Top 10 Cryptocurrencies to Invest in For 2019

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 …

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 Coin NEO Blockchain

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 Ethereum

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 dapps

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)

ARK blockchain

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)

Ethereum Ether 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)

Riplle 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 NEO ecosystem

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 Coin

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)

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

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.

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3 Blockchain Conferences You Don’t Want to Miss in 2019

Blockchain conferences are an excellent mechanism to meet, greet, learn and perhaps, most importantly – network. Whether you are a crypto-startup …

Blockchain conferences are an excellent mechanism to meet, greet, learn and perhaps, most importantly – network. Whether you are a crypto-startup looking to attract new waves of investment, an innovative developer hoping to showcase your talent to the masses or just looking to meet like-minded individuals that share the same ethos as your product or brand, blockchain conferences can facilitate these goals with ease.

While 2018 was a massive hit for blockchain conferences worldwide, 2019 looks set to continue the trend. Here we explore three of the most notable conferences lined up for 2019 that we think you should consider attending.

Japan Blockchain Conference (JBC)

Yokohama Round 2019 – 30-31 January 2019

What better place to start than one of the most crypto-friendly nations around? Not only did Japan become the first country in the world to regulate Bitcoin in the very same way that it does its domestic financial service industry, but the Japanese Yen now accounts for more Bitcoin trading volume than any other currency, at a remarkable 47% of the market.

Moreover, with more than 200,000 Japanese stores now accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a means to purchase goods and services in-person, the Asian-powerhouse are taking real-world adoption to the next level. As such, the Japan Blockchain Conference is set to be one of the most notable to date.

Hosted by the Global Blockchain Association, Japan Blockchain Conference facilitate a range of leading Japanese companies that are looking to enter the space, and the presence of multiple high-profile speakers will ensure that the event is a must-see opportunity.

This includes the likes of Charles Hoskinson from Cardano – a project that is well regarded in the blockchain community for utilizing the expertize of leading academics, with the aim of ensuring the long-term sustainability of the cryptocurrency eco-system.

Joining Hoskinson is Ken Kodama of Japanese-based Emurgo, John McAfee, and bitcoin believer and VC investor Tim Draper.

Consensus 2019

13-15 May 2019 – New York

Coindesk – who are often seen as the leading hub for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology news and developments are set to launch the 5th edition of their Consensus Conference. Being held at the Sheraton New York Times Square and New York Hilton Midtown, Consensus will play host to a range of industry professionals from the within the blockchain space. This will include delegates from investment firms, academic institutions, exciting startups, and policy groups.

Across three days of networking, it is believed that the Coindesk Consensus will facilitate the attendance of more than 8,800 people. While Coindesk are still keeping tight-lipped on their line-up if their 2018 edition is anything to go by, it looks set to be another heavyweight event.

The Coindesk Consensus has grown exponentially since its inception in 2015, which saw just 400 attendees. Since then, the event has attracted significant year-on-year growth, with 2019 being no exception.

consensius-header

4th annual DC Blockchain Summit

6-7 March 2019 – Washington

The DC Blockchain Summit is now in its 4th edition, with the event set to re-open its doors on 6-7th March 2019. In what the conference labels as ‘Advocating for the future of blockchain’ the main concept behind the DC Blockchain Summit is to bridge the gap between the crypto-world, with that of the policy community. Such discussions are paramount if Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are to gain global adoption. Without the collaboration and support of policymakers, real-world adoption will be hindered.

As such, the DC Blockchain Summit is the “Ground zero for many of these discussions.” To illustrate the seriousness of such a conference, there is set to be a range of speakers from within the political community.

This includes the likes of U.S. Republicans Tom Emmer, Bill Foster, and David Schweikert, who collectively make up the Congressional Blockchain Caucus. On top of this, there will also be an in-flux of representatives from the Chamber of Digital Commerce, such as Amy Davine Kim, Paul Brigner, and Perianne Boring, who all hold senior roles at the organization.

Outside of the regulatory community, Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of leading cryptocurrency Ripple, will also be making an appearance.

Blockchain conferences all around

In conclusion, while the likes of the Japan Blockchain Conference, Consensus Coindesk and DC Blockchain Summit made our list of the three most unmissable conferences in 2019; others missed out by only a smidgen.

Whether it’s from a regulatory, policy, technological, investment, development or all-around cryptocurrency perspective, 2019 looks set to be the year for blockchain conferences. From Japan to the U.S, Malta, Singapore, Australia, Russia and many, many other locations hosting notable events this year, which conference will you be attending?

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Saudi Arabia and UAE to launch new banking crypto-currency

A Saudi-Emirati pilot cryptocurrency was announced at the inaugural meeting of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council in Abu Dhabi last week.

A Saudi-Emirati pilot crypto-currency was announced at the inaugural meeting of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council in Abu Dhabi last week.

A number of joint blockchain and digital currencies joint initiatives between the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia were discussed at the meeting by the Council’s committee, which is headed by Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future, from the UAE side, and Mohammed bin Mazyad Altwaijri, Minister of Economy and Planning, from the Saudi side.

Must-reads from across Asia – directly to your inbox

According to the Emirates News Agency, the alliance forms one of the “strongest economic partnerships in the world.”

The Saudi-Emirati pilot crypto-currency will reportedly be targeted towards banks in order to facilitate cross border transfers. That there were no further details on the specific blockchain the new digital currency will be using indicates it could be developed internally rather than relying on a third party tech provider.

Ripple’s xRapid product is one of a number of existing technology solutions to blockchain-based cross border payments that would seem to fit the bill. A number of banks in Asian have already joined RippleNet to use the system, that promises cheaper and faster inter-bank transfers, but, as the UAE and Saudi collaboration has announced no partner, that means the blockchain platform is probably going to be a private one controlled by the central banks and will have no public access.

“The virtual currency relies on the use of a distributed database between the central banks and the participating banks from both sides,” is all the Emirates News Agency said on the tech platform, adding that the project seeks to safeguard customer interests, set technology standards and assess cybersecurity risks while also determining “the impact of a central currency on monetary policies.”

The Middle East is not the only region exploring blockchain for banking. China recently announced a “Trade and Finance Interbank Trading Blockchain Platform” which will be used domestically and, according to the China Banking Association, will build “a new trade finance ecosystem” with the aim of improving the efficiency of financial services.”

The China project uses fintech firms such as Beijing-based startup PeerSafe to provide technical support, but the venture is entirely state-controlled.

Coinone is the first company in South Korea to turn to blockchain to improve cross border transfer and remittance efficiency, but has decided to use Ripple’s services to develop its payments platform. In India, however, Facebook has reportedly set up its own tech teams to develop a remittance-focussed blockchain platform.

It’s understandable why central banks are more reluctant to use third-party companies for financial services, especially when dealing with other nations, but that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the latest to turn to blockchain in search of more efficient payment methods is a testament to the technology’s growing mainstream importance.

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Saudia Arabia, UAE jointly pilot cross border digital currency

Saudia Arabia, UAE jointly pilot cross border digital currency … According to the statement: “The cross-border digital currency will be strictly … are the Ripple and Stellar networks, and their related currencies XRP and Stellar Lumens.

On Saturday the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates announced a new cross border cryptocurrency initiative. It’s just one of seven projects unveiled as part of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council which has a vision of economic, social and military integration between the two countries.

The announcement said that the Saudi-Emirati pilot cryptocurrency was launched during the meeting. According to the statement: “The cross-border digital currency will be strictly targeted for banks at an experimental phase with the aim of better understanding the implications of Blockchain technology and facilitating cross-border payments.”

It’s unclear whether this will be a joint Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). If it is a CBDC, it’s a “wholesale” one given it’s only meant for use by banks.

One of the countries to extensively explore CBDC’s is the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Both MAS and the Dubai Financial Services Authority are members of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) which is designed to be a global sandbox for financial innovation and to “trial cross-border solutions”.

Digital Currency benefits

The Saudi-Emirati statement referred to a single cryptocurrency. The purpose is usually two-fold. Firstly, creating digital money to use alternative international payment rails other than SWIFT. But it’s not necessary to use a special currency to use an alternative payment rail. And the second benefit is to save on foreign exchange costs by using a single intermediate digital currency that is usually used for many different currency pairs.

To execute foreign exchange transactions, banks usually need a foreign currency bank balance with the other bank it’s trading with. Having lots of foreign currency bank accounts is expensive. Alternatively, they use third-party correspondent banks who hold the foreign currencies at the counterparty bank. That’s also not cheap.

The cryptocurrency alternative is to hold a single digital currency rather than several foreign currency ones. The digital currencies are usually cheaper to exchange, though there is still some foreign currency risk.

The current high profile blockchain solutions are the Ripple and Stellar networks, and their related currencies XRP and Stellar Lumens. One of the biggest remittance companies in the UAE is using Ripple already.


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Crypto Market Wrap: $5 Billion Dumped to Bottom of Trading Range

Crypto markets dump to bottom of trading range, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin suffering, TenX still climbing. Following almost a week of …

Market Wrap

Crypto markets dump to bottom of trading range, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin suffering, TenX still climbing.

Following almost a week of inactivity crypto markets have started to dump again. A break through support zones for several of the major crypto assets has resulted in total market capitalization plunging back below $120 billion again for the fourth time since the end of November.

Bitcoin has failed to hold above $3,700 and dumped almost 4% to an intraday low of $3,585. It is currently clinging on to support at $3,600 but is looking bearish at the moment and further losses could be imminent.

As usual the rest of the market has followed suit with Ethereum getting hit harder than the two above it. ETH has plummeted back to $117 with a daily dump of 5.5%. The gap to second placed XRP has widened back up to almost $1 billion again as the Ripple token only lost half the amount.

An entirely red top ten compounds those Monday morning blues with Litecoin losing most of its 5% gained yesterday. Bitcoin Cash has also dumped over 5% and EOS is not far behind it during the day’s Asian trading session. Tether has flipped Stellar again to take sixth spot.

An equally painful top twenty sees Maker slide the most at nearly 9% as it is about to be flipped by Zcash. Cardano, Dash and Neo are all ditching over 5% on the day has markets retreat once again.

TenX is still enjoying the fomo today with a PAY pump of 30% over the past 24 hours. The Singapore issued credit cards still driving momentum for today’s top one hundred performer which is the only altcoin making double figures. Getting dumped by doubles at the moment is Holo, Revain and Augur dropping around 12% each.

Just below $5 billion has been dumped out of crypto since the same time yesterday. The 4% slide has taken market capitalization back to $119 billion, its lowest level since last Monday. The monthly view still shows a range bound market but we are now right at the bottom of that trading range as dark clouds still loom in crypto land.

Market Wrap is a section that takes a daily look at the top 20 cryptocurrencies during the current trading session and analyses the best-performing ones, looking for trends and possible fundamentals.

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