Bitcoin vs Ethereum: Which One Will Come Out On Top 2019

There is an internal division amongst the cryptocurrency community that emerged after Bitcoin’s maturation; skeptics arose about the possibility for its long-term sustainability. As time passed and the crypto ecosystem evolved, more people started using and developing with Bitcoin’s protocol but noticed there were a few “discovered” flaws. As a result, Ethereum was founded to provide a proposed “simpler”, and more “agile” blockchain system.

A quick look at Ethereum’s white paper and someone might be excited to think Ethereum is just an advanced and better version of Bitcoin; however, the assumption is dangerous, as the competition amongst the two has much more depth. As we’ll explore, while the concept of Ethereum and its promises are enough to hopeful arbitrary price increases, these notions have to be looked at cautiously.

For starters, we’ll have to quickly look at the history of crypto: many developers believed the Bitcoin blockchain would be a perfect foundation for applications, but it lacked usability for that purpose. People didn’t really get it immediately. Bitcoin is an infrastructure and was proposed as such, but during Bitcoin’s infancy, a then-19-year-old-Vitalik Buterin believed the infrastructure could never reach enterprise level of adoption because of its internal structure and came up with Ethereum. Ethereum was an easy, robust blockchain application development environment at its core. While in the initial Ethereum white paper, it was believed Ethereum was a friendly architectural extension to Bitcoin, it has uncovered ulterior motives.  

Vitalik Buterin came up with a platform that has now launched a debate among developers, users, and economists globally: which cryptocurrency is the best? The “Bitcoin vs Ethereum” argument subsequently came to light. Which one becomes the path to infinite internet usability and riches?

The laggardness, costly fees, and realization of unnecessary middlemen in traditional finance developed the cryptocurrency etymology for separation from centralization. However, as systems progressed, there evolved an even more complex separation, one within cryptocurrency itself. Bitcoin vs Ethereum became a common household argument that no one could quite win. Ethereum enthusiasts pushed against Bitcoin developers, and the conflict became even bigger. The Ethereum push even created the term within cryptocurrency called the “flippening”, the believed pro-Ether process where Ethereum takes over Bitcoin as the crypto market leader. To really understand which is better, which one will survive, or deduct which one will increase the most in price, we need to review a few essential factors for both Ethereum and Bitcoin.

Bitcoin vs Ethereum – Understanding Them

Source: robertVERITAS

Let’s assess their framework before anything: Bitcoin is a protocol, an infrastructure for decentralized payment systems that enables immutable ledgers and a proposed solution for a globally-coherent financial system. It’s a blockchain (Bitcoin blockchain), creating an environment where people make transactions that are immutable with no central party.

Ethereum, on the other hand, is built from the foundational structure of Bitcoin. It’s not a coded carbon copy of it, however, it’s like Bitcoin’s kin. Ethereum is also a blockchain, an immutable ledger for payment systems. Unlike Bitcoin, however, at Ethereum’s core lies the “Ethereum Virtual Machine” (EVM), what can be seen as a virtual computer where users can write applications for the EVM to interpret. With this in mind, consider this: Ethereum lets you create applications on the blockchain, however, Bitcoin instantiated the blockchain that Ethereum is based on. The common question is how can Ethereum be better than Bitcoin if its core foundation is based on Bitcoin? Don’t they need both in accordance with one another for growth? No, they don’t, at all. In fact, Ethereum almost intentionally since its inception has tried to establish it can be better than Bitcoin. Whether or not that’s the truth is speculative. Ethereum came under a lot of backlash from the community in 2018, and as explained later, may have started 2019 on the wrong foot.

Consider the following specifications; Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. It is a protocol for decentralized systems. Ethereum is a framework, and “Ether”, the fuel of the Ethereum economy is its cryptocurrency. Ethereum was designed from scratch to serve as an interactable blockchain application framework with a cryptocurrency as its fuel; Bitcoin was designed to be a digital currency for a global, decentralized economy. Ethereum is considered to possess the edge of being multi-purpose; but if you have multiple areas to focus on, a cryptocurrency being only one of them, frameworks can get cluttered.

Technical Firepower – Comparing Ethereum vs Bitcoin

 

Cryptocurrency Bitcoin Ethereum
Block Time 10 Minutes 10-19 seconds
Deployment Mined Genesis Block Initial Coin Offering
Blockchain Proof-of-Work (POW) Proof-of-Work (POW) → Soon Proof-of-Stake (POS)
Scalable Potentially Yes
Founders Unknown Vitalik Buterin

 

Regardless of whether you’re a technical person or not, stay with me here as I walk through the following technical comparisons between the two cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin’s block time, referencing its speed of confirming transactions, is around 10 minutes per block; Ethereum’s is 10-19 seconds. Scaling is a concept that refers to the ecosystem as more users join. If a framework can adapt to new “circumstances” where more volume is incurred on it, it’s considered to be “scalable”. Ethereum has explicitly noted it is scalable, while Bitcoin has stated it has the potential to scale (Remember this portion in mind for later in the article). With these in mind, a user can easily assume that because of these statistics, Ethereum is the better choice. There’s more than meets the eye, especially with crypto infrastructure, though. Ethereum is not the absolute answer in this case.

While developers can build with the Bitcoin protocol, it should be noted the creator of Bitcoin (As made prevalent in the Bitcoin whitepaper) did not create Bitcoin with a purpose of adaptable development integration, but rather with a purer want to establish a decentralized currency for the age of the internet. Ethereum wanted to improve on that but has since found itself almost battling that same entity that birthed it.

The biggest appeared separation was made when Ethereum enabled a public framework for users to create applications that are decentralized, called “dApps”. It also instantiated the possibility of coding “smart contracts”, which are virtual agreements between multiple parties, visible on the blockchain. Ever heard of escrow accounts? Ethereum derived the efficiency of that and virtualized it entirely, birthing an entirely new era of the internet. However, it wasn’t exactly new – the Bitcoin protocol enables contracts, and contrary to the proposed market proposition of creating smart contracts, the publication of concepts and framework for “smart contracts” actually dates as far back as 1994. When assessing which crypto you think is better, it should be noted that Bitcoin absolutely has the capability for being a development framework, and it does (The Bitcoin Core team). It’s just wasn’t the creator’s intention, as was Ethereum’s.

Since this differentiation, the public can easily get confused about Ethereum being better than Bitcoin strictly because it does “more”. While Bitcoin might seem like an ancient dinosaur that needs repairing, it’s actually untrue that it lacks all capabilities that Ethereum does. They’re just lesser known, and because it’s the leading cryptocurrency, it’s harder for the underlying development team to maneuver safely; after all, they’re improving a framework that can never be shut down and runs 24/7 in a billion dollar market.

Ethereum: Establishing Itself as a Viable Rival

Source: ethereum.org

During the 1980s computers were only available to the most sophisticated companies and tech firms. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates had visions to bring that technology straight to the homes of everyday people. They took extremely complex systems, broke them down to their simplest forms, and made near separate trillion dollar empires because of their retail attraction. They enabled development frameworks that were easily applicable to everyday society. Ethereum did exactly that with blockchain development, establishing an entire multi-billion dollar ecosystem of “coins” and “tokens”. Ethereum did all this with their secret weapon, the Ethereum Virtual Machine.

Blockchain development is hard; so Ethereum made it easy with Solidity, their own internal programming language for sculpting smart contracts. Ethereum, as a result of these efforts, established not only a cryptocurrency but a brand new internet standard. This is where Ethereum truly flexes its muscles.

Ethereum opened a pandora box of cryptocurrencies; within seconds, anyone was free to create their own cryptocurrencies. Smart contracts birthed the Ethereum-conceived “initial coin offering”(ICO), a method for crowdfunding startup projects strictly on the blockchain. With Solidity, smart contracts were able to create virtual venture capital and hedge fund equivalents called “DAOs” (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) that offered immediate, cheap, and immutable ownership of capital in private funds. As a result? Money poured in; ICOs in 2017 showed dramatic investment rates. Thousands of cryptocurrencies began to launch on the Ethereum platform, and smart contracts became the new standard for transactions. It seems as if Bitcoin has no chance against the multi-standard Ethereum, right? Wrong.

As ICO investment capital and smart contract volume poured in, the common ideology was that Ethereum would overtake Bitcoin because of its higher use case. If thousands of projects are building their foundation on Ethereum, it can be assumed that means thousands of projects are buying Ether, therefore Ethereum wins. However, this isn’t the case.

ICOs: Ethereum’s Golden Child Backfires

When ICOs were conducted, investors or users would traditionally contribute to the project’s smart contract via Ether. As a result, the initial concept was that Ethereum would overtake Bitcoin because of the volume of projects needing Ethereum. However, in an ICO structure, after a project accepts these contributions, they need to use the funds for their intended purpose. Say a project raised $1M in Ether for a project. They specified to investors $500,000 will go to paying for operational costs. The problem is that operational costs don’t accept Ether; and therefore, the billions of dollars in capital accumulated in Ether had to be dumped back to USD – and to this day, are still (Trying now because of the dried up liquidity) dumping their Ether back to USD causing huge downward pressure on the market.

The previously near-promised assumption was that mass adoption of Ethereum would occur rapidly enough to never require a conversion to fiat. But deadlines were missed. The promised development of “sharding”, the promise (as mentioned earlier) for absolute scalability, is nearly 5 years past due. The previous promise of the Ethereum Virtual Machine serving as a decentralized costly computer disappointed; current calculations estimate that storing data on Ethereum is more than 400 million times more expensive than Amazon Web Services. Ethereum had hyped up for multiple years now, the “Constantinople” main net hard fork which promised upgrades of the chain, was delayed multiple times. As a result, in January 2019, Ethereum fell to the number 3 market capitalization position to Ripple’s XRP. Within the time of delays, broken promises, and cancellations, competitors caught up; blockchains like Tron showed more advanced, scalable, and actively improved/manage blockchains for smart contracts. Tron now processes millions of more transactions, decentralized application, and smart contract volume than Ethereum.

All the while, though, Bitcoin moved forward.

Bitcoin vs Ethereum – Which One to Buy

Source: bitcoin.com

If you turn on the TV, talk to your elders, or speak with your friends about cryptocurrency, what is the traditional reaction? The standard for cryptocurrency is Bitcoin. Then, Ethereum comes next – many even regard Ethereum as silver, with Bitcoin being gold. Which is more valuable; gold or silver?

Assessing history shows us that since the inception of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin has remained the gold standard of the market. It has stayed at the peak of the cryptocurrency market since its instantiation. Statistically, if you’re betting another cryptocurrency will outperform Bitcoin, you’re betting against over 10 years of odds; think about that.

Bitcoin has also grown alongside the cryptocurrency market every single movement since the beginning, and it also maintains approximately over half of the entire cryptocurrency market in capitalization. Therefore, by buying Bitcoin you’re buying a stake in cryptocurrency as a whole; whereas, with Ethereum, you’re not necessarily doing so. With the current lingering sell pressure of Ether from previous ICOs, the exponential downward trend of Ethereum, and increasing outperforming technologies against Ethereum, the safer buy seems to be pointing towards Bitcoin.

Bitcoin vs Ethereum: Which One Will Come Out On Top This Year?

The conclusion? Bitcoin will come out on top this year. Ethereum’s broken promises and delays have pushed investors, users, and developers (The trifecta of maintaining a valuable ecosystem) away. It is now economically and statistically more efficient to build decentralized applications on Tron and EOS where zero fees are implied. Volume for actual usage in the cryptocurrency ecosystem is completely dominated by Tron and EOS. Developers think Ethereum is slow, and although it introduced a new framework, it is no longer efficient. All of this downward pressure and ICOs are still antsy for vesting periods to unlock so they can sell their Ether.

This impending downward exposure and diminishing upside potential can be relieved; however, there’s a long way to go in order to accomplish that. Ethereum can absolutely still bounce back, however, it’s now in a playing field with multiple other frameworks and smart contract platforms. Although Bitcoin doesn’t propose much as far as integrating actively with the community, its developers hit deadlines nearly every time; delays are merely weeks, not years; and its progress to move towards absolute scalability has been moving rapidly. With this in mind, when it comes to the Bitcoin vs Ethereum prediction, Bitcoin seemingly has many more benefactors to keep it above Ethereum for 2019.

The Best New Services & Wallets to Keep Your Cryptocurrency Safe

While cryptocurrencies have shown us that there is an entirely new financial paradigm shift in the works, it has also shown us the importance of ensuring maximum security, protection, and regulation of our funds. Wallet hacks, exchange attacks, phishing attempts, and smart contract bugs have led to astonishingly billions of dollars in losses in just the past year and a half. Keeping your cryptocurrency safe is essential.

Cryptocurrency wallets and services typically run on one of two frameworks: hardware or software. Each has their respective pros and cons, however they both serve to function in similar areas; send, store, exchange, and move cryptocurrency. Software wallets are wallets that are stored virtually through some sort of engineered representation rather than a physical outlet. Hardware wallets are wallets that can maintain their existence strictly through a physical representation; most times a small USB connected device. There are many different kinds and respective subdivisions of each kind.

Being point in the right direction as far as regulated, and foundationally secure technologies like wallets and exchanges is only half the battle with cryptocurrency. While cryptocurrencies offer a newfound edge in fund-usage, there are new factors that you’ll have to pay attention to that you possibly ignored before with central systems. With cryptocurrencies you theoretically are the bank, however you need to take necessary precautions to ensure that as the bank you’re solidified from the ground up. Previous exchanges, smart contracts, and wallets have been hacked and lost a plethora of user funds; however, as a user of an exchange many of these losses could have been avoided had you looked at the proper warning signs. It’s important to realize what’s at bay when storing or holding your cryptocurrency.

Although a relatively scary thought of that amount of technological and financial pressure being placed upon the user, many services have taken the initiative of easing the purchase, deposit, and transferring of cryptocurrencies from their initial fiat conversion, all the way to their storage. Although many online advertisements and headlines can claim platform validity, it’s important to analyze real registrations and verify things on your own terms. Here are some of the most validated and secure wallets and services that can be used to store and protect your cryptocurrency.

 

  1. eToro – Regulated Storage Standard (Software)

Credit: etoro.com

Prior to eToro, crypto exchanges were in many cases deemed unknown territory because of their middleman and centralized placement in the digital asset atmosphere. However, as more of these exchanges shift towards ‘vault’-like aura’s with extremely fail-proof protocols and technical back-ends, they are in many cases making sure user funds are protected to their utmost capacity. eToro is a prime example of this effective shift in effort to emphasize user funds are secure from the bottom-up.

More recently within the past year, eToro shifted its area of focus to becoming a cryptocurrency-centric provider. As a traditional CFD broker, eToro has provided contract-for-differences (CFD) for sale through their platform, now recently with support for a multitude of cryptocurrencies; now on the platform you’re able to not only purchase and hold cryptocurrencies, but also short-sell them in the form of CFDs, which are regulated and overseen by FCA and CySEC laws.

Features

eToro offers CFD brokerage for not only cryptocurrency, but stocks, indices, ETFs, commodities, and more, which can be interpreted as incorporating a much needed top-level of cybersecurity. eToro enables buying and selling of crytocurrencies as well as short-selling of certain cryptocurrencies through CFDs. Within eToro you can also purchase cryptoassets through eToro’s “social trading”, where a user can copy other’s trades if they’re unsure of a market outlook.

Advantages

  • eToro offers security and backing for cryptocurrencies via institutional grade technology and cyber security infrastructure.
  • eToro is regualated by the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commissions (CySEC) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • Social trading
  • Direct market access to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, and Stellar from a mobile or desktop point of usage
  • Secure storage of cryptocurrencies
  • Credit/Debit card use for purchase of crypto, as well as bank account linkage

Disadvantages

  • No cold storage (currently) available
  • Verification limits

 

2.) Nano Ledger S – An Offline Storage Standard (Hardware)

Credit: ledger.com

When it comes to cryptocurrency storage and maintaining safety with one’s held assets, there’s an additional layer of safety some feel when it comes to holding something physical in your hand. Many wallets are secured by what are called “private keys”, or in other words the digital code that separates you and demonstrates individuality. Many “hot” wallets, meaning wallets where sensitive information such as private keys is stored online, are subjects of hacks in reference to online attacks because they are more reliant on one’s digital intelligence rather than physical responsibility. While each option offers their advantages, the Ledger company has attempted to apply to both concepts in their product “Nano”.

Nano Ledger offers currently 2 physical models; the Model X and the Model S. While the Model X is still in concentrated development, the S is currently available for purchase. The Nano Ledger S stores private keys internally on the physical device meaning it’s a “cold” wallet, keeping itself safe from online attacks.

Features

The Nano Ledger S additionally offers mobile integration; sounds confusing, right? How can it hold the private keys physically “offline” while maintaining a connection “online”? The Nano Ledger S offers a connection to mobile platforms to only transfer text-based information; nothing sensitive. This way, you can check the balance of your cryptoassets without risking your private keys.

The Nano Ledger S  also offers support for storage of over 1100 different cryptoassets. Nano Ledger’s have also more recently integrated encrypted Bluetooth service. In this way, you can connect your wallet and update its security features strictly through Bluetooth without the need of any wires. The Ledger’s are also USB connected, however, for easy use on most modern day hardware systems.

Advantages

  • Offline, cold storage security
  • Support for over 1100 different cryptoassets and constantly adding more
  • Integration for Ledger’s inclusive software “Vault” and “Live”, standards for managing, checking and sending/receiving cryptocurrencies stored on any Ledger
  • Top-tier encryption standard
  • Encrypted Bluetooth
  • Mobile, and cross-operating system support

Disadvantages

  • More expensive than most wallets
  • Physical responsibility
  • Cannot re-generate sensitive keys if lost and not backed-up

 

3.) Coinbase (Software)

Credit: coinbase.com

Those in cryptocurrency are more than likely aware of Coinbase; they are one of the more user-friendly and retail cryptocurrency exchanges and service providers. Coinbase’s aim seems to provide a streamlined service for new users of the cryptocurrency sector, and for those who have trouble navigating technology. As such, this streamlined process comes at a (Literal) price; higher, and more frequently imposed fees. However, Coinbase has placed a very strong emphasis on regulation, licensing, and more that places them in top percentile when it comes to all around crypto safety.

Coinbase has evolved to offer a number of different services, each that are supported by a secure and safe foundation.

Features

While Coinbase is a service provider for cryptocurrency above all, they do offer other products within their platform that users can find helpful. Coinbase offers credit/debit card utilization for purchases and has since risen to a new standard for quickly and efficiently purchasing cryptocurrency. Coinbase offers purchasing, buying, selling, and exchanging of a variety of cryptoassets. They also have an exclusive “vault” functionality, a place for storing more long-term cryptocurrency. Coinbase also houses the exchange “Coinbase Pro” a real-time exchange and trading platform for cryptocurrency.

Advantages

  • Near instant credit/debit card purchasing for cryptocurrency
  • Easy-to-use and friendly interface, great for beginners
  • Licensed, regulated exchange within the United States
  • Purchasing/selling of 4 high-volume cryptocurrencies, transfer of over 10 cryptocurrencies
  • Insurance policy
  • Portfolio creation and customization

Disadvantages

  • High and consistently imposed fees
  • Longer verification process
  • Consistent and sizable verification limitations
  • Limited amount of assets available for purchase

 

4.) Trezor (Hardware)

Credit: Trezor.com

Hardware wallets are becoming increasingly popular amongst the cryptocurrency community as a form of securely storing your assets, and Trezor is amongst one of the largest players in the industry. The Trezor hardware wallet, in similar fashion to the previously aforementioned Ledger Nano, offers completely offline private key storage of your cryptocurrency. With an additional software platform available that works parallel with the Trezor hardware wallet, the Trezor team’s services are becoming more and more powerful within the cryptocurrency industry, and as a whole are establishing innovative ways to ensure crypto security.

Trezor is also widely compatible with other wallet applications and online exchanges. Many exchanges enable you to link hardware wallets to their platform to begin trading, and Trezor is one that has partnered with a variety of them to make this happen more efficiently. Trezor will additionally even be added to the Republic Protocol’s exchange, an exchange strictly for exchanging large, institutional amounts of capital in cryptocurrency; this further emphasizes Trezor’s strength and security.

Features

Trezor features an offline cold storage unit with its main hardware products “Trezor One” and “Trezor Model T”. Trezor offers storage, transferring, and over 700 cryptocurrencies, however, it does put it at a slight numerical disadvantage in terms of assets supported with other high-ranking hardware wallets such as the Ledger Nano S. Trezor features a desktop application that can be used to manage the hardware and its assets, including a send and receive functionality. Trezor also gives unique mnemonic “keys”, which are a random string of compiled words that match unique individuality to a specific user. If lost, and keys are not backed-up, then all funds and remnants left on the Trezor will be lost and must be restored from scratch.

Advantages

  • Secure, offline cold storage of cryptocurrency
  • Desktop application and according software that can be used to navigate, send, and receive cryptocurrency
  • Management of all assets directly on the hardware
  • USB 2.0 supported
  • Integration and support with a plethora of exchange and wallet providers; ability to be linked to a number of platforms
  • Immune to online viruses, software bugs, and hacks

Disadvantages

  • Relatively small amount of cryptocurrencies supported as compared to other hardware solutions
  • Lengthier setup compared to other hardware
  • Standard hardware solution relatively expensive

 

5.) Jaxx (Software)

Credit: jaxx.io

It isn’t often that a strict application based wallet be deemed rather “secure” due to the inherent nature of hacks and operating system viruses that can steal sensitive keys or information to replicate identity; however, Jaxx seems to have effectively accomplished it with their rendition of a software cryptocurrency wallet. Jaxx is an all-around software application wallet that enables fast and secure storage of cryptocurrencies. Jaxx has for some time been regarded as one of the higher quality software applications for cryptocurrency storage due to its rigorous security and safety processes.

Not only does Jaxx offer a heavily protected security framework for storage and transferring of cryptocurrencies, but it is also partnered with ShapeShift to immediately possess the ability to exchange whichever stored cryptocurrency is in question with a ShapeShift supported crypto.

Features

Jaxx mainly works as an Ethereum and Bitcoin wallet wrapped with a high-level security framework to help protect against internal system viruses. For example, if you were to get a virus, the attacker wouldn’t automatically have access to your cryptocurrency. Rather, they’d need access to your passcode (4 digits) and/or mnemonic phrase that is set at the setup phase for your Jaxx wallet. As far as desktop application-wise, Jaxx is one of the best contenders as far as security. Jaxx also works with ShapeShift to enable an instant exchange of your held cryptocurrencies.

Advantages

  • Secure, robust cybersecurity framework (Protects against viruses and attacks)
  • Internal cryptocurrency exchange (With ShapeShift)
  • Multiple levels of safety
  • Quick, painless restoration process in case of damaged hardware

Disadvantages

  • Still runs on individuals computer which is in some cases enabled vulnerability (Keyloggers can track input of mnemonic phrase)
  • Exchange fees make the cost fairly costly and more efficient to just swap the assets out of the currently held wallet

 

6.) Binance (Software)

Credit: binance.com

Binance has held a standard for quite some time as being one of the more reputable exchanges. While it is not always suggested that funds are held directly on exchanges like Binance since an external attack on the exchange can leave the user’s penniless as has been shown before, with Binance, this restlessness is slowly being assured. Binance has been the subject of previous attacks, but has quickly flexed its muscles and kept attackers away. No funds, as of current writing, has been taken on Binance by hackers. Unlike many exchanges that have been the subject of attacks and lost millions of dollars in funds, Binance remains one of the only ones to remain undefeated.

Features

Since it is inherently an exchange, Binance enables trading of a plethora of different cryptocurrency pairs on its platform and is constantly updating and improving the list of assets it supports. It can hold currently over 100 different assets and has undergone extremely lengthy and complex security measures to ensure fund safety. They have also dedicated a page entirely for security. They are also working daily to integrate new products and services on the Binance platform that can further emphasize legitimacy and security; this applies both from a regulatory and technical angle.

Advantages

  • In-house exchange for over 100 cryptocurrencies
  • Consistently improved and added layers of security
  • Multiple options for personal preference in the holding of assets (2FA, 3FA, etc.)
  • Experienced cybersecurity team
  • Low trade and withdrawal fees

Disadvantages

  • Still an exchange, user funds are dependent rather on internal systems rather than personal precautions
  • Funds are stored online, no current cold-storage or “vault” option

ICO Hotlist: The 6 Best ICOs for 2019

ICOs have in the more recent past created new generations of wealth through enabling users to contribute to a “crowdsale” that as a result gives them a new “token”, or an asset to be used in the upcoming project that is behind the token’s issuance. For example, contributing to the Binance exchange ICO which concluded at the beginning of July 2017, would have given you BNB tokens. BNB tokens from ICO price have yielded over 4234% ROI as of January of 2019; translated, this means a $1,000 investment would have been worth approximately $42,430 in only 16 months. Exploring ICOs, how they work, and identifying noteworthy ones can prove a very profitable feat.

What is an ICO?

An ICO is an acronym for “initial coin offering”. They are a play on the acronym within traditional finance of IPO, which stands for “initial public offering”. Similarly to an IPO where a new company goes to the public to seek funding to run an underlying business, an ICO is somewhat parallel in that it is an offering that seeks to raise funds for an underlying “coin”, traditionally in the form of a blockchain protocol. What’s the advantage of an ICO? Well, the ICO process is traditionally done entirely virtually using cryptocurrencies as the contributing currency and  “smart contracts”, virtual agreements on the blockchain that streamline the contribution and distribution process. This way, all contributions are recorded on the blockchain through an immutable ledger; not only does this theoretically lower costs for startups looking to seek funding for a cryptocurrency related project, but it also offers easy organization, absolute escrow, and other customizable parameters for the issuers of a new “token”.

Do you have to be a cryptocurrency related project in order to launch an ICO? Arguably, yes, in order to host an ICO you’d have to in some way incorporate cryptocurrency for your project. The first ever ICO recorded was Mastercoin, however, ICOs really came to the spotlight in 2014 when Ethereum (The now top 5 most used cryptocurrency) conducted their ICO which raised approximately $2.3M at the time.

How to invest in ICOs

How do ICOs structurally work? ICOs will traditionally function off of a smart contract, a virtual agreement engaged in between a distributor and a contributor. They are programmed to accept cryptocurrency and convert the amount contributed to a promised value equivalent of the new “coin” that is being offered. The contract is programmed to a set time for crowdsale “completion”; then, once completed, the promised value of the new coin is then distributed.

Investing in an ICO is typically straight forward. Many projects have different methods that can streamline or ease the process that some can find confusing, however, they will always deal with purchasing a primary cryptocurrency, that is used as your “contribution” in the crowdsale for the upcoming coin. This typically requires purchasing either Bitcoin, Ethereum, or another crowdsale supported cryptocurrency. Once purchased, the cryptocurrency of your choice will show up in your wallet. Then, you’ll sign up on the ICO’s crowdfunding platform and send your cryptocurrency from the platform you purchased it on to the crowdfunding platform’s wallet. Different ICOs may yield different processes for contributing, such as requiring an “ERC-20” wallet, so prior to any contribution, ensure you’re using supported and proper wallets and platforms.

Contributing to the right ICOs can yield thousands of times over return on investment; finding the correct and most valuable ICOs can sometimes be a difficult task, especially in a cryptocurrency bear market. Here are some of the most promising projects for those looking for the best ICO to invest in for 2019.

BitTorrent (BTT) – The World’s Largest File Sharing Platform

Credit: BitTorrent.com

ICO Start Date: January 28, 2019

ICO End Date: February 3, 2019

Starting Token Price: $0.0001

For those unaware, TRON Foundation (Also the issuer of the billion dollar market cap TRX cryptocurrency), purchased BitTorrent for over $100M this past June. As a result, the TRON foundation seemed to form a plan; tokenize the existing platform that boasts over 120,000,000 users. Not only is BitTorrent an active file sharing platform that runs in over 138 countries, but their new platform is also now backed by an over billion dollar valued company; placing their ICO in a very positive light.

 

The BTT tokens issued through the upcoming crowdfunding will serve as an aid within the existing decentralized file sharing platform BitTorrent. What instills confidence in regards to its overall performance is the fact that it has received public backing and approval by multiple billion-dollar companies, including Binance; the once leading cryptocurrency exchange.

Membrana – Trust Management Platform

Credit: membrana.io

ICO Start Date: April 10, 2019

ICO End Date: May 10, 2019

Starting Token Price: $0.02

The Membrana project is a trust management platform for digital assets that is conducting one of the more verifiable and talked about ICOs of 2019. Not only has it been generating more of a buzz in recent months, it has also established itself confidently within the blockchain ecosystem without the help of any ICO; typically this can be a positive sign since it shows regardless of large public funding, the project will still move forward, offering more of an upside advantage. Membrana is a platform as well as a protocol that offers a connection from participators to traders in a more streamlined, and facilitated process. The underlying Membrana smart contract ensures that two parties engaging in trade are offered a less costly, more reliant opportunity.

 

Membrana’s “MBN” token will be distributed for ICO contributions and will be used as the ‘fuel’ for powering the underlying Membrana platform. Users can use the token to help create connections between participators and exchanges while using MBN tokens to cut deployment fees.

 

Membrana currently offers a beta version of their platform which many ICOs lack. An existing product that can be tested, used, and even interacted with is a promising first step. Within ICOs it can commonly be easy to fall for the hype and not look at the actual underlying project/product that is being offered. Membrana’s current platform offers real use in that crypto trading exchange APIs can be directly linked and used in real-time prior to their ICO. Additionally, the beta platform has currently over 3,000 registrations and has privately raised over $600,000 – both promising benefactors for an upcoming platform that derives its token value on platform function.  

 

COTI – Decentralized Merchant and User Ecosystem

Start Date: February 1, 2019

End Date: February 15, 2019

Starting Token Price: $0.1

Current economic systems are argued to have demonstrated a lack of ability to keep up with changing payment needs and systems of the technological age. COTI, the decentralized protocol looking to be used by merchants and users for a better, faster transaction platform. COTI uses a “DAG”, or a directed acyclic graph-based ledger in order to attain faster, more scalable, and less costly results that traditional blockchain protocols offer.

 

COTI is looking to serve rather as a set of 3 layers to build the entirety of its “COTI Platform”. Amongst those layers, the foundational layer also referred to as the infrastructure, is based on the DAG-ledger structure for fast and efficient processing of incoming transactions. The middle layer, the services layer, functions to provide KYC/AML compliance and buy-sell insurance. The top-most layer, the applications layer is where external, or even internal applications such as COTIpay, will function for users to develop external stable coins, payment dApps, and wallet integrations.

 

The COTI token, the token that will run on COTI’s main platform COTIpay, will be used for quicker transaction deployments as well as cheaper options for the already near zero fees on the platform.

 

Somesing – Blockchain Powered Music Interaction

Credit: somesing.io

Start Date: February 28, 2019

End Date: March 30, 2019

Starting Token Price: $0.01

While blockchain powered social services have previously been created and deployed to the distributed network, interactive platforms, many times built on foundations that enable users to coordinate with one another, has alternatively not been done. Somesing, and their “SSX” token aim to disrupt a market encompassed by some of the most heavily involved tech entrepreneurs; the Somesing platform is relatively similar to Tidal, the music platform aimed to give entire power back to the artists, in that it offers an alternative way of distributing revenue stream.

As a producer, you’re able to upload a song on Somesing, and in return, an automatic “Song” wallet is created for your uploaded project. Users, or listeners, can then, as a result, come to the platform and contribute to the song, which after a certain period of time is redistributed based upon the performance of the song.

Additionally, Somesing is one of the only official distributed applications (dApps) to be distributed on the ICON blockchain. This unique and approved exclusive attribute alone can enable a separate vector for growth.

 

Viaz – P2P Funding Platform

Credit: viaz.io

ICO Start Date: March 30, 2019

ICO End Date: June 30, 2019

Starting Token Price: $0.065

Another important project to keep marked on your prospective ICO calendar is “Viaz”, a Peer-to-peer based funding system built on the Tezos blockchain. Not only will Viaz be one of the first projects released on the Tezos blockchain which received hundreds of millions in contributions in its own ICO, but Viaz will also be one of the first major funding platforms that decentrally offers funding and parallel lending.

Viaz works as a funding platform where taxes are not paid on borrowed money, and subsequently collateralized, title owned loans are issued. As a result, loans are then able to be issued in fiat by strictly collateralizing fiat. Users on the Viaz platform will be able to lend fiat at higher rates of interest as compared to other lending platforms. Viaz loans enable editability, meaning you get to pick your terms when you lend out your money; no credit checks are required then since the platform works strictly on parallel lending to borrower platform.

In addition, VIAZ “utilitarian tokens”, will be issued as a crutch on the lending and borrowing platform. Theoretically, Viaz believes that if the platform grows exponentially, so will its underlying token value. Viaz has also additionally already received funding; so therefore it’s not like it is reliant upon the ICO in order to move forward with its development, which is a plus.

 

Bitcademy Football  – Virtual A.I. Powered Football Marketplace

Credit: bitcademy.io

ICO Start Date: January 31, 2019

ICO End Date: February 28. 2019

Starting Token Price: $0.038

Bitcademy Football is a platform powered by A.I. and blockchain looking to offer a place for users to manage Football players, oversee their growing skills, and sell them online. Bitcademy Football is a marketplace that plans to start with Football, but acclaims their platform can scale to any and all sports; one of the primary reasons behind its larger potential.

The tokens underlying the Bitcademy Football platform, BTMG, will serve as a utility token for transactions completed on the marketplace.

The team behind Bitcademy Football is an aggregate composition of over 100 years in the engineering and business development sector, which instills even further confidence in the company’s growth. Bitcademy was also named best startup at Blockchain Next 2018.

Cryptocurrency platform Bakkt, created by the Intercontinental Exchange, is finally hiring

In a tweet released at 7.11AM on the 22nd of January 2019, Bakkt announced that it is hiring. The platform is looking for employees to fill vacancies ranging from Engineering to Software Development as well as Finance and Institutional Sales. Most of the positions are at senior levels, requiring between one and ten years of experience in the respective fields. Most of the jobs will be based in Atlanta, but others include New York, Singapore, Tel Aviv, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Bakkt is a cryptocurrency platform established to buy, sell, store and spend digital assets. It was created by the same company that created the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). Designed to attract institutional investors, the platform raised an initial sum of over $182 million from 12 partners and investors to enter the market. The partners include giants such as Galaxy Digital, Microsoft and Pantera Capital. At the end of December, ICE announced that the platform would be up and running by the beginning of 2019. It seems to be on schedule.

The platform has been seeking approval from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to offer physically delivered Bitcoin futures contracts.  A physical delivery of  contracts also means that investors will physically own the cryptocurrency in question. That’s not the only function that Bakkt will serve. It will also be a platform for all kinds of cryptocurrency services. These include trading, exchanging, delivering of contracts and warehousing.

Due to the volatility of the cryptocurrency market, Bakkt could represent a first step towards a more regulated market of digital coins where investors can place safe investments. Also, if big such names in the financial world will continue backing Bakkt, it more names may soon join in. The results could be an increased credibility for cryptocurrencies and their market.

Should You Buy Crypto In 2019? Market Predictions

altcoins 2019

 

Cryptocurrency markets are nothing if not volatile. If you invested in cryptocurrency in 2017, you probably made a bunch of money. If you invested in cryptocurrency in 2018, you probably aren’t very happy with the result. So what’s going on in cryptocurrency in 2019? Will investing in Bitcoin in 2019 give you better returns than last year?

We like to think so. Even though we can’t predict the future, we’re optimistic about the prospects of the blockchain asset markets for 2019. Here’s our argument for why now is the time to invest in high quality crypto projects. Your crypto investment returns by the end of 2019 could be impressive, though we’ll all have to wait to find out.

Bitcoin is Better Off Today Than It Was a Year Ago

bitcoin investment 2019

At the end of 2017, Bitcoin’s technology was on the verge of failure. The value of BTC was climbing and climbing, but Bitcoin itself was slow, expensive to use, and seemed like it would never be able to scale to support a global user base of millions. Despite its meteoric price increase, many critics declared it a failed technology.

Then 2018 happened. January saw Bitcoin BTC prices surpass $20,000. Then the crash happened, and Bitcoin lost over 80% of its value in the following months. Today it sits at just over $3500, still far beyond its original value of less than $1, but far from the value summit that made it part of the global cultural conversation.

Let’s forget about the price of BTC for a moment. Behind the scenes, the developers who build Bitcoin’s technological components were improving it. Today, through innovations like Segregated Witness, the Bitcoin Lightning Network, and a friendlier regulatory market in the United States and Asia make Bitcoin more useful today than it has ever been before.

Even as the price slump is putting some Bitcoin miners out of business, Bitcoin is proving to be much more robust than its critics claimed. Despite contentious forks (Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, etc.) and claims of a Bitcoin Death Spiral, more people are using Bitcoin than ever before. The worst could still happen, but we think Bitcoin has proven that it’s here to stay, at least for awhile.

The Altcoin Scene is Thinner…and Stronger Than Ever

NEO DOGE EOS altcoins

The altcoins (all cryptocurrencies and crypto tokens that are not Bitcoin) suffered even more than BTC did in the 2018 “Crypto Winter”. Market leaders like Ethereum (ETH), NEO (NEO), EOS (EOS), Elastos (ELA), and TRON (TRX) lost between 85% and 95%+ of their all time high value. So how are these projects faring in this depressed market climate?

It’s a moot point now that the 2017 crypto bull run was a bubble. And that bubble has burst. The sharp decline in altcoin prices have left hundreds of blockchain projects with no way to fund development. An estimated 80% of the 2017 Ethereum ICO crowd have ceased to function. However, not all blockchain companies have closed up shop.

Projects like NEO have actually added dozens of new staff members in the past year. EOS remains a hotbed for blockchain development. Ethereum still has more developer activity than any other blockchain company.

The way we see it, the popping of the altcoin bubble ended a streak of reckless waste in the industry. Scams and poorly considered projects could bilk crypto investors for millions (even billions in some cases). These worthless projects have largely failed, and the ones that have survived are those that are really trying to make valuable innovations with blockchain technology. Not all of them will succeed, but the market is much less frothy than it was in 2017, and this is very good for the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries.

The Crypto Crash has created a situation where only the strong can survive. Perhaps only 20 or 25 of the top 100 cryptocurrencies still have inspiring levels of leadership and development, but these projects stand a real chance of being part of a new generation of innovators that drive the world economy.

How Crypto Investors Can Choose Winners in 2019

Ethereum development

Blockchain remains a useful technology, even after all of the difficulty of 2018. We expect that certain blockchain companies will be among the largest businesses in the world as time goes by. One or more of these likely already exists in today’s cryptocurrency market. So how can crypto investors separate the wheat from the chaff in the 2019 Bitcoin and Altcoin markets?

  1. Focus On Software Development.Blockchain companies are software companies. They live and die on the applications they build, and the quality and usefulness thereof. Most blockchain projects are open source, with code work visible on Github. Focus on projects with lots of commits, high quality communication, a wide variety of skilled contributors, and goals that are clearly defined. This information is more valuable than any that comes from conventional blockchain news sources (and we’ll be covering it here more and more).
  2. Find Blockchains That Are Useful Today.During the ICO boom of 2017, crypto investors gave millions of dollars to companies that had no working product. Most of these companies no longer exist, and those crypto investors aren’t getting their money back. Today, crypto investors have to hold potential crypto investments to a higher standard. Projects like Ethereum and Ripple have enduring and inherent value because people can use their applications today. Include these kinds of use cases in your crypto investment portfolio, and you’ll be much more likely to make money than someone who invests only based on hype and FOMO.
  3. Focus on Coins and Tokens that Have a Plan for Regulation.The problem with so many of the 2017 ICOs were that they were probably illegal. Many ICOs used Ethereum to sell equity in their new technology companies, spitting in the face of many national securities laws. Some of these ICOs are now being punished by the SEC, IRS, and other regulatory bodies.Projects like Ethereum have been determined not to be securities, because ETH has utility value that is not related to equity value. It’s a digital token that does a job, and it doesn’t function like a stock in a Fortune 500 company. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin aren’t securities either; they are digital cash. Projects like these are unlikely to get pinched in major regulatory overhauls that are very likely to trickle down in the US and China in the coming weeks and months. An altcoin can’t succeed if it’s illegal. Stick to high quality digital cash networks, innovative utility tokens based on technology networks, and stay away from altcoins that seem like cash grabs for tech startups.
  4. Don’t Invest What You Can’t Afford to Lose. This advice is given so frequently in crypto conversations that it’s a cliche, but it still bears repeating. In 2017, people were mortgaging their houses to buy more Bitcoin. Unless they sold at the top, these people probably saw their scheme result in financial disaster. Only invest what you could afford to lose, because you really might lose it.
  5. Expose Yourself to Crypto Skeptics.We at Inside Bitcoins are true believers. We’re face down in the blockchain Kool-Aid. We think that cryptocurrencies and digital assets are going to change the world. But we might be wrong.If you’re new to investing, you should really spend some time listening to other opinions. Blockchain economics can be intoxicating, and there’s tremendous energy in the space, but you should learn about the wider world of investment if you want to really understand the tiny market that is cryptocurrency.Diversification is one of the fundamental principles of good investing. You spread your investments out, so that if one investment fails, you don’t lose everything. Listen to diverse experts as well, because this will give you the knowledge you need to use your money wisely. Listen to smart people with whom you disagree, and try to see the value in their opinions. “Confirmation Bias” is a rampant problem in blockchain investing, and it’s a fallacy that could cause you to lose lots of money.

    What Are Our Cryptocurrency Picks For Investing in 2019?

Now that we’ve got the sermonizing out of the way, what digital assets and altcoins do we think are going to be the biggest winners of 2019?

smart contract altcoins

  1. Smart Contract Platforms.Smart contract platforms like Ethereum, NEO, EOS, and Cardano can do so many things. They can function as money, like Bitcoin. They can host applications, like the internet. They can combat censorship and promote international exchange of data and ideas, just like the historic communications networks of past generations.It is very likely that one or more of these smart contract platforms will change the way the Internet works in the coming years. Smart contract tokens are also a good bet because they don’t depend on the success of a single use case. Bitcoin can only do one thing, really, and it lives and dies on the success of this purpose. Ethereum can do all kinds of things, so it only needs one or more killer apps to carry the whole platform and sharply amp up the price of ETH.Top Picks for Smart Contract Platforms: ETH, NEO, EOS, ADA, ELA
  2. Bitcoin and RippleBTC and XRP are far and away the most widely used cryptocurrencies. They are also the most valuable in terms of market cap. Bitcoin is primarily used by individuals. Ripple XRP is primarily used by institutions. We believe that, in the long run, between one and several cryptocurrencies (digital assets used as money, and nothing else) will become very important on the world stage. If we had to guess which ones will succeed on this level, based on what we know today (1/23/19), Ripple and Bitcoin would be our picks.It’s also a good idea for any crypto investor to own some of the biggest projects. If and when the bulls return to crypto, BTC and XRP (see Ripple 2019 review) will be seen as the safest crypto investments, and money will flood into these projects.
  3. Blockchain Companies That Function Well as Companies.Some blockchains are totally decentralized. Every bit of development that happens is performed by volunteers who work remotely around the globe. Other blockchain companies are more like traditional corporations, with offices and management structures and water coolers. Either model can work, but organization and effectiveness is key. Some blockchain companies have very visible leadership, but seem to be chaotic on the organizational level. Don’t mistake marketing and charisma for planning.

Top Picks For Well Organized Blockchain Companies: ETH, NEO, ELA, ARK, XRP, XLM, AVA

 

There are any number of other cryptocurrencies that could succeed in 2019. If you dig into a blockchain project and are impressed with what you see, it might be a good pick. We’re interested to hear who your crypto picks are for 2019. We think that the bulls will eventually return to this space, and that 2019 will be a year of good investment performance. It’s unlikely that crypto prices will stay this low forever. Help us identify the winners and let’s go to the moon together.

Ethereum Price Predictions For 2019 – Will ETH Hit $500?

Ethereum is, without question, among the cream of the crop in cryptocurrency. More than simple digital cash in the vein of Bitcoin, Ethereum’s creators found a way to build all kinds of applications and autonomous functionality into their innovative blockchain. And even though ETH prices are as low as they’ve been in many months, the Ethereum blockchain is on the verge of its most significant upgrade in more than a year.

Is now the time to invest in Ethereum? Here’s why we think Ethereum could go as high as $500 (or beyond) in 2019.

Ethereum ETH: Current Price and Analysis

At press time, Ethereum is selling for $118. At its all-time high, ETH prices crested $1,400 on some exchanges. A price crash this severe might lead some to believe that Ethereum is dead?
Fortunately for Ethereum investors, this remarkable blockchain is anything but. Ethereum has undergone some key transformations during the past year’s prize doldrums. If anything, Ethereum is stronger than ever before. If and when the bulls return to the crypto markets, ETH prices are going to shoot up. Let’s unpack the reasons why we’re so sure this is the  case.

Why We Think the Ethereum ETH Price Will Go Up in 2019

1. Because it hasn’t gone to zero

Ethereum price crash

Ethereum sold at ICO for pennies. That’s right. For an ETH price of less than $1, you could buy a digital coin that is now worth more than $100. That’s astronomical growth, and far beyond initial Ethereum predictions. Even though Ethereum once used to be even more valuable, the fact that it is still being sold for so much more than its initial sticker price indicates that people still have expectations about this cryptocurrency. They find it useful. We see Ethereum’s current price not as a grave marker, but a statement of optimism that the best is yet to come.

2. Ethereum has the most developers

Ethereum development

Ethereum has more developers working on it than any other blockchain project, even Bitcoin. When Ethereum made its millions during its ICO (and the subsequent r price gains), it spent tens of millions of developer talent. Ethereum hired programmers, engineers, game theorists, mathematicians, philosophers, and all kinds of other smart folks, greatly boosting Ethereum predictions. This impressive braintrust has turned Ethereum into a technology network of mind-blowing complexity. A deep bench of talent doesn’t guarantee a project’s success, but it doesn’t hurt either.

3. Ethereum is useful as money

Ethereum ETH Spend anywhere

More and more retailers (online and in meatspace) are starting to accept Ethereum as a payment option. And even if you want to spend Ethereum somewhere that doesn’t accept it, there are apps like The Big Coin which will allow you to do so. Ethereum is much more than money, but it working well as digital cash is just another reason to invest in Ethereum in 2019 and a key for our Ethereum predictions.

4. Ethereum is useful as a technology platform

Ethereum Dapps and Cryptocurrencies

At the time of this writing, there are more than 2,400 applications built on Ethereum. For those who are new, the Ethereum network works kind of like the internet, in that people can create applications on top of it. The difference is that, while the internet is stored on servers like the massive ones Google and Facebook operate, Ethereum data is stored on millions of devices around the world. It’s everywhere and nowhere, at once.

We’ll stop before we get too esoteric. The point is that Ethereum has a ton of decentralized applications running on it. In fact, most of the top 100 cryptocurrencies and altcoins are actually running on Ethereum. Ethereum may be waiting for its killer app, the one that breaks it into true mainstream success, but until then, millions of people, institutions, and governments are already using Ethereum. That alone should make our Ethereum price predictions for 2019 at least slightly optimistic.

5. Vitalik Buterin is the best crypto leader

Vitalik Buterin Ethereum leader

Vitalik Buterin, the lovable nerd who created Ethereum as a teenager, may be the smartest and most influential human being in cryptocurrency. He’s also one of the most humble. Even though many see Buterin as essential to the survival of Ethereum, Vitalik has been working to make himself obsolete within Ethereum’s inner workings. If Vitalik were to blast off into space and never return, Ethereum would continue to function in the hands of highly qualified developers, team members, and global volunteers.

Vitalik is widely published on computer science issues. He also maintains a kind and light-hearted social media presence, while encouraging everyone else in the community to be thoughtful, reasonable, and ethical. He created his own programming language when he was a teenager. He volunteered for Bitcoin when he was a child. The dude has brains and leadership skills. He’s one of the main reasons people still have confidence in Ethereum, even after a very bad year for ETH prices.

6. Ethereum is highly visible

Ethereum google trends

in the image above, you can see a comparison in Google trends of the relative popularity in search results for “Ethereum” and “Blockchain”. On some days, there are more people on the internet talking about Ethereum tokens than those talking about the technology it’s based upon. In short, if blockchain succeeds, Ethereum is likely to be right there with it.

Ethereum is front and center on the world’s biggest crypto exchanges, like Coinbase, Gemini, and Binance. Ethereum is regularly discussed in print and web outlets like Forbes and Fortune. Vitalik Buterin (discussed above) is a celebrity and a household name (in some households). If the bulls return to the crypto markets, ETH prices will be some of the first to increase. If you believe that a crypto recovery is in the works, now might be the time to invest in ETH tokens.

7. The Constantinople Hard Fork is coming in February


Ethereum’s long-awaited Constantinople hard fork will implement many important technological updates which will make Ethereum more scalable and future-proofed. There are a million technical details which we could unpack, but you can research those at your leisure. For our purposes, it’s enough to understand that Ethereum is equipping some vital new upgrades, more or less according to plan, and that the Ethereum community is united behind these changes. The blockchain will work much better as a result.

8. Ethereum is abandoning Proof of Work mining

Ethereum proof of work

One of Bitcoin’s worst attributes is its mining protocol.  Basically, Bitcoin miners consume way too much electricity, making them bad for the environment. The model is also slow, even though it’s secure and has other benefits. Ethereum needs to speed up if it is to become a worldwide mainstream technology. Therefore, abandoning its proof of work (the mining model very similar to Bitcoin’s) in favor of a faster, greener Proof of Stake system will give Ethereum the edge it needs to succeed in the modern industry.

9. Ethereum is moving toward other important upgrades, like “sharding”

Ethereum sharding

Currently, every Ethereum transaction has to be checked for authenticity by every Ethereum miner. This takes forever and makes Ethereum slow and more expensive than it should be. Ethereum is moving toward “sharding”, a system by which only small chunks of Ethereum miners/stakers will validate any one transaction. This will allow the network to validate many more transactions at once, greatly increasing throughput. This will make Ethereum more scalable. Ethereum investors are anticipating this important change, and it’s just another reason to invest in Ethereum in 2019.

10. Second-layer solution Raiden is developing rapidly

raiden rdn ethereum second layer

Raiden is basically Ethereum’s Lightning Network. Bitcoin’s Lightning Network takes traffic off of the Bitcoin blockchain, and only asks Bitcoin to do security work when it’s absolutely necessary. Raiden does the same for Ethereum, taking pressure off of the overworked Ethereum system, increasing Ethereum speeds, and lowering Ethereum transaction costs. Raiden is a cryptocurrency in its own right, and one of the most rapidly developed altcoins in the entire industry. It won’t modernize Ethereum’s blockchain all by itself, but it will do a big part in improving Ethereum’s scalability potential in the next couple of years.

Ethereum ETH Price Forecast: Q1 – Q4 2019

It’s completely impossible to predict how the crazy crypto markets are going to change over time, but we’re still going to try. Ethereum has better fundamentals than nearly any other cryptocurrency. For all the reasons we’ve already described, here’s what we think it going to happen in each quarter of 2019.

  • Q1 2019: ETH = $100
    Q1 is the quarter we’re in at press time, and ETH is selling for just over $100. We think that the Ethereum price is going to stay in this neighborhood for at least a few more weeks, if not longer. There hasn’t been any major news to catapult the crypto markets into a new wave of FOMO frenzy. Until then, Ethereum prices will stay severely depressed. This might mean that now is the time to invest in Ethereum during 2019.
  • Q2 2019: ETH = $200
    Assuming modest gains for Ethereum by winter’s end, $200 would not be surprising to see in the spring. $200 is still a fire sale when compared to Ethereum’s all-time high price of around $1,400. This price point may not be enough to put late 2017 Ethereum investors back in the green, but it will be a sign of things to come and a step in the right direction. Successful implementation of Constantinople in February may help solidify this Q2 result.
  • Q3 2019: ETH = $350
    Maybe we’re kidding ourselves, but we think that the next crypto market recovery will be more sober than the last one. If major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and NEO do in fact bounce back, Ethereum will surely be among them. A reasonable growth target, assuming all of this, would be $350 for Ethereum by Q3 2019.
  • Q4 2019: ETH = $500
    By Q4 2019, we hope that many of Ethereum’s technological updates will have been fully implemented, resulting in significant improvements to the network. This will have fueled a new push for development on the Ethereum platform, and mainstream applications will start to appear. In this situation, $500 might look like a lowball estimate a year from now, but this is our cautiously optimistic prediction from January 2019 looking forward to December 2019.

Ethereum Price Prediction 2019: Conclusion

At the end of the day, there are so many factors which contribute to Ethereum price changes, we can only wait and hope for our desired outcome. Ethereum has a lot going for it, and a tremendous amount of momentum behind it. Still, Ethereum has plenty of competitors, and its enormous ambitions may prove too big to succeed. Still, we’re optimistic.

If you think that our analysis of Ethereum price potential is reasonable, now might be the time to invest in Ethereum for 2019, before these low Ethereum prices are gone forever.

 

 

 

 

The Year of the Crypto Crash : 2018

In 2018, cryptocurrency prices went from all-time highs to catastrophic lows. Bitcoin started the year out above $20,000, then collapsed to $3,200 before year’s end. There are dozens of reasons why this is the case, but a few of the most important were the Facebook, Twitter, and Google cryptocurrency ad ban, as well as the SEC clamping down on ICOs and crypto scams.

South Korean crypto exchange UpBit was raided by authorities, and other international exchanges were hacked.  Meanwhile, China imposed even more draconian restrictions on domestic crypto businesses. In response to these and other events, crypto prices fell and fell and fell.

Below we take a closer look at the 2018 crypto crash.  But not all is bad. We see positive momentum in motion for cryptocurrency. Perhaps 2019 will be the biggest year for crypto yet.

Die Geschichte von Iota

Ripple Price Forecast for 2019

Ripple XRP

Ripple XRP turned heads in recent weeks as it dethroned Ethereum as the #2 cryptocurrency in the world. Only Bitcoin itself has a larger market cap. Ripple is a controversial cryptocurrency, but one with undeniable merits. If crypto prices recover in 2019, our Ripple prediction is that XRP will test all-time-highs, and possibly go to $5 and beyond.

Ripple XRP: Current Ripple Price Prediction and Analysis

 

Ripple XRP sits at $0.32 at the time of this writing. That’s a more than 90% drop from XRP’s all-time-high price of $3.34. But that’s only bad news if you bought near the top (our condolences for readers in this boat).

We’ll explain the practical reasons why we believe the price of Ripple XRP is only going to rise. It’s always possible that another market decline will occur, but even then, Ripple may be the crypto project most likely to survive and thrive when the market returns.

If this process plays out in 2019 like we hope, XRP prices at $5 and beyond may become a reality.

Why Ripple XRP Prices Will Go Up in the Long Run

There are good reasons to believe that the price of Ripple XRP will increase in 2019. Here’s why we made our XRP price forecast:

  1.  Existing Partnerships

    Today, Ripple XRP has a better argument for inherent value than it did a year ago. Ripple’s various products have been adopted by an impressive bevy of financial entities, such as Santander, PNC Bank, Wal-Mart, Western Union, and the Royal Bank of Canada. This list of banks and institutions is only going to get longer, at least according to this Ripple prediction.

  2. Dubai Expansion

    Ripple is expanding into the Middle East through new offices and partnerships in Dubai. Dilip Rao, Ripple’s head of infrastructure innovation, said

    “Our focus initially is on cross-border payments because we think that’s where there is the most friction. In this part of the world, there is a huge requirement for cross-border transactions. This will support the economy both within the region and the rest of the world.”

  3. RippleNet

    Ripple’s suite of products (known collectively as RippleNet) is operational and growing. Many blockchain competitors cannot say as much. Systems like xCurrent, the InterLedger Protocol, xRapid, and xVia already have customers and daily volume. Ripple Labs

  4. Institutional Stability

    Ripple is an institutional blockchain. This rubs plenty of cryptocurrency fanatics the wrong way. After all, cryptocurrency is supposed to be a technology for the people, right? Well, blockchain is a useful technology for everyone, and institutions like banks just love it. The fact that institutions are using Ripple means that Ripple is probably more stable than cryptocurrencies that are only used by investors. Ripple may not have the punky mystique of other popular cryptos, but this may actually be the key to its long term survival.

  5. Ripple Economics

    Ripple is cheap, but it needs to be expensive to accomplish its goals. For most of its existence, Ripple prices have been well below $1. Because new investors tend to associate low coin prices with value, this often attracts new money to Ripple before the same buyer might go with a more “expensive” coin like Bitcoin.

    This is not the right way to think about the issue (investment returns depend on percentage growth, not the cost of the asset itself; also you don’t have to buy 1 Bitcoin all at once). Nonetheless, low prices make Ripple attractive to new buyers.

    However, in the long run, Ripple needs to be more expensive if it is to function as a global currency. Imagine trying to buy a house with Ripple, and having to spend a million XRP coins to do so. A higher-valued XRP token would bring that number into a more practical range. Ripple Labs controls a great deal of the XRP coin supply. They plan, in the long term, for Ripple prices to rise. People who buy Ripple now stand a good chance of benefitting from this economic roadmap.

ripple prices

6.Ripple Speed and Other Fundamentals

There are certain fundamentals by which Ripple just murders the competition. Ripple isn’t the fastest cryptocurrency in the world, but it’s much faster than its most popular peers. Ripple boasts 1,500 transactions per second, while Bitcoin has fewer than 10. Ripple XRP/Bitcoin BTC
Ripple also resolves transactions faster than Bitcoin (several seconds, compared to several minutes). Transaction costs are comparatively low for Ripple. Many more people in the world are familiar with Bitcoin than Ripple, but these fundamentals will likely continue to increase Ripple’s profile on the world stage.

7. Focus on Cross-Border Payments and Globalization

For a cryptocurrency to become a new standard in finance and technology, it must be successful on the international stage. Ripple has focused from the very start on international issues, such as banking, remittances, and cross-border payments. On the Ripple API, many different applications have been constructed to provide practical solutions to these sorts of issues.
In so doing,

Ripple has positioned itself to be the most adoptable cryptocurrency for many people around the world. Faster and more affordable than Bitcoin, easier to understand than Ethereum, and miles farther of the rest of the altcoins in terms of adoptions, Ripple is the closest thing we have to a truly international cryptocurrency. Bitcoin may have the bigger name, but in building itself into an international banking sector that affects billions, Ripple may be considered the most internationally adopted cryptocurrency. We expect the Ripple price to follow.

Ripple XRP Price Forecast for 2019, By Quarter

It’s impossible to predict how Ripple prices will change in the coming months, but we can always make an educated guess. Here’s what we expect from XRP prices during Q1-Q4 2019, with a fair amount of optimism thrown into the mix.

  • Q1 2019 – XRP Coin= <$1
    This persistent bear market isn’t going to correct itself overnight. As of now, all crypto projects suffer the same way, regardless of the relative merit or lack thereof of individual projects. Investors remain scared of falling prices, and institutional investors have not yet entered the space in a significant way. We expect these conditions to remain for at least the first few months of 2019, with Ripple prices remaining below $1. This may represent a strong opportunity to invest in Ripple, because once XRP prices start to rise, they may never come this low again.

 

  • Q2 2019 – XRP Coin = $1-$2
    We expect the crypto markets to start getting interesting in the spring of 2019. We’ve already had some false starts and bull traps during late 2018 and early 2019, but unfortunately none of these have stuck. Ripple Labs will continue to make inroads in the world of business, and the crypto markets will slowly realize that this is a project that’s leading global fintech. During this period, Ripple prices will creep up, as investors tentatively test the strength of the next bull run. Perhaps Ripple will even creep closer to Bitcoin’s market cap, as news stories start to suggest that there may be a new king on the rise. By summer, Ripple could be approaching mid-2017 levels, and investors could be salivating for more.

 

  • Q3 2019 – XRP Coin = $3-$5
    By Q3, we’ll definitely know whether or not Ripple has become a major fintech story for 2019. If it has, it’s likely that Ripple’s market cap will have significantly carved away at Bitcoin’s. Some may begin to think of the two cryptocurrencies as equals, and major competitors for the crypto throne. With international investment in multiple markets and economies, Ripple will surely have distinguished itself as a major international player, constantly building its base. If the altcoin market has recovered by this point, and Ripple’s momentum has sustained in something like the above scenario, we expect Ripple XRP to be trading beyond past all-time highs.

 

  • Q4 – XRP Coin = $5-$10
    The argument can be made that when compared to the other strict cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Litecoin, DASH, etc.), no coin has more development and adoption momentum than Ripple. This was certainly true in 2018. If this streak stays hot through 2019, we expect Ripple XRP to be trading well above past all-time highs, and possibly approaching the fabled $10 mark. Of course, a year in the future is a generation in crypto-years, but we can have fun with predictions like these. Still, these ideas are based in the reality of Ripple’s impressive fundamentals and partnerships. It could happen. Ripple investors should be ready.

Is Now the Time to Buy Ripple XRP? Ripple Price Prediction Conclusion

We can’t tell you how to invest your money, but we can say this: if any cryptocurrency is well-situated for a major growth spurt in 2019, it’s Ripple XRP. We’ve made the case that Ripple has better partnerships, more impressive fundamentals, and greater growth potential than most of its top tier competitors. For now, Ripple prices are still low (as are all altcoin prices). The time may be now to buy Ripple, before prices recover and sub-$1 prices seem like a distant memory. Do your own research and never invest more than you can afford to lose, but don’t sleep on Ripple. It could end up being one of the great investment stories of 2019.

 

 

 

Top 10 Cryptocurrencies to Invest in For 2019

The crypto markets continue to suffer after a prolonged “Crypto Winter”. But many think that the golden age of blockchain and cryptocurrency is yet to come. We’ve seen incredible technological developments during 2018, even if crypto prices did not follow suit. Sooner or later, some of these blockchain projects are going to break through, and investors who hold these digital coins and tokens are going to reap their reward.

Here are our top 10 picks for the best cryptocurrencies to invest in during 2019. Some of these are old favorites, and some relative newcomers. No one can predict the future, but we hope that anyone with these coins in their portfolio will have good luck in investing during 2019.

1. NEO (NEO)

NEO Coin NEO Blockchain

NEO was one of the most hyped crypto tokens of 2017, but it has fallen off more than 90% from its all time high price. Fortunately for NEO holders, this is where the bad news stops. NEO boasts some top quality Dapps (more on this later), what may be the best consensus mechanism in the blockchain industry (Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance beats out Bitcoin’s Proof-of-Work, according to some experts), and a high-return economic model (free NEO GAS for every NEO token an investor owns). All of these factors come together to make this one of the best cryptocurrencies to invest in.

At its height, one NEO token sold for more than $200 on some exchanges. Today, the same token will sell for less than $10. With tons of interest and development mounting behind “the Ethereum of China”, NEO may be poised to move to the head of the pack, even beyond Asia. Already faster and more scalable than Ethereum, NEO is definitely one of the two or three best smart contract platforms on the planet. We can’t give formal financial advice, but buying NEO, at these prices, could represent one of the best investment possibilities of 2019 so far.

2. Raiden (RDN)

Raiden Ethereum

Raiden is a second-layer solution for Ethereum. If that doesn’t make sense, think of it as Ethereum’s version of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. If that still doesn’t make sense, it could be said that Raiden helps speed up Ethereum by taking some of its traffic. Users can fund Raiden nodes with Ether ETH, then use it to make payments and complete other transactions by sending the funds to other Raiden nodes. Ethereum doesn’t have to do any work to make these connections, taking lots of pressure off the Ethereum blockchain while Ethereum developers look for other scaling solutions.

Raiden RDN is the token used on the Raiden system, and it is way down in price since its all time high in January or last year. Despite all of the declining price action, Raiden development activity remains white hot. In fact, Raiden has more Github development activity than most other blockchains. Even though Raiden isn’t on the radar of many investors, there are few projects out there with a more committed developer base. Furthermore, if you believe in Ethereum, chances are you see the value in a strong second layer solution for the world’s largest smart contract platform. Do yourself a favor and research Raiden. You might find it fills an important gap in your cryptocurrency investment portfolio. You may also ask yourself, “should I invest in Ethereum?” Stay tuned for more on that topic.

3. ICON (ICX)

ICON dapps

ICON has been called South Korea’s Ethereum, and the analogy isn’t unfounded. Like Ethereum, ICON allows developers to create smart contracts on their blockchain. However, ICON is more focused on development within South Korea (even though it does have international ambitions). ICON works primarily to connect institutions within South Korea, for reduced friction in financial and data transfer. They also have many consumer-facing applications in their growing Dapp list. However, lest you think that ICON doesn’t look beyond its national borders, the company has recently opened up offices in San Francisco and Singapore, where its focus will be both B2B and B2C.

ICON development has slowed somewhat in the sustained crypto market downturn, but it has never ceased entirely. With renewed market interest has come increased activity from ICON core. Still down more than 90% from all time high, ICON ICX could represent an incredible opportunity. Not only will it facilitate exciting applications, users in South Korea can already buy ICON at physical ICON ATMs, for use as digital cash. ICON needs to hunker down and build on its promise, but it’s a project we still believe in. With the price down more than 90% from ATH, this is one of the best cryptocurrencies to invest in today.

4. ARK (ARK)

ARK blockchain

The so-called “WordPress of Blockchain” has done a ton of development during the 2018 market downturn. ARK is a blockchain ecosystem with many functions, but perhaps its most important is its “point, click, blockchain” initiative. ARK wants anyone to be able to be able to create their own blockchain and/or digital token with the push of a button, just like people can create their own website with ease using WordPress.

ARK also allows for interoperability between blockchains. Want to create an application that performs functions on Ethereum and Bitcoin at the same time? ARK can do that. ARK connects the best cryptocurrencies, and is one of the best cryptocurrencies to invest in in its own right.

in the coming months, ARK will also add smart contract functionality, so that people can develop complex dapps on the ARK blockchain itself. ARK is incorporated in France, and despite seeing many other smart contract platforms decline in recent months, development has neither ceased nor slowed.

ARK investors get great paybacks for staking coins, with annual returns hovering somewhere near 9%. ARK may not be the biggest or flashiest blockchain project, but they have great products and a solid governance/economic model (abuse-resistant Delegated Proof of Stake). Also boasting one of the best communities in the industry, ARK has an integrity that is very attractive in the flaky world of blockchain startups.

5. Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum Ether ETH

You didn’t think we’d complete an investment list without mentioning Ethereum ETH, did you? Despite a miserable price year in 2018, Ethereum remains the world’s most developed blockchain. ETH has more developer talent working on its myriad functions than any other project, Bitcoin included.

Despite delays, arguments over new features, and a price in the absolute toilet, Ethereum is forging ahead, following the vision laid out by visionary leader Vitalik Buterin. So much has already been said about Ethereum, it hardly bears mentioning here. If you want to buy ETH, do your own research and seriously consider investing while the price is still low! ETH is digital cash, and so much more. No matter what you use it for, it’s one of the best cryptocurrencies to invest in.

6. Ripple (XRP)

Riplle XRP

People love to hate on Ripple. And Ripple just keeps on growing. XRP unapologetically appeals to institutions. Even though this is anathema to certain blockchain aficionados, this singularity of focus has led Ripple to achieve, arguably, the greatest adoption success of any cryptocurrency in the world. XRP facilitates large financial transaction across borders, usually made by banks, which it allows to be much faster and cheaper than conventional methods.

Already adopted by banks like PNC, Santander, and the Royal Bank of Canada, Ripple looks like a foundational new currency forging real world adoption like none other. Those who buy XRP at these low prices may be getting in on the (new) ground floor. With tangible use cases and bargain basement prices, this is one of the best cryptocurrencies to invest in…maybe even better than Bitcoin.

7. Travala (AVA)

Travala NEO ecosystem

Travala may be the best Dapp on the NEO blockchain. If you believe that any NEO application will succeed, AVA should be a part of your crypto portfolio. Aimed at the travel and hotel industry, Travala lists lodging and accommodations all around the world, to help travelers find the lowest prices available through any platform. It’s remarkable just how fast Travala adds new properties, and (unlike many other crypto apps) people actually use Travala. Could this be the killer app that breaks NEO into the mainstream? We’re not so sure yet. But it’s hard to imagine that AVA’s price will stay this low for long.

8. Binance Coin (BNB)

Binance Coin

Binance remains the world’s most popular crypto-to-crypto exchange. Billions in digital assets are traded here each day, and what’s good for Binance is good for the industry at large. Binance’s BNB allows users to get trading discounts. Binance regularly burns BNB, reducing its circulating supply, thereby increasing the value of all holders’ BNB through the simple laws of supply and demand. If you think that crypto prices are going to bounce back, then you should really consider what this will do for Binance and, by extension, BNB.

9. Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin BTC

OK, this one might seem a little obvious, but let’s think carefully of Bitcoin’s place in the market at this point in 2019. Bitcoin continues to lead the charge, and its price has suffered less over the past year than almost any altcoin. The majority of people in the world see the crypto industry as inseparable from Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s success is crypto’s success. This means that Bitcoin is relatively stable when compared to other coins. It also means that, if the bulls return to crypto markets, Bitcoin BTC will be the first price to increase.

Bitcoin has improved upon its foundation over the past year. Where Bitcoin used to be slow and expensive to use, matters have improved somewhat. The combination of Segregated Witness, second layer solution the Lightning Network, and other development factors, Bitcoin is slowly scaling its massive network, and keeping down fees in the process. Bitcoin development has remained doggedly committed in the past year. We think that, ultimately, one or more digital cash solutions will dominate the industry, and Bitcoin is more likely to succeed than any of its competitors. Will Bitcoin meet and exceed all time highs in 2019? Nobody knows for sure…but at these prices, buying Bitcoin is looking like a steal.

10. Monero (XMR)

Monero XMR

Monero XMR is one of the most interesting cryptocurrencies there is. A true privacy coin, Monero can be transacted without a record of the identity of either the sending or receiving party. This leads some to conclude the Monero is sketchy – and indeed the coin has been used for some nefarious purposes – but Monero also has many legitimate and fully legal use cases. Even if a privacy coin can never be mainstream in the same way that a non-private coin like Bitcoin can, its secrecy also helps ensure its ongoing usefulness.

Monero XMR isn’t going anywhere. With XMR prices way down since all time highs in early 2018, today’s XRM buyers could have a real deal on their hands, one supported by one of the largest and most mature crypto communities of any competing blockchain platform. One coin will rule them all in privacy. You may buy Zcash or some other competitor’s claim at superiority more than Monero’s, but we tend to find XMR most successful.

So, which is next biggest cryptocurrency for 2019?

We can’t tell you which projects will succeed or fail in 2019, or which way to invest your money. Do your own research and invest only that which you could afford to lose. Prioritize projects that have excellent software, stand-out community support, devoted development, tangible use cases, and inspiring partnerships around the globe. We’ll be very interested to look at this list a year from now, to see how our predictions did. If crypto prices bounce back, though, we feel strongly that some of these projects will be among the most successful of 2019.

2019 Crypto Investment FAQ

Should I invest in Bitcoin no matter what?

In general, we think it’s a good idea for everyone to invest in Bitcoin, at least a little bit. Right now, Bitcoin is the king of the market. If money enters cryptocurrency, Bitcoin will rise in value. Period. This may not always be the case, but for now, what’s good for crypto is good for Bitcoin, and that’s why every portfolio should have it.

Is Ethereum Still a Good Investment in 2019?

Yes. While not a sure thing, Ethereum has amazing functionality, far beyond what Bitcoin is capable of as digital cash. Bitcoin is very application-specific – you can use it for money and that’s just about it. Ethereum is much more like the internet – you can build anything on it and it fulfills countless functions. A platform like Ethereum will succeed in the long term. Will Ethereum be the one left standing? We don’t know, but it has a great head start, is staffed by thought leaders in the space, and has the finances to fund world domination.

Is the Crypto Market Downtrend Over?

Nobody knows. The Crypto Winter, as it is sometimes called, is ongoing, but it’s not the first time this has happened in this industry. There were past crypto crashes that resulted in the media saying that Bitcoin is dead…but Bitcoin always bounced back. We think that this market crash is going to end the same way…eventually. It’s risky to try to guess when prices will stop falling, because you always risk buying and then having them fall still further. Still, with all-time-high prices down more than 90% in most cases, we think that the time to invest in the best cryptocurrencies for 2019 is now.

 

Paris Blockchain Week Summit, the First International Conference Held in France Dedicated to the Professionals of Blockchain and Crypto-Assets

A few weeks after the PACTE law, which will regulate the crypto-asset industry in France, is voted, the Paris Blockchain Week Summit will gather 3,000 French and international professionals of the industry. The summit will be the flagship event of the Paris Blockchain Week. The goal of the Paris Blockchain Week Summit is to showcase the French regulatory framework and…Read More. The post by Guest Post appeared first on BTCManager, Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency News