5 Cryptocurrencies to Try That Aren’t Bitcoin

 

Bitcoin may have been the first cryptocurrency to market, and the scarcity factor–due to the whole “bitcoin mining” approach–heightened its appeal and led its astronomical rise. While Bitcoin may get all the attention, there are many alternatives for investors who want to dip their toes in the cryptocurrency pool. Here are five digital currencies to try if you want to diversify your portfolio but can’t swing the cost of Bitcoin. 

1. Bitcoin Cash 

Bitcoin Cash operates like Bitcoin, but with larger blocks. The larger block sizes decrease transaction processing time, which is a known stumbling block of Bitcoin. Since Bitcoin Cash was started by Bitcoin miners, it has credibility among cryptocurrency fans. While it premiered in 2017, it has enjoyed a fast rise in value, thanks to its association with the king of cryptos. 

2. Cardano 

If the words “backed by science” make you trust something, then this is the cryptocurrency you want. Cardano is a cryptocurrency platform that hopes to run financial applications used by governments, individuals, and everyone in between. Unlike other digital currency founders, the team behind Cardano is transparent (and highly credentialed), which can foster trust.  

Built by scientists and engineers to harness the best aspects of each cryptocurrency, Cardano is poised to offer a lot–and is priced incredibly low. If you’re seeking to get in on the ground floor of the next Bitcoin, this is one to watch. 

3. Dash

If the secrecy is the main part of Bitcoin’s appeal for you, then DASH may be your crypto of choice. Originally termed Darkcoin, Dash, which launched in 2014, offers even more secrecy than bitcoin. Transactions are untraceable. In 2017, Dash was up some 8,000 percent, a fact that speaks to the popularity of the principles behind this digital currency.  

4. Ethereum 

Ethereum is the silver to Bitcoin’s gold. What makes it unique (and a potentially strong investment) is its non-currency use of blockchain. Ethereum lets retailers track inventory in realtime. Smart contracts trigger purchase orders when conditions are met. These features make Ethereum useful for many applications, a factor some believe will propel it to new highs. 

Etherium is widely seen as among the “safer” cryptocurrencies to invest in. If you’re just wading into these alternative investments, that fact may appeal. 

5. Litecoin

While bitcoin’s founder is anonymous, Litecoin’s founder is well-known (and highly esteemed). Consider also that Litecoin is much faster than Bitcoin, and four times as available, and you’ve got multiple compelling reasons to consider an investment. 

Litecoin has sought out many merchant partners, hoping that widespread acceptance will translate to widespread use and a high value. Over the last year, Litecoin has grown in transactions by 300 percent, with some 30,000 transactions per day. 

It’s important to do your homework with any new investment, but especially with cryptocurrencies, which aren’t regulated. Review the risks and potential rewards, determine how much risk you feel comfortable with, and invest in a cryptocurrency that offers the potential for ample rewards with tolerable levels of risk. 

 

Are the Bitcoin Whales Facing Extinction?

 

The iconic image of the lone bitcoin whale swimming through an ocean of digital currency, creating disruptive trading currents may soon fade away into cryptocurrency lore. A new report suggests that these whales may soon be in competition with a new species of trader spawned from institutional capital. And these new players could change the course of cryptocurrency trade and investment.

Much has been written about bitcoin whales who amassed legendary amounts of crypto coins when the bitcoin market began. These whales have been rumored to have the capability to lift or collapse  bitcoin markets due to the massive amounts of coins they hold. Back in 2013, one whale bought $15 million in Bitcoin. This single trade moved the BTC price from $527 to $753.

To minimize the market effect (good or bad) of large orders, whales trade on over-the-counter (OTC) markets. This method creates an orderly process that doesn’t cause rogue waves or tsunamis in the bitcoin exchange markets.

  • OTC markets allow whales to feed without seriously disrupting the exchanges. This works because OTC brokers find counterparties for large trades. This process allows investors to trade without affecting the price point. Quite simply, global coin exchanges don’t have the liquidity to handle large sell or buy orders. Many people now use exchangers in order to
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This outsized market influence by whales may be about to end.

New research by the TABB Group finds that the bitcoin OTC market dwarfs the global cryptocurrency exchanges. It’s estimated that bitcoin traders buy and sell about $12 billion daily in the OTC market. In contrast, only about $4 billion is moved through global exchange markets each day. The OTC will likely be targeted by the new investors currently watching from the sidelines. TABB explained that it was able to determine the numbers through interviews and market evaluation.

Large amounts of capital are currently being set aside by pension and hedge funds, according to the TABB Group’s report titled “Crypto Trading: Platforms Target Institutional Market.”  Investment banks like JP Morgan are also itching to get into the action. At present, institutional capital investment targeting cryptocurrencies is but a trickle, the report said. That trickle will turn into a torrent, “altering the course of any current market decline,” TABB wrote.

So, is the TABB Group reading tea leaves or basing its optimism for an upswing in the bitcoin market on something more concrete? The report goes on to claim that the institutions are timing their entrance into the cryptocurrency market based on a number of factors. These include:

1. Does the bitcoin market have a sufficient number of custodians and brokers standing by, ready to hold up the trading infrastructure? The report states these critical infrastructure people are mustering now.

2. Will the data in the cryptocurrency market be of use to institutional traders? The report states data reporting rules will be systematically codified in 2019.

3. Will regulations be clarified? The report states the Department of Justice, the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are building a regulatory edifice.

This all portends sobering news for the old whales as this scenario will likely lessen their ability to realize profits via price exploits in the crypto coin markets.

The TABB findings appear to dovetail well with a recent survey published by Triad Securities. The company’s survey of institutional investors discovered that the majority of these investors have an interest in bitcoin investments. The largest barrier to their entrance into this market appeared to be regulatory clarity related to custody.  Beyond that, institutions expressed interest in the bitcoin market as an opportunity to realize revenue gains.

The entrance of institutional capital into the cryptocurrency markets will blunt the ability of individual whales to manipulate bitcoin markets. And the inflow of institutional money into the digital money markets will certainly affect the bitcoin price.

Best Reasons to Invest in Cryptocurrency Now

Bitcoin’s astronomic rise last year gave many investors FOMO–fear of missing out–as it made millionaires of early investors. While the bitcoin bubble has burst, and prices have dropped far below the all-time high, there are still many reasons to invest in cryptocurrency. 

Why You Should Invest in Cryptocurrency 

“Getting rich” may be what first comes to mind when you think about investing in Bitcoin or its alternatives. While you may indeed get rich from digital currency investments, there are many other reasons to invest. 

With the turbulence in the stock and bond markets, diversification is the buzzword that should be on every investor’s mind. If you are only invested in stocks and bonds, then you’ve probably seen the year’s gains erased in the recent dips. 

While savvy investors know not to panic and sell when the market falls, savvier investors understand that a diversified portfolio prevents them from outsize suffering in times of trouble. Investing even as little as five percent of your portfolio in something like Bitcoin can provide a buffer against the next market dip. 

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies also offer a hedge against inflation, which is of concern at present. Unlike other investments, cryptocurrencies are not pegged to the value of the dollar. When the dollar loses worth in times of inflation, your other investments decrease in value. With digital currency, the value of your investment functions independently of the dollar, so your investment can grow no matter how strong or weak the dollar is. 

Some analysts see the real future of money in these digital currencies. Already, many areas function as cashless societies with payment apps, credit cards, and debit cards replacing cash payments. Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other digital currencies simply extend the trends that are already in place. If you get in now, you’ll still be getting in on the ground floor of where cryptos are headed–and that means plenty of room to rise. 

Finally, it’s fun to trade in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, or other cryptocurrencies. No matter what your budget is, you can find a cryptocurrency that you can afford without leveraging your other assets. While there’s never a promise of a good return with any investment, including cryptocurrencies, there is definitely the potential to get in and earn big. Plus, making the investment isn’t not as hard as you might think, either, due to a suite of apps that let you make the trades. 

One note of caution, here: ICOs or initial coin offerings may tempt. Somewhat like the stock market’s initial public offerings, these events have a lot of hype–and also a lot of scammers. Unless you really understand what’s on offer, you should steer clear of ICOs and look for digital currencies that have been proven or new offerings founded by trusted experts (like Bitcoin Cash). 

With any investment, you should always weigh the risks of investing against the potential rewards. Cryptocurrencies may be trading down after last year’s high, but they still offer rewards for willing investors. Given the worrisome state of the market recently, now is an excellent time to begin researching digital currencies as a rebalancing tool and wealth generation vehicle.