1. Cardano (ADA)
The brainchild of Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson, Cardano (ADA) is one of the most interesting blockchain projects currently in development. Currently priced at under 6 cents a piece and ranked 11th by market cap, Cardano has a ton of potential.
Developed with a scientific philosophy and research-driven approach, Cardano has one of the highest rating of all cryptocurrencies when it comes to developer engagement. While criticized for the time it has taken for the project to develop, specifically the release of the Shelley Mainnet, which has just started its full release, the project has some of the most thorough research and development of any project as is built not only to last, but in a way that can fully solve many of the problems cryptocurrencies face, such as scalability.
Ouroboros Hydra, which took 5 years to develop, will be able to completely solve scalability once implemented. Ouroboros Hydra enables Cardano to scale horizontally, increasing performance by incorporating additional nodes, rather than vertically, through the addition of more powerful hardware. Early simulations show that each head is able to perform up to 1,000 Transactions Per Second (TPS). With 1,000 heads, this could be as high as 1,000,000 TPS. Once implemented, Ouroboros Hydra will allow Cardano to scale to unrivalled levels – to the level of, for example, global payment systems. This is all in combination with their functional and easy to use smart contracts, and a proof of stake reward mechanism.
Cardano is also working on a microchip that will allow crypto transactions without internet access, providing a fiat-like experience to the hundreds of millions of unbanked with the simple tap of a phone.
2. Stellar (XLM)
Stellar is a multi-currency backend payment network that runs on tokens known as Lumens (XLM). Stellar itself is a blockchain protocol, and Lumens are the token used to process transactions on the blockchain. It has been gaining traction in the cryptocurrency community thanks to its excellent transaction speed and low fees. Stellar’s transaction fees are so low that it has tremendous potential for micropayments. Currently ranked 14th by market cap and at just under 7 cents a piece, Stellar has lots of room for growth.
A direct competitor to Ripple, Stellar aims to target individuals rather than large financial institutions, something that may be more feasible. They have extremely high developer engagement as well. Stellar offers an inflation pool reward of 1% per year to hedge an inflation to the assets value.
3. Crypto.com Coin (CRO)
The native token of the Crypto.com Exchange, Crypto.com Coin (CRO) is an excellent cryptocurrency you can buy for under $1. Currently ranked 13th by market cap and at about 10 cents a piece, CRO offers investors many benefits.
If you stake at least 10,000 CRO on the exchange for 180 days you get 20% APY paid out daily. In addition to that, staking at least 10k CRO gives you access to Syndicate Events, which are an opportunity to buy a crypto asset at 50% off. The amount you receive depends on how much CRO you subscribe to the event (this is separate from the 10k you have to stake), and the total amount subscribed by each participant. The more CRO you have staked the more you can subscribe.
They also offer a service called Crypto Earn, where you can earn interest on almost any asset you can think of. The amount is paid out in the asset you put in and is dependent on the term (flexible, one-month, three-month), and whether you have Monaco (MCO) staked. If you stake at least 500 MCO you receive a couple more percent for each term. All your trading fees can also be paid in CRO.
4. Basic Attention Token (BAT)
Basic Attention Token (BAT) is a cryptocurrency that is aiming to solve a very specific, and well-known problem. The advertising industry is plagued by several issues, including, but not limited to advertiser fraud, user abuse, and abundant trackers causing slow load times, and a bloated user experience. Brave Software Inc. created the Basic Attention Token as part of their plan to redefine, and reshape how the internet treats users, serves advertisements, and collects user information. Currently ranked 32nd by market cap, and at just over 20 cents a piece, BAT looks to change the way we browse the internet and view ads.
BAT aims to create a platform which helps to eliminate intermediaries in the digital advertising space, as well as give content creators the ability to be compensated directly by their consumers. The company does this by paying users directly for their participation in the BAT community. This can be in the form of clicking on ads served on Brave, or “tipping” content creators by compensating them directly from the Brave browser.
Ads pop up as notifications in the corner of your browser, you get to choose whether or not to view the ad by clicking into it further. If you do not click into it, you still get rewarded some amount of BAT. By choosing to view the ad further, you get rewarded a tenth of a BAT, or essentially 2 cents per click at the time of writing. Rewards are paid out monthly. You can adjust the number of ad notifications you receive in the settings, with a maximum of 5, essentially meaning you can get 10 cents an hour at current rates. That may not seem like a lot, but you are currently getting nothing for browsing the internet. We love Brave and would highly recommend checking it out.
Theta is an interesting cryptocurrency that rewards users for using their unused bandwidth to help improve streaming quality and load times for other users. The more bandwidth you provide, the more THETA tokens you receive. You can even just run the node while you are sleeping or not viewing content and thus provide more bandwidth and get more rewards. This is an extremely interesting concept when you take into account just how much content is consumed through streaming nowadays. Currently ranked 34th by market cap at around 34 cents a piece, THETA has lots of room to grow.
At the heart of the Theta platform is a mesh network which consists of a series of nodes capable of mutual communication. These nodes link the network together and provide the backbone for the bandwidth sharing scheme offered by THETA. The THETA network is the main component with which the platform aims to challenge standard content delivery providers. The Theta network will use its P2P architecture to either improve the performance of existing content delivery networks or replace them altogether.
Google just signed on to the THETA project as a network validator, indicating mainstream interest in the platform. Binance is another significant validator that has signed on to this project.