If I had to pick, I would pick 2017 as the year of cryptocurrencies. And I don’t think I have to explain the reasons. In 2017 we saw a lot of ups and downs in the cryptocurrency market.
But at the end of the day, we saw cryptocurrencies gaining more respect and acceptance from the masses. We also saw a rapid growth of the market.
Even back in January 2017, one could buy BTC for as low as $750. But at the time of writing this article one BTC is worth around $11,000 – more than 1300% increase in price in one year. How about that?
Certainly, the daily traders saw huge profit while trading Bitcoin but the silent gainers are the long-term investors. The people who bought Bitcoin back in 2012 or even 2013 and kept their faith on it.
Article Updated In 2018
They bought a lot of BTC for as low as $13 and kept it aside, hoping for a better day for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. Some of them were just for the profit and not for the Bitcoin project.
So as soon as they saw Bitcoin crossing $3000 for the first time in May, they couldn’t help themselves but sell all their Bitcoin assets. I really do feel pity for them.
In most other cryptocurrency related blogs you will find a list of cryptocurrencies jotted down in a hurry without any real insights.
They will carefully add a bunch of ICO and try to convince people to board the hype train. When in reality, deep down they know that the shady ICO is going to be a bad investment.
But on Coinsuggest we love what we do and love sharing the truth with our readers.
So before I list out all the cryptocurrencies that you can invest in 2018, I will take the time to explain the process of choosing a good cryptocurrency.
This will immensely help you in deciding whether to invest whenever a new cryptocurrency comes along.
Things To Consider When Choosing A Cryptocurrency To Invest In
Generally, I check four main properties whenever choosing a new cryptocurrency for my next investment. First of all, I study the market cap of the cryptocurrency. Then I navigate to the official website of the cryptocurrency and gather as much knowledge as possible.
After this, I run some quick Google searches to see how many people are talking about it. Finally, I visit the official forum, message boards, social media profiles etc to find how active the core team is. I have explained all the steps in detail down below.
The Market Capitalization Of The Cryptocurrency
For me, the market capitalization is a useful piece of information to check out the performance of a cryptocurrency. You can calculate the market cap of a cryptocurrency just by multiplying the number of circulating units with the price of a single unit.
For example, currently, Bitcoin has a market cap of $195 billion USD.
In my opinion, the market cap of a cryptocurrency is far more important than the price of a single unit of it. Because it reveals the trust of the users and popularity of a cryptocurrency.
For example, a single unit of Ripple or XRP costs around a quarter dollar.
But it stands at the fourth position in terms of market cap, far above Monero which has a price of $204.
Especially, for a PoW mining based cryptocurrency the circulating supply and market cap play a crucial role in determining its long-term survival. As the circulating supply nears the limit, one can expect the price to increase as the resource becomes more scarce.
The Usefulness And Features Of The Cryptocurrency
Currently, there are more than 1300 cryptocurrencies available for investments. But the majority of these are just cheap Bitcoin clones, scams, and Ponzi schemes.
So don’t expect them to be around even for the next 3 years. Only a handful of this long list of cryptocurrencies, provide real value to its users and the whole cryptocurrency community.
That is why you should always check the official website of a cryptocurrency project to see what it has in store.
For example, Ethereum wants to make the blockchain technology smarter, Ripple wants to revolutionize our payment methods, Monero wants to make blockchain more secured, Neo wants to create a smart economy and so on – you get the point.
But in my opinion, the features should be about solving real-world problems to make the best impact. It should not be about solving arbitrary issues like installing solar power plants on Mars.
It may be possible to build solar power plants on Mars in distant future but we as a generation may never see it happening.
So you see, a good cryptocurrency should have a visionary roadmap and a healthy set of features to realize the roadmap to survive in the long run.
The Popularity Of The Cryptocurrency
The popularity of a cryptocurrency also plays a pivotal role in determining its future.
Take, Bitcoin for example – it has a huge number of dedicated followers who are greatly responsible for taking Bitcoin this far.
You can easily find out how popular a cryptocurrency is by searching for it on a search engine like Google. Check whether a lot of people are talking about the project and preferably are very optimistic about it. You can also check out the social handles to see how active the community is.
A powerful and feature rich cryptocurrency is bound to be popular, and a popular cryptocurrency increases the chance of its survival by thousand folds.
The Activeness Of The Development Community
Remember when I said a good cryptocurrency should have a visionary roadmap and a healthy set of features to realize that goal? Well, you need a passionate and active development and research team for that to happen.
Take, Ethereum for example, Vitalik and his team are always trying to find the right solution to make Ethereum as future proof as possible.
If you are short on time, then Coingecko has a chart that shows the market cap of the cryptocurrencies as well as activeness of the development team and public interest.
Check it out Coingecko. This will help in getting most of the information you need relatively easily but I still recommend actively participating in a forum or message board particularly dedicated to a cryptocurrency.
Top Ten Cryptocurrencies For Long-Term Investments
Now it’s about time I reveal my picks for the long-term investment worthy cryptocurrencies –
Launched in 2009, Bitcoin is the undoubted king of cryptocurrencies. Although Bitcoin’s framework is fairly outdated right now, it still is the first cryptocurrency to be created. Mostly based on Nick Szabo’s hypothetical digital currency Bit Gold, Satoshi’s Bitcoin made cryptocurrency a reality.
Currently, a single unit of Bitcoin or BTC has a price of more than $12,900. Bitcoin also has a market cap of $217 billion. Newcomers may find the price a bit too overwhelming. But remember Bitcoin doesn’t care whether you have 10,000 BTC or 0.01 BTC.
Bitcoin has to be the best cryptocurrency to invest in 2018 as long term.
Ethereum is quite new to this game, but that hasn’t been able to hold it back. Vitalik Buterin founded Ethereum to make it easier to communicate with the underlying blockchain. Ethereum made it comparatively easier to create smart contracts.
And as a result, decentralized applications became more mainstream. Currently, Ethereum has the major share of the market when it comes to ICO projects. Ethereum uses a PoW algorithm called Ethash for mining.
But it is slowly shifting towards a PoW – PoS hybrid setup codenamed Casper.
At the time of writing this article, Ethereum has a market cap of $69 billion and one ETH costs about $715. In my opinion, activeness of the development team, trustworthiness of the project and an ever-increasing user base make Ethereum an ideal candidate.
The Ripple project is all about making our payment methods more efficient and pocket-friendly. It is a great example of cryptocurrency that is set to solve an actual real-world issue. Fast transaction speed, high scalability and a vigilant team of developers are what makes Ripple great.
Unlike most other cryptocurrencies Ripple uses consensus technique to verify transactions.
Top bank, financial institutions, and companies have already identified Ripple as the next-gen payment processing method and have adopted the technology. The native cryptocurrency of Ripple, i.e XRP costs about $2.26 and has a market cap of $87 billion. This places it just after Bitcoin in terms of market cap.
I expect Ripple to grow bigger in coming years. So in my opinion Ripple is a great long-term investment. Stock as much XRP as you can and keep it aside for at least next 3-5 years. This makes Ripple long time cryptocurrency investment.
Monero is a mineable cryptocurrency protocol that is all about security and privacy. Unlike Bitcoin which reveals your transaction data to the public, Monero uses stealth addresses and ring signatures to completely block it.
Monero is also very scalable as it doesn’t have any set block size. Consider Monero as the privacy-focused younger brother of Bitcoin.
Due to its privacy features Monero is abused by a lot of hackers, online drug traffickers, and even money launderers. Monero was recently mentioned in mainstream media as some websites were “hijacking” their visitors’ CPU power for mining XMR.
It uses cryptonight algorithm which is fairly easier to mine.
Monero has a market cap of $5.2 billion and a single XMR cost $335. I expect Monero to grow even more in the future so I believe it is a good long-term investment.
Dash, which is an acronym for Digital Cash, is a very user-friendly open-source cryptocurrency protocol. It is a mineable cryptocurrency like Bitcoin but it uses a different algorithm called X11.
Dash is very popular for its features like PrivateSend, InstaSend, masternodes etc.
It has also introduced a model of self-governance and self-funding. This model is unique to Dash.
Dash has a market cap of $7.7 billion which places it within the top 10 cryptocurrencies. A single Dash unit has a price of $1001.
Litecoin or LTC is one of the earliest competitors of Bitcoin. It was created by an ex-Google employee, Charlie Lee back in 2011. Litecoin uses Scrypt PoS algorithm for mining.
That is why ASIC mining rigs for Litecoin are more complicated and expensive to make.
Currently, one LTC costs $216, so it is more pocket-friendly for a newcomer. It has a market cap of $11.8 billion, which places it just under Cardano.
NEO often referred to as the Chinese Ethereum is a cryptocurrency all set to change smart contract creation. The main goal NEO is to create a smart economy with digital assets, digital identities, and smart contracts.
Unlike Ethereum, smart contracts on NEO can be created using traditional popular programming languages like C, Java etc. That is why some people believe NEO to be the “one”.
Neo currently has a market cap of $4.4 billion and a price of $67.75. NEO has great potentials if the core team plays the cards well enough.
Zcash is the brainchild of Zooko Wilcox. The main goal of Zcash is to make a cryptocurrency that is as anonymous and secured as possible. Zcash or ZEC uses ZkSNARK algorithm to completely anonymize transactions.
There are two types of addresses on the Zcash platform. One is called t-address which can is publicly viewable. But there is another type of address called Z-address, which is hidden. If Bitcoin is the HTTP, then Zcash is the HTTPS protocol.
Zcash has a current market cap of $1.4 billion and has a price of $485.66. For a cryptocurrency which is just a year old, these numbers are very promising. That is why I believe Zcash can be a solid long-term investment.
Ethereum Classic is a hard forked version of the original Ethereum. It was created after The DAO incident took place and the Ethereum foundation decided to mutate the blockchain to recover funds.
Ethereum Classic or ETC is hugely supported by cryptocurrency purists by following the path of “blockchain is immutable”.
One ETC costs nearly $27 which is well within a common man’s reach. Ethereum Classic has a market cap of $2.6 billion with a total 98 million ETC in supply.
Ned Scott and Dan Larimer, the founder of BitShares, created Steem in 2016 to challenge the market notion. It is message board type of community like Reddit, but upvotes on Steem gets you the native cryptocurrency. You can see Steemit as Reddit on the blockchain.
Steem has proven to be very popular among the users and is showing constant growth. It is a utility based digital currency so as long as it remains relevant it will grow.
If people stop using the platform then Steem will vanish. So key to the success of Steem is its popularity.
Currently, Steem has a market cap of $651 million with a single unit price of $2.64.
Some More Altcoins To Have A Close Look At
I could only add the top performing and most promising cryptocurrencies to the list. So some popular cryptocurrencies didn’t make it. That is why I would like to mention some more cryptocurrencies that may prove to be good investments.
I suggest giving Bitcoin Cash, IOTA, Bitcoin Gold, NEM, EOS a try if you are feeling a bit adventurous. While IOTA, NEM, and EOS are practically useful I don’t see a lot of potential in BCH and BTG.
Best Wallet To Hold Cryptocurrencies In The Long-Term
If you are planning to hold cryptocurrencies in the long-term then hardware wallets are the ones to use. I don’t recommend using any kind of web wallets especially exchange wallets and desktop wallets for serious investments. Hardware wallets are the most secure and robust wallets, and they are very cheap too.
I suggest using a Ledger Nano S. Because as of now out of all the hardware wallets available, Ledger supports the highest number of cryptocurrencies. You will be able to store all the cryptocurrencies mentioned in the list in a Ledger wallet.
I hope I was able, to sum up the top cryptocurrencies for long-term investment in this article. Also just because I mentioned 10 cryptocurrencies, you don’t have to invest in all of them.
But don’t just invest in one of them either. To maximize your returns and reduce the risks, always diversify your portfolio.
I usually divide the rest 10% among other promising altcoins like ZEC, XMR, NEO etc.
As always be very careful when investing in cryptocurrencies. Because this is a high-risk market – the market can crash, local laws can prohibit you from investing, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. So always tread very cautiously.
Here is another guide on Best Cryptocurrencies to invest in 2020.