The crypto market has fallen nearly 75% this year, giving up many of the gains it made in 2017. Bitcoin has shed 24% in two weeks, sliding from a high point of $8,400. Ether is down to $204 which is still is higher than it’s $168 low, though 80% off its high of $1,329. Many cryptos, including EOS, Stellar, Litecoin and Iota, are down from highs and many coins hailed as superstars have floundered after initial surges. Some pundits claim it’s simply a long awaited correction and others point out that ICOs have raised over ten billion dollars and dumped most of their funds into Ether, deflating the price.
In light of this, an investor who wants to dig deeper than the top five crypto coins needs to take a hard look at the last twelve months to discern the next five winners. Here are some contenders:
Neo, which was originally called AntShares, was created in 2014 by Da Hongfei in China. and like Ethereum, is a platform designed for developing Decentralized applications (Dapps), smart contracts and ICOs. Because of this close resemblance to Ethereum, NEO is often referred to as the “Chinese Ethereum.”
Neo had a huge run in 2017, going from $0.16 in January of 2017 to $162 in January of 2018 for a 111,400% return on investment. Some same AntShares has its run and can only go down from here, but it has a number of unique technical advantages over Ethereum that could be game changers for crypto platforms, including network speeds of 10,000 transactions per speed compared to 15 per second for Etherum. NEO also supports programming in multiple languages like C++, C#, Go, and Java, whereas Ethereum only supports one language — Solidity.
Cardano was founded in September 2017 by Charles Hoskinson, one of the co-founders of Ethereum. Cardano not only offers a platform for Dapps and smart contracts, but also offers many technological improvements over Ethereum.
With a market cap of $1.72 billion, it grew from about $0.20 at its launch in October 2017 to $1.20 in January 2018. That’s a return of about 500% in 3 months!
While Bitcoin is just a digital currency, Cardano is a dapp-building platform with its own native currency — ADA. Cardano has been designed to solve three of the most pressing issues faced by 1st and 2nd generation blockchain projects — scalability, interoperability and sustainability.
EOS is a relatively new altcoin created by Dan Larimer, who has also been credited for founding cryptocurrency exchange Bitshares and blockchain-based blogging site Steemit.
EOS raised $700 million through its ICO and went on to become one of the most successful ICOs of 2017. In fact, EOS’s platform is still under development but its market capitalization is nearly five billion.
EOS uses a mechanism called Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS), compared to Ethereum’s Proof-of-Work (PoW). This makes EOS much more scalable than Ethereum.
Another advantage that EOS has over Ethereum is its compatible programming languages. Ethereum only supports one language, called ‘Solidity’, whereas EOS supports multiple languages, including C++. This is a very attractive feature if you are developer with a wide range of programming backgrounds.
Dash is a digital currency launched in 2014 by Evan Duffield. At the time of launch, it was called Xcoin and was then renamed to Darkcoin, lt was actually not until 2015 that it was rebranded to Dash. Dash has been forked from Litecoin, which is itself built on Bitcoin’s technology.
Dash’s price started increasing in 2016 and finally took off in 2017 from $10 to a high of $1,540 in December 2017, for a return of 15,000%.
Dash has made significant improvements in the technology and offers better privacy and a higher transaction speed than Bitcoin. Unlike Bitcoin, in which the public address of sender and receiver is known to the whole world, Dash keeps the addresses hidden. So, Dash’s transactions cannot be traced back to origin, while Bitcoin transactions are traceable.
Dash also has a unique self-funding mechanism wherein 10% of all the mining reward goes back to the Dash. This fund is used to further improve and grow Dash.
Ontology is providing infrastructure for a P2P, cross-chain, cross-application, cross-device, and cross-system and industry by combining distributed identity systems, data exchange, data collaboration, procedure protocols, communities and attestation, and industry specific modules for distributed scenarios all into one platform.
In other words, Ontology is seeking to become the one platform and crypto to rule them all, solving every technical bottleneck of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the previous four combined.
Additionally, in April of 2028, Ontology announced a cooperation agreement with some giant venture capital firms both in Silicon Valley and China. Sequoia China, Danhua Capital, Matrix Partners China, and ZhenFund will all contribute towards application development, outreach, and incubation in hopes of building a “new generation blockchain infrastructure” and trust ecosystem for the support of real-world business applications.
Some believe that the cryptocurrency will end in a “winner take all” scenario, with one coin reigning supreme, and the rest falling by the wayside. However, it seems much more likely that a number of coins will survive this, and any subsequent downturns, with each providing a specific utility.