Sky is the limit
Since the invention of Bitcoin in 2009 a new fast and extremely disruptive crypto-universe has emerged. Currently, the whole sector has a total market cap of more than 179 billion USD – still very small but growing very fast.
By now it is very obvious that the year 2017 has been dominated by the cryptocurrency sector. While the price for one Bitcoin was moving around 1,000 USD at the beginning of this year, in the meantime one has to pay a whopping 6,200 USD for just one Bitcoin. Year to date Bitcoin is up more than 600%.
Yet many of the so-called altcoins, the alternative cryptocurrencies, did even top this outstanding performance. E.g. Ethereum exploded by a factor of 51 and Dash by a factor of 36. Inspired by the success of Bitcoin, already more than 1,230 listed, alternative cryptocurrencies are competing at the many different marketplaces all around the world. Only a few of them have a meaningful business model. Real economic applications are often missing. And of course in this fast-growing and unregulated crypto-universe fraud and rip-off are a constant companion.
Next Quantum Leap
Particularly exciting, however, is the fact that with the development of the blockchain technology obviously Pandora’s box has been opened, as many of these alternative cryptocurrencies are indeed competing together with bitcoin for the title “Best Free Market Money”. This development is still at the very beginning. It will bring many surprises, but also bitter disappointments. As the Internet did force the decentralization of knowledge and information upon the planet, the cryptocurrencies are now enforcing the next step in evolution with the decentralization of control and money. I am pretty sure that this is the next quantum leap for humanity.
Already this fast-growing jungle of coins, tokens, forks, etc. can no longer be overlooked. The dynamic young sector is breathtaking and extremely disruptive. It only seems certain that the vast majority of all those altcoins will disappear worthless soon or later. However, a few Altcoins have enormous potential and could even replace or surpass Bitcoin down the road.
In the following, I want to give you a comprehensive introduction and summary to four of the most promising Altcoins.
With a market cap of currently more than 29 billion USD, Ethereum, described by Vitali Buterin for the first time in 2014, has become the second largest cryptocurrency in 2017. The decentralized platform is managed by the non-profit Ethereum Foundation in Switzerland and offers the creation, administration and execution of so-called smart contracts through its own blockchain. Unlike Bitcoin, however, Ethereum is not a pure cryptocurrency but acts as a platform for a variety of applications within the framework of the smart contracts. These include e-voting systems, virtual organizations, identity management or crowdfunding, which would also enable for example automated license statements, emergency services and land register entries in the future.