About the Cryptocurrency Market

Bohdan Bobak / EyeEm/EyeEm/GettyImages

The cryptocurrency market is booming worldwide. In 2016, approximately 261,710 Bitcoin transactions took place daily – and this number has increased ever since. At the end of 2017, Bitcoin index value reached $13,860. Other virtual currencies, such as Litecoin, Ethereum and Dash, are increasing, too. If you're looking for new streams of revenue, crypto investments are worth your attention. Just make sure you have a good understanding of the cryptocurrency market before getting started.

The Cryptocurrency Market at a Glance

Nowadays, everyone is talking about Bitcoin, Ripple, Zcash and other cryptocurrencies. Some people see them as a quick way to make money and get rich overnight. Others are reluctant and don't trust this system. When Bitcoin's price dropped by 36.88 percent earlier this year, investors feared that a cryptocurrency market crash is inevitable.

Depending on how you look at it, cryptocurrency could be the money of the future or risky business. As an entrepreneur, it's important to weigh the pros and cons, so you don't miss out on a new opportunity. Take the time to understand how cryptocurrency exchange works and stay on top of the latest cryptocurrency market predictions. Then you can decide whether or not it's worth investing in virtual currencies and how to get the most out of your money.

Bitcoin, the first decentralized virtual currency, was created in 2009. It emerged as an innovative payment network without a single administrator or central bank. Until recently, this payment method was criticized for its use in illegal transactions as well as for its price volatility. Over the past few years, it became a viable option for millions of individuals and businesses conducting online transactions.

This digital currency is used and distributed electronically. No single person or institution controls it. The cryptocurrency market as a whole is both localized and globalized, allowing for borderless exchange operations. Experts predict that Bitcoin index value will reach $36,000 by the end of 2019.

However, Bitcoin isn't the only cryptocurrency available. There are over 1,600 virtual currencies on the market – and new ones are emerging every year. Check out any cryptocurrency list, and you'll see how much they're worth. Popular options among investors include:

  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Ripple
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Litecoin
  • EOS
  • Monero
  • Dash
  • Marker
  • Mixin
  • BitcoinDark
  • ZCash

For example, Bitcoin was worth $6,420.57 in September 2018. The price of Ethereum, by comparison, was just $226.81 per unit. Litecoin value was $55.34.

Each cryptocurrency has distinctive characteristics. SwiftCoin, for instance, was one of the first digital coins created in the United States. It was also the first block chain to support encrypted mail with attachments. Peercoin was the first virtual currency to use POS and POW functions. Ripple was designed for peer-to-peer debt transfer, while PotCoin was specially created for the legalized cannabis industry.

How Do Cryptocurrency Charts Work?

Cryptocurrency charts are an excellent resource for traders and aspiring investors. They're similar to the charts used to buy and sell stocks. You can see the latest trends in cryptocurrency exchange as well as the price of different currencies over a specific period. This information helps inform traders of what might happen next and whether they should buy or sell.

For example, virtual currencies typically continue the trend they've been on. If they have been increasing over the past few days or weeks, you can expect them to head higher in price; this means it's a good time to buy.

Make sure you use trusted cryptocurrency charts to guide your transactions. CoinMarketCap, CryptoCurrencyChart, CoinCodex and CryptoCompare are all an excellent choice. These platforms feature daily market updates, live price charts, cryptocurrency market news and other useful data. Plus, they give you access to real-time updates on hundreds of virtual currencies, from Bitcoin and EOS to Verge and Decred.

The key to a successful transaction is to identify cryptocurrency trends in early stages and act accordingly. Be aware that there's no foolproof way to determine whether the prices will go up or down.

Cryptocurrencies are volatile and depend on a variety of factors that may influence their value. That's why it's important to stay on top of the latest trends and conduct a thorough cryptocurrency market analysis before investing your hard-earned money.

Cryptocurrency Market Predictions

As an aspiring investor, you may wonder what the future of cryptocurrencies looks like. Experts predict that Bitcoin's price will reach $20,000-to-$22,000 by the end of the year. Since this coin already hit rock bottom, its value will likely increase from now on, with periodic ups and downs.

The price of Bitcoin Cash is expected to reach $720 by the end of 2018. Its value peaked in December 2017 when a single unit was worth $2,533.

Ethereum, another popular currency, is currently worth $290. The average price prediction for December 2018 is $836, which would be 189-percent higher than its current value. In December 2017, Ethereum’s price was only $11 and has dramatically increased ever since.

Financial experts forecast a 61-percent increase in the price of EOS. Since this payment network is backed by $4 billion of capital, its future looks bright.

Investors can expect to see a 112-percent increase in Litecoin's value by the end of the year. In August 2018, this coin was worth $61.45. Some say that it will reach $130-to-$200 over the next few months. According to experts, its growth is driven by Bitcoin price improvement.

If you're ready to invest in the cryptocurrency market, NEO might be a good choice. Its price may increase by a whopping 155 percent by December 2018; this is due to its growing popularity in Asia.

NEO has been around since 2014. It was China's first virtual currency and experienced steady growth over the years. Unlike other coins, it cannot be divided.

Some experts say that this currency has the potential to replace Bitcoin. Since its inception, it has become integrated into the real economy and provided great investment returns. Furthermore, it supports a wide range of programming languages, making it appealing to developers.

Financial analysts predict that the cryptocurrency market could one day reach at least $40 trillion. Currently, it's worth over $400 billion. Additionally, trading volume will most likely shift to decentralized exchanges over the next 12 months. One thing is for sure, most virtual currencies experienced steady growth in 2018, and their market value seems to increase each year.

More and more businesses are using cryptocurrencies. Overstock, Microsoft, Shopify, Subway and Expedia are just a few examples. Most of them accept Bitcoin, Monero, Dash, Ethereum and other major currencies. Plus, governments and financial authorities worldwide are working on creating proper regulatory frameworks. Therefore, it's no surprise that the cryptocurrency market is gaining momentum.

Best Cryptocurrencies to Invest In

Some experts say that Bitcoin is the safest currency to invest in. Others encourage traders to consider new cryptocurrencies as well. It all comes down to your risk tolerance.

New currencies have the potential to generate huge returns on your investment, but they also carry higher risks. Let's take Bitcoin, for instance. Who knew that $1,000 invested in this coin five years ago would be worth over $400,000 today?

Furthermore, cryptocurrency initial coin offerings (ICOs) often receive a lot of support from investors, so their value tends to grow rapidly. Traders can begin to cash out their money quickly and have more liquidity.

The downside is that new cryptocurrencies present high volatility. Hacking incidents and other issues may cause investors to lose their money in a short time. Additionally, their value can drop quickly. There is also the risk of a potential network stall soon after launching.

Compared to other virtual currencies, Bitcoin seems to be a safer choice. It has a 40-percent share of the cryptocurrency market and dominates the industry. Even though it has experienced highs and lows, it represents a profitable investment. To stay safe, only invest what you're willing to lose.

Another cryptocurrency that may be worth it is Ethereum. Its value grew by 3,000 percent last year and continued to increase in 2018. Right now, it's the second largest virtual currency after Bitcoin. Furthermore, developers can use its platform to build their own cryptocurrencies.

Ripple might be a good investment, too. In 2017, its price has increased by a staggering 36,000 percent. Three years earlier, German bank Fidor adopted this currency for international payments. Ripple was recognized by Fortune Magazine as one of the five hottest companies in fintech in 2016. The same year, it received $55 million in funding from Accenture and other big players. In 2017, it was the only virtual currency recognized as a payment system used by some of the biggest banks worldwide.

With the growth of almost 8,000 percent in 2017, Litecoin should be on your top cryptocurrency list. Compared to Bitcoin, it completes transactions four times faster and has a higher supply limit. Also, mining Litecoin is easier and less expensive.

As far as new cryptocurrency markets are concerned, you may want to check out ClearCoin, Knowbella, Safein, Gladius and Dock.io. ClearCoin, for instance, allows for real-time buying and selling of media. It appeals to publishers and advertisers, ensuring transparency and efficiency through the use of smart contracts.

Gladius, another popular option, has emerged as a cybersecurity company on the blockchain. It enables users to purchase only the bandwidth they need rather than paying monthly fees for content delivery and protection against cyber attacks. It ensures fully encrypted network traffic and massive network scalability. Investors can purchase Gladius tokens and sell them for profit.

What Do Critics Say?

Despite its steady growth, the cryptocurrency market has received a lot of criticism. Some say that it's a fraud or a pyramid scheme. Others claim that cryptocurrency market cap predictions are bogus.

Critics believe that virtual currencies are causing an irrational gold rush and that a cryptocurrency market crash can occur anytime. Many see it as a side investment similar to a gamble, and not as a profitable long-term investment.

Jack Ma, Alibaba Group founder, said that Bitcoin could be a bubble. Bill Harris, the man behind PayPal and Intuit, told reporters that cryptocurrencies are suitable for just one purpose, criminal activity, and that Bitcoin is a scam. Since the transactions cannot be traced, virtual coins fuel illegal endeavors.

Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, believes that anonymity, the core feature of cryptocurrencies, isn't necessarily a good thing. Many times, Bitcoin is used for buying illegal drugs as well as for terrorist funding and tax evasion.

According to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton, investors are taking huge risks by investing in digital currencies. Cryptocurrency market manipulation, fraud and incorrect or non-existent disclosure are major issues that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Investing in cryptocurrencies is a personal decision. Even though this market is rapidly growing, you should consider the possibility of a sudden crash. Despite the measurements to ensure stability, virtual currencies won't stop being volatile. Assess the pros and cons, determine how much you're willing to invest and keep an eye on the latest cryptocurrency news so you can make an informed decision.

References

About the Author

Andra Picincu is a digital marketing consultant with over 10 years of experience. She works closely with small businesses and large organizations alike to help them grow and increase brand awareness. She holds a BA in Marketing and International Business and a BA in Psychology. Over the past decade, she has turned her passion for marketing and writing into a successful business with an international audience. Current and former clients include The HOTH, Bisnode Sverige, Nutracelle, CLICK - The Coffee Lover's Protein Drink, InstaCuppa, Marketgoo, GoHarvey, Internet Brands, and more. In her daily life, Ms. Picincu provides digital marketing consulting and copywriting services. Her goal is to help businesses understand and reach their target audience in new, creative ways.