Cryptos have lost some of their allure in recent weeks. Many digital currencies saw record highs earlier in the year, but those astounding prices are now in the rearview mirror.
While broader equity markets make new highs, analysts debate whether altcoins have any significant upside left in the rest of the year.
Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) and Ethereum (CCC:ETH-USD) are the two most important cryptos. Their respective market capitalizations (caps) stand at $862 billion and $366 billion, and the two comprise around two-thirds of all cryptos. The joint market cap held by the duo is remarkable when we remember there are more than 6,000 altcoins. That number had been around 60 a decade ago.
In late July, rumors that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) could be getting into the crypto space gave a boost to many digital coins, starting with BTC-USD and ETH-USD. Meanwhile, a number of investors have turned to stocks like Coinbase Global (NASDAQ:COIN), PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) or Square (NYSE:SQ) for indirect crypto exposure.
In other words, the market is ready to put its money and faith in digital assets. Here are 8 cryptos that deserve your attention in August:
- Algorand (CCC:ALGO-USD)
- BitTorrent (CCC:BTT-USD)
- Cardano (CCC:ADA-USD)
- Chia Network (CCC:XCH-USD)
- Klaytn (CCC:KLAY-USD)
- Stellar Lumens (CCC:XLM-USD)
- Terra (CCC:LUNA-USD)
- Theta (CCC:THETA-USD)
For new investors, the world of cryptocurrency can feel overwhelming. We should also remind readers that digital assets might not be appropriate for everyone. It’s important to know your personal investing goals and do appropriate due diligence.
Cryptocurrencies to Buy for a Bitcoin Comeback: Algorand (ALGO-USD)
52-week range: $0.2221 — 1.8246
Market cap: $2.74 billion
MIT professor Silvio Micali founded the Algorand network in 2019. Its native crypto, ALGO-USD, should appeal to readers who think decentralized finance (DeFi) applications and traditional finance products will increasingly converge.
Algorand’s permissionless pure proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain protocol supports a wide range of smart contracts. Developers can create application and protocols on the platform. Among the hundreds of organizations using the Algorand network are Circle, ClimateTrade, Opulous, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Tether (CCC:USDT-USD).
Since ALGO-USD does not need to be mined like Bitcoin or a large number of other cryptos, many regard it as an important name in blockchain sustainability. The coin finished 2020 at $0.34 and currently trades for $0.86, up about 153% year-to-date (YTD). Despite the recent decline in price, investor sentiment for ALGO-USD remains positive.
52-week range: $0.00028 — $0.01426
Market cap: $2.56 billion
Founded two decades ago, BitTorrent is well-known as a peer-to-peer (P2P) communications and file-sharing protocol. In 2019, the Tron Foundation acquired the platform and established BTT-USD as the native currency for the network.
Last year, BitTorrent “surpassed 2 billion installations of its popular torrent client software on Windows, Mac and Android.” Among those businesses relying on the network are Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) and Wikipedia.
BitTorrent is currently hovering at 0.39 cents (or about $0.0039), up more than 1000% year-to-date. On April 6 it reached an all-time high just shy of $0.0106. Like other cryptos, BTT-USD has been on the decline since then. Given the increase in user base, the altcoin deserves your attention.
52-week range: $0.0761 — $2.4618
Market cap: $47.7 billion
Following a breathtaking rally over the past year, ADA-USD is now the fifth largest crypto by market cap. The Cardano blockchain uses proof-of-stake (PoS) validation and a two-layer computational structure. Therefore, it offers an alternative to the scaling issues of Bitcoin.
Cardano has the smart contract features of Ethereum without the high GAS fees associated with the Ethereum blockchain. Many readers will be aware of how such high fees are regarded as a limiting factor for the development of the DeFi space. As a result Cardano has been called the “Ethereum killer” crypto.
ADA-USD has also differentiated itself as an eco-friendly cryptocurrency. In early 2021, the altcoin was around 18 cents. Today it’s trading at $1.48 and has gained over 722% YTD.
For the longer term, the price of ADA-USD will likely move back above $1.50 to trade at new highs in two- to three- years.
Chia Network (XCH)
52-week range: $161.16 — $1,316.9
Market cap: $244 million (self-reported; currently, “The CMC team has not verified the project’s Market Cap.”)
Created in 2017, the Chia Network, aims to address the high energy cost of mining cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. BitTorrent founder Bram Cohen is the central name behind Chia.
According to a recent white paper, this crypto uses about 10,000 times less energy than what is typically necessary to mine BTC-USD. Instead of being mined, XCH-USD is “farmed.” This farming process uses the “Proof of Space and Time” algorithm. In addition, Amazon Web Services (AWS) enables users to farm XCH-USD through the cloud.
XCH-USD, Chia’s native token, was launched in early May 2021 as an energy-efficient cryptocurrency. Individual users can mine tokens without substantial investment or energy use. But the timing was somewhat unfortunate for holders of the crypto as the selloff in digital currencies started at the time of the launch. The altcoin currently hovers around $257.
52-week range: $0.743 — $2.6090
Market cap: $3.0 billion
Popular South Korean mobile platform Kakao is behind Klaytn, which aims to increase the adoption of blockchain. As consensus mechanism, Klaytn relies on a process named the “Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT). Nodes share information with each other and process transactions rapidly.
Klayton’s network has been steadily growing. For instance in March, the leading newspaper, Korea Economic Daily, began “using the Klaytn blockchain in its infrastructure to empower and incentivize readers to actively engage with the media.” Other Klaytn partners include short video entertainment service Antube, e-commerce platform Temco, crowdfunding platform Pledgecamp and review sharing platform Liter.
KLAY-USD started 2021 around $0.486. Now it trades at $1.22. That’s a YTD return of about 150% and over the past month, Klaytnis is up more than 5%. With a market cap of $2.7 billion, it is among the top 50 altcoins.
Stellar Lumens (XLM-USD)
52-week range: $0.067289 — $0.796471
Market cap: $7.11 billion
Jed McCaleb, cofounder of Ripple (CCC:XRP-USD), launched Stellar Lumens in 2015. The platform can convert any currency and trade it across numerous channels faster and cheaper than traditional methods. Holders of XLM-USD highlight the potential of the altcoin to disrupt the cross-border financial payments segment.
Stellar has a growing list of partners. For instance, a recent partnership with Visa (NYSE:V) and Circle will give users access to their digital wallet. The platform has also built partnerships with Deloitte and IBM(NYSE:IBM), two of its most significant institutional supporters.
Creation of new Stellar Lumens finished in 2019, a fact that could help the price of the crypto over the long term. XLM-USD is currently priced around 30 cents, up more than 105% YTD. In the past month, it returned over 5%. Stellar Lumens is currently among the top twenty altcoins.
52-week range: $0.2758 — 22.3300
Market cap: $5.83 billion
If you are interested in stablecoins, then you have likely heard of the Terra network. Launched in April 2019 by Daniel Shin and Do Kwon, Terra is a blockchain protocol that uses fiat-pegged stablecoins, such as TerraUSD (CCC:UST-USD).
InvestorPlace contributor Stavros Georgiadis, CFA, has recently covered stablecoins in depth. He highlights, “most stablecoins have a price of $1 per unit… As the name implies, stablecoins are used to provide stability in their price and can be used not just for gaining interest or for lending purposes, but purposes such as settlement, escrow, or payments.”
Many investors follow cryptos closely on Twitter and the Terra network is no exception. The team behind the platform has been providing updates on their recent work, such partnerships and protocol updates. For instance, in July Terra and Harmony (CCC:ONE-USD) announced that they’d partner on DeFi initiatives.
LUNA-USD is the native currency for the Terra network. It has benefitted from various platform developments. LUNA-USD started 2021 around $0.6314. Now it trades around $14.11.
Over the past year, it has also returned more than 3,000%. Put another way, the proverbial $1,000 invested in the crypto in August 2020 would now be worth more than $40,000. Even over just the past month, LUNA is up about 110%.
With a market cap of $5.8 billion, it is among the top 25 altcoins. Rising demand for UST-USD is likely to provide further tailwinds for LUNA.
52-week range: $0.2926 — $15.8984
Market cap: $6.8 billion
THETA-USD is one of the altcoins for the Theta Network a blockchain-based video-streaming platform. Users can “simultaneously watch video content and earn token rewards for relaying video to other users.”
Among its advisors are Steve Chen, cofounder of YouTube, and Justin Kan of videogame streaming platform Twitch, which Amazon now owns. Chen points out that Theta’s “decentralized peer-to-peer network … can offer improved video delivery at lower costs.”
The Theta platform has two types of tokens. Theta pays users Theta Fuel (CCC:TFUEL-USD) for sharing their computer’s bandwidth with the network. On the other hand, THETA-USD is stimulus money for users who contribute computing resources as well as excess bandwidth. The supply of THETA-USD, which is fixed at one billion, will never increase.
The crypto is likely to strengthen its position thanks to a growing list of partnerships. For example, Theta Labs’ “Enterprise Validator Nodes” collaborates with Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Binance (CCC:BNB-USD), Samsung and Sony (NYSE:SONY), among other groups.
THETA-USD currently hovers around $6.82, up more than 2,000% in the past year. Fans of the crypto believe the run-up in price is still in its early days.
On the date of publication, Tezcan Gecgil did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Tezcan Gecgil, Ph.D., has worked in investment management for over two decades in the U.S. and U.K. In addition to formal higher education in the field, she has also completed all three levels of the Chartered Market Technician (CMT) examination. Her passion is for options trading based on technical analysis of fundamentally strong companies. She especially enjoys setting up weekly covered calls for income generation.