The crypto markets continue to suffer after a prolonged “Crypto Winter”. But many think that the golden age of blockchain and cryptocurrency is yet to come. We’ve seen incredible technological developments during 2018, even if crypto prices did not follow suit. Sooner or later, some of these blockchain projects are going to break through, and investors who hold these digital coins and tokens are going to reap their reward.
Here are our top 10 crypto picks for 2019. Some of these are old favorites, and some relative newcomers. No one can predict the future, but we hope that anyone with these coins in their portfolio will have good luck in investing during 2019.
1. NEO (NEO)
NEO was one of the most hyped crypto tokens of 2018, but it has fallen off more than 90% from its all time high price. Fortunately for NEO holders, this is where the bad news stops. NEO boasts some top quality Dapps (more on this later), what may be the best consensus mechanism in the blockchain industry (Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance beats out Bitcoin’s Proof-of-Work, according to some experts), and a high-return economic model (free NEO GAS for every NEO token an investor owns).
Great interview with $NEO co-founder/key developer Erik Zhang about #Neo’s future and how it truly will be the Smart Economy. The article is not really about why $ETH will surpass $BTC. Neo holds great value IMO. Good to hear Erik working tirelessly on Neo! 🚀 🚀 https://t.co/X4bvXG0SnX
— ART_4_CRYPTO (@art4crypto) January 15, 2019
At its height, one NEO token sold for more than $200 on some exchanges. Today, the same token will sell for less than $10. With tons of interest and development mounting behind “the Ethereum of China”, NEO may be poised to move to the head of the pack, even beyond Asia. Already faster and more scalable than Ethereum, NEO is definitely one of the two or three best smart contract platforms on the planet. We can’t give formal financial advice, but buying NEO, at these prices, could represent one of the best investment possibilities of 2019 so far.
2. Raiden (RDN)
Raiden is a second-layer solution for Ethereum. If that doesn’t make sense, think of it as Ethereum’s version of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. If that still doesn’t make sense, it could be said that Raiden helps speed up Ethereum by taking some of its traffic. Users can fund Raiden nodes with Ether ETH, then use it to make payments and complete other transactions by sending the funds to other Raiden nodes. Ethereum doesn’t have to do any work to make these connections, taking lots of pressure off the Ethereum blockchain while Ethereum developers look for other scaling solutions.
Raiden RDN is the token used on the Raiden system, and it is way down in price since its all time high in January or last year. Despite all of the declining price action, Raiden development activity remains white hot. In fact, Raiden has more Github development activity than most other blockchains. Even though Raiden isn’t on the radar of many investors, there are few projects out there with a more committed developer base. Furthermore, if you believe in Ethereum, chances are you see the value in a strong second layer solution for the world’s largest smart contract platform. Do yourself a favor and research Raiden. You might find it fills an important gap in your cryptocurrency investment portfolio.
3. ICON (ICX)
ICON has been called South Korea’s Ethereum, and the analogy isn’t unfounded. Like Ethereum, ICON allows developers to create smart contracts on their blockchain. However, ICON is more focused on development within South Korea (even though it does have international ambitions). ICON works primarily to connect institutions within South Korea, for reduced friction in financial and data transfer. They also have many consumer-facing applications in their growing Dapp list. However, lest you think that ICON doesn’t look beyond its national borders, the company has recently opened up offices in San Francisco and Singapore, where its focus will be both B2B and B2C.
Very nice, #ICON‘s DEX, scheduled and confirmed to be released in Q4 2017, is now expected for Q1-2 2019 in this exciting news. Keep up the great work! $ICX
And keep up with the great work, @wbm_97, expecting the reward? 🤔
— Microoo (@HuMicro) January 18, 2019
ICON development has slowed somewhat in the sustained crypto market downturn, but it has never ceased entirely. With renewed market interest has come increased activity from ICON core. Still down more than 90% from all time high, ICON ICX could represent an incredible opportunity. Not only will it facilitate exciting applications, users in South Korea can already buy ICON at physical ICON ATMs, for use as digital cash. ICON needs to hunker down and build on its promise, but it’s a project we still believe in.
4. ARK (ARK)
The so-called “WordPress of Blockchain” has done a ton of development during the 2018 market downturn. ARK is a blockchain ecosystem with many functions, but perhaps its most important is its “point, click, blockchain” initiative. ARK wants anyone to be able to be able to create their own blockchain and/or digital token with the push of a button, just like people can create their own website with ease using WordPress.
ARK also allows for interoperability between blockchains. Want to create an application that performs functions on Ethereum and Bitcoin at the same time? ARK can do that. in the coming months, ARK will also add smart contract functionality, so that people can develop complex dapps on the ARK blockchain itself. ARK is incorporated in France, and despite seeing many other smart contract platforms decline in recent months, development has neither ceased nor slowed.
ARK investors get great paybacks for staking coins, with annual returns hovering somewhere near 9%. ARK may not be the biggest or flashiest blockchain project, but they have great products and a solid governance/economic model (abuse-resistant Delegated Proof of Stake). Also boasting one of the best communities in the industry, ARK has an integrity that is very attractive in the flaky world of blockchain startups.
5. Ethereum (ETH)
You didn’t think we’d complete an investment list without mentioning Ethereum ETH, did you? Despite a miserable price year in 2018, Ethereum remains the world’s most developed blockchain. ETH has more developer talent working on its myriad functions than any other project, Bitcoin included.
#Ethereum update going live pic.twitter.com/F9AcKpeMMQ
— Crypto Community (@crypto_promos) January 20, 2019
Despite delays, arguments over new features, and a price in the absolute toilet, Ethereum is forging ahead, following the vision laid out by visionary leader Vitalik Buterin. So much has already been said about Ethereum, it hardly bears mentioning here. If you want to buy ETH, do your own research and seriously consider investing while the price is still low!
6. Ripple (XRP)
People love to hate on Ripple. And Ripple just keeps on growing. XRP unapologetically appeals to institutions. Even though this is anathema to certain blockchain aficionados, this singularity of focus has led Ripple to achieve, arguably, the greatest adoption success of any cryptocurrency in the world. XRP facilitates large financial transaction across borders, usually made by banks, which it allows to be much faster and cheaper than conventional methods. Already adopted by banks like PNC, Santander, and the Royal Bank of Canada, Ripple looks like a foundational new currency forging real world adoption like none other. Those who buy XRP at these low prices may be getting in on the (new) ground floor.
7. Travala (AVA)
Travala may be the best Dapp on the NEO blockchain. If you believe that any NEO application will succeed, AVA should be a part of your crypto portfolio. Aimed at the travel and hotel industry, Travala lists lodging and accommodations all around the world, to help travelers find the lowest prices available through any platform. It’s remarkable just how fast Travala adds new properties, and (unlike many other crypto apps) people actually use Travala. Could this be the killer app that breaks NEO into the mainstream? We’re not so sure yet. But it’s hard to imagine that AVA’s price will stay this low for long.
8. Binance Coin (BNB)
Binance remains the world’s most popular crypto-to-crypto exchange. Billions in digital assets are traded here each day, and what’s good for Binance is good for the industry at large. Binance’s BNB allows users to get trading discounts. Binance regularly burns BNB, reducing its circulating supply, thereby increasing the value of all holders’ BNB through the simple laws of supply and demand. If you think that crypto prices are going to bounce back, then you should really consider what this will do for Binance and, by extension, BNB.
9. Bitcoin (BTC)
OK, this one might seem a little obvious, but let’s think carefully of Bitcoin’s place in the market at this point in 2019. Bitcoin continues to lead the charge, and its price has suffered less over the past year than almost any altcoin. The majority of people in the world see the crypto industry as inseparable from Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s success is crypto’s success. This means that Bitcoin is relatively stable when compared to other coins. It also means that, if the bulls return to crypto markets, Bitcoin BTC will be the first price to increase.
Bitcoin has improved upon its foundation over the past year. Where Bitcoin used to be slow and expensive to use, matters have improved somewhat. The combination of Segregated Witness, second layer solution the Lightning Network, and other development factors, Bitcoin is slowly scaling its massive network, and keeping down fees in the process. Bitcoin development has remained doggedly committed in the past year. We think that, ultimately, one or more digital cash solutions will dominate the industry, and Bitcoin is more likely to succeed than any of its competitors. Will Bitcoin meet and exceed all time highs in 2019? Nobody knows for sure…but at these prices, buying Bitcoin is looking like a steal.
10. Monero (XMR)
Monero XMR is one of the most interesting cryptocurrencies there is. A true privacy coin, Monero can be transacted without a record of the identity of either the sending or receiving party. This leads some to conclude the Monero is sketchy – and indeed the coin has been used for some nefarious purposes – but Monero also has many legitimate and fully legal use cases. Even if a privacy coin can never be mainstream in the same way that a non-private coin like Bitcoin can, its secrecy also helps ensure its ongoing usefulness.
Monero XMR isn’t going anywhere. With XMR prices way down since all time highs in early 2018, today’s XRM buyers could have a real deal on their hands, one supported by one of the largest and most mature crypto communities of any competing blockchain platform. One coin will rule them all in privacy. You may buy Zcash or some other competitor’s claim at superiority more than Monero’s, but we tend to find XMR most successful.
So, which is next biggest cryptocurrency for 2019?
We can’t tell you which projects will succeed or fail in 2019, or which way to invest your money. Do your own research and invest only that which you could afford to lose. Prioritize projects that have excellent software, stand-out community support, devoted development, tangible use cases, and inspiring partnerships around the globe. We’ll be very interested to look at this list a year from now, to see how our predictions did. If crypto prices bounce back, though, we feel strongly that some of these projects will be among the most successful of 2019.