Cryptocurrency investing is quickly shifting from a hacker novelty to mainstream practice. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum have become so popular that major money management firms and central banks are taking this technology very seriously.
Investors have earned near-unbelievable returns from the leading cryptocurrency names over the last 24 months. Insane volatility combined with massive future potential has attracted both short-term traders and long-term investors to the fray.
Beyond simply creating a medium of exchange, the technological innovation at the heart of these currencies, known as the blockchain, is revolutionizing how business is conducted. Dozens of major banks and money management firms have pending projects in this space, including industry-leading names like Citi, Credit Suisse, UBS, and MetLife.
What has me most excited is the fact that everyday investors can easily get involved with this world-changing technology. In fact, one of the world's most popular cryptocurrencies is currently trading at just $0.18, allowing widespread participation regardless of your account size.
If you think it's too late to participate in what could be the most profitable market of all time, you are dead wrong. The industry is still in its infancy despite the explosive growth over the last year. There are hundreds of cryptocurrencies available -- the trick is finding those that have the best odds of becoming viable long term.
A Technology Set To Change The World
Blockchain technology is the key innovation driving the emergence of cryptocurrencies. Also known as distributed ledger technology (DLT), Blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions. It can be programmed to record anything of value.
Think of a transparent, continually updated, public, decentralized digital accounting ledger that is duplicated across a vast computer network. The ledger is designed so that each transaction or block is built upon the previous block. It is nearly impossible to scam the ledger since altering any single block on the chain will corrupt the entire chain. Not to mention the computing power cost needed to nefariously break into the chain is far more than the value obtained.
Financial institutions find this technology attractive for two main reasons: cost savings and transaction efficiency. Banco Santander has stated that Blockchain technology could result in up to $20 billion in savings per year.
Cryptocurrencies also protect transactions from the ephemeral nature of many governments and regulatory regimes. Without a central agency needed to maintain it, the blockchain can theoretically withstand the rise and fall of political powers. In other words, it puts the power back in the hands of the user and away from meddling, corrupt governments.
XRP Is Set To Soar By December 2018
I've located one cryptocurrency that could explode in value by late 2018. Ripple , traded under the symbol XRP, is a real-time gross settlement, money exchange, and remittance network built on the blockchain. Widely recognized as the fastest and most scalable digital asset enabling global payments, Ripple has taken the banking world by storm.
The company behind Ripple, also called Ripple, has the goal of building on the decentralized digital currency pioneered by bitcoin and "to do for money what the internet has done for information." In other words, the goal is to set money free from institutional bureaucracies.
Interestingly, Ripple was not designed to compete with bitcoin. It was developed to compliment bitcoin. The Ripple network's purpose is to allow the seamless transfer of any currency, including bitcoin.
Sound like a libertarian's fantasy? Well, that is exactly what I thought when I first heard the concept. But a little research quickly revealed that Ripple is far from a fringe dream. Many of the world's top banks are implementing the Ripple protocol. The company has also gained investments from major venture capital groups like Andreessen Horowitz and Lightspeed Venture Partners. In other words, the big players are taking Ripple very seriously.
Speed, scalability, and stability set Ripple apart from other Blockchain projects. Payments that take days with traditional systems, an hour with bitcoin, or several minutes with ethereum can be completed in four seconds with Ripple.
Ripple currently handles 1,500 transactions per second, 24/7, with the ability to scale up even further.
Ripple has been channeling in the $0.17 to $0.20 range for the last several weeks. Based on current conditions, Ripple could easily be worth $1 within the next 52 weeks and $5 over the next several years. Some pundits are calling for $20-plus per Ripple, eventually.
How To Buy Ripple
Ripple can easily be purchased by using other cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, and in some cases with regular currency, on a variety of exchanges. The easiest way I have found to buy Ripple with U.S. dollars is via www.kraken.com exchange.
Risks To Consider: Despite all the benefits of Ripple, the technology remains in its infancy. This means it is subject to obsolescence, competition, and innovation just like any other technology. The primary danger with Ripple is exchange risk. The 2014 Bitcoin debacle with the Mt. Gox exchange is proof that high risk levels exist within the unregulated exchanges.
Remember, only use money that you can afford to lose when investing in any cryptocurrency!
Action To Take: Consider adding Ripple to your portfolio as an ultra-high risk, ultra-high reward speculative investment.
Editor's Note: When a group of millionaires and billionaires gather in one place to reveal their favorite investment, you need to know about it. So our Chief Investment Strategist, Jimmy Butts, investigated what they discussed, including where they recommend you put your money in 2017... His full findings here .