Last Updated on February 10, 2021 by Henry John
“Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history.” Abraham Lincoln.
The financial history is updating, a digital ink has been drafting a new chapter: The chapter of digital currencies.
As investors of today’s financial market, we cannot escape this history. We of this digital age and this financial market, will be remembered in spite of ourselves.
Crypto is now the world’s fifth-most circulated currency by value as the market value of all the world’s cryptocurrencies surpassed $1 trillion back in January. Currently, Bitcoin and Ethereum alone are valued over $1 trillion.
There’s a popular Chinese proverb that says: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
Don’t be that grandfather who tells his grandchildren decades from now, “I was alive when bitcoin was valued under $10 and didn’t nothing, then years later, after bitcoin has proven to be a success story, dogecoin was valued under $1 and I still didn’t get a piece. And that was the greatest regrets of my investment life”.
It’s past time, growth investors like you and me jump on the cryptocurrencies bandwagon.
I’m not suggesting you should break the bank and go all in on cryptocurrencies, exposing your portfolio to too much risk. Just put away the price of 10 cups of the Starbucks coffee that you normally take in some of these cryptocurrencies and let history play out.
If we (me and you) had taken a $100 chance on Bitcoin in the early days, when Bitcoin cost investors just 6¢ each, that $100 investment would now be worth $70,000,000. Seventy million US dollars!
Unfortunately, we didn’t plant that tree twenty years ago, nonetheless, like the Chinese says “the second best time is now”.
If you’re interested in cheap cryptocurrencies, here are 10 cryptocurrencies under $10, $5 and $1 to consider:
Market Cap: $49.22B
XRP is known as a Real Time Gross Settlement System which is a ‘currency exchange and remittance network’ that independent servers validate.
The currency traded is known as XRP and transfer times are immediate. XRP can be exchanged for most other currencies with its unique selling proposition being the avoidance of fees and wait times often associated with banks.
It isn’t made up of a blockchain but rather a Hash Tree and its currency can’t be mined because there are a finite number of coins – 100 billion.
XRP is popular with banks and institutions though the XRP token isn’t necessarily required for each transaction.
2. Stellar (XLM)
Market Cap: $42.25B
Lumen (XLM) is the native cryptocurrency for Stellar, an open source blockchain payment system.
The purpose of Stellar is to connect financial institutions via the blockchain and provide cheap transactions in developing markets.
Jed McCaleb, a longtime cryptocurrency entrepreneur who founded bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox and co-founded blockchain-based payment system Ripple Labs, created Stellar in July of 2014.
Stellar uses a federated byzantine agreement (FBA) algorithm instead of a traditional mining network to validate transactions.
Since the transfer of lumens doesn’t require approval from traditional cryptocurrency miners, the Stellar network enables quicker transactions than some other blockchain-based systems.
3. Cardano (ADA)
Market Cap: $27.23B
Cardano has been pioneered by a team of academics and engineers, and is offering a unique approach to scaling and securing a blockchain network.
Cardano is a non-profit platform with three separate bodies responsible for maintaining and developing the platform.
The cryptocurrency which operated in the Cardano network is called ADA and is, like others, can be used for direct value transfer.
Furthermore, the network will soon be able to handle smart contracts.
4. Dogecoin (DOGE)
Market Cap: $9.54B
Dogecoin emerged in 2013 as a joke. It was created by Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus to satirize the growth of altcoins by making the doge internet meme into a cryptocurrency.
While it was birthed as a joke, it actually led to some practicality as it’s large supply and low price facilitated efficient micro-tipping content on social media.
It is a derivative of Luckycoin which forked from Litecoin and uses a Scrypt algorithm.
Dogecoin has 1 minute block intervals making it faster than other blockchains. There is no cap to the supply of coins and thus the coin can inflate infinitely.
5. Algorand (ALGO)
Market Cap: $3.88B
Algorand is a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain that supports smart contracts.
Its protocol uses Pure PoS, through which users are selected on a random and secret basis to propose blocks and vote on proposals.
In that way, the blockchain ensures that each user’s influence on the choice of a new block is proportional to the user’s stake in the system.
Founded by MIT professor and Turing Award recipient Silvio Micali in June 2019, Algorand is designed as a scalable and secure blockchain free of potential governance issues such as forks.
The network’s Algorand 2.0 update, released in late 2019, adds decentralized finance (DeFi) features and smart contracts.
Market Cap: $3.79B
EOS is the native cryptocurrency for the EOS.IO blockchain platform with smart contract capabilities.
The company Block.one created EOS.IO in September 2017 and it now has over 100 dapps with thousands of daily active users. It enables decentralized apps, or dapps, to be created by software developers.
The platform is more scalable than many other blockchain networks, with the ability to process one million transactions per second without any fees.
Its dapp development capability makes EOS similar to Ethereum with the notable distinction that transaction confirmations are done through a different type of consensus system. Block producers are chosen by the EOS ecosystem through a voting mechanism known as delegated-proof-of-stake (DPoS).
In order to vote, users must stake tokens for three days without selling them, putting them at risk of losing money should the price of the token drop during that time. There is no maximum supply limit of EOS tokens.
The delegated proof-of-stake model uses inflation, capped at 5% annually, to fund transactions and pay block users.
7. Tron (TRX)
Market Cap: $3.24B
Justin Sun founded the Tron Foundation in Singapore in 2017 with the aim of creating a protocol that could “decentralize the internet” and support decentralized applications.
Beginning on Ethereum, it migrated onto its own blockchain in 2018, and Sun has now directly positioned Tron as a competitor to Ethereum. According to the foundation, the July 2018 acquisition of BitTorrent further cemented TRON’s leadership in pursuing a decentralized ecosystem.
In 2019, Tron and Tether announced a partnership to launch USDT on the Tron blockchain as a TRC-20 token – the protocol’s equivalent of a ERC-20 – with the aim of improving liquidity on decentralized exchanges.
According to the project’s whitepaper, the network is based on a proof-of-stake system, in which 27 “super representatives,” or SRs, produce blocks for the network. A total of 336,384,000 TRX are awarded annually to the SRs.
8. NEM (XEM)
Market Cap: $3.15B
NEM stands for New Economy Movement and powers the Smart Asset System. It’s written in Java and was launched in 2015 – the platform’s currency is called XEM.
XEM are harvested through Pol – once you own 10,000 XEM and deposit them in the official NEM Nano wallet they begin ‘harvesting’ and therefore grow in number through interest.
Smart Assets allow unique data to be created representing any asset meaning that these assets can be traded using XEM. Multiple ledgers can also exist on one blockchain.
9. Tezos (XTZ)
Market Cap: $3.04B
Tezos, led by the husband-wife team of Arthur and Kathleen Breitman, raised the equivalent of $232 million in an initial coin offering in 2017.
At the time, the sale of the XTZ tokens was the largest ICO to date, raising more than 10 times the initially targeted $20 million.
The blockchain was one of the first to use a “proof of stake” consensus mechanism, a system that’s becoming increasingly popular compared with the “proof of work” mechanism used by the Bitcoin blockchain.
Holders of XTZ can commit their tokens in exchange for the ability to validate blocks, winning rewards for doing so in a process known as “baking.” Participants who stake at least 8,000 of the tokens on the network get voting rights, allowing them to weigh in on the governance of the project.
Market Cap: $2.14B
IOTA is a cryptocurrency set up to allow data exchange between any data recording machine as part of the Internet of Things.
IOTA is novel in that it doesn’t use a blockchain and instead enables a different type of system of a web of connections.
The new system is called Tangle and is based on a type of cryptographic verification known as Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG).
In order to make a transaction, the user must validate two previous transactions in the web. This means the system is proportional in speed to the number of transactions occurring.