Public interest and knowledge of Bitcoin and other crypto assets saw huge increases throughout the year and currently about 100,000 users per day are entering these markets. Just looking at the increase of the total market capitalisation of all crypto currencies last year points to an amazing year for investors of these assets.
The graph above represents about a 30 fold increase in the value of all crypto assets.
Bitcoin has had a stellar year regardless of the many controversies and disunity in the community it rose above it all to once again prove it is king of the cryptos. Futures trading has provided a vehicle for institutional investors wanting to play these markets and combined with the fork of Bitcoin Cash and increasing popularity Bitcoin achieved around a 13x gain for the year. For more information regarding the Bitcoin Fork and what it means for Bitcoin holders refer to our previous blog post Crypto Wars Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash
Starting the year at just under $1000 it hit a high around $20,000 USD before ending the year around $13500.
Created from a Bitcoin fork on August 1st 2017 it has soared from early pricing around $300 to $2500 USD. Bitcoin Cash has gained much traction and has a growing army of fans as the high fees and long confirmation times saw Bitcoin become virtually unusable when peaks in activity occur.
It remains possible that Bitcoin Cash may become the more popular chain in the future and would be able to claim the name ‘Bitcoin’ so anyone looking at getting into Bitcoin now should consider getting some Bitcoin Cash as well.
Ethereum is a platform designed for the creation of blockchain based applications. As the year saw a large increase in ICO’s or blockchain startups with many built on the Ethereum platform the demand for the tokens has led to staggering growth throughout the year. It has not been all plain sailing as some bugs and vulnerabilities in products built on the platform have led to loss of investor funds however it seems the crypto community is increasingly desensitised to these occurrences as they have almost become common place.
Ethereum started the year at less than $10 USD and saw it out at around the $800USD mark.
Litecoin has benefited significantly from the issues with Bitcoin. As merchants, ATM providers and other crypto businesses are scrambling to integrate other options apart from Bitcoin it is well poised to take up much of the slack. It too has seen large growth throughout the year with many suggesting there are bigger things to come.
Litecoin rose from under $4 to over $200 USD after hitting a high above $350 throughout 2017
Amazing growth for the banksters favourite coin which has defied all criticism and returned excellent results for investors. It delivers ultra-fast low cost transactions and has likely also benefited from Bitcoin’s failings. It is much derided by the wider crypto community as it lacks the decentralised nature of most other options. Many banks are looking at utilising Ripple to facilitate more efficient bank to bank transfers and settlements. It can also provide a gateway between traditional finance and crypto based assets.
Ripple rose over 35,000% starting the year at just .6 of a cent to finish at over $2
Top performers 2017
This chart lists some of the incredible growth that took place in Crypto markets last year.
One issue to note with the above list is that it using Bitcoin’s start of year for Bitcoin Cash price which only came into existence in August 2017 and was around $300 so its increase has been closer to 8x.
2018 – What to expect
Adoption rates for crypto currencies are still relatively low and we are only now in the early phase of this technology cycle. 2017 set the stage for what is likely to be an even bigger and better year ahead. 2018 may see blockchain technology enter the mainstream as it progresses to become so ubiquitous that many people will not even realise they are utilising it. An example might be sending $50 in value to a Facebook friend facilitated by crypto currency in the back end.
This graph highlights just how early in the adoption rates we are for this technology cycle.
Many of last year’s blockchain startups will have working products released this year and are expected to disrupt many of today’s traditional business models. Tokens distributed by these businesses primarily for fund raising are often created to be the keys to the software platform they are building. It is envisaged that this will create demand for these tokens and some also offer other utility value enabling passive income opportunities from owning these tokens.
Bitcoin’s dominance in the crypto markets came under severe attack late in 2017. Much of this was due to the scaling issues that crippled the network. This resulted in issues for many providers of bitcoin related services and merchants that accept bitcoin payment.
Other alternatives such as Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ripple and Monero should continue to grow as providers look to integrate alternatives to Bitcoin. Enabling virtually instant low cost transactions will ensure the ability to directly trade crypto currency for a range of goods and services will continue to increase.
As has always been the case the year is bound to have its share of FUD, hacks, scam, government control and all other forms of misadventure but this movement now feels like a serious concern that is here to stay. We expect to see even larger growth this year as main stream adoption of this technology looms closer.
Our list of Cryptos to follow in 2018
There are now literally thousands of crypto currencies. Many will disappear, some are scams or Ponzi schemes but others will likely be leaders in this space and grow to be as big or bigger than some of the world’s largest companies such as Amazon. As we have been following them for some time and spend extensive time researching many of the offerings available we have compiled this list of currencies, platforms and projects that we believe stand a good chance of sustained growth over the next few years
Bitcoin (BTC) -King of crypto, store of value, the gold standard.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH or BCC) -Wants to be the new king
Litecoin (LTC) – Silver standard faster and cheaper transactions than Bitcoin
Ripple – (XRP) -Bank Investment and lightning fast
DASH – (DSH) -Good governance systems and has privacy options
Dogecoin (DOGE) -Bronze standard and popular with the Koreans cause of cute dog meme.
Vericoin (VRC) -Dual chain that pairs currency with a reserve
Monero (XMR) First mover advantage
PIVX – Another popular privacy coin that offers some technology benefits over Monero.
Verge (XVG) – Once known as DogeCoin Dark the rebrand has helped its image and price.
Blockchain Platforms (current and emerging)
Ethereum (ETH) – Large network effect delivering a platform for smart contracts
Ethereum Classic (ETH) – Original Ethereum chain continued after Hard Fork.
Expanse (EXP) – Copy of Ethereum that has taken development in other directions
EOS – Labelled by many as the ‘Ethereum Killer’ headed by Dan Larimer from Bitshares and Steem
NEO – Chinese version of Ethereum
QTUM – Hybrid of Bitcoin and Ethereum
Cardano (ADA) – New and improved version from one of the founders of Ethereum
IOTA – New twist on blockchain to enable machine to machine economies
Tokenised Platforms (businesses on the blockchain)
Populous (PPT) – Invoice factoring on the blockchain
SALT – Crypto backed lending system
Omisego (OMG) – Asian cross country digital payment network.
Veritaseum (VERI) – Peer to peer capital markets
Pillar (PLR) – Digital asset management applications
TENX Pay (PAY) – Multicurrency wallet linked to Visa debit card
KICKCoin(KICK) – ICO / Crowdfund platform for blockchain based projects
PowerLedger(POWR) – Australian based power sharing system.
Steem – Blogging platform that rewards users with crypto.
There are many more of course and many more will maifest throughout the year but this is a good list to get started with. If you want our opinion on any others hit us up on our Facebook page and we will let you know what we think.
We would advise anyone to be very wary of certain money generating coins such as USI-Tech and Bitconnect they have many of the trademarks of traditional Madoff like ponzi schemes and while they have made returns for people they are likely to to collapse at some stage and are also attracting plenty of attention from regulators and authorities.
How to get started
For anyone considering getting into crypto currencies we would advise that you take the time to understand wallets and exchanges and start off with some small amounts to get confident in how to use the currencies. Australian based exchanges such as Coinjar and Cointree are good starting places that will enable you to exchange dollars for Crypto assets.
Never invest more than what you are prepared to lose as while we would hope the growth continues they could also potentially go to zero. There are many other traps for new players that could see you lose your money. As most third parties are removed through this system the responsibility rests firmly on the owner to protect their assets.
FNQ Computers are the region’s leading blockchain and crypto currency advisors so if you need help to navigate the hurdles to entry then one of our personalised one to one training sessions may be a great way to start. Contact us to today to start your journey into what has been life changing for many involved today.