Hedera Hashgraph (CCC:HBAR-USD) is making a name for itself as a major potential Ethereum (CCC:ETH-USD) competitor. The Hedera crypto blockchain, not built upon Ethereum, has its own code that can close blockchain transactions at high speeds and low costs.
As of Oct. 5, Hedera crypto traded for 39.54 cents per HBAR token, giving it a market cap of $5.91 billion. This makes it the 34th largest cryptocurrency out there as of yesterday, according to CoinMarketCap.
Hedera Hashgraph has risen significantly this year. For example, the crypto ended Dec. 31 around 3.292 cents per HBAR token. But as of Oct. 5, at 39.54 cents, it is now up 11 times year-to-date (YTD). However, it was even higher at 50.59 cents when it peaked on Sept. 14, as can be seen on CoinMarketCap.
Hedera Hashgraph’s Standout Features
Hedera’s unique distributed ledger technology is known as Hashgraph. Its advantages are speed, cost and scalability. It can handle more than 10,000 transactions per second. This compares to about 5 to 20 transactions for many popular proof-of-work (PoW)-based blockchains.
Recently, HBAR spiked to more than 50 cents as the market realized the crypto had a growing list of ecosystem partners. For example, Decrypt magazine wrote that Suku, a supply chain as a service company in California, was building a non-fungible token (NFT) platform on Hedera’s blockchain.
This, in turn, has helped the market realize Hedera Hashgraph could become a major player in creating and configuring NFTs. On Aug. 30, the company announced new levels of support for NFTs in its Hashgraph blockchain code.
This could have huge implications for the cryptocurrency. NFTs are clearly the hottest thing in the blockchain and crypto market. Hedera’s ability to handle transactions quickly and efficiently at a low cost is likely its main appeal to NFT creators.
Additionally, the fact that the Hashgraph blockchain technology is not built upon Ethereum gives it an added advantage. Some might consider that a drawback in performance and security. But being built on Ethereum would not make Hedera completely independent of its main competitor in the blockchain space.
Another feature of Hedera’s blockchain is that it can support virtual currencies as well as debit and credit card transactions. This makes it ideal for the development of decentralized applications (Dapps).
What to Expect With Hedera Hashgraph
If you want to keep on top of developments at Hedera Hashgraph, monitor Hedera’s site, CryptoSlate, Decrypt and CoinTelegraph. Each of these sites can show you any major news that comes out regarding the crypto and its blockchain platform.
I suspect that as NFTs gain popularity in the crypto arena, Hedera Hashgraph will probably rise in price quite significantly. For example, CryptoNewsZ predicts that it could be worth $1.854 in five years.
That represents a potential gain of 371% over yesterday’s price of 39.54 cents. That’s still a huge average annual return of 36.3% on a compound basis over that five-year period.
Moreover, the Dallas-based crypto has some considerably sophisticated investors that act as a governing council. This list includes Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL), Boeing (NYSE:BA), IBM (NYSE:IBM) and several other large U.S. and European firms.
What to Do With Hedera Hashgraph
This is a potentially speculative investment for most investors. Hedera crypto could potentially do quite well from here. However, it must be seen and used as a viable alternative to Ethereum in the Dapp and NFT space. It’s not clear that Hedera will be useful as a competitor in the smart contract arena.
On the other hand, it could also bomb. If some other competitor could be seen as a better alternative to Ethereum, such as Solana (CCC:SOL-USD), then Hedera could lose out.
However, as it stands now, the crypto has a fighting chance at having a great performance. So it might make sense, assuming you are a speculative investor, to take a chance on Hedera Hashgraph for a portion of your crypto portfolio.
On the date of publication, Mark R. Hake held a long position in Ethereum but did not own any other security mentioned in the article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.