,000 per unit despite a significant recession recently.
Meanwhile, Ethereum has established itself as undoubtedly the second most valuable of the top 10 most traded cryptocurrencies. Worth over $1,300 at its recent peak, Ethereum has definitely become the second most viable platform of the cryptocurrency competitors.
Whether it can retain this position, or even challenge the supremacy of Bitcoin in the coming months remains to be seen, but those who have invested in Ethereum over the last couple of years have already experienced a profitable return.
Although Bitcoin has receded in value over the last few weeks, it retains its position as a hugely valuable trading mechanism. With a dollar value still in the region of 14,000, Bitcoin is undoubtedly the highest market cap altcoin of the top 10 most traded cryptocurrencies. It is also a commodity that has attracted a good deal of controversy, with many believing that it is in a bubble, and others suggesting that it displays great potential for growth.
While the idealists who founded Bitcoin have undoubtedly achieved something quite spectacular in the creating the investment story of the century, there has been a fair amount of pushback against Bitcoin recently. Governments have legislated against Bitcoin, suggesting that the digital currency poses financial problems to the existing system.
However, this is unlikely to rain on the parade of Bitcoin, even though many observers believe that the altcoin is hugely overvalued. Banning such a technology is highly unlikely, and not really in the interest of the existing market either. While Bitcoin will probably continue to divide opinion and cause controversy, it is now a fixture in the investment community, and one that will remain so for the foreseeable future.
Nonetheless, other coins among the top 10 most traded cryptocurrencies could establish themselves as a significant alternative to Bitcoin. In particular, Stellar has been one of the biggest gainers of 2018, pretty much following the path of Ripple. This is because the two cryptocurrency solutions are based on the same code base, having both been founded by Jed McCaleb.
Just as Ripple has its advocates, so Stellar has been backed by some big names in the technology industry. Patrick Collision from Stripe and Sam Altman, head of Silicon Valley’s most prestigious incubator, Y Combinator, have both offered their support to Stellar, and it’ll be interesting to see how its trajectory develops in the coming years.
It would be fair to say that Ripple and Stellar are essentially targeting different markets. Ripple has made major agreements with banking systems and institutions in some of the world’s most developed economies, while Stellar is focusing on emerging markets. Most notable in Stellar’s strategy so far has been a partnership with International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) corporation for a banking network, serving countries in the Ocean-Pacific community such as Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga.
This could be significant, as estimates indicate that Stellar could process 60 percent of all cross-border foreign exchange payments in the region by the end of the year. The support for such platforms as Ripple and Stella is contrasted with the antipathy for Bitcoin, with some of the existing financial hierarchy making strong claims about the potential demise of this cryptocurrency solution.
Although the price target of Quinlan & Associate, a Wall Street consultancy, would still see Bitcoin the the most valuable of the top 10 most traded cryptocurrencies, it predicts an unbelievable slashing in its value to $1,800 by the end of the year. “As an asset, we valued Bitcoin using a cost of production approach and a store of value approach, resulting in values of $2,161 and $687,” the firm asserts.
However, this statement shouldn’t imply that the company is negative about the cryptocurrency niche, with the same firm indicating that the cryptocurrency market will exceed $400 billion by the end of the decade.
East Asian problems
One interesting development that could impact on the top 10 most traded cryptocurrencies is the hostility towards the concept in East Asia. China has recently cracked down intensely on Bitcoin mining, while South Korea has also passed legislation recently. This would seem to be bearish for the top cryptocurrency solutions, particularly as such countries are seen as major growth areas, both economically and socially, in the coming years.
Of the other top 10 most traded cryptocurrencies, the intriguingly named Tron has climbed significantly in value over the last few months. While it has still to reach a value of $1, and is thus worth a miniscule fraction of the mighty Bitcoin, some people are optimistic about the potential of this altcoin. Founder Justin Sun tweeted that the company behind Tron “will announce our partnership with a very prestigious public company next week,” indicating that ambitious plans are afoot for the cryptocurrency solution.
Although cryptocurrencies remain an uncertain, and to some degree unstable, trading mechanism, it still promises to be an intriguing year in the market.