Forget dogecoin: Here are 5 under-the-radar altcoins you need to know

altcoins ripple litecoin

  • Notwithstanding the boom in bitcoin, altcoins are also finding gains.
  • “Altcoins are good for diversity in your investment portfolio,” said Tally Greenberg of Allnodes, staking and hosting platform for cryptocurrency investors.
  • Insider gives you a brief look at avalanche, cardano, polkadot, cosmos, and the graph.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

As bitcoin cements itself center stage as the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, flanked by the likes of ethereum and dogecoin, there’s a group of alternative coins rising on the periphery out of mainstream focus: avalanche, cardano, polkadot, cosmos, and the graph.

They’re all newer, more volatile, and smaller by market capitalization – and also offer higher possible returns, said Tally Greenberg, head of business development at Allnodes, a staking and hosting platform for cryptocurrency investors.

“Altcoins are good for diversity in your investment portfolio,” she said. “They are different from commodities and stocks. Therefore, they do not correlate with other traditional investment assets.”

Greenberg added that investors can get higher returns with altcoins, and can also earn some passive income through staking, a method where an investor holds or locks her cryptocurrencies to receive rewards. But the most compelling reason for Greenberg to invest in altcoins is the unique blockchain infrastructure that accompanies them, which she says offers immense future upside.

Antoni Trenchev, co-founder and managing partner of Nexo – a financial institution for digital assets – agreed that altcoins are slated for significant rallies this year.

“More and more alt-coins are getting on traders’ radars,” he said. “They are also putting ethereum under pressure as the top [decentralized finance] dog is becoming heavily congested due to the influx of users, developers, [decentralized application], DeFi protocols, and the [non-fungible token] craze.”

Harold Montgomery, managing director at digital payments platform Wirex, believes in the future of altcoins as well.

“These new currency systems will overcome the scalability and transaction speed limitations of bitcoin and ethereum which currently hinder their usefulness,” Montgomery said. “They will support billions of transactions, sometimes of very small size, enabling global commerce.”

Yet for some, including Mike Venuto, co-portfolio manager of a $1 billion ETF that focuses on blockchain technologies and companies dealing with cryptocurrencies, altcoins are still nascent.

“I think they are interesting ideas, but too early,” he said. “Many of these altcoins have great concepts but the protocols to support them need more adoption before they can succeed.”

Venuto added that even bitcoin is still in the process of establishing its own infrastructure. The same goes with ethereum.

Read more: The investing chief of a crypto hedge fund breaks down why he thinks bitcoin will achieve a $5 trillion market cap by 2023 – and shares 2 emerging areas of the asset class that he’s bullish on

Pankaj Balani, CEO at Delta Exchange, a digital asset derivatives exchange, shares the same skepticism, although is slightly more bullish when it comes to polkadot and cardano.

“We have seen bitcoin gain close to six times on the back of institutional participation,” Balani said. “The trend has however not been the same for altcoins. Though in some cases the absolute returns might be higher most of the coins have started to move only in January.”

Still, the rise of altcoins is drawing some attention for a couple of reasons. Insider gives you a look at five altcoins that are gaining traction:

1. Avalanche

Avalanche is a new blockchain that can process more transactions than ethereum at a much faster rate but at a lower cost. Greenberg said sees it as “a promising technology that does more for less.” For instance, if ethereum can support 30 transactions per second, avalanche can do the same for 4,300.

Why is it important? Greenberg points to the rise of new services such as decentralized finance or DeFi, and to the existing infrastructure for such projects.

2. Cardano

Cardano is also a new blockchain that positions itself as a positive global change, especially with its goal of providing access to financial services in developing countries. Greenberg also said it is more energy-efficient than bitcoin.

Why is it important? For Greenberg, investing in Cardano is for those who believe in its philosophy and approach. Further, the blockchain, she said, regularly updates and “seems to be on track in meeting their projections, which underlines consistency in the blockchain’s overall health.”

Read more: A Norwegian billionaire who just set up a $59 million unit to invest in the bitcoin ecosystem breaks down his 3-fold strategy – and shares why he believes the digital currency is ‘a solution rather than a problem’ to many of its perceived challenges

3. Polkadot

Polkadot is a Swiss blockchain born in the midst of a global pandemic. Jeffery Wang, head of Americas at The Amber Group, a cryptocurrency company, referred to it as “one of the most highly anticipated next-gen blockchains” as it enables developers to build their own blockchains and connect them with each other.

Among other reasons, Wang said Polkadot overcomes the scalability issues that are present in Ethereum. Greenberg and Wang noted that Polkadot is meant to complement Ethereum, not compete with it.

Why is it important? It is a new but promising technology that many dApps developers seem to be keen on, Greenberg said. She also added that the ability to communicate with many blockchains is crucial and encourages investing in polkadot if one believes in the future of decentralized applications.

4. Cosmos

Similar to Polkadot, Cosmos is an ecosystem of blockchain that offers interoperability, allowing an exchange of data between different blockchains. The blockchain of cosmos, however, Wang said, is independent and has its own consensus mechanism and validators to secure itself, unlike polkadot and ethereum.

Why is it important? Wang said investors who put money in cosmos are those that are looking for a solution “to help the entire blockchain sector advance by bringing different projects together,” not necessarily those who are looking to find a “winning blockchain-takes all scenario.”

5. The Graph

The Graph, only a few months old, is a decentralized and open-source indexing protocol for blockchain data, Wang explained. It is not as established just yet, but is called the “Google of Blockchains” by its advocates since the platform can be utilized to search for any data through simple queries.

Why is it important? – While it has little to show, for now, Greenberg and Wang believe that there is huge potential with the graph, particularly with how it can be used to index all blockchains and decentralized applications. The graph’s technology, Greenberg added, is already in use by Uniswap, which is a decentralized exchange.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Cryptocurrencies are attractive as a ‘small part’ of any portfolio, George Ball says

bitcoin
  • CEO of investment firmSanders Morris Harris, George Ball, said cryptocurrencies are “attractive” as a part of any portfolio.
  • Ball said he sees cryptocurrencies as an effective hedge against currency debasement.
  • The CEO also argued stock speculators will make the shift to crypto markets if there is a pullback in equities.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

George Ball told Yahoo Finance on Thursday that he believes cryptocurrencies are “attractive” as a “small part” of any portfolio.

Until recently, the chairman and CEO of investment firm Sanders Morris Harris had long been a critic of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

In a video call with Reuters last August, Ball told investors that it was time to buy bitcoin.

“I’ve never said this before, and I’ve always been a blockchain, cryptocurrency and bitcoin opponent. But if you look now, the government cannot stimulate markets forever, the liquidity flood will end,” Ball said.

Now, Ball is again making the case for investors to consider digital assets.

“With the cryptocurrencies, I think there is a fundamental hydra-headed shift that makes them attractive as a part, a small part, of almost any portfolio,” Ball said.

Ball told Yahoo Finance that he believes cryptocurrencies are now ideal targets for investment by wealthy individuals and institutional investors for two main reasons. First, Ball argued cryptocurrencies will be an effective hedge against the debasement of fiat currency.

“Longer-term if inflation is back, if we start to debase the currency badly, then the cryptocurrencies have a great deal of allure,” Ball said.

Secondly, Ball believes the increase in retail traders who speculate on stocks could lead to rising crypto prices. Ball said that the retail investor market has gone from “5% trading volume to 30%, to maybe 35%, of all volume today.”

The CEO said retail stock speculators will move to cryptocurrencies if they begin to face losses in the equity market.

“So if the investors are losing money in common stocks, but still want to speculate, then the cryptocurrencies I think will be the logical and likely next focus of their combined, individually small, but combined very large dollars,” the CEO said. 

Ball’s bullish view of cryptocurrencies comes amid a historic run for bitcoin, which hit record highs of over $58,000 per coin in February buoyed by institutional investment and interest from Tesla, MicroStrategy, and Square, among others.

And with high-flying tech stocks struggling, Ball’s prediction of a shift from stock speculation to crypto speculation may prove prescient.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Cryptocurrencies are attractive as a ‘small part’ of any portfolio, former Prudential Financial chief says

bitcoin
  • Former Prudential Financial CEO and current CEO of Sanders Morris Harris, George Ball, said cryptocurrencies are “attractive” as a part of any portfolio.
  • Ball said he sees cryptocurrencies as an effective hedge against currency debasement.
  • The CEO also argued stock speculators will make the shift to crypto markets if there is a pullback in equities.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Former Prudential Financial CEO George Ball told Yahoo Finance on Thursday that he believes cryptocurrencies are “attractive” as a “small part” of any portfolio.

Until recently, the chairman and CEO of investment firm Sanders Morris Harris had long been a critic of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

In a video call with Reuters last August, Ball told investors that it was time to buy bitcoin.

“I’ve never said this before, and I’ve always been a blockchain, cryptocurrency and bitcoin opponent. But if you look now, the government cannot stimulate markets forever, the liquidity flood will end,” Ball said.

Now, Ball is again making the case for investors to consider digital assets.

“With the cryptocurrencies, I think there is a fundamental hydra-headed shift that makes them attractive as a part, a small part, of almost any portfolio,” Ball said.

Ball told Yahoo Finance that he believes cryptocurrencies are now ideal targets for investment by wealthy individuals and institutional investors for two main reasons. First, Ball argued cryptocurrencies will be an effective hedge against the debasement of fiat currency.

“Longer-term if inflation is back, if we start to debase the currency badly, then the cryptocurrencies have a great deal of allure,” Ball said.

Secondly, Ball believes the increase in retail traders who speculate on stocks could lead to rising crypto prices. Ball said that the retail investor market has gone from “5% trading volume to 30%, to maybe 35%, of all volume today.”

The former Prudential Financial CEO said retail stock speculators will move to cryptocurrencies if they begin to face losses in the equity market.

“So if the investors are losing money in common stocks, but still want to speculate, then the cryptocurrencies I think will be the logical and likely next focus of their combined, individually small, but combined very large dollars,” the CEO said. 

Ball’s bullish view of cryptocurrencies comes amid a historic run for bitcoin, which hit record highs of over $58,000 per coin in February buoyed by institutional investment and interest from Tesla, MicroStrategy, and Square, among others.

And with high-flying tech stocks struggling, Ball’s prediction of a shift from stock speculation to crypto speculation may prove prescient.

Read the original article on Business Insider

‘Dr. Doom’ economist Nouriel Roubini says bitcoin is not a hedge against inflation and investors are ‘feeding the bubble’

Nouriel Roubini 4
Nouriel Roubini

  • Economist Nouriel Roubini renewed his pessimistic views on bitcoin in an interview with Yahoo Finance this week.
  • The professor said he sees bitcoin as a “pseudo-asset” that is pumped by “massive manipulation.”
  • Roubini also argued bitcoin isn’t a hedge against inflation or a store of value, because of its correlation with stocks.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Nouriel Roubini, an economist known as “Dr. Doom” for his bearish views, said bitcoin is not a hedge against inflation and investors are “feeding the bubble” in an interview with Yahoo Finance on Monday.

 “If people were really worried about inflation they would diversify in a wide range of assets that are historical good hedges against inflation. That’s not happening,” Roubini said.

“People say bitcoin’s a store of value against tail risk, but in February, March of last year when US stocks went down, say 35%, bitcoin was not a hedge, it went down by 50%” the economist added. “The reality is that no one knows what the value of this pseudo-asset is.”

Roubini has long been a critic of digital currencies, but after bitcoin hit a $1 trillion market cap last week the NYU professor has renewed his bearish calls. 

Roubini said he sees the digital currency as a volatile “pseudo-asset” and argued much of the price movement “is driven not by worries about inflation or debasement of fiat currencies,” but rather by “massive manipulation.”

The economist said that there are a number of schemes used by digital currency whales to push the price of bitcoin higher. In particular, he highlighted the stable coin tether as an example.

Roubini said tether is “produced out of nowhere with we don’t know which kind of backing and every other day there is another billion dollars of it that goes to buying bitcoin.”

“We know there are a whole bunch of legal investigations by the DOJ, CFTC, the attorney general’s office in New York, they are looking into what’s going on,” the economist added.

JPMorgan strategists including Josh Younger and Joyce Chang, also warned investors about tether in a note to clients last Thursday, per Bloomberg.

The analysts said Tether Limited is “engaged in a classic liquidity transformation along the lines of traditional commercial banks, but is not subject to the same strict supervisory and disclosure regime, and certainly does not have anything like deposit insurance.”

They also warned problems with Tether could lead to liquidity issues in the crypto market and that Tether Limited has “famously not produced an audit.”

Tether Limited announced a settlement with the New York AG for $18.6 million on Tuesday. The firm was accused of hiding $850 million in losses and has been under scrutiny to see whether it has sufficient cash reserves to back up all tether tokens in circulation, per CNBC.

Tether responded to questions about its business in a statement saying, “contrary to online speculation, after two and half years there was no finding that Tether ever issued tethers without backing, or to manipulate crypto prices.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Bitcoin vs. Gold: 10 experts told us which asset they’d rather hold for the next 10 years, and why

bitcoin vs gold 3
Bitcoin vs. Gold

As bitcoin continues its meteoric rise, breaching new records and crossing the $1 trillion market capitalization mark in just the last week, more investors are assessing the longstanding comparison between the famous cryptocurrency and an equally well-known asset class: gold

Both assets, experts say, are often seen as ways to diversify a portfolio or as a hedge against fiat currency inflation brought about by what some observers see as unsustainable fiscal and monetary policies.

Yet, until recently, it was rare to see Wall Street analysts, chief executives, or established investors seriously compare the two assets. Bitcoin, commonly referred to as digital gold, has historically been seen as a risky speculative investment for those looking to profit in the short term. Gold, meanwhile, has always been considered a safe-haven asset.

Now, bitcoin’s rapid ascent to over $57,000 per coin, backed by new investments from Tesla and other institutional names, has led some to question whether old assumptions about these assets are correct.

Given digital currencies’ dizzying climb, Insider surveyed 10 experts to see if they’d rather hold bitcoin or gold for the next 10 years, and why. We asked bitcoin bulls, gold lovers, analysts, executives, and more.

Read more: JPMorgan says buy these 40 stocks set to soar as bond yields make a surprising jump higher

Here’s what they had to say:

Holding Gold

  1. “My vote would be for gold because it has thousands of years of a historical record as a store of value, has one-fifth the volatility of bitcoin, and doesn’t face the same competition risk. The day that Queen Elizabeth trades in the five pounds of gold in her crown for crypto is the day I’ll shift course.” – David Rosenberg of Rosenberg Research, former Chief Economist and Strategist for Merrill Lynch Canada and Merrill Lynch in New York
  2. “Gold and silver have been stores of value and mediums of exchange for at least 4 millennia in every civilization in every corner of the world. It has unmatched accessibility to people of all economic standing and technological knowledge. And gold is the ultimate currency of central banks, silver of the people. There is room for cryptocurrencies too since their digital nature is a fundamental difference from gold and silver. But that characteristic also ensures that cryptocurrencies will never replace gold and silver and will ultimately improve the metal’s value.” – Phil Baker, President and CEO, Hecla Mining Company 
  3.  “Gold has long been considered to be the safe-haven asset of choice, and, while bitcoin is ‘the new kid on the block,’ it’s debatable that it will eat into gold’s market share for a number of reasons. Bitcoin and gold both have significant advantages over fiat currencies because neither can be diluted or debased. There is a possibility that bitcoin could one day cease to exist through hostile legislation. Some bitcoin derivatives have already been banned. Companies such as Facebook who have attempted to start crypto have been prevented from doing so. So, while bitcoin is a more recent form of investment that is certainly receiving a lot of hype, gold has retained its value through centuries. Whether bitcoin will offer the same level of longevity is highly questionable.” – Sylvia Carrasco, CEO and founder of the gold exchange platform Goldex. 
  4. “One of the assumptions underlying bitcoin’s bull case is its limited supply, but the supply of cryptocurrencies, on the whole, is theoretically unlimited. Some extol bitcoin as a portfolio diversifier, but it has so far exhibited higher correlations to equities than gold, particularly during periods of equity market stress when diversification tends to add the most value. The demand for bitcoin may be over its skis relative to its likelihood to carve out a significant economic or financial use case.” – Michael Reynolds, Investment Strategy Officer at Glenmede.
  5. “Both crypto and gold have passionate investor bases… However, there are very clear differences. Gold’s history as a basic building block of global money is 5,000 years old and time-tested; Bitcoin is 10 years old and has existed in only one monetary regime. The standard deviation of bitcoin’s price is 75%, making it a horrible store of value. Recent price history shows a large bias toward speculative interest, so much so that companies are tempted to include bitcoin on corporate balance sheets to help grow assets in excess of corporate performance. Crypto is a poor monetary substitute. In the US, filing your taxes requires a voluntary disclosure of your cryptocurrency profits. If a crypto trade automatically generated a statement to the IRS as a brokerage transaction does, the speculative outlook could dim.”- Robert Minter, Director of Investment Strategy, Aberdeen Standard Investments

Bitcoin Bulls

  1. “Bitcoin is a 100x improvement over gold as a store of value. The world is realizing this and beginning to reprice digital currency in real-time. Although bitcoin has increased hundreds of percent in the last few months, it is likely to continue appreciating in US dollar terms over the coming years. I suspect that bitcoin’s market cap will surpass gold’s market cap by 2030. For this reason, I own no gold and have a material percent of my net worth invested in bitcoin.” – Anthony Pompliano of Pomp Investments and Morgan Creek Digital Assets
  2. “The crypto bull run has seized the attention of millions of people who previously had never considered digital currencies like Bitcoin to be an alternative asset. While gold and bitcoin are both sometimes used as a means to diversify and hold a range of valuable assets, in many ways they are quite different. Bitcoin and other digital currencies can be easily traded on platforms. We have seen progressive global firms offering to receive payment in bitcoin and advocates such as Tesla taking an active role in promoting it. This liquidity, ease of exchange, and wider use in the modern economy are some of the major differentiators. Gold has a relatively defensive purpose- to hold value, whereas Bitcoin and other currencies are intended to have several uses, not least ease of exchange, purchase, and liquidity.” – Pavel Matveev, CEO, Wirex.
  3. “Based on the trajectory of this digital gold path and use cases globally, we believe bitcoin will be a mainstream asset class in the future. While gold has clear value and safety, the upside in bitcoin is eye-popping if it stays on its current course over the next decade.” – Daniel Ives Managing Director and Senior Equity Research Analyst at Wedbush Securities
  4. “Gold is, no pun intended, the standard if you want to measure purchasing power over millennia. The liquidity of gold has been consistent over time. Gold is what defines the X-axis of purchasing power over time. Bitcoin, while it shares defensive qualities with gold, has the additional attribute of being aspirational. What bitcoin would seem to possess is the potential to go up to multiples of a moonshot. No one thinks gold will moonshot. Bitcoin is also finite, unlike gold. No increase in demand can change that. There is zero elasticity.” – JP Thierot, CEO of Uphold, a digital money platform 
  5. “I would probably pick bitcoin but why not both? Gold and bitcoin have a very similar aspect to the portfolio. I would add gold as a diversifier. I would add bitcoin as a diversifier. The hedge is diversification. Bitcoin is a tool to get there. Bitcoin is a hedge to losing money to something stable.” – Mike Venuto, co-portfolio manager of the Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF, a $1 billion ETF.
Read the original article on Business Insider

Bitcoin above $51,000 is unsustainable unless volatility subsides, says JPMorgan

Bitcoin 1
  • Bitcoin’s current price above $51,000 is “unsustainable” unless volatility subsides, JPMorgan said in a note. 
  • Strategists estimate a large portion of recent flows into the token have been driven by speculation. 
  • If the token’s volatility converges to that of gold, bitcoin could reach $146,000, they added.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Bitcoin’s current price is “unsustainable” unless the cryptocurrency’s volatility dies down, according to JPMorgan.

The cryptocurrency flew to new heights above $52,800 on Friday morning, bringing its year-to-date gains to more than 80% as the breakneck rally powers ahead. Just one year ago, bitcoin traded around $10,000.

The cryptocurrency has achieved the fastest-ever price appreciation of any “must-have asset” to which it is often compared, like Gold in the 1970’s and internet stocks in the 1990’s, noted JPMorgan. But the rally has left wary investors reminded of the mania in 2017 that ended in a steep drop. 

Strategists led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou wrote in Tuesday note that unless bitcoin’s price swings subside “quickly from here,” the current rally could end in disappointment. 

The strategists estimate that $11 billion of institutional money has flown into bitcoin since the end of September, but they say  a large portion of that has been dominated by “speculative investors seeking to front run other more real-money institutional investors.”

Despite the firm’s short-term caution, JPMorgan sees bitcoin’s price growing significantly higher in the long run.

If bitcoin’s volatility converges to that of gold, JPMorgan has a “theoretical price target” of $146,000. However the strategists said this convergence would be a “multi-year process” and would also depend on bitcoin ownership tilting more institutional and less retail over the coming years.

“For the bitcoin market cap to match the total private sector investment in gold via ETFs or bars and coins, we estimate that mechanically bitcoin prices would need to rise to $146k,” JPMorgan added. 

Read the original article on Business Insider