The way I look at it, cryptocurrencies have two major problems right now. Of course, the news item that no one can get enough of is the omicron variant of the coronavirus pandemic. What makes this strain so problematic is its infectiousness. To be clear, we still don’t know much about omicron. However, the latest evidence suggests that it’s highly transmissible, presenting problems for cryptos and risk-on assets.
But the other issue affecting virtual currencies is what I would call the Bible study problem. A great many — who knows, maybe most? — people have motives other than learning more about their faith. Often, you can startle such folks by asking a direct question, “what’s their name?” However, there are those who legitimately want to serve the faith, running parallel to frustrations about cryptos.
Although speculation toward digital assets dominates mainstream headlines, many ardent proponents of the underlying blockchain technology truly desire to decentralize traditional economic and societal power structures. Some of them probably view the rise of meme coins as a sideshow that detracts from their efforts. Therefore, the attention toward cryptos is not always positive, at least from the perspective of certain blockchain purists.
And while I’m not going to take a side between the speculation-versus-utility argument, there’s a point to be made that excessive emotions toward cryptos may have contributed to their recent steep correction. On the equities side, stock trading on margin continues to hit record highs, raising questions about sustainability. Basically, what goes up must go down.
Furthermore, whatever goes up very quickly tends to suffer a deep thud eventually. Still, for those that believe in the future of the blockchain, this present correction might not be a bad thing. It gives you a chance to consider these application-focused cryptos.
- Emanate (CCC:EMT-USD)
- Filecoin (CCC:FIL-USD)
- Monero (CCC:XMR-USD)
- IOTA (CCC:MIOTA-USD)
- Olyseum (CCC:OLY-USD)
- Orakuru (CCC:ORK-USD)
- Grid+ (CCC:GRID-USD)
To be 100% clear, utility does not necessarily translate to profitability, nor does lack of utility necessarily translate to red ink. You must gauge whatever cryptos you have in mind based on their distinct fundamentals or tailwinds. Above all, virtual currencies represent a high-risk venture so you must always practice money management and self-discipline.
Practical Cryptos to Buy: Emanate (EMT)
I like to dabble with music composition on my time off so I decided to add Emanate on the top of this list of cryptos. Normally, I would avoid putting such a risky asset in the leadoff position. You should note that EMT tokens rank 5,583 among all cryptos based on market capitalization. And this market cap is tiny, only $5.7 million at time of writing.
Adding to the challenges, Emanate currently has a limited trading market. So, you’re going to have to add some sophistication to your virtual currency education. As of now, you can’t open a popular wallet service and begin buying EMT tokens.
That said, Emanate could be the future of music. The problem with the popular music industry is that the big record labels basically have a monopoly on the economics of the matter. But through blockchain technology, it’s now possible to decentralize this power structure away from the tone deaf suits and into the hands of content creators.
But what really makes Emanate special is that the underlying architecture also rewards music lovers. Through sharing music and creating buzz, you can also accrue crypto-based rewards.
The project appears to be in its infancy but the participatory nature could change how entertainment content is created, consumed and monetized. As a long-term hopeful, you need to keep EMT on your radar.
As one of the most utility-driven cryptos available, I’ve talked about Filecoin frequently and for good reason. Like Emanate above, Filecoin doesn’t just reward the architects that built the underlying blockchain infrastructure. Instead, it also rewards participants of the network.
Like the name suggests, Filecoin is a decentralized storage system. As you know, cloud computing and similar developments like content delivery networks have become all the rage, particularly as work itself became decentralized due to the Covid-19 pandemic. If this workplace shift becomes part of the permanent landscape, then cloud-based storage systems will likely rise in demand.
But what’s the main problem with centralized storage system providers, at least seen through the eyes of blockchain proponents? Essentially, big tech firms can dominate the internet and associated services. Through this dynamic, they can charge outrageous fees. As well, the only beneficiaries of the solution providers are the giant corporations themselves.
However, Filecoin dramatically changes this narrative through a participatory paradigm. By allowing network participants to contribute unused storage space to the system, Filecoin can serve a global community while ensuring contributors receive their just rewards in cryptos.
Practical Cryptos to Buy: Monero (XMR)
Compared to other cryptos on this list, Monero might seem a bit anachronistic. As mainly a peer-to-peer (P2P) transactional network, it doesn’t strike investors as having the same ambitions as other blockchain projects. However, what Monero does have is brand presence. Ranked number 46 in market cap — $3.5 billion at time of writing — you can trust XMR on a relative basis.
But that’s also an ironic description because, as far as the IRS is concerned, it’s one of the least trustworthy cryptos available. Last year, the tax agency generated headlines, putting up a bounty for anyone who could crack the Monero code. You see, it’s not just a P2P network; it’s a strictly private and anonymous one.
While cryptos generally feature anonymity, it’s not perfect, as the ransom recovery of the Colonial Pipeline attack demonstrated. But good luck trying to do the same with a Monero transaction. That’s why the IRS offered up to $1.25 million to crack the code. I don’t think anyone has claimed the bounty.
You might say that XMR is only for criminals. However, in this politically divisive environment, there’s a need for those with controversial opinions to move their money around. Monero provides the solution, whether you agree with it or not.
A distinct if not outright unique blockchain project, technically speaking, IOTA isn’t even a blockchain at all. Well, let me back up for a second. The platform is a distributed ledger so it features important elements of decentralization. However, as Coinmarketcap.com explains, it doesn’t actually use blockchain technology to verify transactions.
Instead, IOTA features a proprietary tech called Tangle, which is a “system of nodes that confirm transactions. The foundation behind this platform says this offers far greater speeds than conventional blockchains — and an ideal footprint for the ever-expanding Internet of Things ecosystem.”
Moreover, Coinmarketcap.com states that because “there’s no blockchain, there are no miners, and because there are no miners, there are no fees. Many established networks see costs balloon when congestion intensifies, but IOTA aims to provide limitless throughput at minimal expense.”
Apparently, the preferred term to describe IOTA is a blockchainless blockchain. Another aspect that separates the coin from other cryptos is that the foundation isn’t necessarily geared as an economic venture. It’s strictly not for profit and seeks to make the network — as opposed to individual founders — prosperous.
Practical Cryptos to Buy: Olyseum (OLY)
One of the riskier cryptos to consider, Olyseum nevertheless provides a fundamentally compelling narrative. An entertainment-centric platform, Olyseum “is an ecosystem designed by stars to create a closer and more meaningful relationship with their fans,” per Coinmarketcap.com’s description.
Further, the crypto resource states that in Olyseum, “stars will monetize their social influence and reward their fan’s loyalty. Olyseum will allow stars to monetize audiences, and fans to monetize fan engagement.” In this matter, the architecture undergirding OLY is similar to Emanate and Filecoin in its participatory nature.
Put another way, while content-generating talent will likely always be the top earners in participatory blockchain networks, the blockchain itself allows individual users to benefit from their fandom. That’s a massive paradigm shift from traditional star-fan interactions, where only the celebrity receives monetary benefits. With decentralized protocols, the fans can get a piece of the pie too.
If Olyseum becomes successful, it could eventually represent competition from mainstream social media platforms. Honestly, what do you get from liking a celebrity’s post? They probably don’t give a rat’s behind about you. With Olyseum, you at least have an economic reason for your rabid support.
Among cultured eagle-eyed investors, they will be quick to realize that Orakuru is an oracle-centered blockchain project. Orakuru, in a Romanized pronunciation using the Japanese katakana alphabet, is a rough approximation of how English-speaking people pronounce oracle.
Oracles are a huge deal in blockchain utility. Defined as “any device or entity that connects a deterministic blockchain with off-chain data,” oracles provide the missing link that can potentially make cryptos truly, unquestionably mainstream.
In the first generation of blockchain projects, the innovations tended to operate within silos. Without a means of connecting non-blockchain data with a decentralized protocol, early networks featured significant limitations. After all, most of life occurs outside the blockchain.
With oracles, blockchain developers can incorporate “real-life data” to confirm decentralized transactions. Of course, this has huge implications for smart contracts. With oracles, the breadth of such contracts increases exponentially.
Personally, I’d rather have the bulk of my money go toward established oracle blockchains. However, if you don’t mind speculating, ORK might be your ticket.
Practical Cryptos to Buy: Grid+ (GRID)
Although I consider myself an objective supporter of cryptos — meaning I’ll support the good while presenting criticism of the bad — even I couldn’t handle arguably its most challenging aspect: security. In most technological constructs, security means cybersecurity, as in protection from data breaches. Of course, that’s the primary threat that requires robust defense.
But a truly secure platform means that it has a mechanism to protect you against yourself. As a New York Times story showcased earlier this year, lost passwords can impose devastating agony. Now, you shouldn’t necessarily feel sorry for the people featured by the Times since the article is more about humble bragging. They’ve already made out like bandits.
In fact, speaking about criticism, I’ve got to call out the Times for this piece. It’s a bit clickbait-y.
Still, the point remains. There are many misfortunate souls that put all their eggs into a basket whose password they can’t remember. Fortunately, Grid+ provides a better alternative, offering cold storage tied to its proprietary SafeCards.
To be fair, I’m not entirely sure if SafeCards wholly prevent the self-induced error problem (although I’m sure they’re extremely effective against cyberattacks). But I guess it’s a significant improvement over writing passwords down on paper.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto 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.
A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare.