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Which Cryptocurrency Will Win the Digital Coin War?

Right now we’re in the MySpace era of digital currency. Which cryptocurrency will be the next Facebook? It won’t be bitcoin.

The simple answer is no one knows which cryptocurrencies will be at the forefront of the digital revolution. The next big cryptocurrency may even be one that hasn’t been developed yet.

Certain cryptocurrencies do stand out as contenders for the crown, however.

The Definition of Victory

To proclaim a victor you have to know what exactly victory means.

To me, a winner in the cryptocurrency space is one that has the majority of market share, has at least two use cases and has global adoption.

Presently, the “winner” is bitcoin, but bitcoin has some key weaknesses. So the crypto that holds the crown will likely change. Here are bitcoin’s weaknesses:

  • Weak use case. Mainly used as a store of value (to hold).
  • Ridiculously small amount of transactions per second. This limits how much bitcoin can be transferred from person to person.
  • Energy consumption. Miners are incentivized to generate coins, which consumes tons of energy and harms the environment.

To be clear I believe that bitcoin will always have a place as “the father of crypto” and that its value will increase over the years. However, I’m not so sure it will remain the #1 cryptocurrency in the space.

Cryptocurrencies to Keep an Eye On

It’s important to note that there will be multiple winners in the crypto space. There will be a best “currency” style of coin. There will be a best “cloud storage” type of coin. There will be a best “decentralized app” coin.

That being said, there will also be an overall winner.

Contender #1: NEO

NEO is basically an upgraded Ethereum. It is trying to do the same things Ethereum does with much better scalability. Neo can perform 1,000 transactions per second, while Ethereum can only perform 15.

Additionally, NEO has ties to China and has been developed with regulatory compliance in mind. NEO has literally been built from the ground up with the goal of gaining regulatory acceptance.

If NEO is the first coin accepted by regulators, it will explode.

If Ethereum is considered a second generation coin, NEO would be considered third generation.

Contender #2: IOTA

Contender #2 is much more speculative than contender #1. I place IOTA here based more on its potential than what it currently has.

IOTA uses a technology that theoretically allows for limitless scaling. The more people join IOTA’s network, the faster it goes. In theory. Whether this ends up being true, we shall see.

Additionally, there are security concerns due to the way IOTA’s network functions. Thus far these are theoretical however and there haven’t been any problems.

Let’s focus on the positives of IOTA:

  • No fees. You instead pay in electricity, sort of like a cryptocurrency miner. At a standard electricity cost of $0.11/kilowatt hour, you can make over 10,000 transactions for less than a dollar. That’s insane!
  • Starting to be adopted: Taipei City is using IOTA for digital citizen cards. You can also access the data stream of any IOTA connected platform on the IOTA data marketplace. For example, you could purchase access to an IOTA weather sensor in London.
  • Very early in the adoption cycle: This is actually a good thing. The coins you can see 1000x growth in are the ones that haven’t achieved mass adoption yet.

There are some downsides to IOTA that are important to keep in mind. IOTA’s developers have made some very bold statements about the technology, which likely have been factored into the price. This gives me a very anxious feeling in my gut regarding purchasing a large amount of it.

If these bold claims have been baked into the price, then they turn out to be false, watch out.

Contender #3: NEM

Featuring a head-turning 4,000 transactions per second, NEM is a force to be reckoned with.

NEM is a newer cryptocurrency whose focus is on making integration with corporations easier.

It already has a partnership with the government-owned Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, which is a great start.

If NEM becomes the go-to solution for all corporations that want to integrate with the blockchain, it could shoot up into the top three cryptos easily.

NEM is also focusing on being used as a cryptocurrency through its innovative Proof of Importance technology.

Proof of Importance is similar to Proof of Stake but has some key differences:

Proof of Stake essentially rewards users for hoarding coins while Proof of Importance rewards users for trading them on the network and moving transactions around.

I’m optimistic regarding NEM. It shows intelligence and potential by trying to be as simple as possible for businesses. It also foresaw a potential issue with Proof of Stake and addressed it successfully.

Which Crypto Is at the Forefront?

Between NEO, IOTA and NEM, which is #1?

I would say that NEM is #1. IOTA is #2 and NEO is #3. Why?

Because outside of the dev team not many people understand NEO’s code. It’s either very poorly documented as open source code, or it’s secretive and privately held. Either way you should beware.

IOTA has loads of promise, but it’s just that – promise. We haven’t seen the tech implemented at large scale yet and have no way to know how it will actually perform.

Finally, there’s NEM. NEM was recently adopted by Tutellus, a huge vindication for NEM. Tutellus chose to switch from Ethereum to NEM.

Tutellus is an innovative education technology and one of the few ICOs that seems like it may be legit.

As I mentioned before, NEM is also targeting corporations around the world.

It also wants to be the go-to cryptocurrency using its innovative Proof of Importance technology.

Therefore theoretically there should be a lot more fluidity and activity going on in a Proof of Importance network than a Proof of Stake one, which is a good thing.

The more I look into NEM the more I like it. NEM is one hell of a cryptocurrency despite its age and I strongly recommend it.

Regardless, you probably can’t go wrong with any of the three I’ve mentioned provided you buy at the right time. Personally, I’m going to put some money into NEM & IOTA at some point.

I’m going to look back at my analysis of these three cryptos in a year or so and see where each of them is. When I do, I’ll link to that article here.

Here’s hoping they moon! Rock on crypto bros.

About the Author Will Salisbury

Will Salisbury is the co-founder of Blockchain Decrypted and full-time cryptocurrency trader. He also hosts the Blockchain Decrypted podcast, and when he's not talking or writing about blockchain technology and cryptos, he likes to play games and relax in his home state of Michigan.