When most people think of cryptocurrency, they automatically think of Bitcoin. Bitcoin has seen a huge surge in popularity over the last five-or-so years, and although the market is now flooded with spinoff coins in hundreds of flavors, many newcomers to cryptocurrency still have no idea that other options exist. In this article, we’re discussing the top 3 altcoins we believe you should keep an eye on this year.
What Are Altcoins?
An “Altcoin” is simply a cryptocurrency that isn’t Bitcoin. All altcoins share common characteristics, and operate in broadly the same way as Bitcoin, but under the hood, they may use a different mechanism to conduct transactions.
Some altcoins are used purely for mining, whereas others are intended to be used as security or utility tokens. Ethereum and Binance Coin are probably the best know Bitcoin alternatives, but as of 2021, there are over 9,000 different cryptocurrencies in existence, and that number will undoubtedly rise in the future.
Should You Invest In Altcoins?
Some altcoins are more stable and mature than others, Ethereum being a prime example. With that being said, you only have to take a look at a recent Bitcoin price chart to see that even the most mature of cryptocurrencies can still be very volatile in nature.
Investing in altcoins then, is something of a gamble. Many of the Bitcoin alternatives are attractive to investors because they’re currently extremely cheap, and have the potential for huge growth. That means it’s relatively easy to build a broad portfolio of coins for relatively little outlay. It’s also perfectly possible to make a very good return if you choose wisely.
Here are some of our top altcoin picks for 2021:
Disclaimer: Any recommendations we give in this article are purely based on our own opinions. We’re certainly not giving you financial advice. Always do your own independent research before investing in cryptocurrency of any kind.
Our 1st Pick: Cardano (ADA)
Out of our “top 3 altcoins”, Cardano is perhaps the most interesting. So-called “meme coins” like Doge are getting a lot of celebrity hype right now, which means that genuinely innovative altcoins like Cardano aren’t always given the attention they deserve. That’s a shame, because Cardano is based around a genuinely useful (and ethical) set of features that could eventually see it becoming a very wise choice for patient investors.
What Is Cardano?
Cardano’s CEO, and former Ethereum founder Charles Hoskinson, describes the altcoin as:
“A collection of protocols and technology that allows you to transform, store, and manage value, identity, and governance.”
Hoskinson has focused his efforts on creating a technology that can help people in the Third World to create verifiable records and better access to bank accounts and loans, as well as a means of storing academic credentials that are recognized worldwide.
In addition to it’s ethical underpinnings, Cardano uses the “Proof of Stake” model to mine new blocks and verify transactions. This means that only a fraction of Cardano holders can mine on the network, which greatly reduces the overall carbon footprint of the blockchain, as it puts restrictions on the number of computers that can mine new coins.
Bitcoin on the other hand, uses a “Proof of Work” model. This puts zero restrictions on mining, meaning that wealthy companies not only have an unfair advantage in the amount of processing power they can bring to mining operations, but there is no ceiling on the amount of energy that can be thrown at mining.
Should You Invest In Cardano?
Obviously all altcoins are volatile in nature, so we can’t be certain that you’ll hit the big time by investing in Cardano. With that being said, the team behind this cryptocurrency has some great experience and credentials, and they’ve already proven the technology as viable. Cardano is also set to launch smart contracts within the next couple of months which experts in the field claim will skyrocket the price.
Think of this one as a slow burner, and not your typical “meme coin”, and you could see healthy returns in the longer term.
2nd Pick: Polkadot (DOT)
Founded by Gavin Wood (another Ethereum co-founder) back in 2016, Polkadot launched in 2020. To date, the cryptocurrency has raised over $200 million from investors and although its growth has been volatile, it’s seen some promising gains in 2021.
What Is Polkadot?
Polkadot is essentially a software that allows users to launch and operate their own blockchains. It features a main network (the so-called Relay Chain) for permanent transactions, as well as user created networks, known as Parachains, that can be customized for any number of uses.
The purpose of Polkadot’s design is to create an ecosystem that allows users to conduct more secure transactions with greater privacy, using blockchains that don’t disclose user data onto the public network itself.
So This Is Basically Like Ethereum?
Since the major Ethereum update known as Ethereum 2.0, it does share many similarities with Polkadot in operation and developers can even use Polkadot’s developer framework to simulate the Ethereum blockchain for use in custom blockchain designs.
Should You Invest In Polkadot?
Polkadot’s value grew rapidly in February 2021, with a huge price hike of 350% from the start of the year. Like many altcoins, there’s been a degree of volatility in Polkadot’s market price, but many experts are bullish about the future value of this coin, with some forecasters suggesting it could break the $100 mark by the end of 2021.
3rd Pick: Shiba Inu (SHIB)
Dogecoin was conceived as a Bitcoin parody way back in 2013, and Shiba Inu Coin takes the absurdity to the next level, using the breed name of the Japanese dog mascot of Dogecoin to create a “a meta parody”.
Although clearly created as something of a joke, Ryoshi, the founder of Shiba Inu, envisaged the coin as a fun experiment to build a token using a 100% decentralized community, and despite clearly being a meme-coin, it does show promise for future investors:
Shiba Inu – Made For Investors
Shiba Inu was created in such a way as to provide its investors with greater investment potential from its inception. The Shiba Inu team created an ERC-20 token that was priced low enough that anyone could own millions of tokens whilst they were still relatively undervalued.
Another decision made by the Shiba Inu team was to hand over half of the pool of coins available at launch to Vitalik Buterin, a co-founder of Ethereum. The team hoped that “burning” a large amount of the currency would prevent the coins being bought up by a few big investors, which could have impacted its future use as genuinely useful coin.
As it turns out, Vitalik Buterin has now given away 10% of his entire portfolio of Shiba Inu to a COVID-19 relief fund in India, and burned the remaining 90% sending prices tumbling after their huge initial surge in early May 2021.
Should You Invest In Shiba Inu Coin?
The market for novelty “meme coins” is huge at the moment. Investors are constantly looking for the next big thing, and Shiba Inu still has decent growth potential, despite the loses suffered b Buterin’s huge coin dump. For that reason, and because it’s so closely tied to the fortunes of Dogecoin, we’d say that Shiba Inu still has a lot of potential left for the rest of 2021.
There are hundreds of promising altcoins making strong gains in 2021, and these are simply the top 3 altcoins we believe will see significant price rises towards the end of the year. It’s important that you go into the world of altcoins with your eyes open, and don’t make any rash investing decisions that you’ll later regret. However, for those of you that keep a level head and invest wisely, you could see some amazing returns from your portfolio!
Shiba Inu Coin: Everything You Need To Know
If you’re into crypto, you’ve probably heard of the new SHIB coin. What exactly is Shiba Inu though, how does it work, and should you even buy it? Here’s what you need to know to make an informed decision.
Just when you thought the world of cryptocurrencies couldn’t get any more baffling, a parody coin known as Shiba Inu has hit the mainstream, seeing a completely unbelievable 40,000% price hike from late April to early May of 2021.
So is the coin that describes itself as a “meme-token” a solid investment? Or more to the point; what exactly is this bizarre new coin that’s quickly becoming an internet sensation?
Read on for a brief overview of Shiba Inu, and whether we think investing in this most ridiculous of altcoins is the height of stupidity, or an act of pure genius!
Disclaimer: When we discuss anything to do with the world of cryptocurrencies (and especially the more left-field altcoins), it’s our responsibility to warn you that the markets are extremely volatile, and that we’re absolutely not giving you financial advice. Always do your research before you invest your hard earned cash.
So What Exactly Is Shiba Inu Coin?
Shiba Inu Coin ($SHIB) is a cryptocurrency that features a dog mascot of the Japanese Shiba Inu breed. The coin is an obvious copy (or parody, if you will) of the equally infamous Dogecoin, another crypto featuring the same Japanese dog breed as its mascot.
Confused? Alright, let’s start from the beginning:
The Dogecoin Meme
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year (and honestly, with the way 2020 turned out, we wouldn’t have blamed you) then you’ll almost certainly have heard of Dogecoin.
Championed by Elon Musk, the parody cryptocurrency with a name and logo inspired by one of the internet’s most famous memes, was created back in 2013 as a joke alternative to Bitcoin. However, after the Tesla and SpaceX CEO began Tweeting about this comedy crypto, it began to explode in popularity, and has seen wild surges in value ever since.
The Meta Joke That Is Shiba Inu
If Dogecoin was conceived as a Bitcoin parody, then Shiba Inu Coin goes one stage further, being created as a “parody of a parody”.
Or as the mascot himself might put it: “Such meta, very humor”.
Shiba Inu launched as recently as August 2020, with a name derived from the breed of Japanese dog that featured in the original meme that inspired Dogecoin.
Is Shiba Inu A Viable Cryptocurrency?
In and of itself, Shiba Inu isn’t all that different from a bunch of other cryptocurrencies, being based on the trusty Ethereum blockchain.
A quick read of the coin’s white paper (known as the Woofpaper!) reads much more like a marketing booklet than a technical manual, so it’s clear that this crypto was not only created from the outset to be a bit of a joke, it’s also intended to be something that people will speculate on, rather than having legitimate functional use as a currency.
Ryoshi, the pseudonym of the anonymous founder of Shiba Inu, created the coin not only as a fun project, but also as an experiment to build a cryptocurrency using a 100% decentralized and spontaneous community.
What Makes Shiba Inu Different To Other Altcoins?
Although Shiba Inu Coin was conceived as both a community building experiment and a parody of Dogecoin, some of the decisions made by its decentralized team of creators points to the cryptocurrency as having the potential to become a usable investment commodity in its own right.
One of the first decisions that the Shiba Inu team made was to give away half of the coins that were available at launch to Vitalik Buterin, a founder of Ethereum. This seems like an odd decision, but the team hoped that this action would prevent large amounts of the currency being held by just a few big investors, which could have impacted its future use as a usable coin.
Secondly, Shiba Inu was created in such a way as to provide its investors with greater earning potential from launch. The Shiba Inu project’s aim was to create an ERC-20 token and supporting ecosystem that was priced so low that anyone could own millions of tokens whilst they were still undervalued.
It’s a plan that seems to be working well so far, with Ryoshi claiming that Shiba Inu is a potential “Dogecoin killer”:
“(Shiba Inu can) …outpace the value of Dogecoin exponentially, without ever crossing the $0.01 value.”
Where Can I Buy Shiba Inu Coin?
Shiba Inu coin is listed with coin exchanges under the symbol SHIB. Binance has recently begun listing the currency for sale, which is a fairly big deal, as the platform is home to a number of well known cryptocurrencies and enjoys high levels of consumer confidence.
Binance is currently warning its users that Shiba Inu is a volatile coin and could be subject to rapid (and significant) changes in value.
The ShibaSwap Exchange
Shibaswap is Shiba Inu’s very own cryptocurrency exchange. Although the service hasn’t launched yet, it’s intended to act as a decentralized exchange where you’ll be able to trade in your other cryptos for Shiba Inu coins.
What’s The Current Value Of Shiba Inu Coin?
Shiba Inu has seen a huge surge in growth during May 2021, rising in value from $0.0000001631 per coin to a peak of around $0.00003640 per coin just ten days later.
The cryptocurrency dropped fairly sharply through the second half of May 2021, but that initial spike represented gains of 1500% in just a few weeks, which created a huge buzz for the coin that’s still largely intact.
The original Dogecoin on the other hand, has crashed in value following Elon Musk’s appearance on the famous US TV show Saturday Night Live.
Should You Invest In Shiba Inu Coin?
The market for so-called “meme coins” is pretty huge right now. Thanks to celebrities like Elon Musk pushing cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin, there’s a sizable pool of amateur investors looking for the next big thing.
It would be tempting to look at the rapid drop in value of Shiba Inu in recent weeks as the end of the line for this coin, but in actual fact, a good deal of that price drop can be attributed to the Etherum co-founder Vitalik Buterin giving away the huge amount of coins that were gifted into his wallet at launch.
The COVID-19 Relief Fund
As we previously mentioned, around half of the initial pool of coins were given to Etherum co-founder Vitalik Buterin on launch. This was a slightly odd move on the part of the developers, who had hoped that Buterin would hold the coins for a long period of time. In a surprise move, Buterin ended up donating 10% of the tokens to an Indian COVID-19 relief fund and burned the remaining 90%, which although incredible news for the charity, is largely the reason for the dramatic losses seen after the coin’s initial surge.
The Future Of Shiba Inu
Shiba Inu has a market cap of over $13 billion at the time of research. The platform has seen an increase in value of 40,000% over a 30 day period. Whilst a good volume of that initial surge in price has now been lost, the coin is still massively more valuable than it was at launch.
One of the most encouraging things about the rise of Shiba Inu is the speed at which it’s been accepted onto the major exchanges like Binance, giving a degree of confidence and stability to the coin. So despite coming with a warning about its likely volatility, we believe that there’s a bright future ahead for this novelty cryptocurrency.
If you’re interested in crypto, and want to learn how you can make money with NFTs, check out our step-by-step guide on how you can get started with making money with NFTs.