For new investors, the choice of cryptocurrency is overwhelming. There are hundreds of coins and tokens, each with a different vision or purpose. And as you can see from the broad range of this list, there is no right or wrong one: every coin has its own merit and demerit, its own unique characteristics, strengths and weaknesses.
However, if you want to invest your money in a coin that may be a few months or years old already (and maybe already gone), here is a quick-hit list. It’s not comprehensive, but it should give you some idea of which coins might still have something to offer.
Note that in some categories there are hundreds of coins to choose from; because I don’t have time for everything, this list is focused on the ones that might be worth considering.
In the last few years, a surprising number of cryptocurrencies have appeared. Bitcoin and Ethereum started to rise in value earlier this year, and many others followed them.
In the hands of a skilled investor, these currencies can be valuable for many reasons. But investing in them is not easy. It is hard to find any guide that provides an overview of all the available coins, or even a list of all the good ones.
This has become much easier recently because there are now several services that aggregate information about all the top coins into one place. I use Coin Market Cap as my main source, but here are some others:
Coin Market Cap (for any currency) http://coinmarketcap.com/
Coin Circle https://coincircle.com/
____I don’t know how reliable these websites are, or whether their data is up to date or accurate. But they are better than nothing.
Cryptocurrency is a hot new investment. But it’s possible to make money without getting involved in the volatile market. Here are some coins that look like good choices.
It is possible to lose your money by investing in a bad cryptocoin. This is not the same as losing your money by buying a bad company or a bad product. Stocks, for example, are a better reference point for comparing cryptocoins than cryptocurrency is because the stock market works over long periods of time. Cryptocurrencies are a new thing, and you can’t know how they will perform until they’ve been around for a while.
But if you’re looking for something to invest in, there are some things you can do. Bitcoin is still the best known coin, but it has been eclipsed by other coins like Ethereum and Dash. These have certain advantages, one of which is that they work with smart contracts and can be used as an alternative to traditional banking. They also have more tech-savvy users than Bitcoin, which means they have many more people who are willing to help answer questions about them.
Cryptocurrency is a global phenomenon, but most people don’t know it exists. The mainstream press doesn’t pay attention to it, and the World Economic Forum hasn’t even got an entry for it in its Risk Report. But the financial world is getting interested, and in the last year or so cryptocurrency has exploded into a multi-billion-dollar industry.
The biggest coin, Bitcoin, started out as a joke that no one took seriously. Then over the last 12 months or so it has gained what feels like exponential growth, and now seems to be at a plateau. In July 2017 there were nearly $20 billion of Bitcoins in circulation; five months later that had risen to around $70 billion. At present it is trading at around $12,000 per Bitcoin, so if you think that’s peak growth you are probably right.
It might seem odd to think about buying a currency that has only been around for 13 years, but cryptocurrency does have some advantages over conventional currencies. It is completely decentralized: no government controls it or can freeze your account. There are no physical coins: you just keep them on your computer or phone. There is no limit on how many currency units you can accumulate: there will always be more than enough to go round (or at
Cryptocurrency is an investment, but it’s more like venture capital than like bonds or stocks. The risks are different. And the best way to assess which currency to buy is not so much by thinking about its price today, but by considering the future.
Cryptocurrency is a new asset class, and it’s just emerging as a place for people to put their money. But as with any other kind of business venture, there will be winners and losers, and the ones that lose will have done so because they were too early or too late or because they simply misjudged what would become popular at the time.
You should think of your cryptocurrency holdings as investments in the future of that particular currency. If you buy into something new, you need to understand what its potential is, and how much risk there is in it.
Bitcoin is the most famous cryptocurrency, but the term is a little misleading. It’s not meant to be money itself; it’s a software system.
Every week or two I get an email from someone saying “How do I invest in Bitcoin?” and they link me to their favorite website where they can buy bitcoins with a credit card. That sounds to me like they are going out of their way to avoid doing what you should do if you want to be rich: buy bitcoins with a credit card.
If you really want bitcoins, you’d have better odds buying them on an exchange than trying to mine them. Mining pays off only if there’s some big boom in bitcoin prices. There are plenty of bitcoin millionaires because they bought in at the right time and sold out early enough, but that doesn’t mean mining was smart.