These are the 5 Most Productive Cryptocurrencies of 2018




Cryptocurrencies are virtual financial instruments designed by individuals or groups, which are exchanged by digital media. The concept of digital currency did not begin with cryptocurrencies, as many seem to believe.

In the present day, for every ten US dollars, only one is physical with the remaining nine dollars being digital. Cryptocurrencies were designed to overcome some challenges encountered in financial transactions under the traditional financial system such as centralization, need for trust in exchange and government control through fiscal policies.

The idea behind cryptocurrencies is to ensure that their supply and worth are determined by the activities of users, as well as the complex protocols embedded in their source code, thus cutting out the restrictions of monetary guides and policies established by financial authorities.

The Genesis


The cryptocurrency technology clocked a decade this year, as the Bitcoin was brought to public knowledge on 31st October 2008 when the enigmatic designer of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto published his paper titled “Bitcoin: An peer-to-peer Electronic Cash System”. Nakamoto made the first transaction by sending 10 Bitcoin (BTC) to Hal Finney on 12th January 2009.

The first security breach on the Bitcoin network was encountered on 15th August 2010, exposing a major weakness of the currency. More work was done to improve the system over time, and the first Bitcoin sale was ready to hold towards the end of 2010.

The Rise of Competition

The advent and gradual acceptance of Bitcoin by the public gave rise to the coming of competitors into the cryptocurrency space. The year 2011 ushered in the likes of Litecoin (LTC), Swiftcoin (SWFTC) and Namecoin (NMC).

Ripple was launched in 2012, and brought with it more conversion flexibility than other cryptocurrencies could boast of, with a customised exchange that easily converted units of Ripple into the US dollar, Japanese Yen and other common currencies. Ethereum, which is one of the most formidable rivals of Bitcoin, was launched in 2015.

It brought forward notable enhancements to the Bitcoin structure, referred to as “Smart contracts”. Over the years, many more cryptocurrencies have burst out, mostly taking advantage of existing structures and bringing innovative solutions to plug observed loopholes; most notably, scalability.
2018 in Retrospect

The cryptocurrency market in 2018 has seen so many new projects come in, with several floating ICOs. It was relatively a bad year for Bitcoin, as it began its descent in January 2018 from over $13,000 in December 2017, till it plunged suddenly to about $4,000 in November. At the time of writing, 1 BTC is worth below $3,500. Ethereum suffered a similar fate, plunging from over $1,000 in January 2018 to below $100 at the time of writing.

The year however gave rise to many promising cryptocurrencies that managed to brave the many odds of the market, and show lots of potential going forward. Some of the most productive cryptocurrencies this year are EOS, Stellar, Bankera, Ripple and OmiseGo.

EOS

EOS is a multipurpose open-source distributed Blockchain platform with the vision of making decentralized applications available to the public. It was designed by Dan Larimer and the team at Block.one to focus on satisfying the users’ requirements of speed, scalability and awesome transaction experience.

EOS has been determined to be the chain that can achieve the most transactions per second, with an all-time high of 3996 TPS against 17 and 3 TPS of Ethereum and Bitcoin respectively. One of the ways EOS achieved such speed is that the system is designed with 21 block producers who can be voted in or out every two minutes. This use of delegated Proof of Stake (dPOS) in place of Proof of Work (POW) has cut the energy costs massively.

This democratic system of validation employed by EOS as against the use of few mega miners by other chains has increased the confidence of the many token holders. The parallel execution system on the platform enables companies multiple decentralized applications, hence reducing drastically the IT setup requirements of companies.

This framework will encourage more companies to come on board, and increase the token’s value going forward. Its initial token sale raked in over $4 million over the span of a year, making it the largest token sale ever recorded.

RIPPLE (XRP)

Ripple has shown that it is one of the prime cryptocurrencies to transform the face of international payments. It emerged one of the top performing tokens in 2017, going up by about 36,000%, hence a strong start in 2018.

The structure of the token makes it very welcome to remittance and money transfer companies, cutting erstwhile costs paid to banks for moving their funds. The Ripple Company has made it known that the big boys of money transfer, MoneyGram and Western Union are already running pilot projects based on XRP.

The ability of the team behind this token to provide lightning-fast speed of transactions and low transaction fees has increased acceptability and readiness of commerce-based companies to use it.

Also, hedge funds and American Express have shown interest in supporting this innovation, since it is touted to increase the ease of doing business. The design has been seen to reduce the time taken for international transfers from the perennial one-week duration to just few seconds.


STELLAR (XLM)


Stellar was introduced in 2014, hard forked off Ripple. It is also targeted at cross-country payments, though with a difference of the Stellar Development foundation being a non-profit organization.

This setup is seen to be increasing the trust of users in this system. One advantage it has shown over the fierce rival, Ripple is that it is more decentralized. So far, Stellar has been able to secure tactical collaborations with international companies like IBM, Delloite and lots of international banks. All these make it one of the productive cryptocurrencies to look out for.

BANKERA

Bankera was released as a fork off SpectroCoin to leverage on its infrastructure to provide a bank for the Blockchain age. This innovation has brought an increase of about 800,000 users of the coin this year alone.

Bankera floated a token sale this year with over 100,000 participants contributing over 170,000 ETH in funds for the establishment of the system that will consist of an exchange, debit card, wallet and payment processor.

The idea is to combine traditional banking with Blockchain technology, thus being a one-stop financial services platform that can provide efficient banking at lower costs. The platform is already developing investment tools for individuals and businesses using Artificial intelligence.

OMISEGO

OmiseGO has one goal: to be the top decentralized and universal payment processing system for individual and business transactions in any currency. It is designed to fix the two problems of centralization and fragmentation of the payment processing industry. Its white label software development kit is designed to swap currencies by bonding ETH to the smart contract.

Hence a user can send EURO, get it converted to ETH, and then delivered as USD to an American receiver. This solution to cross-border payment has made OmiseGo a productive token, resulting in its high market capitalization in 2018.

Conclusion

Cryptocurrencies have come to stay, no doubt about that; and with rapid technological advancements on the Blockchain, one can only expect the entry of new projects into the cryptosphere with each improving on the cons of its predecessor.

The cryptocurrency big guns, most especially BTC, endured a tough 2018; while in other news, some new and exciting projects hit the crypto market and some existing ones performed great feats.

With the level of productivity achieved by the likes of OmiseGO, Stellar, Bankera, Ripple, EOS and a few other projects in 2018, one can only covet what the 2019 holds.

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