It’s a new year and that means that it is time for a new cryptocurrency to take the world by storm. At least, that’s what happens in January every year. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and other cryptocurrencies have all had their time to shine.
They were all the hottest investment around when they first came out. And then they crashed back down to earth. But now there are some new cryptocurrencies on the horizon that could change everything.
Let’s look at the five upcoming cryptocurrencies to watch out for in 2018.
It’s 2018 and cryptocurrencies are still a hot topic for discussion. The total market capitalization of the whole space is currently hovering around $700 billion and many experts believe that we haven’t seen the full potential of this technology yet. In fact, many of them believe that in the coming years there will be a new cryptocurrency that could replace Bitcoin as the most valuable digital currency in existence.
In this article, we’re going to discuss four technologies that could not only dethrone Bitcoin as the king of crypto but also change the world by solving some of its biggest problems.
But first, it’s important to understand why Bitcoin might lose its position as the dominant cryptocurrency in 2018. And it all boils down to one thing: transaction fees. Due to increased traffic on the Bitcoin blockchain and a surge in popularity, transaction fees have skyrocketed over the past couple of weeks. For example, on December 29th, 2017, an average cost was $37 and it took more than 20 hours for a transaction to be confirmed.
These are numbers from Coin Metrics, which also estimates that almost 50% of all transactions currently have fees higher than $20 with over 1% having fees higher than $100!
Analysts expect cryptocurrencies to continue to fall after the most recent week of declines.
In the past seven days, bitcoin has fallen by more than 10 per cent and is now trading at $13,873. It’s a stark contrast from its peak of nearly $20,000 in December 2017.
It’s not just bitcoin that has fallen either. Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency, has also dropped by nearly 16 per cent in the same time period.
But analysts aren’t surprised by the market’s performance, given the record highs seen just last month. “The crypto market may still be in a correction phase as prices are still dropping,” said Charles Hayter, chief executive and founder of CryptoCompare.
Cryptocurrencies are all the rage right now, and none is more popular than Bitcoin. Speculators have been driving up its price, predicting it will be the currency of the future, but many others are skeptical. Could the cryptocurrency craze morph into a bubble?
Where do cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin come from? Unlike traditional money, no bank prints or physically produces them. Instead they’re produced by people – and increasingly businesses – running computers all around the world, using software that solves mathematical problems. The “miners” compete to earn digital coins that can then be sold or saved.
The first cryptocurrency was bitcoin. Created in 2009 by an unknown person (or persons) using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin is a form of decentralised electronic cash designed to provide a viable alternative to traditional fiat currency. Rather than having to deal with a centralised authority such as a bank to process transactions, bitcoin holders can transfer their coins directly to one another on a peer-to-peer network.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may be the future of money, but they’re also among the most volatile investments around. With prices swinging up and down by hundreds of dollars in a matter of hours, it can be easy to miss out on huge gains or suffer equally devastating losses.
A new cryptocurrency is set to launch soon that could make these fluctuations a thing of the past. It’s called Basis, and its creators have lofty goals for their new coin. A mission statement on its website describes Basis as creating “a price-stable cryptocurrency with an algorithmically expanding money supply.”
In plain English, that means Basis is meant to function like a real-world currency without the wild price swings that can discourage everyday people from using it. Basis is currently in development, but its initial coin offering (ICO) is expected sometime in 2018.
The year of 2018 is a very exciting time for the cryptocurrency community. With the upcoming implementation of segwit and lightning network, Bitcoin scaling is about to get a big push. Bitcoin will be able to handle more transactions per second than ever before.
However, the scaling problem isn’t just an issue with Bitcoin. It’s also plaguing other cryptos like Ethereum and Litecoin. For example, Ethereum has been struggling with the scalability issue since its inception and it was only a matter of time until it showed its ugly head.
The main problem has been that the technology behind cryptocurrencies isn’t really ready to handle so many transactions in such a short period of time. For example, if you look at how much bandwidth and storage space are required for one transaction on Bitcoin or Ethereum, it would take up your entire hard drive in a few years!
This has led many people to believe that these coins are useless and won’t last long in the long run. But I think they’re wrong!
For example, in 2018, the SEC halted trading of a cryptocurrency called PlexCoin. In its complaint, the SEC noted that PlexCoin was being promoted as an investment opportunity, but had no clear business model or working product.
The CFTC took a similar action against My Big Coin Pay Inc., and its founder Randall Crater. In its complaint, the CFTC alleged that My Big Coin Pay Inc. was promoting trading in the “My Big Coin” cryptocurrency without registering with the Commission and without complying with other commodities law requirements.
In 2019, cryptocurrencies have been center stage for regulators. The SEC has taken enforcement actions against celebrities who promote ICOs without disclosing their payments from issuers, like DJ Khaled and Floyd Mayweather. This fall, New York’s attorney general sued iFinex Inc., which runs Bitfinex and Tether Ltd., alleging that both companies made false statements about their relationship and business practices.
So what is a “cryptocurrency”? A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency designed to work as a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure transactions and control the creation of new units of currency. Cryptocurrencies are decentralized; they are not issued or backed by governments or central banks.
As we approach 2020, it is likely that regulators will