As we ring in the new year – and in fact, the new decade – it would make sense for us to look back on the best altcoins of 2019. While looking back would allow us to reflect, focusing on the past can only do so much. This is especially the case when it comes to finances and investments; in this case, cryptocurrencies. True, it allows us to see the progress they made in the previous year, but what about the future? Could they still stand on their feet in 2020?

Now, we could start this list by predictably placing Bitcoin at the top. Why wouldn’t we? It is inarguably the most popular cryptocurrency out there. While that might be the case, the fact that it is prominent in the public eye may not be enough. For some investors, they want more variety, other names to give their attention to. Whatever the reason, they would like to know what cryptocurrencies there are besides Bitcoin. In other words, they want ‘altcoins’.

This is an exciting time for the crypto space because there are so many options available. Wanting to invest in a digital currency besides Bitcoin suddenly doesn’t sound unorthodox. There are over a thousand names to choose from, so selecting the right one(s) seems daunting. Questions pertaining to which ones will prevail and survive a long-term investment immediately come to mind. Answering them is not easy; all we can do is speculate. Nevertheless, we still want to check out our options.

This article will provide an array of altcoins that investors should keep an eye on this year.

What does HODL mean?

No, that is not a typo in the title. There is, in fact, a term in the field of investments that is called ‘HODL’. Surprisingly, the fact that it is a typo is what makes it as popular as it is.

HODL derives from the misspelling of the word “hold.” It is indicative of buy-and-hold strategies in the context of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The origins of this infamous term date back to 2013 in the bitcointalk forum. A user wrote a post in which the title was “I AM HODLING.” The post itself is largely incoherent and it’s obvious that the user responsible for writing it (username GameKyuubi) was drunk. For the most part, it was a self-deprecating rant about how the user was a bad trader.

WHY AM I HOLDING? I’LL TELL YOU WHY. It’s because I’m a bad trader and I KNOW I’M A BAD TRADER. Yeah you good traders can spot the highs and the lows pit pat piffy wing wong wang just like that and make a million bucks sure no problem bro.”

Not too long after the posting, the popularity surrounding this term began to grow. Nowadays, it is primarily an acronym for the phrase “hold on for dear life” in the context of cryptocurrency. Crypto enthusiasts use it as a way to say that they choose to hang on to their cryptocurrencies for the long-term. They decide to do this instead of trading them or selling them off.

Those who HODL are generally bullish on a particular digital asset. Moreover, they are recognizable as traders who survive bear markets and are largely immune to FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt).

Speculations concerning sustainability

Cryptocurrencies are considerably fickle. Their success is as unpredictable as any investment usually is. One cannot easily predict if they will fail or succeed or if investing in them will work out in the long-run. We cannot say for certain if it will be sunny all day tomorrow or only part of the day. We also cannot accurately forecast the well-being of a particular stock, so why should cryptocurrencies be any different?

The technology behind blockchain is obviously going to stick around for a while. What’s more, we will continue to use it more and more in the near future. However, knowing which coins/tokens will remain operational one or two years from now is much harder to predict.

More than anything, you should at least try to look at the big picture. Specifically, when it comes to determining what the future will be for various coins one year from now. A common way to approach this is to first take into consideration what types of coins hold potential for adoption. Privacy coins are an ideal bet for future uptake, according to some people.

Another group of coins that is worth focusing on are those participating in the integration of social media. Moreover integrating with blockchain technology. These projects are those that are gradually bridging conventional technology with that of blockchain and cryptocurrency. Should they succeed in their endeavors, it will help promote the adoption of blockchain in the near future.

With that said, here are some altcoins that might be worth HODLing onto this year.

1 – Privacy coins

Privacy coins are quite popular in the world of cryptocurrency, both for practical and political reasons. There are a lot of people who enjoy the idea of having the ability to transact privately without undergoing surveillance. Whether that scrutiny is by the state or private corporations, they would prefer not to be subject to it. In a political sense, plenty of cryptocurrency enthusiasts oppose the intrusion of the state into our personal lives. What’s more, they are more than willing to support projects that sabotage that power or make it difficult to apply.

If privacy coins interest you, then perhaps try looking into Monero (XMR). This cryptocurrency’s popularity and adoption have continuously been on the rise in the virtual world. The reason for this is because of its anonymization characteristic. Monero transactions are all un-linkable and untraceable, using the concepts of ring signatures and stealth addresses to hide the sender and receiver’s identities. In addition, Ring Confidential Transactions (aka. RingCT) is a useful tool for hiding the transaction amount, which guarantees complete anonymity.

PIVX – an acronym for Private Instant Verified Transaction – is another option. It is an open-source, decentralized cryptocurrency that focuses on four specific qualities. It concentrates all its power on privacy, security, anonymity, and instant transactions. The primary focuses of development are cutting down on transaction times and fees. At the same time, preserving both privacy and security.

Both of these projects are strong and show great potential, garnering more attention since their respective launches. For something that is more recent, take a look at Spectrecoin (XSPEC). It features “energy-efficient proof-of-stake algorithms that provide rapid transaction confirmations.” This cryptocurrency will be on a whole other level than the others. That is if it is successful in pulling off what it proposes.

2 – Trading algorithms

The popularity of cryptocurrency trading is growing more and more as time goes by. So much so that people are starting to look into maximizing their profits with progressively complex trading strategies. Taking the volatility of cryptocurrency prices into account, plenty of day traders make profits using trading algorithms. Particularly ones that are designed to track trends in the market and make trades under specific circumstances.

If trading algorithms and assistance in trading pique your interest, then you should look into Covesting (COV). Its alternate name is COVX; whichever name it goes by depends on the exchange. Covesting is a distributed ledger technology services provider that develops innovative trading tools. Moreover, it provides services for retail and institutional customers alike. With this platform, you can keep track of your digital currencies. The real-time reporting feature allows you to obtain a full picture of your portfolio at any time.

As a cryptocurrency, COV is an ERC20 utility token (more on them later) that operates on the Ethereum platform. Its design permits it to be used by members who are active on the Covesting platform. Therefore, demand for COV directly correlates with the trading volume and activity occurring on the platform.

3 – Ethereum

While Bitcoin holds the number one spot on CoinMarketCap, Ethereum (ETH) is a close second. While its popularity does not reach the same level as Bitcoin’s, it’s still a recognizable name in the cryptocurrency world.

2019 was an eventful year for Ethereum regarding their developmental achievements, plus the growing popularity of its decentralized apps (DApps). However, this traction did not translate to any major changes in the overall price of ETH. Between January 1st, 2019 and January 1st, 2020, ETH only experienced a 2% rise. To elaborate, it went from $140.82 USD to $143.89.

Ethereum has great plans and equally great challenges awaiting in 2020. An additional major point of potential in store for Ethereum this year is the commencement of the Ethereum 2.0 rollout. This is set to take place close to the end of Q1 2020. This upgrade’s first phase will execute Ethereum’s official shift to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus. Doing so will allow ether holders to stake ETH in order to properly secure the blockchain in exchange for block reward payments.

4 – Utility tokens

Are you someone who has an interest in applications that are being built on top of blockchain technology? If so, then it would be smart for you to do research on ‘utility coins’. These are typically the outcome of an ICO whereby blockchain platform users pay with tokens sold during the ICO. Alternatively, they earn them in exchange for providing some other relevant input. Utility tokens are useful within certain applications, usually to gain access to a company’s product or service.

If utility tokens sound interesting to you, then two cryptocurrencies to check out are Telcoin (TEL) and THETA. Both have a considerable amount of potential for the near future.

TEL is an ERC20 token that is based on the Ethereum blockchain. Its grand plan is to one day partner with telecommunication giants such as AT&T and Verizon. Doing so will allow them to fully integrate the mobile industry with the cryptocurrencies. Should it achieve its objectives, there will hopefully be no difficulty between billing platforms and mobile money. Ever since its launch, TEL has been garnering plenty of attention. Its efforts are gradually bridging the gap between the telecom industry and blockchain technology.

THETA is an open-source protocol that helps power a decentralized streaming network. It will allow for the building of DApps on top of the platform. Doing so will enable use cases that span across various fields like eSports, entertainment, and peer-to-peer streaming. SLIVER.tv’s DApp was the first application to be built on the Theta network. This would lead to it successfully leveraging its user base of millions of eSports viewers.

5 – Coins that aim to fully replace fiat currency

The very first use case pertaining to blockchain technology was enacting decentralized financial transactions by way of cryptocurrency usage. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency with a design strictly for this purpose. However, since its initiation, there has been ongoing development of various other coins with one goal in mind. Above all else, they aspire to eventually replace traditional ‘fiat’ currency.

If this use case for blockchain piques your interest, you should consider researching Ripple (XRP). This is a notable example of a cryptocurrency that is actively trying to replace fiat. XRP is the main cryptocurrency that the Ripple payment network uses. With its initial design being for enterprise use, its intent is to be a fast, cost-efficient cryptocurrency for cross-border payments. 

Generally speaking, it does not discriminate between one fiat/cryptocurrency and another. It is because of this that it is very easy to exchange one currency for another. In addition, each currency that exists in the ecosystem possesses its own gateway.

Ripple operates primarily on an open-source and peer-to-peer decentralized platform. One that allows for seamless money transfer in any form, whether it be USD, Yen, Bitcoin, or Litecoin. The main process of Ripple is a payment settlement asset exchange and remittance system. This shares some similarities with the SWIFT system. Specifically, for international money and security transfers that banks and financial middlemen frequently use.

Instead of using conventional blockchain mining, Ripple uses a different method. For them, the technique of choice is a consensus mechanism stemming from a group of servers to verify transactions.

Conclusion

The choice for which altcoin you ultimately decide to HODL is yours. A difficult decision in some respects, but at least you have a wide variety to choose from. As a potential bonus, further research could open up other options.

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