Cryptocurrencies are now close to hitting over $1 trillion in total value. According to Motley Fool, in early 2017, the combined market cap of all virtual currencies was just $17.7 billion, and bitcoin made up nearly 88% of that total. However, as of Dec. 20, the aggregate market cap of the better than 1,360 digital currencies had soared to $635 billion, representing a year-to-date increase of almost 3,500%, and bitcoin’s contribution was less than 50%. On the other hand, the stock market historically gains about 7% a year, inclusive of dividend reinvestment and adjusted for inflation.
Motley Fool goes on to explain the bullishness behind cryptocurrencies:
“A number of catalysts have played a role in pushing virtual currencies higher. For example, the emergence of blockchain is creating a lot of buzz on Wall Street.
“Blockchain is the digital and decentralized ledger that records all transactions without the need for a financial intermediary like a bank. Think of it as the infrastructure that underlies digital currencies like bitcoin. Blockchain has the potential to speed up transaction settlement times, reduce transaction fees, and could be considerably more secure than current databases, just to name a few advantages.
“Dollar weakness has also been helpful, especially to bitcoin. A falling dollar is great news for U.S. exporters, but it’s not such positive news for investors holding cash. These investors will often seek the safety of gold as a store of value, given gold’s scarcity and use as a currency for more than 2,700 years. Yet some cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, have protocols that limit the number of coins that can be mined. This creates the perception of scarcity, which has pushed some investors to choose bitcoin, or other cryptos, over traditional commodities, like gold.
“Emotions are clearly playing a role, too. The fear of missing out, or “FOMO,” and watching everyone else make money has coerced both novice and experienced investors into buying cryptocurrencies”.
While Bitcoin comprises nearly 46% of the aggregate cryptocurrency market cap, it’s pretty far down the list of cryptocurrencies worth considering for purchase. Bitcoin, and Litecoin, for that matter, are laser-focused on growing their partnerships with merchants, and have largely ignored the enterprise-based application of their blockchains. While there’s value to be had as a means of money transmittance, I personally believe that blockchain is where the bigger long-term opportunity lies”, says Sean Williams, an analyst from Motley Fool.
On that note, the following 4 cryptocurrencies maybe worth considering over Bitcoin.