While Bitcoin still grabs the headlines, savvy investors know that the real value these days is in altcoins. But with so many to choose from, making an informed decision can be hard. Here are some of the best coins for investors looking to buy into real blockchain utilities rather than follow the herd into the most famous names.

 Steem

The Steem coin (STEEM) is the backbone of Steemit, a blockchain social media platform for users to generate and curate content. Steem has created a voting system which rewards authors and curators, and steem dollars are pegged to the real thing. The platform has already paid out over $22m for quality content and gets over 200,000 monthly posts which can be rewarded with its Smart Media Tokens (SMT)

Why it’s set to rise in 2018

With “fake news” such a hot topic, how blockchain can promote the generation and distribution of quality content is certainly a worthwhile question. STEEM coin grew strongly in the first half of 2016 before returning almost all of those gains. The coin again grew strongly in 2017 and with its active community on Steemit.com it has strong fundamentals to drive growth again this year.

DMarket

This one even caught the attention of the New York Times last year. DMarket has established itself as the marketplace for trading virtual assets from the multi-billion dollar video gaming industry. Assets such as weapons and vehicles acquired in games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive have long been sentimentally valuable to gamers and now this passion can be played out between gamers using DMarket’s DMT coin.

Why it’s set to rise in 2018

The global video games market is already huge and is growing by large double-digit figures every year. DMarket is a perfect example of the value unlocked by blockchain technologies – a ledger with great user-experience of previously untradeable items which can now be exchanged for both hobby and financial gains.

Cardano

Cardano is the project behind ADA coin, a fully open source decentralized public blockchain and cryptocurrency project. Cardano is developing a smart contract platform which seeks to deliver more advanced features than any protocol previously developed. To use ADA you must download the project’s Daedalus digital wallet. The development team consists of a large global collective of expert engineers and researchers. Cardano boasts an architecture that has both users and regulators in mind and could come to offer e-commerce providers a way to operate with the benefits of the blockchain while following regulators’ rules.

Why it’s set to rise in 2018

Cardano’s  ADA was worth just a few cents as recently as November but has rocketed to a market capitalization of over $10bn at the time of writing. The team is updating their roadmap and major announcements are expected. Cardano Founder Charles Hoskinson has gone as far as to claim that ADA will be better than Ethereum and Bitcoin within 6 months to a year.

ICONOMI

The ICONOMI Digital Assets Management Platform allows anyone to invest in and manage digital assets. ICONOMI provides slick user experiences with a broad set of unique and intuitive tools for people of any skill level. You can think of it in traditional investment terms as offering fund services rather than requiring users to pick and trade individual stocks. The company’s Blockchain Index covers approximately 78% of the crypto universe’s total market cap.

Why it’s set to rise in 2018

ICONOMI’s token is ICN. Holders profit or lose out from the performance of a fund run by Columbus Capital as well as fees collected on the ICONOMI Digital Assets Management Platform. ICN tokens will have utility on the platform, for example, creating a new fund will require using up ICN tokens. After the ICONOMI ICO in October 2016, 100 million tokens were issued and their value is tipped to rise this year.

Basic Attention Token

BAT builds on the new Brave internet browser. The project’s founders promise that blockchain-based digital advertising will overcome the opaque and inefficient modern digital advertising marketplace where users overpay telcos to be bombarded with only tangentially-relevant ads. The BAT team estimate that the average American spends $23 a month on receiving unwanted ads and that sites with as many as 70 trackers massively slow all of our browsing experiences.

Why it’s set to rise in 2018

The Brave browser not only blocks ads but also has a ledger to reward sites which get true engagement. The next stage of the project is to move towards a decentralized advertising market using the Basic Attention Token. Publishers will receive BAT when ads are viewed on their sites, while users will also get BAT if they choose to see ads. A recently-announced million dollar promotional program will reward publishers for getting users to use the Brave browser.

Monaco

Monaco gives consumers a way to buy, spend, and earn cryptocurrency online and in physical locations. Founded in June 2016, Monaco allows users to spend bitcoin and ethereum at interbank exchange rates and recently launched USD credit lines. While millions of users are ready and willing to spend cryptocurrencies, merchants have been slow to accept change. Monaco allows merchants to continue to accept Visa cards as usual as part of its stated goal to become a globally present blockchain financial institution.

Why it’s set to rise in 2018

Monaco announced in December that its MCO token will be listed on three additional cryptocurrency exchanges. Users earn MCO with Monaco card and it has key advantages for crypto enthusiasts who spend money in foreign currencies. Some of Monaco’s cards allow for luxury airport lounge access and the company’s brand is strengthened by high-profile sponsorships such as Money20/20 Asia in Singapore. The wide range of services offered by Monaco is sure to drive price growth in MCO provided the company gets its cards into users’ hands on schedule, clearing its lengthy waiting list.

 

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