If you’ve turned on the news in the last several months, chances are you’ve heard of all the changes going on in the cryptocurrency world. From Bitcoin to Dentacoin and even the most recent introduction of “KodakCoin,” digital currencies are lighting up the commodities markets.
But where do we separate the hype from the facts? Here are 9 statistics about cryptocurrencies that will set the stage for growth in 2018
Due in large part to the roughly $16,000 market price of Bitcoin (although the so-called “alt coins” have played a huge role in it as well), the total valuation of cryptocurrency soared past the $600 billion mark and settled nicely within the $606-620 billion range. This places cryptocurrencies market cap at roughly the same valuation as wireless services or healthcare supplies, both of which have remained relatively stable. Expect cryptocurrencies as a whole to continue to increase, however, with many analysts expecting upwards of $700 billion or more by the end of this year.
It may seem completely unrealistic to imagine that any other coin can top the King-of-all-Digital-Currencies, but count Ethereum’s co-founder, Steven Nerayoff, as one of those who believes it can be done. It could be simple posturing in order to drive up a higher valuation, but Nerayoff states that the amount of industries pouring money into Ethereum is continuing at an “exponential rate,” and that, coupled with faster transaction times, could mean an increase in Ethereum valuation.
It should come as no surprise that Bitcoin continues to be the dominant player in an ever-growing crypto field, but any business that dominates 33% of an industry will continue to set the tone for the rest of the field. Although other technologies will eventually join the fold and pose a significant challenge, Bitcoin still is and will continue to be, for at least near future, the de facto crypto champ.
Although Bitcoin and Ethereum are most likely here to stay, there’s nothing to say that another strong contender won’t come out of nowhere to rival or even surpass the incumbents. As technologies become increasingly popular and likewise scrutinized, the new alt-coins that are rising up will seek to take advantage of these weaknesses and will receive strong backing from other markets. It’s very possible that another Bitcoin-like coin is right around the corner as we speak, ready to break the $100, $1000, or even $10,000 per coin mark.
$20,000 per coin is an unheard of number in the eyes of many investors; indeed, many who thought Bitcoin was a bubble at $1,000 a coin are now wiping their tears as it climbs higher and higher. Still, many experts believe that we could just now be seeing the beginnings of this coin as it continues to increase almost by the hour. So how high can Bitcoin get? The violent fluctuation of the coin leaves many to believe that could be up to chance, but some analysts are predicting anywhere $50,000 a coin to $1,000,000 a coin. For the sake of reference, gold has a market cap of $9.7 trillion, which, if that were the market cap of Bitcoin, would equal out to about $470,000 per coin. It’s not a foregone conclusion, but it’s a long way from impossible, also.
Bitcoin’s valuation was noteworthy primarily because of its starting point: since it began the year at over $1,000 per coin, a 1,700% increase looks impressive (and it is). But let’s not forget about Litecoin, the relative newcomer to the arena that has seen a 7,800% increase in 2017 alone – more than 4x that of Bitcoin. The reason for the surge is two-fold: first, the transaction times for Litecoin are substantially faster than that of Bitcoin; whereas a transaction may take an hour for Bitcoin, Litecoin can make the same transaction in a matter of minutes. Second, many investors are beginning to believe that Bitcoin is over-valued and are starting to put their money into alt-coins that demonstrate long-term usefulness, such as Litecoin.
Looking at the prices of cryptocurrencies is enough to make anyone’s eyeballs pop out of their skull, and has led some to invest at crypto coins that are priced at less than a penny simply on the hope that they’ll reach a dollar or more. But when investing in currencies, the two dominant factors for any coin’s success rate is community (how many people it can impact), and convenience (how fast are transaction times and how easy are they to make). Litecoin has soared in recent months because of these two factors; likewise, Bitcoin has seen its position take a bit of a hit, so it’s important to examine more than just the numbers before investing.
Cryptocurrency is a fantastic invention, primarily for the ease of use and full sense of security and anonymity that it conveys to its users. Unfortunately, criminals have begun to take advantage of these resources for themselves, particularly in ransomware attacks that leave users information compromised unless they are paid. Whereas that used to be in the form of monetary compensation, hackers are now demanding crypto coins which are not only secure but will rise in value. If you are ever hacked, expect to invest in crytpo, whether you want to or not.
Everyone has an opinion on Bitcoin and financial experts are no different. Whether it’s Jim Cramer that claims Bitcoin will reach a $1,000,000 valuation (eventually) or Roy Sebug, president of Goldmoney Fund, who claims that it will be worth nothing long-term, ask ten different experts about their opinion on cryptocurrency and you’ll probably get eleven different answers.