Let’s begin by defining altcoins. Altcoins are simply all cryptos other than Bitcoin (BTC-USD) and, depending on who you ask, Ethereum (ETH-USD) as well. Altcoins are typically forked from one of the leading blockchains, and expand upon their use cases. There are thousands of different altcoins currently in existence, some of which have the potential to appreciate massively.
Chasing those potential gains comes with plenty of risk. Most crypto investors know this from the massive fluctuations we saw in the market. Last year, the entire market capitalization of the crypto sector declined by roughly two-thirds. The Fed’s efforts to tamp inflation with aggressive rate hikes taught many crypto investors a valuable lesson.
However, the slowing of rate hikes improves the outlook for various speculative altcoins. Here are three I think have the potential for outsized gains.
Almost every reader will recognize XRP (XRP-USD) as an altcoin with potentially massive upside potentail. Those same readers know that Ripple, its parent firm, is currently embroiled in a court case with the SEC over the status of XRP. Is it a security or not? That’s the question being hashed out in court. And it’s also the reason to watch XRP for potentially massive gains.
Earlier in the case, the critical focal point for XRP fans was simply judging the merits of Ripple’s case versus that of the SEC. As time passed, it became more apparent that Ripple’s argument was more compelling, and that a judgment could favor the company.
Some pundits currently expect a ruling by early May, favoring Ripple. However, a new concern has emerged. Some argue that XRP investors are banking on XRP for the anticipated favorable judgment, not its overall operations. It’s an interesting aspect to consider, because it implies that significant investor capital could flee XRP quickly following an influx on a favorable judgment. That would cause investors to rely on rapid market timing to capture quick gains.
It’s easy to see why blockchain investors like Monero (XMR-USD). This so-called privacy coin provides the ability for users to transact in a completely anonymous fashion. That anonymity is attractive to many who see cryptocurrency losing some of its original intent.
These days, banks and traditional financial firms seem to be more and more willing to adopt crypto. But crypto was created in large part as an alternative to the conventional financial system. Part of that promise relied on anonymity.
The fact that Monero hides the sender, recipient, and transaction amount makes it something of a trailblazer, in many regards. Many would counter that privacy coins like Monero increase the likelihood that crypto will be used to finance illicit activity. They have a point, but all those who value privacy don’t appreciate it for illegal purposes.
Monero is interesting with respect to its upside potential. Currently, XMR trades at around $150 per token, but enjoyed two distinct price peaks in 2017 and 2021. It eclipsed $400 during both of those respective periods.
Hedera (HBAR-USD) is the polar opposite of Monero in terms of its underlying price. It is inexpensive, trading around 6 cents apiece, and currently trades at levels near its inception in late 2019. It’s also very different from Monero because its utility is related to the status quo.
Hedera has enterprise use cases, and is part of the push to integrate crypto into the corporate landscape. Monero is very much the opposite in that its privacy features lend it a rebellious, anti-corporation character.
However, corporate interest in crypto has waned as investment has fallen over the last year. Hedera’s price turned lower during that period. That suggests Hedera may already be deeply tied to corporate interest in crypto, whether it wants to be or not.
Small, low-volume cryptos
On Low-Capitalization and Low-Volume Cryptocurrencies: InvestorPlace does not regularly publish commentary about cryptocurrencies that have a market capitalization less than $100 million or trade with volume less than $100,000 each day. That’s because these “penny cryptos” are frequently the playground for scam artists and market manipulators. When we do publish commentary on a low-volume crypto that may be affected by our commentary, we ask that InvestorPlace.com’s writers disclose this fact and warn readers of the risks.
Read More: How to Avoid Popular Cryptocurrency Scams
On the date of publication, Alex Sirois 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.