I think that Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are going to continue being solid choices for throwing money into for the foreseeable future. Ethereum will continue being the basis for many crypto-tokens to come, and based on what I’ve been learning about how the Lightning Network will operate, I believe Bitcoin will become a viable currency with reasonable fees and fast transaction times, and won’t be such a burden on the environment. If the Lightning Network is realized, I expect that Litecoin (LTC), all the Bitcoin forks, and other tokens whose primary benefits are speed vs. BTC are going to fade into obsolescence.
As I said in the other thread, I expect a major crypto crackdown this year. We just saw BitConnect (BCC) get destroyed and the SEC has sent letters to other crypto groups to halt operations. I think there will be a big purge of tokens that don’t provide utility, merely make promises about future capabilities (like TRON (TRX) which had no product in development yet), or are designed as securities or stock alternatives in organizations. I also expect a ban on anonymous tokens like Monero (XRM) and ZenCash (ZEN) which could be used for illegal activities the way laypeople still think criminals use Bitcoin.
My focus has been to try to pick longterm hold tokens that will provide inherent value to the networks they support, and are least likely to be obliterated by regulation. Here are the ones I’ve been investing into/watching and my thoughts on them:
Airswap (AST) - Decentralized exchange like EtherDelta, but designed to correct ED’s limitations and flaws, and provide the necessities to bring in the big institutional money traders. AST is locked to perform trades in the Airswap marketplace, so there are no fees in transactions, but there is Proof-of-Stake value in holding the tokens. This token’s market cap hasn’t reached the Top 100 list yet so there’s still potentially a lot of room to grow.
Jibrel (JNT) - Just completed its ICO recently (US excluded) and is going to be tradable on Feb 1st. It’s like Tether (USDT), except legitimate. Actually, Jibrel is a platform to tie traditional fiat to crypto. JNT itself is used as a Proof-of-Solvency, which is just a fancy smart contract to tether an asset like gold or fiat to what they call CryptoDepository Receipts (CryDRs). In the beginning, they are going to provide USD and KRW equivalents. Ultimately, JNT-based CryDRs may become the de facto crypto that you will buy to pair-trade for other currencies in the future rather than BTC, ETH, or LTC. They will also act as a safe-haven token that you will be able to convert your crypto into when you want to maintain its value in periods of instability, reducing the crypto market’s volatility. This is how Tether prevented a big crash this week, except if people were to attempt to cash out their USDT to USD all at once, Tether would be exposed for the fraud it is; JNT-based tokens will actually have that value backing them. JNT’s value would go up as more assets are used as backing sources in CryDRs.
Dragonchain (DRGN) - Originally developed in partnership with Disney Labs. It is designed to be a new blockchain like Ethereum. An entire ecosystem is being developed around DRGN including support for operating ICOs and smart contract development on Dragonchain’s network. DRGN is held to be able to participate on the network, and there’s a unique feature where the longer you hold the tokens (let them slumber), the greater you benefit on the network.
ICON (ICX) - Korea’s answer to Ethereum. South Korea currently makes up something like 25% of all crypto activity, so their influence in the crypto space can’t be ignored. They are building something of a federated multi-blockchain smart contract system that will allow disparate industries to operate independent and specialized block chains that are still interoperable with each other. ICX is the standard pairing currency that allows trading one of its blockchain currencies for another.
Stellar Lumens (XLM) - The big draw for this token in the immediate future is FairX, which is an exchange that will allow you to buy a wide assortment of crypto for fiat. It’s not exactly USD to crypto of your choice though; XLM is going to be an intermediary. FairX is going online in the next couple weeks.
IOTA (IOTA) - I’m less enthusiastic about this coin than I was in the past, but I like the idea and think it could be major if the technical problems can be worked out or disproven. The crypto network is currently centralized to prevent being overpowered by a hostile entity before it grows so big that won’t be possible anymore, and it uses its own home-rolled crypto algorithm, which is a very big no-no in the crypto space. The design of the network is to be literally infinitely scalable and serve as a tamper-proof transmissions layer for machine-to-machine communication. The Internet of Things is supposed to be a multi trillion dollar market in just a couple years and IOTA and other IoT-specific cryptotokens like RaiBlocks (XRB) are poised to potentially make a fortune.
ChainLink (LINK) - I believe ChainLink may be a sleeping giant. It solves the problem of connecting external information to the blockchain, like GPS location for a package being tracked through the blockchain. ChainLink is the middleware that provides this capability for the blockchain in a secure and trustless fashion. LINK tokens are used to power the network. When an application utilizes ChainLink to access information, nodes stake some of their LINK when they provide requested information. If the node’s answers are deemed invalid, the node loses the staked LINK, otherwise validly answered requests are rewarded LINK from the requester.