- Bitcoin (BTC-USD): The benchmark of all cryptos is enjoying widespread accumulation, boding well for BTC prices
- Ethereum (ETH-USD): The number two crypto has been on an encouraging run and it’s not entirely based on technical factors
- Tether (USDT-USD): The stablecoin continues to hold the number three spot in terms of market cap, affording USDT significant credibility
- Solana (SOL-USD): While Solana has been steadily rising up the ranks, its focus on NFTs is both compelling and risky
- XRP (XRP-USD): Observers may be cautiously optimistic that the SEC lawsuit impacting XRP could go the crypto coin’s way
- VeChain (VET-USD): An intriguing piece of speculation, VET needs serious upside momentum to drive credibility to its narrative
- Monero (XMR-USD): Don’t forget about Monero, which could play an important role in the geopolitical new normal
On Monday, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon laid out three forces that could shape the world over the next several decades, per a report from CNBC. A combination of a rebounding U.S. economy from the coronavirus pandemic, soaring inflation that may lead to higher interest rates and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has already affected the stock market. However, the cryptocurrency market is also responding, potentially driving interest in the above cryptos. Today has proved to be volatile to the overall crypto market, but on the whole, they’re still up from last month.
Naturally, people are wising up to the deterioration of the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar. Due to the record-breaking expansion of the M2 money stock, we have a condition where too much money is chasing too few goods. As investors generations ago sought the safety of precious metals, it’s quite possible that the current generation could seek the relative safety (and potential profitability) of cryptos.
In addition, on a cynical basis, cryptos can also rise from the senseless violence in eastern Europe. Though telegraphed for weeks, the Kremlin’s decision to attack its neighbor was dangerously unsettling, disrupting the modern global order. However, this painful lesson reminded us that central government authorities cannot be trusted blindly. Therefore, the decentralized nature of cryptos commands strong appeal, especially for the younger and impressionable demographics.
Finally, if Dimon is correct about the U.S. economic rebound, that may be a significant benefit to virtual currencies. With many wondering who they can trust, perhaps a trustless protocol may be in order. Below are some key cryptos to put on your watch wish this week.
Cryptos to Buy: Bitcoin (BTC)
Following the Kremlin’s shocking decision to attack Ukraine, Bitcoin (BTC-USD), after an initial burst of activity as many people sought to diversify their wealth exposure to fiat currencies, spent a significant amount of time below the psychologically important $40,000 level. While decentralized protocols theoretically offered a mechanism to avoid sanctions, geopolitical stability is central to modern business dealings.
Since mid-March, however, Bitcoin has been making a slow but steady march higher. At its most recent peak, BTC was challenging the $48,000 level until momentum slipped due to market volatility. It’s now languishing around $44,000 after sitting around $47,000 for the better part of the past few weeks.
Better yet for embattled investors of benchmark cryptos, Cointelegraph.com reported signs of heavy accumulation in Bitcoin. Both large public buyers — the whales to use blockchain parlance — and smaller buyers have been buying up BTC. Such determined activity shows no sign of abating, which could point to greater things ahead for virtual currencies.
Professional athletes often talk about hating second place because it represents the first loser. There might be some truth to this sentiment. After all, how many times do we remember the silver medalist at a global tournament?
But with Ethereum (ETH-USD), second place is not a bad place to be, particularly because the protocol undergirds multiple blockchain applications. In some ways, Bitcoin has become a digital store of wealth. However, if you want utility and quantifiable fundamentals out of your cryptos, ETH is difficult to top.
Sure enough, Ethereum has printed some of the most encouraging dynamics on the technical charts. Throughout much of the geopolitical flashpoint, ETH traded below $3,000 — sometimes well below this critical threshold. But since mid-March, ETH has been rising higher, to the tune of over $3,500. Only recently has it shed some of those gains, currently sitting around $3,200. That’s still pretty good compared to that $3,000 line.
Even more encouraging, InvestorPlace contributor Chris MacDonald reported that as Ethereum makes its transition to a proof-of-stake protocol, analysts see greater demand for ETH, with some calling for a $10,000 price target by the end of this year.
Cryptos to Buy: Tether (USDT)
Prior to the violence in eastern Europe, the South China Morning Post reported that Ukrainians began turning to cryptos to safeguard their wealth. In particular, a breed of digital assets called stablecoins garnered much interest. Because they’re pegged to a hard fiat currency (usually the dollar), stablecoins like Tether (USDT-USD) essentially transfer wealth from centralized institutions to a decentralized platform.
It’s important to point out that Tether is not without risks. Indeed, it might make the case for one of the riskiest cryptos you can acquire. That’s because stakeholders are not 100% sure whether the underlying organization holds enough dollars to effectively backstop the number of USDT coins in circulation. Any loss of confidence could spark the equivalent of a bank run in the blockchain space.
At the same time, in the face of unprecedented regional turmoil, USDT has really made a case for itself. You can see that the market approves, with Tether being the third-most valuable crypto in the world.
As great as Ethereum is, problems have started to arise in recent years. During the remarkable run up in cryptos in 2021, ETH holders profited handsomely. At the same time, though, developers using the network for building blockchain-based applications were crying foul due to high network fees called gas. With the situation becoming untenable for many developers, a migration materialized to other platforms.
One such competitor is Solana (SOL-USD), which has made a name for itself through its network’s speed, scalability and security — all at a remarkably low transactional fee. While this narrative continues to be SOL’s strongest selling point, Solana has also gained attraction for its expanding ecosystem of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
As you’ve probably heard, NFTs represent one of the hottest topics in the investment arena. So long as the trend continues, Solana looks to be enviably positioned. However, the drawback is that most NFTs may be prone to failure. Therefore, if you’re going to gamble on SOL on the NFT angle, do so cautiously.
Cryptos to Buy: XRP (XRP)
For those of you who happen to be new to cryptos, the sector has recently drawn regulatory scrutiny. Most notably, XRP (XRP-USD) — the decentralized payment ecosystem developed by Ripple Labs — has come under fire from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which alleges that Ripple skirted securities law through issuing XRP.
The SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple, drawing heated debates in the public sphere about what constitutes a cryptocurrency. Usually, I don’t like to weigh too heavily on legal matters because such circumstances can go either way. However, those that have an optimistic view may be feeling buoyed by recent developments.
To make a long story short, it’s possible that the court presiding over the case may force the SEC to produce highly sensitive documents; documents that may end up favoring Ripple’s contention that XRP is a cryptocurrency, not a security. In that case, legal experts suggest that the SEC may settle the suit rather than disclose potentially damning evidence.
Billed as an ecosystem that helps developers build solutions for real-world economic problems, VeChain (VET-USD) is part of the evolution of cryptos. Initially, Bitcoin proved that two parties unknown to each other can transfer digital representations of wealth without the need of a centralized intermediary. Ethereum came along with the smart contract innovation to expand upon the utility of blockchain technology.
VeChain drives the concept further, allowing development teams to reduce or eliminate pain points in traditional business functionalities, such as supply chain management. By enabling greater security and efficiency for the transfer of goods, VeChain may also be able to reduce overhead for various businesses’ logistics arms.
Sure enough, with major cryptos rebounding as investors absorbed the new realities of the global capital markets, VET has been one of the strongest performers. But moving forward, analysts have debated the underlying technical strength of VET. If you want to speculate — and can tolerate extreme volatility potential — VeChain is one of the cryptos to watch this week.
Cryptos to Buy: Monero (XMR)
While many celebrate the blockchain as a profound step forward in financial and business-related innovations, cryptos have also garnered a reputation — not all of it flattering. Particularly, critics of virtual currencies lament their underlying anonymity. As everyone knows, bad things tend to happen in the darkness. And this concept applies to finances as anything else.
However, as the Bitcoin ransom incident involving Colonial Pipeline demonstrated, not all cryptos are the same regarding anonymity. When critics lay into the potential for nefarious activity using the blockchain, they’re probably referring to Monero (XMR-USD) whether they know it or not.
Unlike Bitcoin and similar legacy cryptos, Monero leverages privacy-enhancing technologies that obfuscate transactional details. To my knowledge, no one has been able to crack the Monero code, making it the ideal choice for discretion.
Given the heightened interest in decentralized protocols following U.S.-backed sanctions against Russia, Monero is among the cryptos to watch this week, if only for cynical reasons.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto held a long position in BTC, ETH, USDT and XRP. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.