2018 Cryptocurrency Wrap Up: Our Top 5 Favorite Projects

The 2018 cryptocurrency market has seen one of the worst bear markets ever. In the face of seemingly neverending bad news, there are important projects that have made incredible advances. Technological achievements and exciting steps toward mainstream adoption have brought crypto further along in 2018 than all the previous years combined.

Date: 
December 31, 2018
Read time: 
6 minutes

2018 Cryptocurrency Wrap Up: Our Top 5 Favorite Projects

Author: Joel S.
Date: 
December 31, 2018
Read time: 
6 minutes

The 2018 cryptocurrency market has seen one of the worst bear markets ever. In the face of seemingly neverending bad news, there are important projects that have made incredible advances. Technological achievements and exciting steps toward mainstream adoption have brought crypto further along in 2018 than all the previous years combined.

The 2018 cryptocurrency market has seen one of the worst bear markets ever. In the face of seemingly neverending bad news, there are important projects that have made incredible advances. Technological achievements and exciting steps toward mainstream adoption have brought crypto further along in 2018 than all the previous years combined.

Cryptocurrency is experiencing a tumultuous time and its ability to survive is a testament to how robust the industry is. Low prices have not defeated crypto, from what we can tell, quite the opposite.

2018 Is Good News For The Cryptocurrency Industry

Many investors fear the bear market. Those focused too heavily on trading have fled the scene as 2018 saw Bitcoin’s value drop by 83%, from $19,549 to $3,373. Weak handed people who are too focused on their gains are likely to miss out on the good news hidden beneath these numbers. Even Forbes, a relatively unfriendly publication toward crypto, acknowledges that Bitcoin isn’t going anywhere.

The development of technology has only been increasing thanks to the massive influx of investment last year. Some of our favorite protocols are continually being updated in response to market demands. Cryptocurrency is experiencing a tumultuous time and its ability to survive is a testament to how robust the industry is. Low prices have not defeated crypto, from what we can tell, quite the opposite.

 

The Cryptomaniaks 5 Best Projects of 2018

1. Basic Attention Token

The Basic Attention Token ("BAT") has seen radical advancements over the past year. First, you should know that it was created by Brendan Eich, the guy who also co-founded Mozilla and Firefox and invented JavaScript, the most popular programming language in the world. As you can imagine, there is a lot of excitement around this project. Based on the Ethereum blockchain, the team behind the protocol is making rapid moves to dominate the content monetizing niche within the blockchain movement. The idea behind this coin is to create a faster and easier method of buying content. Creators can rely on micropayments for views of their videos and articles while consumers now have an affordable method of participating. Google and Facebook might advertise free services but behind the scenes, they are selling all your private data however they want, without asking for permission. BAT allows users to conduct peer-to-peer exchanges and support ideas they believe in without sacrificing their own information.

What makes 2018 a good year is the BRAVE web browser.  Brendan Eich certainly knows how to build such a thing if Firefox is any indication. Faster than Chrome with automatic ad blocking enabled, it ushers in a top-notch UI experience for web browsing that makes using the BAT token so easy, even your parents could do it. With the option to enable a TOR connection, we are witnessing the best example of how cryptocurrency is going mainstream. Previous web browsers tracked users and collected information. BRAVE focuses on making the BAT token easier to use. Better anonymity and more financial autonomy for the average web user, you don’t even have to be a techie to understand it.

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2. Monero

The industry standard when it comes to anonymity, the Monero ("XMR") protocol just got a whole lot better. If you haven’t been following this project you might not have realized how important 2018 has been for Monero. The advances are mostly technical but they are the foundation of a potentially explosive mass adoption in the coming years.

  • Hard fork away from ASIC

In April, the development team implemented a hard fork to prevent Bitmain, an ASIC manufacturer from centralizing mining operations. This is important for two reasons. The first showing that Monero is dedicated to protecting its decentralized and anonymous nature. The second and most important information to take away from this is how strong and cohesive the community is. When hard forks occur, there is massive potential for fracturing of the community which drives prices down and reduces innovation. BCH just went through such an experience, crippling the currency. XMR experienced no such problems.

  • Multi-Signatures

Known as multi-sig, it allows digital currencies to be controlled by multiple people, each controlling their own private key in a single wallet. This capability mirrors what bank accounts can already do. Think of it like the technology behind auto-pay you have set up with your paychecks. It’s a complicated tech but it makes the token much more favorable for developers and microtransactions. We’re talking Venmo level user-friendliness!

  • Bullet Signatures

Monero has successfully implemented bullet signatures which have reduced transaction fees by 97%.

Example: Before the upgrade, the average fee was around $.60, now it’s hovering around $.02.

This upgrade has sped up the network and improved XMRs ability to facilitate microtransactions.

If the community using cryptocurrency was only in the space to get rich quick, then everything would have zeroed out. Instead, we are seeing more updates, better tech, and an even more passionate community. 

As fly-by-night investors leave the scene and the liquidation of capital reduces prices, development teams are working around the clock to change the world. This is not a story about hope for the future but a detailed explanation using empirical examples that proves cryptocurrency is going to be bigger than ever in 2019

3. Holochain

Holochain (HOT) is a cryptocurrency that has more in common with BitTorrent than it does a traditional blockchain, like Bitcoin. Every user within the protocol keeps their own independent copy of transactions. This allows for massive scalability because the processing power is distributed on an individual basis and not in a huge pool.

Holochain is an ecosystem that is designed to be extremely friendly to building applications on top of. Everything from social networking to video hosting has a home on the protocol. Its infinite scalability makes it the ideal candidate for hosting a blockchain that functions in a similar way to how the internet works.

What makes 2018 so exciting is the release of the first app built on the platform, known as an hApp. Holochain has a long road ahead of it but they have successfully proved a working product.

4. Augur

Bullish amidst the bears, this project is a beacon of light in these dark times. What makes Augur ("REP") so resilient through uncertainty is the protocol’s underlying philosophy to exist - to act as a prediction marketplace where users can wager on everything from politics to sports. Think you know the direction markets are headed? Bet some Augur (REP).

During the month of December, trading volume has stayed above a $2 million market cap. The exciting part is that these trades aren’t so much linked to speculative behavior as they are users on the network placing bets. It’s a working product that savvy speculators are turning toward to increase their holdings during a bear market.

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5. Coinbase

Coinbase is the most popular crypto exchange on the planet. It allows users to trade fiat for their favorite cryptocurrencies. The addition of cryptocurrencies generally relates to a spike in their valuation. In 2017, Coinbase added BitcoinCash which then exploded in value nearly 630%.

Coinbase should be seen as the mainstream flagship. It makes it easy for first timers to enter into the crypto market. 2018 has shown a push to add more tokens to the exchange. Their board of directors has also made it clear that future plans include adding at least 30 more tokens. Clearly, the market demands of buying crypto are growing. 2019 is shaping up to be a big year.

 

Trends Point to Mainstream Adoption

The recent downward trend in the market is a blessing in disguise. For too long, the crypto community has been insularly focused only on the tech without the thought of making it easy for outsiders to learn. Ever since the 2017 bull run, development teams have realized the enormous potential in crypto’s mainstream adoption. The recent drop in the market creates breathing room and creates an incentive for organizations to be the first at bringing their idea to fruition.

1. Better User Experience

Every single project listed here has one thing in common - better experiences for first-time consumers. All of the upgrades and expansions of currency crypto-related experiences are aimed at making the industry friendlier to new-comers. From creating better infrastructure to providing more options, people new to crypto have never had it so good.

2. More Privacy

A shared phenomenon in our 2018 list is how consumer’s individuality is being protected either on purpose or by happenstance. More decentralized options, better sports betting, even Coinbase’s increase in options all provide opportunities for financial autonomy within the crypto space.

3. A Bull Market is Ahead

If speculation of what was to come led to the last bull market, then the culmination of technological advances is going to be even more rewarding. While this list only shows what we think are the most promising projects, the entire industry is saturated with good news. It’s only a matter of time until the mainstream market trends pick up on this information.

 

The Future of Crypto Has Never Been Brighter

The recent downward trend of value has presented itself as a huge stress test on the industry as a whole. If the technology was only valuable because of its perceived dollar value then no progress would have been made this year. If the community using cryptocurrency was only in the space to get rich quick, then everything would have zeroed out. Instead, we are seeing more updates, better tech, and an even more passionate community. There has never been a better time to start investing, Cryptomaniaks is here to help you start your crypto journey.

 

Posted by Joel S.

I believe in cryptocurrency for its privacy aspects and for the autonomy it gives individuals from centralized banks. Cryptocurrency is also fun and exciting: there is always something new to learn.

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