There have been sensational increases in the price of altcoins in 2021. So, it should come as no surprise that investors are looking for low-priced cryptos for triple-digit returns.
What makes this search even more exciting is that after the recent sell-off in digital currencies, sleepers in this space look even more attractive due to their massive potential upside. There’s a lot that you might have missed while everyone went bananas over Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) and Ethereum (CCC:ETH-USD).
Good cryptocurrencies to buy in one week can plummet in value the next, so it is important to diversify your holdings. Do not dedicate a sginificant share of your portfolio to one coin.
However, these tokens offer a lot of potential despite not getting that much attention. We’ve compiled a list of seven coins that might have gotten lost in the shuffle—however, a word of caution before we proceed.
Now with that out of the way, let’s take a look at some altcoins you might have missed:
- Ripple (CCC:XRP-USD)
- Chainlink (CCC:LINK-USD)
- Cardano (CCC:ADA-USD)
- Polkadot (CCC:DOT-USD)
- Litecoin (CCC:LTC-USD)
- Monero (CCC: XMR-USD)
- Dash (CCC: DASH-USD)
Cryptos You Might Have Missed: Ripple (XRP)
Ripple has had a tough time as of late. In December 2020, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) created quite a stir when they slapped a case on Ripple because they believe XRP is a security and not a commodity or other type of asset.
The SEC alleges that Ripple, its former CEO and founder Christian Larsen, and its current CEO Bradley Garlinghouse, raised more than $1.3 billion through an “illegal securities offering.” Some analysts believe the SEC has tried to go beyond its statutory authority. Others argue it could be the beginning of larger regularity action on cryptos.
Regardless, the court battle led to a plunge in value for Ripple. In addition, several exchanges have temporarily stopped trading or removed XRP after the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple was revealed.
However, things are looking up for the digital currency after Ripple has managed to rack up some important courtroom victories. If you want to know more about them, I wrote about these developments extensively in a deep dive on Ripple.
Overall, the odds look to be in favor of Ripple winning the case. But it is not a foregone conclusion. So, it’s important to temper your expectations. Still, if XRP fell off your radar in December, now is a good time to initiate a small position and take advantage of potential upswings due to positive case developments.
It is yet to offer crypto users anything solid to work with. But a series of upgrades at the start of the year pushed it to unprecedented heights.
But let’s offer some perspective first.
Cardano is a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain platform. It means users can add new transactions to the blockchain by “staking” their cryptocurrency as collateral to validate transitions. The process is less energy-intensive than a platform that uses a proof-of-work algorithm, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Cardano has developed its blockchain in two inbuilt layers allowing more sets of rules to be deployed within the smart contracts — one to handle basic transactions and the other to take care of smart contracts. That helps to not overburden the network too much and make sure and ensure speed and scalability.
At its recent price of $1.16, Cardano ADA is cheap. But, especially when you compare it to the bigwigs in the industry, Prakash Chand, the managing director of the billion-dollar cryptocurrency investment fund, FD7 Ventures, believes the price of Cardano (ADA) and Polkadot (DOT) could rise to “approximately 20X within the next 2-3 years.” He is so bullish that the company sold off Bitcoin to purchase ADA.
Nevertheless, that is not the main reason to invest in ADA. Cardano addresses the inadequacies of earlier versions of digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum and is the less carbon-intensive alternative. That is why you should invest in this one.
Polkadot provides economic scalability by enabling a common set of validators to secure multiple blockchains. Last week, Coinbase Global (NASDAQ:COIN) shared exciting news about the altcoin. It is now available for trading on Coinbase Pro and its standard exchange platform.
Polkadot is a multichain project that offers a new way to build an entire ecosystem of projects, much like Ethereum. Despite DOT being a relatively younger cryptocurrency, having appeared on cryptocurrency exchanges in August 2020, it has brought tremendous gains to investors in 2021.
Much like Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash (CCC:BCH-USD), it offers features such as ‘forkless onchain upgrades,’ which allow Polkadot to upgrade.
In addition, developers can delegate tasks to different parachains and build their own customizable parachains off Polkadot’s ‘Relay Chain’ (the central chain that ties all other chains together). Parachains give developers greater flexibility and customization. But it requires more effort to create and maintain over time.
One of the main reasons people are bullish on this coin is its founder, Dr. Gavin Wood, who co-founded Ethereum and is known for inventing the coding language Solidity, which powers Ethereum smart contracts.
Due to the new-ness of Polkadot, you need to have a buy-and-hold strategy with this one. That can be a challenge, considering one usually has to enter and exit positions quite regularly with most cryptos.
Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network that can bridge the gap between smart contracts and real-world data. Another altcoin worth investing in 2021 and its recent positive price movement comes after LINK introduced the Keepers upgrade to automate smart contracts, contract maintenance, and superior decentralized DevOps capabilities.
Chainlink is an industry-standard oracle network and has the first-mover advantage in the world of decentralized oracle networks. This status has thrust the network to reach 500 integrations and has as many as 500,000 non-zero active wallets.
It has strong institutional relationships making it a suitable candidate for a long-term investment. Chief among them is their strategic partnership with Google, making it key to Google’s blockchain strategy. In addition, it was a successful collaboration allowing users to unite Google’s two most popular clouds through API.
Ever since its creation in 2017 by Sergey Nazarov, a technology entrepreneur, and Steve Ellis, a chief technology officer, the token has seen its fair share price swings. However, Chainlink jumped leaps and bounds in 2020 and has continued to grow in 2021. Given its unique features, it’s no surprise that LINK, Chainlink’s digital asset token, is one of the biggest cryptocurrencies by market cap.
All things considered, Chainlink has brought interoperability to the whole blockchain industry. With all its plans in place and the recent upgrades, Chainlink deserves a place in your portfolio.
At a surface level, Bitcoin and Litecoin have a lot in common. Former Google engineer Charlie Lee launched Litecoin in 2011. The coin is often referred to as “silver” to Bitcoin’s “gold.”
One important similarity between these two cryptocurrencies is that they are both proof-of-work ecosystems, meaning the underlying process to mine Bitcoin and Litecoin are similar. Both of these cryptocurrencies can be bought via exchange or mined using a mining rig and require a digital “wallet” to be safely stored between transactions.
But, despite being created on the same technological features of parent crypto Bitcoin, there are certainly important differences between the two cryptos that you need to be mindful of.
In comparison to Bitcoin, Litecoin boasts lower fees, better security, faster transaction speeds and confirmation time, and a lifetime cap of 84 million coins, four times more than the total number of Bitcoins that can be mined.
Litecoin has brought great returns for investors in 2021. Aside from its utility, extensive adoption by mainstream institutions and the fear of missing out have propelled it to unprecedented heights. Unfortunately, I don’t foresee that changing anytime soon.
Monero’s popularity has been rising because it is one of the most well-known privacy coins available today. In the world of privacy and anonymity, it is as popular as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Monero uses ring signatures and stealth addresses, which makes it difficult to trace the identities of the sender and the receiver. Monero enforces anonymity on a fundamental level and does not offer it as an optional feature. Launched in April 2014, it has by far has the most comprehensive security algorithm among the top cryptocurrencies today.
The Monero team focuses largely on privacy and unlinkability. Notwithstanding, because of this very reason, some believe it is used primarily for shady and illegal things. But that is incorrect.
Ultimately, with many cryptocurrencies, all the information is available publicly on the blockchain. So, anyone can potentially scan your wallet and become aware of your transactions. But, of course, no one wants their financial information to fall into the hands of dubious people.
In fact, due to its secretive nature, some argue Monero is really the future of crypto and not Bitcoin.
Dash often gets overlooked when discussing cryptos to buy. Launched in 2014, it was designed for user privacy and anonymity. The cryptocurrency’s whitepaper defines it as a privacy-centric cryptocurrency built on the world of Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto.
A user can decide whether or not their activities are anonymous using its PrivateSend feature. In essence, you can decide whether to choose whether they want to make their transactions private or not.
However, Dash is not a one-trick pony by any means. While it still features strong encryption features, Dash now intends to become a medium of exchange as a digital currency. Moreover, it has a long history of innovation and development. It is all set for the release of Dash Platform, which will allow developers to create decentralized apps on top of the Dash network, much like Ethereum.
The developers will add a second layer for the DApps to not interfere with everyday transactions. Introducing a separate blockchain decouples the Dash Platform from the current Dash functionality. So, if something happens with the platform, it won’t affect the existing blockchain and its payment functionality.
Considering its privacy feature and the upcoming updates now is the right time to invest in DASH.
On the date of publication, Faizan Farooque did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Faizan Farooque is a contributing author for InvestorPlace.com and numerous other financial sites. Faizan has several years of experience analyzing the stock market and was a former data journalist at S&P Global Market Intelligence. His passion is to help the average investor make more informed decisions regarding their portfolio.