5. Binance Coin
Binance Coin (BNB) is probably the most controversial cryptocurrency on this list. It’s also an extremely safe hold, simply because of where it belongs – on Binance. In the span of a few months, this Chinese exchange went from obscurity to the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world. This is probably due to a multitude of factors such as short downtimes, low fees, good community outreach and a great referral program. The introduction of BNB halves the fees anyone pays for trading, and for day traders and HODLers alike, that’s very useful on the largest exchange in the world.
Why not Kucoin Shares or other exchange tokens?
Exchange tokens are getting very popular after the explosion of Binance’s BNB. Kucoin released Kucoin Shares (KCS), Cryptopia has DOT, and Coss.io has COSS. While the referral system in Kucoin might sound better, the exchange itself hasn’t been proven yet. No exchange is trading the same volume as Binance with the same level of professionalism (lack of downtime or withdrawal/deposit problems), which is why BNB is a safe bet. There are also technical reasons for its success, such as BNB token burn and the influx of new users to Binance, which is pretty much a guarantee in 2018.
Monero (XMR) is what government agencies in 3rd world countries and old people think Bitcoin is – an untraceable, anonymous way to transact and buy… not drugs. What one does with that privacy is their choice, and frankly, their problem, but the fact that there’s a coin that offers true anonymity and not pseudonymity like Bitcoin, means it’s valuable. Monero has been around since 2014. It used to be mined on old smartphones before the crypto boom made that impossible – so there’s a good distribution and circulation. Monero has been around lurking in the shadows, softly mooning behind Bitcoin, behind the spotlight.
Why is Monero a comfy hold?
The tech backbone of cryptocurrency in 2018 is going to depend on a few coins – Ethereum and NEO providing dApps and smart contracts, Bitcoin (or someone else) being the means of exchange and store of value, and Monero being the king of privacy. In a world of increasing government regulations and business involvement, the need for a coin like Monero is going to keep growing.
Why is Bitcoin (BTC) not number 1 on this list? Well, for starters its market dominance has been at its lowest since inception, going lower. It’s clunky and slow, and fees these days don’t seem to go lower than $10 anymore. Off chain scaling solutions don’t directly solve this problem either, and even Lightning Network, SegWit and Atomic Swaps are far from implementation. The community is divided and it’s difficult to gain immediate consensus since the development is so ‘decentralised’.
Why not Bitcoin Cash?
Bitcoin Cash suffers from the same problem that Bitcoin does – it is Bitcoin. An 8MB block size is not enough of a differentiator to capture its big brother’s market. Bitcoin is popular not just because new investors think of it as a store of value, but because institutional investors, crypto whales, and day traders all use BTC as the standard denomination for cryptocurrency trading. For BCH to replace it and create a ‘flippening’, it will first have to be used by exchanges exclusively, while offering more trading pairs than BTC. There are just so many fast ‘currency coins’ in this space, such as Raiblocks, DASH, Ripple and even Litecoin, that if the market kills BTC, BCH dies with it too.
Then why is Bitcoin on this list at all?
Bitcoin has been around for 9 years now. In that time it’s survived one of the most catastrophic mismanagement of funds since Charles Ponzi in Mt. Gox, it’s survived hard forks, FUD attempts, market manipulation, government regulation, and if you believe the media, Bitcoin dies about twice a week. It’s a tough cookie to crack. It’s also the only cookie (or cryptocurrency) that regular ol’ Joe from Alabama knows about. The media blitzkrieg and first mover advantage means new money will always be pouring into Bitcoin, as long as cryptocurrency is seen as a viable investment.
Bitcoin’s long term game plan might look bleak when faced with competition from its, younger, shinier and sexier competitors, but 2018 is not going to be the year it dies. No one knows whether it can be pumped to $100,000 or $1,000,000 in the near future, but Bitcoin still a lot of life left in it. The network effect, and Metcalfe’s law, makes this inevitable. Your Bitcoins might not double in value like they did in November 2017, but expect stable, organic growth in 2018.
The world is changing. Cryptocurrencies are no longer just currencies, but something smarter, and “Chinese Ethereum” is one of the most undervalued products on the market right now. Right from its inception as Antshares, NEO was hailed as the next big dApp and smart contracts platform. One of our hot crypto picks, Deep Brain Chain, is an AI neural network based on NEO’s blockchain. Its tech is already being used, and NEO is gaining weight as a major industry player. The fact that they have Chinese government partnerships as well as major business partnerships is what will keep it growing.
In 2018 you will find exchanges, especially Asian ones such as Binance and Kucoin, start to list NEO as a major trading pair. Fully expect the volume, price and use of the NEO token to go up. The fact is, China is the leader in cryptocurrency innovation and investment, so NEO will be used to prop up the smart contract tech that most new coins will be built on. Similar to our next one…
All hail the king!
One might make the argument that Ethereum (ETH) has changed cryptocurrency more in 3 years than Bitcoin has done in 9. Since its launch, Vitalik Buterin has managed to drive the Ethereum project to second in global market cap with the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance. There’s a good chance that if Bitcoin falls from its #1 spot this year, it’s replaced by ETH. Holding Ethereum is holding the ultimate blue chip stock – it’s a big project, ran by extremely talented developers who have delivered a product that is already changing the world.
Most new ICOs are done on Ethereum. Most “shitcoins” you can buy today are ERC20 tokens running on the Ethereum blockchain. The ETH network currently processes more than 1 million transactions a day, which is larger than every other cryptocurrency combined. Yes, there is network congestion, and fees have been slowly rising as a result, but the length and breadth of the applications for this blockchain are immense. From Cryptokitties to decentralized exchanges to insurance contracts, ETH enables it all.
Ethereum is a long term HODL. The dividends will really start to pay off when sharding is implemented, which is purported to be some time in early 2018. Coins like BTC and Ripple have a limited use case when compared to ETH, which is poised to become the backbone of every smart contract transaction in the world. Once that happens, Ethereum has won cryptocurrency for the foreseeable future.
The 5 comfiest holds in cryptocurrencies for 2018 are:
- Binance Coin
These coins aren’t going to 100x this year. They are large market cap cryptos with established identities and use cases. However, as you go up the list, you are met with cryptocurrencies who are the most likely to multiply your investment with the least risks. Factors that I’ve used to create this list are time the technology has been around, its competition, use case and market cap. Oh, and I’ve also assumed the global cryptocurrency bubble doesn’t come crashing down, leading to a Crypto Great Depression.
Where to Buy: You can buy and trade all of these coins on Binance
If you’re looking for some riskier, low market cap cryptocurrencies that are undervalued and have the chance to 100x your investment, check out this article.
(Note: Links to exchanges include our referral links.)