Now that we’re nearly a month into 2019, we look back on 2018 and consider how disappointing the end of the year was from a crypto perspective. If we learned anything from the previous year, it’s that you shouldn’t count the chickens until they hatch.
While altcoins as a whole saw a decline, there’s no one thing to point to and say “this is the problem.” Values appear to be returning to points which are healthy for a nascent industry. Of course, there are those who will choose to pout over what might have been. However, we see this return as a chance to reset for the new year.
As a result, we’ve compiled our list of the best altcoins we believe show great promise for 2019. Of course, please remember that this is not financial or investment advice. Otherwise, please enjoy our list of the top-rated altcoins for 2019.
What is an Altcoin?
If you’re at all familiar with cryptocurrency, then you know that the term “altcoin” comes from combining the words alternative and coin. This term essentially covers all coins that are not Bitcoin, no matter how popular or valuable. The name itself does not refer to any specific cryptocurrency.
There are thousands of altcoins available, with more arriving every day. These coins vary in popularity, price, technology, and many other details. As the original cryptocurrency, Bitcoin remains the most popular and widely used digital currency on the market. Bitcoin was also the catalyst for blockchain and the technology that drives it.
However, there are limitations when using Bitcoin. These restrictions have led to companies creating separate blockchains. Since these new blockchains have their own set of unique features and capabilities, new cryptocurrencies and tokens are needed. Therefore, altcoins were born.
Types of Altcoins
There are more altcoins than you could possibly name, all of which were created to address one problem or another. Some altcoins, like Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, are Bitcoin clones, while others focus on issues like privacy, integration, and compatibility.
The altcoins we like for 2019 all have various technologies and creative solutions for problems the world is facing. Some of the coins on our list address similar issues, while others are unique in their industry.
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So now you know what an altcoin is and how they are trying to address limitations to the original cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, or find ways to solve challenges in a specific area.
With that in mind, here are our best altcoins for 2019.
#1 Cardano (ADA)
Cardano is on everyone’s radar as this cryptocurrency changes the game in the smart contract industry by producing more functionality and making it easier to use. The Cardano altcoin is considered a rival to Ethereum and boasts a solid team and passionate community.
Some suggest that Cardano’s roadmap is very ambitious, especially considering the project has yet to realize many of their milestones. However, if Cardano completes their goal, it could turn the entire smart contract world on its head.
The development of the platform itself is consistent, as Cardano boasts a solid team of developers. Cardano’s longer-term plans include creating a blockchain which will be both highly efficient and versatile for its users. Therefore, the potential for the Cardano project has a lot of upside.
We like Cardano because it is the first blockchain platform that uses scientific philosophies along with a research-driven approach. For example, the Cardano Point-of-Stake algorithm relies on scientific proofs and is as secure as the more popular Point-of-Work.
Additionally, the altcoin has a solution for the quantum computer problem which many other blockchains will face in the future. While it has yet to be implemented, corporations have shown significant interest in this capability. This means Cardano is well-positioned for future growth and could show substantial strides in the next year or two.
#2 Tron (TRX)
Like a lot of the other altcoins on this list, Tron had a rough go of it during the fourth quarter of 2018. Even though its recent performance has been a little shaky, Tron remains the 13th largest cryptocurrency based on market capitalization. As a result, the Tron project has high expectations.
While Tron struggled a bit after its initial launch, the altcoin has shaken off those early problems and has begun to come into its own. To start with, the coin has a new home on Bittrex, one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world. In addition, Tron has started to build up and develop support for decentralized applications (dApps), for use specifically on its platform.
Tron’s CEO, Justin Sun, has gone out of his way to show users just how well the Tron platform is capable of performing. He suggests that not only is his platform a force to be reckoned with now, but it will continue to be a high-ranking altcoin in the future as well.
Sun has also mentioned the possibility of integrating a new Tron-based token which owners will be able to use on the Tron platform. The primary purpose of the token is to give users the capability of sharing data on the Tron network. Additionally, the target is to establish faster download speeds for all users. The plan is that these features would be available on both Tron’s mobile and desktop clients.
With the goal of changing the way we interact as a society, Tron believes it should receive recognition as a top performer in the crypto world. It’s hard for us to argue with this sentiment, so don’t be surprised if you see Tron make significant steps forward in 2019.
Tron plans to continue to develop a high-quality system that its users will enjoy through the year. It might be time for investors to take notice of Tron and give it the attention it deserves.
#3 Ripple (XRP)
Ripple is a well-known altcoin and is unique in that it focuses on solving a problem inherent to only one industry: International Payment Transfers. The cryptocurrency was created in 2012 with the goal of making global transactions both cheap and fast.
Since Ripple labs own half of the 100 billion XRP tokens that will ever exist, many crypto naturalists argue that they are not a true cryptocurrency. This is due to the fact that the vast majority of cryptocurrencies in existence today do not have a central entity which holds the majority of their coins. As a result, many suggest that Ripple is not decentralized and shouldn’t label itself as such.
However, Ripple does an excellent job of providing solutions for the industry in which it focuses its efforts. Currently, international transfers may take between seven and ten days. Ripple, on the other hand, can perform the same transaction in a matter of seconds. Additionally, fees on the Ripple platform are significantly lower than what users experience when using a traditional financial institution.
Ripple has a particular use case, putting forth all its efforts on international payments. This means the Ripple team isn’t distracted by other projects and can deliver the best solution catered to a specific industry.
Lastly, Ripple holds an advantage over many altcoins in that it is one of the few cryptocurrencies which can brag that companies currently use it in the real world. Ripple has developed many strategic partnerships with several major financial players. These include Santander and American Express. Therefore, whether you believe Ripple is a true cryptocurrency or not, it might be wise to keep your eye on it throughout 2019.
#4 Stellar (XLM)
Even though Stellar is not quite five years old yet, it’s ranked toward the top of the list for market cap for a while now. This decentralized and open-source protocol gives its users the ability to quickly send fiat currencies by making use cryptocurrency as a method of transport. In many ways, Stellar is somewhat similar to Ripple.
The biggest differentiator between the two is that Ripple is more interested in working with large financial institutions and banks while Stellar wants to provide its services to individuals. However, sending money across borders is desperately in need of a change, and Stellar intends to be the altcoin that revolutionizes that process.
One other feature that makes the Stellar project valuable is the speed with which it processes transactions. This altcoin is one of the fastest available on the market. Where these types of transactions can take days or even a few weeks to complete, Stellar can get it done in a matter of seconds.
Along with its potential as an international payment processor, Stellar has also established a partnership with IBM. By forming a partnership with this company, Stellar takes a huge step forward. With IBM, the altcoin assures itself a place in the international payment industry.
Additionally, Stellar positioned itself to be one of the first cryptocurrencies to gain mass adoption, although admittedly, this may not happen for a while. More than likely, countries will need to develop cryptocurrency regulations before more widespread adoption takes place.
Even still, working with IBM has allowed Stellar to form a closer relationship with the Australian government. Therefore, it makes sense that we might see Stellar adopted by the country at some point in the future. Not only that, but it gives Stellar instant credibility as a legitimate player in the cryptocurrency market, which will drive interest among investors and partners alike.
#5 Basic Attention Token (BAT)
The BAT cryptocurrency was explicitly established with digital advertising in mind. Primarily, you can use BAT tokens to create an exchange between those who create content and those who consume it. This makes it a great coin to watch throughout 2019.
BAT wants to provide a platform which gives users the ability to eliminate intermediaries when it comes to digital advertising. This happens by paying online users for participating in the BAT community. Basically, those who create content have a place where they can share their content. Simultaneously, consumers browse the web and get BAT tokens as an incentive.
BAT offers its Brave browser, which the token powers and is used to bring the BAT community together in one place. When using the Brave browser, you’ll notice that it can detect and remove advertisements and malware. The browser does this so that users have their privacy and security while they surf the internet.
Even though it’s not yet available, BAT does plan on releasing a feature which will pay its users to browse online. You can view ads which will show up based on your interests, and you’ll earn BAT tokens as you do.
BAT is a solid altcoin in that it connects content creators with content consumers and allows them to earn BAT tokens while browsing. As a result, BAT is making considerable noise in the crypto industry, which is why we put it on our list of the best altcoins of 2019.
#6 Dash (DASH)
Dash could be considered an altcoin with schizophrenia. When the coin launched back in 2014, it was referred to as XCoin. Soon after that, it was renamed DarkCoin. In 2015 the digital currency was finally named Dash, which is a mashup of the words Digital and Cash.
Even though Dash is similar to Bitcoin, it holds significant advantages over the original cryptocurrency. Dash is, however, built on Bitcoin’s network and is a fork of the Litecoin altcoin. That said, Dash offers higher transaction speeds and better privacy than Bitcoin.
With Bitcoin, the sender and receiver public addresses are viewable by the whole world and stored on the blockchain. Dash keeps this information hidden from others. This means transactions performed on the Dash network are not traceable back to the sender. Bitcoin transactions, on the other hand, are easily tracked.
Additionally, Dash has a self-funding engine which sets aside 10% of all mining rewards for future use on the Dash platform. These funds are used primarily to grow and improve Dash. With these unique features and capabilities, Dash is a promising altcoin in the crypto market and has the potential for mass adoption by governments or economies. This makes it an altcoin to consider throughout 2019.
#7 Nano (NANO)
Nano is first and foremost a digital currency. Just like Bitcoin, Nano aims to become a currency used globally while providing no fees and quick transactions. This altcoin plans to accomplish the sending and receiving of these transactions through a secure and decentralized network. Of course, the question is, if it’s so similar to Bitcoin, why bother with this digital currency at all?
Everyone familiar with Bitcoin knows that the central driver behind the cryptocurrency is to provide sellers and buyers the ability to interact without the need for an intermediary like banks or other financial institutions. The underlying problem with Bitcoin is that it requires solving complex algorithms for mining purposes.
The problem is that as the ledger continues to grow, so does the process for mining. As a result, mining becomes much more inefficient and bogs down. These are the issues which Nano steps in to address.
Nano can solve these problems because its coins don’t have to be mined. The Nano coin uses a technology it refers to as block lattice. It is through this process that Nano has developed a method which allows for instance transactions. Additionally, the coin incurs no fees with its block lattice technology.
On Nano’s platform, an unlimited amount of transactions can run simultaneously. This capability alone is why many people are so high on Nano. Other cryptocurrencies require every transaction to receive consensus from miners. When using Nano, only two transactions are required: the send transaction, which deducts funds, and the receive transaction, which credits funds.
Nano is attempting to solve a significant problem that keeps cryptocurrency from going mainstream. High fees, slow transactions, and scalability are all challenges within the cryptocurrency industry. Nano believes it can go a long way in addressing these problems.
Due to its unique technology and ability to address global problems, Nano is a great option for changing the way financial transactions are handled. Therefore, Nano is a cryptocurrency we plan on tracking throughout 2019.
#8 Monero (XMR)
Monero may not be as popular or commonly known as Bitcoin or Ethereum, but it has a significant following and community. This cryptocurrency is well-respected in the industry and presents itself as a great altcoin to consider for 2019.
The Monero platform is known for its privacy. There are a significant amount of thefts, hacking scandals, and data breaches within the crypto world, which means the need for privacy is more prevalent than ever before. This is especially true for those performing financial transactions.
Knowing this, Monero offers a wide array of solutions to the lack of privacy that plagues society today. This platform is still growing, and as users realize the value of data and online privacy, we won’t be surprised to see a mass migration to coins like Monero.
Monero’s principal focus is on privacy, protecting the identity of both the sender and the receiving during a transaction. While many argue that this is a breeding ground for criminal activity and hackers, Monero is providing a method which offers anonymity to its users. Some would say this is a rare thing in today’s world.
Due to its appeal to those looking for a way to complete transactions privately and anonymously, we have Monero on our list of best altcoins for 2019. Feel free to add it to your list as well.
NEO is similar to Ethereum in that it focuses on smart contracts. However, where Ethereum uses a programming language called Solidity, NEO smart contracts can use Java, Python, or any other popular development language. Additionally, when it comes to programming, Solidity is nowhere near as popular a language like Python or Java.
NEO has a very prominent following in the crypto industry and offers its users two currencies: Gas and NEO. These two currencies are entirely separate from one another but have equal value on the platform. As a matter of fact, the Gas coin is used to pay for the NEO platform fees. You can also buy, sell, or trade both NEO and Gas on the crypto market.
NEO is one of the more prominent and promising digital currencies for 2019. It does have a lot of competition though, specifically in the form of altcoins like EOS, Ethereum, and others. Don’t forget that NEO is developing its own Smart Economy, which is slowly but surely growing.
From a long term perspective, NEO is attempting to eliminate the Bitcoin dominance in the cryptocurrency market. More than likely we’ll see this coin as a trading pair in most exchanges, much the same way Ethereum and Bitcoin are.
#10 ZCash (ZEC)
If you’re looking for a coin that’s still relatively new to the world of cryptocurrency, ZCash is a great option. This promising entrant was established in 2016 and currently has 21 million coins on the market. ZCash payments reside on the public blockchain. However, ZCash does provide its users with a level of anonymity by hiding the details of transactions.
ZCash is known for its privacy since it protects the names of both the sender and the recipient on its transactions. However, unlike other privacy cryptocurrencies, ZCash does give its users the option to receive a copy of transactions they performed on the blockchain.
This feature gives ZCash users and companies the ability to comply with taxation and money laundering laws while still having a modicum of anonymity while using cryptocurrency. As a result, users will know that they are adhering to all regulations and rules while performing transactions on the blockchain.
This new coin is an up and comer in the crypto market and has a great following and active community. Users experience low fees and private transactions which makes ZCash a great option if you need a coin that provides a level of privacy. These features make the ZCash cryptocurrency a coin we’ll keep on our radar throughout 2019.
Picking a Coin for Investing
We’ve gone through our top 10 altcoins for 2019, but how do you go about selecting the best cryptocurrency for investing? Here are a few tips to help you pare your list down to a manageable size:
Research the development and leadership team behind the project. What are their background and qualifications? How long have they been in crypto or a related field? Just like with any other successful company, the management team can determine how well a project does.
What type of community following does the project have? Is it received positively or negatively in the crypto industry? Some good places to look to get a solid idea are Steemit, YouTube, and Reddit. Check out the size of a project’s community and how involved its users are.
Cryptocurrencies that have a lot of hype aren’t always scams or bad projects. If a currency has a lot of investor confidence, then it could increase significantly in value in the future. However, do your research as the possibility for scams and pump and dump schemes are still an unfortunate reality in the crypto market.
Speaking of scams and schemes, a lot of ICOs will disappear before you know it. Look for cryptocurrencies that are well-established in the community and provide clear and concise plans about their ambitions and goals.
Review the roadmap for the project. What’s coming down the pipe in 2019? Are there any updates or planned releases in the near-term? Significant updates and advances in technology can make a project worthy of investment.
There you have our best altcoins for 219. These listed are some of our favorite cryptocurrencies to invest in. However, it’s always important to remember crypto is a volatile market. While it’s great to think about all the fantastic gains we might realize, there’s also the possibility that your investments might drop as well.
One of the things we like about cryptocurrency is that you never know what might happen in the future. Just like with any type of investment, don’t put in more than you are willing to lose. That way, if you lose a good deal of money, you aren’t losing a lot of sleep over it.
Hopefully, this list provides you with a solid start as you consider the best altcoins for 2019. And who knows? Maybe you’ll be able to give a great answer when someone asks you which cryptocurrencies are worth considering this year.