2017 was a shit year for almost everything (our democracy, Rob Kardashian, etc.), but it was a great fucking year for Bitcoin. So if you’re hoping that 2018 is the year that
Trump gets indicted you get rich without having to try very hard or even be good at your job, then you might want to think about investing in cryptocurrency. Because anything that can come out of 2017 looking better than it did during the pre-Trump era must be pure fucking magic.
Yes, cryptocurrency is still new, and no, we aren’t entirely sure how it works—but 2018 should be about trying new things, like vegetables or not blacking out. So why not spend less of your paycheck on booze and more of it on your (potentially) richer future? And while it may be too late to get in on Bitcoin, it’s just the right time to bet on its earlier stage crypto alternatives. So if you feel like taking a risk in 2018 (and taking financial advice from a freelance pop culture writer), consider getting in on one of these babies.
As the third largest cryptocurrency out there rn, Ethereum is catching up to Bitcoin like Dave Franco’s career is catching up to his brother’s. Companies are betting on it because it’s also a computer network with enough power to store all the world’s
secrets transactions. It’s so popular that everyone wants to sit with it other currencies are being built on top of its network (IDK what that means, but it sounds fancy), and it’s grown almost 100x in the past year.
Number two on the crypto market and still cheap af (≈$2.50 each), Ripple has grown 375x this year and buys/sells faster than both Bitcoin and Ethereum (no more of that “your deposit will hit your bank account in three days” bullshit). Banks/governments are Ripple’s #1 fans because it’s somewhat centralized—meaning they can bet on crypto while not giving up control. Downside: the whole point of cryptocurrency was to decentralize the economy, so like, Ripple is kind of the Judas of cryptocurrency.
3. Bitcoin Cash
Bitcoin Cash was created from a fork among the OG Bitcoin nerds developers. I assume the breakup convo went something like this:
Bitcoin Cash nerds: We should make Bitcoin better, like with faster and cheaper transactions.
Bitcoin nerds: Nah dudes, we cool.
Bitcoin Cash nerd: Well fine then, we’ll just make our own.
And then one day (August 1, 2017) everyone who had Bitcoin woke up with an equal amount of Bitcoin cash. It was like a surprise buy-one-get-one-free sale, but the thing you got for free is now worth almost $3,000.
Remember like, 100 words ago when I said you can build currencies on top of Ethereum? Well, this is one of those. In addition to making all foods taste better, SALT is a currency/loan platform where you can take out a loan against the value of the cryptocurrency you own. It’s like a crypto credit card but instead of your personal information being stolen by an Equifax credit check and subsequent info breach, they just make sure you’re good for it. It’s a newbie and currently selling for ≈$12.60 a piece.
Most cryptocurrencies have a public ledger (transaction history) where anyone (like Trump, for example) could find out how deep you’re rollin’ in digital monies. But Monero is completely private. You can buy, sell, or trade this ish and no one will ever know. Okay yes, it sounds a little sketch. And sure, it’s v popular on the drug market. But if you want to keep your wealth on the DL so your dates keep paying for dinner, Monero is the secret currency for you. It’s also grown 30x in a year, so your secrets could get real big.
Not convinced? I don’t totally blame you. But why not buy like $20 worth of one of these coins and see what happens? (I’m riding the Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and SALT trains). Worst case scenario: you eat leftovers instead of takeout for one night. Best case scenario: You get fucking rich (well sorta—it’s only $20).