Crypto currency is on everyone’s mind lately, and libertarians have long been on the forefront of this growing movement. We saw the potential for Bitcoin to circumvent state-imposed inflation, and even spare common citizens from oppressive taxation around the world. Libertarian thinkers have long argued that a financial revolution begins by decentralizing the production of currency – Milton Friedman concluded internet based electronic currency would serve to help shrink government back in 1999! It comes as no surprise, then, that libertarians are heavily invested in a wide variety of crypto currencies, ready to participate in the economy of tomorrow.
We’ve all heard of Bitcoin, and it stands to this day as the unquestionable king of crypto. With BTC on its way to the moon, many investors are trying to predict similar exponential growth in other crypto currencies – which coins will demonstrate value in the market of tomorrow is a topic of enthusiastic debate among libertarians. While BTC is still a strong investment, it suffers from a lack of liquidity (one which may be addressed by the introduction of the lightning network and alternative currencies are rising to fill the need for more moveable, spendable electronic currency. Many of my dearest friends are throwing money into young, promising cryptos, hoping to turn a massive profit like early BTC investors did. But, with over 1000 competing cryptocurrencies being traded on open markets, a new investor may feel overwhelmed or confused. Who could possibly research all of these coins, and weigh the pros and cons of each?
Fear not, friend; I’ve compiled a short list of my 5 favorite altcoins, along with some information to help you make an informed investment decision. Buying cryptocurrency is a volatile, risky business… but, with a bit of research, we can manage that risk strategically and achieve a significant ROI.
Disclaimer: This is independent speculative research, not indisputable financial advice. Invest wisely, and don’t put more money on the table than you are willing to lose!
TOP 5 Alt-Coin Picks
- Litecoin (LTC): Litecoin, widely regarded as the ‘little cousin’ of Bitcoin, went live in October of 2011. It is quite similar to Bitcoin, though unique in its shorter block generation time (2.5 minutes, compared with Bitcoins 10 minutes), and with 4x as many coins on the market. In theory, Litecoin will be able to scale well, and continue to provide fast transaction confirmations long into the future. As proof of concept, in May of this year, Litecoin confirmed a 0.00000001LTC transaction from Zurich to San Francisco using the Lightning Network… in under a single second. I’ve also heard rumors that Facebook may plan to support Litecoin as a payment option in the future – if this is true, we can expect LTC to skyrocket in value. [Price at time of article: $277.59] (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-21/why-charlie-lee-sold-his-litecoin)
- Ethereum (ETH): Ethereum makes use of ‘smart contracts’, which are built-in instructions detailing how value is moved between two sources. These autonomous scripts theoretically prevent tampering or censorship, and assure the longevity and decentralization of the currency. Smart contracts are stored in the Ethereum blockchain, and called upon for execution when needed. While the currency itself is incredibly promising, the Ethereum platform may find further applications in the smart-home market, and online gambling. Ethereum is some really interesting technology, and the practical applications are too advanced for someone like me to describe – I really recommend you look into this stuff for yourself! [Price at time of article: $719.87] (https://www.coindesk.com/information/what-is-ethereum/)
- Dash (DASH): The Crypto Formerly Known as Darkcoin (now Dash, or ‘digital cash’), began life as Xcoin in January of 2014. Since then, it has rebranded itself a few times, always driving home the advantage of anonymous, untraceable transactions. Dash differs from Bitcoin in a few ways, most notably its two-tiered network. While Bitcoin relegates all jobs on the network to miners, Dash keeps miners to specific functions, such as creating new blocks. The advantage of this approach is an added layer of anonymity; Dash seems to be particularly concerned with private transactions. The InstantSend function offered by Dash demonstrates an average 1.3 second confirmation time to users who pay the appropriate fee. [Price at time of article: $1225.53] https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffkauflin/2017/12/22/dash-is-up-7600-in-2017-is-this-darkcoin-a-better-version-of-bitcoin/#708019661a02
- Ripple (XRP): Ripple is among the few cryptocurrencies to retain its value through the major dip we saw this week. This may be due to public confidence in the currency; Ripple has secured a partnership with American Express, and promises an interesting impact on the future of finance. XRP transaction speed is currently steady at around 4 seconds, and with low fees, investors are already excited about the practical applications of this currency. Further, Ripple is incredibly popular in China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. There are also whispers that Ripple will soon be supported on Coinbase, which is certain to drive the value up. One thing to keep in mind: Ripple maintains control of 20% of the total XRP supply, which is either a safeguard from volatility, or a step towards centralization…. Depending on who you ask. [Price at time of article: $1.19] https://www.forbes.com/sites/jessedamiani/2017/12/22/5-reasons-why-the-ripple-price-is-going-up-so-fast-will-the-xrp-surge-continue/2/#790988ea21ea
- Vertcoin (VTC): The main difference between Vertcoin and Bitcoin is their approach to mining. Active since January of 2014, the Vertcoin team seems committed to the avoidance of centralized mining, stating they “hope to offer an alternative. By taking the foundations of bitcoin and making some adjustments, Vertcoin punishes miners who use powerful machines and work together in ‘pools’ to monopolize the mining market.” The company split in 2015, when it was discovered a single botnet controlled a majority of the networks hashpower. Since then, Vertcoin has been vigilant in their efforts to prevent further manipulation by mining pools. By discouraging centralization of mining, Vertcoin hopes to avoid any one entity gaining authority over the blockchain, and envisions itself as ‘the people’s currency’. [Price at time of article: $7.34] https://medium.com/vertcoin-blog/what-is-vertcoin-5e4da1a7c7f1
Dogecoin (DOGE): Taking the world of crypto by storm, Dogecoin was introduced in December of 2013, making it one of the older currencies on the market. Though it began as a joke, based on the popular Shiba Inu memes of the day, the market cap hit $60Million USD within a year. As of December 2017, Dogecoin has an estimated market cap of $719Million. The biggest problem with Doge is its inflationary nature… 112,454,039,017 are currently in circulation, with 5.256 BILLION additional Doge added every year, which leads many to conclude demand will never outstrip supply, and the value will always be very low. Yet, for reasons I cannot possibly begin to explain, Doge occasionally experiences unexpected upticks in value. In fact, I was watching the transactions the other day, and one of those pending was for several billion Dogecoin… suggesting someone, somewhere, actually uses this stuff for something. Is this the currency of the future? Will it replace BTC as a long term investment? Will we one day buy our Lambos with memes?
Absolutely not. But, call me crazy: I LIKE Dogecoin. I wouldn’t take a loan out to invest, but hey… I’ll mine it when I can. And, when the value reaches $5 per Doge, and I’m able to afford a moderately inexpensive lunch, WE’LL SEE WHO’S LAUGHING. Many crypto, much blockchain. Wow. [Price at time of article: $0.006]
You can read more by Kevin Shaw on Think Liberty here.