Every investing related website and tv program has found a new favorite in the world of cryptocurrencies. With new investors anxious to enter the market to join the internet money revolution, 2018 looks like it could be the year the cryptocurrencies finally become mainstream. 2017 was an immensely successful year for cryptocurrencies which saw the market grow by more than 50 times! Right now, the entire crypto market is sitting at a market cap of $700 billion, which is a massive shoot up from last January. Experts from Wall Street have openly come out in support of cryptocurrencies in the past few months with estimates that crypto could be a $10 trillion market in 10 years. Let’s take a lot of the potential that some of the significant cryptocurrencies have to grow in 2018.
Proponents of Bitcoin claims that it is the one real coin that will dominate the entire market in the long term. Even though currently it is plagued by long transaction times and high fees, there are scaling solutions in the works which could significantly improve network congestion. Bitcoin grew by about 1500% in 2017. If it were to see similar growth in 2018, it would end the year at $200,000 per coin. Blockchain technology pioneers like John McAfee have publically claimed that Bitcoin could reach up to a million dollars per coin in the next five years. Given the extremely positive market sentiment, it does not seem likely that Bitcoin could reach $200,000 per coin given that it can deliver excellent scaling solutions.
Ethereum is currently the dominant cryptocurrency that users are using for any blockchain related function like transferring money and conducting ICOs. As a result, it is the most widely used blockchain which processes about 1.2 million transactions every day, which is four times the volume that the Bitcoin network prepares. Not only does Ether process a much more substantial volume of transactions than Bitcoin, but it also does for a fraction of the cost at around $1 per transaction. Currently, Ether is priced at approximately $1200 per unit of Ether which leaves plenty of room for growth. Ethereum’s current market cap is around half of that of Bitcoin, but clearly, Ethereum is the more usable of the two right now. So if we factor in Ethereum taking over Bitcoin as the leader in the cryptocurrency space and reasonable growth in 2018, Ether could go as high as $5000 per coin in 2018.
IOTA is one the most exciting cryptocurrencies in the market right now because of its unique Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) implementation. With the Tangle, IOTA’s implementation of DAGs, IOTA promises near infinite scalability and fee-less transfers. IOTA saw some major partnerships with Microsoft Data Centre and Bosch Limited near the end of 2017. If IOTA could deliver on its promises, it could become the king of cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange that is fee-less. IOTA’s founders have openly claimed that in a few years’ time, IOTA is either going be a trillion dollar venture or dead. This makes IOTA a risky pick in the high stake cryptocurrency market that could well pay off. At a trillion dollar valuation, every unit of MIOTA will be priced at $350 per coin, an approximate 100 times its present value.
Since its inception, Monero has focused on doing one thing well – becoming a truly private, fungible and anonymous currency. To that end, it has held up the test of time as currently, it is the only cryptocurrency that is completely untraceable. Monero’s main competitor ZCash, which offers optional anonymity by relying on zero-knowledge proofs (zk-SNARKs) was recently proved to be traceable through MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative. As governments and large corporations are getting more and more privy to our personal information, the need for privacy is sure to rise. Since Monero is genuinely fungible, it is a much better store of wealth than Bitcoin often referred to as “Swiss Bank 2.0”. This is because people storing large sums of money in cryptocurrencies would not want other people to see exactly how much money they have. Currently, Monero is also struggling with scaling as Monero’s transactions are about ten times costlier (in terms of bytes) than that of Bitcoin. But that is expected to change with Monero’s upcoming update code-named “Bullet Proofs”. Factoring in the upcoming upgrades along with better mobile wallet support and ledger nano integration, Monero could easily see its price go ten times in 2018 to about $3000 per XMR.