Just a quick jot down of interesting crypto currencies I’m currently watching and/or investing in. Over time this post will evolve (it’s more for my own tracking).
Name: Bitcoin (BTC) – http://www.bitcoin.org/
Currently Trading at: USD$410
Why: The original (and the best?) obligatory mention, nothing else to say.
Name: Litecoin (LTC) – http://www.litecoin.org/
Currently Trading at: USD$4.5 (0.011 BTC)
Why: Second only to Bitcoin in Market Cap. One of the oldest, has been slammed and there are many that think it is doomed. I don’t think it is. The original creator (Charlie Lee) now works for Coinbase and has indicated he’s trying to promote Coinbase to accept LTC. Litecoin volume in Chinese Yen often outweighs Chinese Yen Bitcoin volume. Scrypt ASIC’s have sent the difficult soaring (https://bitcoinwisdom.com/litecoin/difficulty) and it is by far the most accepted Alt globally. If a “not so different to BTC” alt is going to succeed, it’s going to be Litecoin. With that said though, if Bitcoin is going to be adopted by Wall Street and sent to rediculous price points in the future I can Litecoin being the “peon coin” for normal people. Merged mining with Dogecoin is now possible which may be helpful from a marketing standpoint.
Why Not: It’s “Not so different”. Only scrypt makes it different to Bitcoin so it may well move into irrelevance. Miners are now looking to recoup their investment and dump their Litecoin. I’m not sure if this is an accurate statement though as mining equipment is now no longer a casual investment so there is generally a longer term ROI expectation.
Name: Monero (XMR) – http://www.monero.cc/
Currently Trading at: USD$1.785 (0.0035 BTC)
Why: Seems to be the ‘most popular’ crypto currency based on Cryptonote technology (https://cryptonote.org/). Despite political issues in the Cryptonote space (there are quite a few derivations) Monero has persevered with some significant backing and an active exchange market. Due to it’s CN background if the dark web markets (Silkroad or Agora for instance) pick this coin up as an alternate to BTC for acceptance I’d expect an immediate increase in value as it breaks out of it’s 0.003 -> 0.005 trading range.
Why Not: There’s a lot of political issues within Cryptonote at the moment as the Core Dev’s seem to have had a falling out. XMR itself has a very immature wallet (command line only) although mining it is quickly becoming more and more difficult (contributing to it’s underlying strength).
Name: Stellar (STR) – http://www.stellar.org/
Currently Trading at: USD$0.0040098 (0.00000978 BTC)
Why: Stellar is essentially a clone of Ripple however the initial distribution of the coin itself is “fairer”. Like Ripple it is essentially a “transaction fee” currency in the sense that it is aimed more at the transport layer of money transfers allowing a user to transport USD over the Stellar/Ripple networks with fees being rendered in Stellar/Ripple. I think of these type of cryptos as the replacement for the ubiquitous bank transfer or ATM fees (10c etc) and I think these type of currencies are likely to get banking acceptance FIRST. Ripple’s release was slammed by the Bitcoin community on launch partially due to it seeking to bridge crypto to the financial instituions many chose Bitcoin to avoid but also because it’s distribution involved the organisation withholding significant amounts of the currency internally and dishing out to founding members. Ironically the founder of Stellar is one of these members so perhaps this was a concern internally for a long time as well.
Why Not: It’s a clone. It’s a blatant clone. Ripple is ahead in adoption with Fido bank onboard plus a few more. That said though both are very early in their adoption so maybe Stellar can catch up, we shall see!
Name: StorjCoin (SJCX) – http://storj.io/
Currently Trading at: USD$0.01585342 (0.00003815 BTC)
Why: StorjCoin is “crypto icloud” or at least that’s what it’s aspiring to be. Spare disk capacity is sold for SJCX and conversely is bought for SJCX. As a concept it’s unique in the crypto space as far as overall execution and “where they are at”. There is Maidsafe however this looks like more of a mutation into blockchain (ie. Maidsafe has been around a long time before Bitcoin but wasn’t a blockchain backed implementation) and has no fixed timeline. Storjcoin itself has bumped up 50% in value since it’s IPO. I must admit a bit of a bias here as I’m now focused pretty heavily on storage infrastructure which makes me immediately interested in merging the ideas of crypto+storage .
Why Not: I’m not a fan of IPO’s for cryptos. The concept that dev’s will be paid upfront for something that Satoshi gave away is a bit of a concerning trend that makes me ask “you don’t believe in your idea enough to work on it without pay initially?”. Nonetheless as a concept and what it promises Storj looks interesting.
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