You’ve spent £100 on coinbase (+£4 commission) and now you have 0.00858902 bitcoins (as I’m writing this). Congratulations, you’ve taken your first steps into the dangerous world of crypto. You might be happy stopping there – a fun experiment to see what happens. If it goes up, that’s great and if it doesn’t then you didn’t lose too much.
Bitcoin is the gold standard of cryptocurrency. It was the first and it’s still the poster child. If you invest now it’s likely you’ll come out with more money than you went in with, but if you’re greedy like me, that’s not enough. Let’s take a look at some alternative cryptocurrencies you can invest in this year…assuming the exchanges let you register as a new user.
In my mind this is the best altcoin to hold. It’s not a method of payment like bitcoin, but a platform for decentralised apps. Not only is it the platform for most altcoins, it’s also a faster (and cheaper) method of payment than bitcoin.
Created by Charlie Lee, who was an engineer at coinbase. This is literally bitcoin lite. If bitcoin is gold, this is silver. Cheaper and faster than bitcoin, it’s a more viable choice for the future of payments.
I’ll be honest, I’m not really sure what this is. A decentralised internet or iTunes type thing? The white paper isn’t particularly helpful because it’s badly translated Chinese. An excellent marketing campaign and name dropping Alibaba (constantly) is helpful if you want to bring in investors.
Ok, this isn’t decentralised like everything else, and it’s probably controlled by bankers, which goes against everything a crypto investor believes in, but it’s going places. A replacement for the ageing SWIFT bank transfer system that is actually being adopted by banks, XRP is the currency associated with the ripple tech so invest in the short term till people realise that.
Privacy coins are going to be big this year. Bitcoin is great, but it’s not private (that’s kind of the point). Thanks to its ouroboros tech, this 3rd generation coin might actually be a payment method in the future.
Let’s face it, bitcoin is bad. Transfers can cost £20 and take days if you catch it at a busy time, which isn’t any better than a bank. Cryptocurrency is the future in some way or another, but I think a general uptake will push bitcoin by the wayside unless it has a soft fork that reduces fees and increases transaction speeds.
A few days in the crypto world will show you how much marketing matters. A single Twitter user can (and does) affect prices, so stay safe out there.