1. Cardano (ADA)
Cardano is a decentralised computing platform started by the co-founder of Ethereum, Charles Hoskinson.
Cardano is similar to Ethereum in that its blockchain supports smart contracts and decentralised applications (dapps), however Cardano aims to be a more advanced and scalable blockchain through the use of sidechains and scientific peer reviews of implemented technology.
Note: A sidechain is a separate blockchain designed for a particular purpose. Implenting a sidechain reduces the amount of transactions on the main blockchain which prevents congestion.
Cardano is built in layers with it’s cryptocurrency ADA running on the Cardano Settlement Layer (CSL), whilst smart contracts and dapps will run on the Cardano Computation Layer (CCL). Sidechains will be used to connect transactions between Cardano’s different layers.
This multi-layered approach allows the blockchain to easily be updated through the use of soft forks. In blockchain technology a soft fork is a backwards compatible update, whilst a hard fork is non-backwards compatible since it creates a new, separate version of the blockchain which does not accept nodes that are running previous versions of the blockchain.
Note: A node is a computer that has a copy of the blockchain installed onto it.
Cardano is the name of the blockchain whilst ADA is the name of the cryptocurrency that runs on this technology. ADA is named after Ada Lovelace, a 19th century mathematician who is also seen as the worlds first computer programmer.
At the time of me writing this, Cardano (ADA) is currently $0.18.
2. Basic Attention Token (BAT)
BAT is a utility token which can be used by publishers, advertisers and users on the Brave browser which was also started by Brendan Eich.
Potential use cases for BAT include:
- Receiving BAT for viewing an advert
- Spending BAT on premium products or features
- Donating BAT to your favourite publishers
- Additional browsers implementing BAT as a way to compensate advertisers and publishers affected by AdBlock software.
So we don’t just have a token here, it was released along side it’s own stand alone internet browser, the Brave browser.
Brave is a web browser with a built-in ad-blocking system, the team behind Brave claim that the browser runs up to 7 times faster than regular browsers due to the removal of adverts which can slow down web page loading speed.
If advertisers want Brave users to watch their adverts, they will have to compensate users for their time by paying them in BAT, so essentially users will get paid to watch adverts.
Think of smartphone apps that reward you with in-game currency for watching adverts, this is similar except you will be receiving cryptocurrency with real world value instead.
BAT has a great founder plus a working and already released product, a no-brainer in my opinion.
Basic Attention Token is currently worth $0.23
3. Ripple (XRP)
Ripple is a payment remittance protocol developed by Ripple Labs. The aim of Ripple is to allow banks to transfer large amounts of money across the world in seconds whilst saving a lot of money.
Ripple accomplishes this through it’s cryptocurrency XRP which has a transaction time of about 3 seconds on average with transactions costing only a fraction of a cent.
It’s speed and low transaction costs make it similar to Stellar Lumens, however Stellar also functions as a development platform whilst Ripple is a payment protocol that mainly targets banks all across the world.
Currently Ripple is partnered with other 100 banks which include JP Morgan, Santander, American Express and The Bank of England.
Although banks are the main target customer for Ripple, everyday users can use XRP to transfer large amounts of money across the globe. For example you could send $10,000 to a relative in another country for less than a cent and it would only take seconds to reach them.
No large bank transfer fees and no 3 day waiting times.
Ripple is currently worth $0.61
4. Stellar Lumens (XLM)
Stellar Lumens (XLM) is a decentralized development platform and cryptocurrency which was started by the Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb.
Alongside Ripple, Stellar has much lower transaction fees than most cryptocurrencies, with transactions costing less than 1 cent. Transaction speeds also take 2–4 seconds on average.
Low transaction costs and fast speeds are not the only benefits of Stellar Lumens, Stellar can also be used as a platform to run ICO’s, smart contracts, dapps and to create cryptocurrencies which will run on the Stellar blockchain.
This is similar to Ethereum and it’s Ethereum based tokens created through ICO’s, the difference is that Stellar based tokens will be a lot faster and cheaper since it will share the transactionscosts and speed of the Stellar Lumens currency.
Recently Mobius raised over $39 Million whilst using the Stellar Lumens (XLM) blockchain to run it’s ICO.
Stellar Lumens is currently worth $0.26
How you can invest in these cryptocurrencies
A few cryptocurrencies are available on cash based exchanges whilst the majority are only available on cryptocurrency only exchanges, for example Stellar Lumens (XLM) and Ripple (XRP) can bought directly with cash from CEX.
On the other hand, Cardano (ADA) and Basic Attention Token (BAT) can be bought from Binance with Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH) for now, later in the future they might get added to a cash based exchange.
If these projects continue to reach their road-map goals and continue to secure strategic partnerships, I can see them being really big in the near future.
Not many projects have such a solid background.