After spending most of 2018 and much of this year in the doldrums, bitcoin and the virtual currency complex are making a big comeback. Sure, the upside has been anything but consistent. Merely a few weeks ago, bitcoin was challenging the $14,000 level before falling back below $10,000. Yet I believe the best cryptocurrencies are just getting started.
Before I dive into my main arguments, I want to clarify one point: bitcoin and other so-called best cryptocurrencies don’t have any intrinsic value. Instead, the premise of any digital token is not only the potential that it finds mainstream acceptance but that the underlying blockchain technology does as well. As such, even the best crypto is subject to narrative-driven mania rather than steady movements through sound fundamentals.
This also brings up the point that before you buy any of the best cryptocurrencies, you should always check their associated newsfeeds: it’s not unusual for digital tokens to spike (or collapse) on something as flimsy as unsubstantiated rumors.
Despite the risks, investors should still consider taking a measured shot at the best cryptocurrencies. Because for one thing, nothing else gives you this rip-roaring potential. Over the next decade, I believe the best crypto will give you far greater returns than the best penny stock.
Secondly, the general public has just experienced one complete crypto cycle: the insane highs, and the devastating lows. Yet contrary to bearish criticisms, bitcoin is still very much alive and kicking.
For this slideshow of the best cryptocurrencies, I’m going to focus on technical factors. Further, all charts utilize base-10 logarithmic scales (including market-value volume levels) to account for the extreme historical price swings.
With that, here are my picks for the 10 best cryptocurrencies:
Click to EnlargeAs the original and best crypto of the entire virtual currency complex, bitcoin (BTC) needs no introduction. It’s become so prevalent that Forbes’ contributor Kerri Zane recommended some creative ways for seniors to engage bitcoin. But for our purposes, what you need to know is that bitcoin leads the crypto markets.
What I’m particularly encouraged with regarding this best crypto investment is trading volume. On June 26, 2019, BTC hit a 24-hour trading-volume value of $45.1 billion, an all-time record. Despite this surge in trading sentiment, bitcoin prices are still down significantly from its record high of just under $20,000.
And contrary to the critics’ prognostication of doom and gloom, volume moved higher earlier this year before prices did. That tells me interest for the best cryptocurrencies has never been stronger, implying greater upside ahead.
Whenever people ask me about recommended digital tokens, I always refer to the best crypto, which is bitcoin. Still, I psychologically understand most people will hesitate BTC’s price point. Although you can buy fractional cryptocurrencies, many folks prefer whole-unit ownership. If you’re one of those investors, your next-best bet is ethereum.
A pioneer in the development of smart contracts, ethereum’s underlying blockchain technology offers multivariate uses. Deservedly in my opinion, ethereum owns the second-largest market capitalization at $28.6 billion. Plus, the all-time high price of ETH was over $1,400. Thus, from the time of writing price of $211, this coin has more growth potential than BTC.
I’m also digging the fact that trading volume has consistently hit record levels in spite of prices being deflated against prior highs. This contradiction between rising volume and historically deflated prices should work itself to the upside based on reinvigorated public interest.
If you’re looking for the best crypto with the lowest ticket price, Ripple may be your ideal digital investment. That’s because over 20 financial institutions utilize xRapid, a liquidity-solutions platform based on the Ripple blockchain.
Of course, Ripple generates controversy for this very reason. Hardcore blockchain proponents believe that Ripple getting “in bed” with major money corporations impugns this platform’s holy grail: decentralization. Unlike other best cryptocurrencies, Ripple is a non-minable digital token. Therefore, control rests in the hands of a centralized few.
Yet in spite of this fundamental hiccup, XRP has tremendous upside potential partially due to mainstream backing. Also, trading volume in XRP has spiked while prices remain relatively muted; for instance, ripple is currently down year-to-date, which is unusual. However, don’t expect this anomaly to continue.
Right after the best crypto that is bitcoin captured early adopters’ imaginations, litecoin emerged onto the scene. Back in those days, litecoin was essentially a micro-penny stock. Thus, if you ever invent a time machine, LTC easily represents one of the best cryptocurrencies you should pick up.
But even if time travel isn’t possible, I’d still consider litecoin. With so much attention paid to bitcoin and ethereum, LTC tends to slide under the radar. That’s a mistake on the broader markets’ part, but an opportunity for astute investors. Currently, litecoin has a $6.3 billion market cap, and barely holding onto fourth place.
Interest as defined by trading volume has picked up since the end of last year. Although prices lagged this sentiment, they too experienced a surge. Still, litecoin is very much undervalued when you compare its all-time high of $375.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
When the still unidentified bitcoin developer(s) created the digital token, the entity apparently didn’t anticipate its paradigm-shifting popularity. Therefore, while bitcoin is unquestionably the best crypto in terms of dollar value, it’s not the best in transactional practicality.
Subsequently, a debate sprouted among bitcoin’s many ardent users in addressing the scale problem. Reaching no workable consensus, one set of bitcoin users initiated a hard fork of its blockchain. To make a ridiculously long story ridiculously short, the bitcoin hard fork is a separate pathway from the original blockchain. This separate pathway is what we know today as bitcoin cash.
Because of the industry controversy surrounding bitcoin cash, it hasn’t caught fire like other best cryptocurrencies. However, I think this is a massive contrarian opportunity because interest in BCH — based on volume — is sky high. But on the other hand, the price of bitcoin cash relative to its prior highs is very deflated.
Ethereum Classic (ETC)
Back before the bitcoin cash controversy caught some mainstream investors’ attention, ethereum had its own hard fork moment. It’s beyond the scope of this write-up to describe the complicated events surrounding the creation of ethereum classic. Nevertheless, here’s the extremely annotated version.
To jumpstart interest in the original ethereum project, an entity called the distributed anonymous organization (DAO) raised $150 million in the ether cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, the DAO suffered an attack, resulting in the loss of funds. To restore those funds, most ethereum advocates decided to create a new blockchain pathway. You recognize this today as ethereum, or ETH.
But a vocal minority pressed for continuation of the original pathway. This is what you know as ethereum classic.
Now, I don’t want to get into a debate about which side is right or wrong. What I can tell you is that ethereum classic appears to be riding a long-term support line. Moreover, as we have seen in many other best cryptocurrencies, ETC has witnessed dramatic increases in volume. That probably signals a resolution to the upside.
A major problem that still impacts the best crypto is usability and the consumer base. For example, most senior citizens in the U.S. don’t know about bitcoin and don’t care to participate. This dynamic is hardly surprising. However, a currency platform will have problems if it’s only used by a certain demographic.
Supposedly, this is where the dash crypto fits the bill. While the best crypto is undoubtedly bitcoin, the first digital token is hardly practical now. Transactions take forever to complete due to the infrastructures’ lack of scale. And because of its massive price and relative ubiquity, bitcoin is veritably digital gold. What I mean here is that bitcoin sits, waiting for the moment that its “owner” can convert it to a Lamborghini.
However, dash is different because its programmers designed it for everyday usage. Therefore, transactions are lightning quick. Additionally, its practicality ethos has attracted businesses worldwide.
Better yet, dash is currently traversing a well-defined support channel. With so much positive sentiment driving the best cryptocurrencies, DASH is a name to watch.
Let’s be real: if you’re not used to the virtual currency concept, this market sounds like nerd junk. I’d use a stronger term, but this is a family show, so to speak. However, in spite of the often-complex granularity of digital tokens and the blockchain, they’re incredibly useful.
One such utilitarian platform is NEM. This project emphasizes its smart asset system, and it’s especially appealing to businesses for its scalability. Moreover, end-users can easily configure the NEM blockchain to suit their needs. Transactions occur very quickly and has several built-in security features.
Unfortunately, none of the stated uses have helped the NEM token. Admittedly, NEM is almost the antithesis of the best crypto. At one point, the virtual currency was trading above $2. Now, you can buy XEM for a discount-bin price of roughly 6 cents.
That said, note that the correlation coefficient for XEM’s price and volume between April 2015 through the end of 2018 was 97%. This year, the coefficient is conspicuously down to 68%.
I believe the incongruency between these two metrics will resolve to the upside due to broader sentiment returning.
If your idea of the best crypto is pure return magnitude, look no further than stellar. Back in the summer of 2014, stellar traded hands for less than a penny. As such, its profit from that time is over 3,900%. And that’s with the XLM price down to 10 cents, a far cry from its 94-cent record.
Will we ever see a return to such levels? That of course is the million-dollar question. On the surface level, stellar appears to have a shot. The XLM developers’ main goal is to create an alternative financial network, featuring quick transactions and low fees. With the blockchain technology, this is more than possible.
That said, stellar is a risky choice. Technically, XLM’s price action is extremely volatile compared to the best cryptocurrencies. But the potential for serious upside exists. The correlation coefficient this year between price and volume is only 58%, a marked drop off from the 92% coefficient seen between August of 2014 till end-of-year 2018.
Volume is rising for stellar, as is interest for virtual currencies overall.
Far removed from traditional lists of the best cryptocurrencies, I still believe speculators should give digibyte a fair shot. Fundamentally, digibyte takes the bitcoin concept and accelerates to the next dimension. Featuring multiple layers of security, the DGB network generates significant trust for those in the know.
Moreover, one of the most impressive features of DGB is how quick its transactions are. According to the project’s website, digibyte is the fastest UTXO blockchain in the world today. For greater context, digibyte is 40-times faster than bitcoin. Essentially, this means that the DGB blockchain has the scale to accommodate tomorrow’s virtual currency needs.
But will this project get the eyeballs it needs? That’s the big risk that investors will have to consider. But if you don’t mind the risk, I think digibyte presents an excellent opportunity for massive gains.
Technically, DGB is trading along a sideways consolidation pattern. Of course, by itself, this is a 50/50 proposition. But taking into consideration the rejuvenated interest in the best cryptocurrencies, a smaller name like digibyte could easily latch on for a ride.
As of this writing, Josh Enomoto has a small position in all of the cryptocurrencies mentioned in this article, except for dash.