The cryptocurrency craze doesn’t seem to be losing its steam anytime soon. While the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum have been analysed to great lengths, there are several dark horses that haven’t reached spotlight status yet. We take a look at three emerging digital tokens that show all the promise necessary to make it to the top of the heap in 2018.
Known as an anonymity-based Cryptocurrency, Monero promises to fill the lapses that Bitcoin (due to it being an open ledger) has experienced in terms of maintaining its users’ privacy. Although remaining anonymous when it comes to such mediums has often been associated with nefarious activities such as money laundering, terrorism, and the likes, it is also a prerequisite for many when it comes to their financial affairs.
Monero maintains its secure, private, and untraceable status by ensuring that no one can tell where funds are coming from. All transactions on the network cannot be linked to a particular user or real-world identity. The cryptocurrency does this by using ring signatures and ring confidential transactions to make sure that the amounts, origins, and destinations of all transactions are made obscure.
Although Ripple is by no means a dark horse, it has been added to the list due to its sheer potential to reach even greater heights. Rising 3,997% in the first half of this year, the cryptocurrency has been circling headlines after American Express announced its partnership with the digital currency to introduce blockchain-enabled B2B cross-border payments.
Also referred to as the digital currency XRP, Ripple is a private cash flow positive company that set out to create and enable a global network of financial institutions and banks to leverage its software. The company refers to its global network as the Internet of Value, and one of its main selling points is that it lowers the cost of international payments and transfers.
Ripple’s potential lies in the fact that the banking and finance world is largely behind when it comes to global financial payments. The company essentially uses a global ledger made up of private blockchains to create a digital portal for governments, companies, and financial institutions to join. This portal is known as the Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP). These entities can then transact with other gateways at much faster speeds as well as at a fraction of the cost. The portal also allows one to receive funds in both fiat currencies as well as cryptocurrencies.
Based on the same source code as Bitcoin, Litecoin has been making the news lately as a potential leader in the cryptocurrency game. It was founded in 2011 as a lightweight alternative to Bitcoin and also operates on blockchain technology, but there are a few key differences between the two. Litecoin generates blocks about four times faster than Bitcoin does and is therefore able to confirm the legitimacy of transactions a lot more efficiently. If this feature is further improved, Litecoin could stand to become an industry leader in the near future. Secondly, Litecoin’s transactions fees are lower than its more popular predecessor, making it a lot easier and cheaper to trade.
The three digital currencies above are some of the several that deserve a close eye on over the coming months. As always, choosing one to invest in involves a combination of speculation as well as taking a close look at the gap that they are filling. What is a surety is that 2018 will prove to be a formative year for the cryptocurrency industry.