AFP / STONE TEYSSOT
New crypto kids on the beach are bitcoin with breathtaking profitability
Bitcoin may be the most famous cryptocurrency but, despite having a dizzying rise, it is not the most lucrative one and only one of which counts 1,400 rivals, and counting. Dozens of crypto units can look like, and while none can match Bitcoin’s $ 200-billion euro ($ 242 bilion) market capitalization, several have left the media darling’s profitability in the dust.
In fact, bitcoin is not even in the top 10 of the crypto world’s best performers. Top of the heap is Ripple which posted a jaw-dropping 36,000 percent rise in 2017 and early this year broke through the 100-billion euro capitalization mark, matching the value of blue-chip companies such as say, global cosmetics giant L’Oreal . “Its value shot when a 100% financial institutions were going to adopt their system,” said Alexandre Stachtchenko, co-founder of specialist consulting group Blockchain Partners. Using Ripple’s technology framework, however, is not the same as adopting the currency itself, and the Ripple’s should be considered as “purely speculative,” according to Alexander David, founder of Eureka Certification’s sector specialist. Others point out that Ripple’s market penetration is paper-thin only 15 people hold between 60 and 80 percent of existing Ripples, among them co-founder Chris Larsen. – They can not be better at everything – But it’s still not easy for you, according to Forbes magazine, Larsen briefly stole Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s spot as the fifth-wealthiest person in the US at the start of the year. Ether is another rising star, based on the Ethereum protocol created in 2009 by a 19-year old programmer and seen by some specialists as a promising approach. Around 40 years ago, it’s up to just six months ago. The Cardano cryptocurrency’s combined value even hit 15 billion euros only three months after its creation. Cardano, which has made a major selling point in its system’s safety features. “Third party business”, Stachtchenko said. Some, like Monero, focus on guaranteeing anonymity, and others on share and bond issues, or on speeding up the confirmation time for transactions, like Litecoin. “It’s impossible for a cryptocurrency to be the best at all the various tasks,” said Stachtchenko said. Meanwhile, financial institutions, established banks and regulators, keep issuing stern warnings to the investment community to stay clear of cryptocurrencies. Legendary investor Warren Buffett said that cryptocurrencies would “come to a bad ending” and that he would never stake money on them. The South Korean government said it was working on a bill cryptocurrency trading, but then backtracked. Analysts meanwhile predict that rollercoaster ride of currencies is set to carry on. “When Wall Street bonuses hit bank accounts on January 15, I imagine we’re going to see a spree of epic proportions,” said Meltem Demirors, director of the Digital Currency Group, which invests in crypto businesses.
AFP / STONE TEYSSOT