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The year 2017 was an exceptional year for cryptocurrencies. Crypto buyers made killing profits on minimal investments riding the craze for these new products. The current year is witnessing higher investor interest, with millions seeking answers to the question, “Which are the best cryptocurrencies ruling the roost in 2018?”

Going by market surveys, you’ll see the same catalog of favorites figuring repeatedly in rankings.  As on date, Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP) continue to secure prime billing as top cryptos lording the arena. To an extent, the faith reposed in these cryptos is justified. After all, these are the pioneers and trendsetters.  But many experts feel that the relatively newer cryptos on the block are giving the major contenders a run for their money.

Our Top Picks for Best Cryptocurrency Category in 2018

The EOS Development Platform

Dan Larimer’s EOS Development Platform, using Block One, similar to Ethereum’s Blockchain, is an exciting new crypto platform launched in July 2017.  EOS is giving serious competition to Ethereum. We may witness a good number of crypto projects migrating to this platform in the near future, making EOS a star cryptocurrency performer in 2018.

Setting a blistering pace of 50,000 transactions per second, EOS gained a market cap of $12.5 billion, steadily gaining ground on Ethereum’s market cap of $133.5 billion. Right now, buying EOS directly isn’t an option, but investors can make a beginning by creating accounts at Coinbase and Binance to get their hands on EOS. Investors locking in for a five-year period are likely to see revenue growth scaling 811 percent.

NEO – The Chinese Ethereum

NEO is Ethereum’s fast-growing Chinese competitor processing over 1000 transactions per second compared to ETHs 15. Though the ETHs developer platform offers a vigorous base for app growth, NEO’s Ontology project is already valued at a billion dollars. NEOs compatibility with Java and Python makes developing faster and cheaper on NEO as compared to ETH which is confined to its own solidity language.

In an environment where cryptos are increasingly coming under government regulation, NEO has a solid advantage; NEO is sourcing private blockchains for use by Chinese businesses. NEO also has the infrastructure to provide blockchain solutions for the Chinese government.

The Chinese government would likely back NEO because it is a homegrown product with the potential of displacing ETH which is of western origin. Going by China’s expanding economic footprint, NEO stands a better chance of being adopted by allies and countries that are economically linked to China.

NEO’s regionally captive market makes it a strong contender for the best cryptocurrency in 2018. NEO has a great future as a steady income earner. Investing in NEOs earns you NEO Gas dividends scaling 3.36% per year, which compares favorably with what Bankers offer (0.5 percent/ annually) on short-term deposits.

The world’s largest exchange, Binance is your best window for getting NEO. But there’s a snag; you can’t exchange conventional currency for NEO. You buy Bitcoin through Coinbase and trade that in Binance for NEO.

ICON Cryptocurrency (ICX)

ICON, emerging in October 2017, and supported by South Korea, is already in the top cryptocurrency listings. Icon creates a common ecosystem bridging various industries like healthcare, banks, and insurance, each using its individual blockchain. To illustrate this, let’s assume there’s a hospital processing patients through its blockchain on ICON. If the patient needs insurance cover, ICON ensures that the Insurance Company’s blockchain processes the patient’s insurance application as a smart contract.

It’s a huge plus point that ICON’s blockchain makes it possible to go for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). Once South Korea legalizes ICOs, ICON will become a major platform enabling full ICO services, a role that was dominated by Ethereum.

There are other developments that make ICON a trendsetter:

  • ICON presents users with Blockchain ID. You no longer need to physically send your ID proofs to users because the same information can be verified directly in the blockchain.
  • ICON steals a march over the competition because it supports Artificial Intelligence (AI). Their in-house AI solution is called DAVinCI.

Binance accounts for almost 60 percent of ICON trading, so that’s the exchange to go to for buying ICON. Again, much like NEO, you have to resort to Coinbase to acquire Bitcoin for trading ICON.

Power Ledger – Supporting Inexpensive, Renewable Energy Ventures

This is the go-to product for an environmentally conscious investor. Partly funded by the Australian government, this is a green energy trading platform that has forged effective partnerships:

  • Renewable power generator BCPG, backed by the Thai government, has forged a partnership with Power Ledger to improve Thailand’s green energy infrastructure.
  • The clean energy company, Helpanswers signed an MOU with Power Ledger to power hundreds of renewable energy projects covering North America.
  • The German Liechtenstein Institute for Strategic Development has partnered with Power Ledger to boost its renewable energy thrust in Europe.
  • Sydney, Australia-based Origin Energy has partnered with Power Ledger to explore solar energy trading in Australia.

Power Ledger’s electrifying partnerships and government backing supplement its eco-friendly message, making it a promising investment destination for the ethical crypto investor.

WaBi – Incentivizing the Scanning of Anti-Counterfeit Trackers

The market capitalization of $28.5 million makes WaBi a highly undervalued cryptocurrency. But you ignore it at your peril. There’s an immense investor potential and solid reasons to back it. WaBi is the ethical investor’s delight in its mission to fight the counterfeit commodity market in China. Using a supply chain tracking app, customers can use WaBi to trace the entire journey of any product from manufacturing to distribution and retail outlet. If the item is compromised, the app will send an alert to the customer.

The market for WaBi’s growth is huge considering the fact that China has a $420 billion industrial market that is exposed to the threat of counterfeiting. This cryptocurrency has a huge following among retail traders that use WaBi coins to promote their loyalty programs. These coins extend the reach of customers to a wider chain of retail stores.

The Bottom-Line: These Are Your Safest Cryptocurrency Investment Options for 2018

For the onlooker, the cryptocurrency market boom appears jaw-droppingly attractive. But this market is extremely volatile, pushing you skyward as often as it edges you over the cliff. It’s important to choose your priorities; whether it’s going to be a short-term speculative gain or a long-term investment. Whichever way your decision swings, we’ve presented the safest bets for 2018. The icing on the cake for crypto investors is that some of our cryptocurrency choices are deep-seated in Asian economies that are growing exponentially.