2022 was a momentous year for cryptocurrency as well as blockchain technology, more generally. Not only did we witness the first-ever bitcoin crash, but several other digital currencies also saw massive value increases overnight. The sudden and surprising increase in value was not due to innovation or improvements in the software running the system, as many had feared; it was simply because there were so many newbies getting into the act that everyone else was forced to react by increasing their value accordingly. This phenomenon is known as “the dive effect” and we can expect it again next year — though on a much smaller scale.
The first half of 2022 has been terrible for the crypto market. Bitcoin and Ethereum were down more than 50% from their all-time highs in late 2021. While there have been small surges recently, the crypto market is largely stalled. While no one knows, some experts say crypto prices could fall even further before any sustained recovery. Companies like PayPal and Square are betting on crypto, allowing users to buy on their platforms. U.S. government officials and the Biden administration have increasingly expressed interest in new regulations for cryptocurrency.
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It is possible that more institutional adoption could occur in the second half of the year, with Amazon recently posting a job listing for a “digital currency and blockchain product lead.” Regulation could also be introduced, which could help to protect long-term investors, prevent fraudulent activity within the crypto ecosystem, and provide clear guidance to allow companies to innovate in the crypto economy.
Here is a list of the top 8 cryptocurrencies to watch in 2023.
Bitcoin: First Digital Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin is the first digital currency to hit the market and has proven to be very successful thus far. It is the most widely accepted digital and base currency for many other cryptocurrencies. Unlike other digital currencies that have only recently begun to gain popularity, bitcoin has been around for almost 10 years. This means it has many users and a robust ecosystem to support it. As the first digital currency, it has been subjected to a large amount of scrutiny and has passed with flying colours.
Ethereum: Second Most Popular Decentralized Cryptocurrency
At the time of writing, Ethereum is the second most popular decentralized cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. It is used for making decentralised applications (dApps) and is the base currency for many other cryptocurrencies. DApps are applications that run on a blockchain, a decentralized public ledger where all transactions are recorded. Ethereum is often abbreviated as ETH and is the most popular of all cryptocurrencies. It is also referred to as ‘the protocol’ and enables the other cryptocurrencies to work on a peer-to-peer basis.
Bitcoin Cash: Third Largest Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin Cash is the peer-to-peer version of Bitcoin and is typically referred to as “Bitcoin 2.0” as it includes changes that improve the hashing algorithm and speed up transactions. One of its most important features is the inclusion of a competing blockchain, Bitcoin, which automatically becomes the top-tier blockchain once transactions are completed. This update has made transactions faster and more reliable and helped make BCH to top-performing digital currency for the first time.
Cardano: An Experimental New Cryptocurrency
Cardano is a new cryptocurrency developed by a team of engineers at Cambridge University in the UK. The team is led by former Google scientists who have created a blockchain-based platform to execute decentralized applications (dApps). The dApp will be powered by Cardano, a virtual currency on the blockchain, and used to reward the contributors and fund the project. This is the first time a university has created a cryptocurrency, and we will likely continue to see many digital assets created using this technology.
Litecoin: Good for Fast Transactions
Litecoin is a cryptocurrency that many believe to be more secure than its Bitcoin rival due to its faster block times and smaller network effect. One of the top Litecoin advantages is its use as a trading currency, as it is easy to buy and sell and offers a low transaction fee. However, for investors more interested in the long term, it may be better to hold Bitcoin as it is the most secure cryptocurrency and will continue to grow in value.
Stellar Lumens: Useful for Cross-Border Payments
Stellar Lumens is the second largest cryptocurrency, with a market cap of $4.1B and a trading volume of $2.7B. It is a non-fungible digital currency issued and managed by the TrustToken platform. The platform is similar to Ethereum and allows users to create their tokens and share equity with other users through smart contracts. The tokens can be used to make payments, exchange goods and services, or store value. TrustToken is a financial services company that provides a range of financial products, including TrustToken coins.
IOTA: A Privacy-Centric Cryptocurrency
IOTA has been around for a long time and is a well-established privacy-focused cryptocurrency. IOTA is easy to use and allows users to send money without revealing their private information. It is often considered a secure cryptocurrency as it uses an advanced encryption algorithm to keep the data secure. The data is then fragmented, and none of the information is sent to a third party, making IOTA an attractive option for users who want to retain control of their data and privacy.
Binance Coin: Easier for New Users
Binance Coin is very secure as it is based on the ERC-20 standard and uses advanced encryption algorithms. This means that the data is kept secure and is unlikely to be misused. However, Binance Coin is also expensive at $0.15 per token and is currently only available to invest in pre-ICO and limited-time sales.
In 2022, cryptocurrencies were in a highly volatile state. From Bitcoin’s meteoric rise to its disastrous price drop, the world of virtual currencies has seen it all this year. But what lies ahead? 2022 may be winding down, but in the crypto space, things are only just beginning.