The year 2017 may forever be known on Wall Street as the year of bitcoin. However, in recent weeks, several other cryptocurrencies have gotten some major attention from investors and the media.
Cryptocurrencies were taking a beating on Monday amid concerns over an increase in international regulations, particularly in China and South Korea. But while some traders see increasing regulation as a brick wall for cryptocurrencies, others see it as simply a bump in the road.
When it comes to bitcoin, traders are still deeply divided. More traders see bitcoin’s price headed higher rather than lower, with 49 percent expecting bitcoin to finish 2018 at a price of at least $20,000. However, 39 percent think the cryptocurrency will finish the year back down below $10,000.
For cryptocurrency investors who don’t know where to start, here’s a brief overview of 12 of the most popular alternatives to bitcoin that could be in for huge years in 2018.
- Ethereum may prove to be the cryptocurrency of choice for many corporations, due to its smart contract capabilities and major corporate backing.
- Ripple is known for its real-time gross settlement system and has been integrated into the payment networks of a handful of global banks.
- Bitcoin Cash is the spin-off of bitcoin that was created when bitcoin split on Aug. 1 after bitcoin owners failed to agree on the best approach to grow the cryptocurrency’s global presence.
- Cardano is a programmable currency designed to handle complex transfers and leverages the security of the Haskell programming language.
- Litecoin was originally created as by Google employee Charles Lee in 2011 to serve as an alternative to bitcoin and shares many of the same traits as its inspiration.
- NEM is a Japanese cryptocurrency that is known for its proof-of-importance algorithm, multisignature accounts and encrypted messaging.
- Dash is the new name of Darkcoin, a favorite among “dark web” users, and is known for its speed and anonymity.
- TRON was created to serve as a global entertainment economy built on blockchain technology in which the users control the data, goods, services and currency.
- Ethereum Classic was created as a result of a split in the Ethereum market after a small minority of investors objected to changing Ethereum’s code following a 2016 cyberattack in which hackers made off with $60 million in ether.
- As ridiculous as is seems, Dentacoin is the $1.9 billion cryptocurrency designed by the global dental industry and already accepted as a means of payment at partner dental clinics around the world.
- Stellar operates on a blockchain much like bitcoin, but its transactions settle in as little as 2 seconds, and its platform allows users to exchange government-backed currencies at rapid speeds.
- NEO is designed to rival Ethereum as the platform for the new global smart economy, integrating smart contracts, decentralized applications and initial coin offerings.