6 Cryptocurrencies I Just Added to my Portfolio for their Huge ROI Potential – Part 2

…and I’m back with the other three cryptocurrencies I recently added to my portfolio.

But, first of all, I went through all of your comments on my previous posts and I have a few things to mention before moving forward.

The first thing I want to point out is my thought on holding BTC, ETH or BCH. They’re all amazing coins, heck! they’re three of the top four cryptos out there today and they are here to stay, no doubt about that. However, since I’m looking for 100x returns (at least) on my investments, I don’t see a good reason for holding these coins in my portfolio. Using BTC for shopping or keeping your savings in bitcoin instead of fiat currency, that’s another thing. But hoping for a 500x return on ETH is very optimistic. I can’t say it’s impossible, given the volatility of this market, but it is not that realistic, IMHO.

As for other strong coins, like Dash, Monero, Zcash, I consider them to be kind of expensive, although I know this term is relative in today’s crypto landscape. Again, I don’t see Dash at $340 * 500 = $170k anytime soon. And, to be honest, I would like to benefit from my investment during this lifetime.

Finally, you shouldn’t take my portfolio or analysis for granted and decide to put your money into XRP, STORJ or CVC just because it scored X out of 10 points (where X > 7) in my 10-steps analysis. Always do your own research and evaluation of a coin!

As you can see, there are a lot of political, financial or human factors that can crash the market within a short timeframe. We have China playing around with ICOs and exchanges, we have new players slowly replacing China, like Japan or South Korea and we also see people like Jamie Dimon talking bullshit about BTC, just so JP Morgan can then buy some coins cheaper. And we also have the plain old FUDders, spread all over the place, trolling every Slack, Telegram or Discord channel available.

Having that said, I hope you’ll make the best decisions when it comes to investing your money into crypto, especially if you’re in the long-term game, as I am.

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Let’s see the 10 items on my list of criteria before diving into the analysis:

*A. The whitepaper. Is it clear and describes the project in detail?
*B. Do I feel like this technology will solve an existing issue?
*C. Are there any founders/developers/special advisors with a solid background?
*D. Is there a well-established and active community? (Slack, Telegram, Discord, Twitter and so on)
*E. Is the current price low enough to believe in a future 100x return?
*F. How high is the circulating supply of coins? The higher the circulating supply, the more trading volume the coin needs in order to have a considerable rise in price.
*G. Are there any current or announced partnerships with big names in the industry?
*H. Is there any existing product/prototype/alpha version for this technology?
*I. Does the technology solve a particular issue or tries to be the jack of all trades? (to not be confused with point B. Here, it’s very important to me if the team tries to address a particular problem and do it well, rather than trying to build X apps and platforms all at once, which can be counterproductive, especially when having a small team or budget)
*J. Does the Fibonacci retracement technique reveal a good entry point to buy right now? (More about Fibonacci retracement here: goo.gl/qqSZfC)

Now, let me reveal the last three coins I have in my portfolio, each of them being evaluated using the same system I used in my previous posts.

A. 1 point – I would give more than 1 point to district0x’s whitepaper (goo.gl/xpHCzs), but I don’t want to break my own scoring system. Other ICOs and existing projects should use this whitepaper as a reference, simply because it’s neither too short nor too long (22 pages), it has a Table of Contents (heard that, Sia?), a roadmap (although not very detailed), a list of team members and advisors, the token distribution system explained and, most importantly, it provides a clear picture of the technology and purpose of this project. The district0x Network is a collection of decentralized marketplaces and communities and it will enable the recreation of many of the Internet’s most popular applications and services. Read more in the document.

B. 1 point – Yes, district0x will create decentralized marketplaces and I’ll give you an example shortly.

C. 1 point – The founder of district0x, Matus Lestan, is also the lead developer of the project, which is one thing I definitely like. He has a good background in software development and also cybersecurity (being OSCP certified). The team also has three advisors, one of them being Brayton Williams, Co-Founder and Partner at Boost VC, an accelerator and seed fund in Silicon Valley focused on cryptocurrencies/blockchain, VR/AR, AI/bots and other Sci-Fi related technologies. Vincent Zhou and Carl Bennett are the other two advisors that will help the district0x project grow.

D. 1 point – Yes, district0x has a Telegram group of over 1.6k members, more than 3.8k Reddit subscribers and 15.1k Twitter followers. They also have a periodical live stream discussing new community submitted proposals, so that’s a big plus.

E. 1 point – Yes, DNT is currently at $0.037, so very cheap compared to the price it can get to in the future, if the project is correctly implemented.

F. 0.5 points – There are 1,000,000,000 DNT in total, with a current circulating supply of 600,000,000 tokens.

G. 0.5 points – They announced a partnership with the 0x project a few months ago on their blog: “We believe in the ability to choose, which is why we are excited to announce our partnership with the 0x Project to embed their protocol into markets on the district0x Network, giving users the ability to pay and receive payment in the ERC20 token of their choice.”. They are also supported by BoostVC, Fintech Blockchain Group and CoinFund. However, I wasn’t able to find any spectacular partnerships, so 0.5 points here.

H. 1 point – Yes, there are several listed on their website. The most famous one is Ethlance, a “decentralized job market for everyone from freelancers to full-time career seekers alike.”

I. 1 point – Yes, they do solve a particular issue – marketplace decentralization.

J. 1 point – The price of DNT is currently under the 78.6% Fib retracement level, given its latest huge spike a month ago and its recent low this month.

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TOTAL POINTS: 9 / 10

A. 0.5 point – A well-structured whitepaper (goo.gl/QZ5oUm), explaining the vision, purpose and technology behind the BlockCAT project and also touching on the “Why?” question that led to this idea and the use cases where it may apply. However, it would’ve been great to see the team and advisors of the project inside the document. BlockCAT is going to be a “platform for creating and deploying smart contracts in an accessible fashion by delivering a device-agnostic web portal and a broad set of configurable templates for rapidly constructing, deploying, and optionally extracting data.”, with zero programming knowledge required.

B. 1 point – Yes, the creation of smart contracts without the need for knowing any programming.

C. 0.5 points – Eric Huang is the founder of BlockCAT, although a full list of team members is very hard to find (that’s why they lost 0.5 points here). However, Eric is a really smart guy, having a BS degree in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia and working as a Teaching Assistant, Project Lead, Software Engineer and Research Assistant for the same university over the past 4 years.

D. 0.5 points – The community is still in its infancy (but growing steadily), with 3.5k followers on Twitter and a new (and not-so-active) Discord channel. The project definitely needs more social media marketing and a more active community.

E. 1 point – Yes, the current price is at $0.83, although a month ago it was well above $4.5. So there’s a lot of potential for growth there.

F. 1 point – The total supply is 9,200,151 CAT and there are currently just over 7 million CATs in circulation. Very low numbers, compared to 90% of the other cryptocoins.

G. 0 points – I haven’t found any partnerships.

H. 1 point – Yes, there is an alpha version of the platform at https://alpha.blockcat.io/

I. 1 point – Yes, it does solve a particular issue and they seem to be pretty focused on that thing alone.

J. 1 point – I wasn’t able to perform a Fibonacci retracement on Coinigy or Tradingview, as I did so far, because I haven’t found the CAT coin in their database, but, judging from the chart on coinmarketcap.com, the price is very low compared to previous levels, so this can be an ideal entry point.

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TOTAL POINTS: 7.5 / 10

A. 1 point – This is probably the best whitepaper (goo.gl/8b5voU) I’ve ever had the chance to read. Great structure and formatting, has a table of contents, a detailed description of the project and its applications, the team, partners and board of directors, a clear and detailed roadmap, a market analysis, information about the token sale and more. Power Ledger is a “trustless, transparent and interoperable energy trading platform”. Basically, people who produce more energy than they are able to consume (through solar panels, for instance) will have the chance to sell that energy to their neighbors, instead of the power provider, and get paid for it at much better prices. And this is only one of the applications of this project. Find them all inside the whitepaper.

B. 1 point – A big, resounding YES here.

C. 1 point – Another huge point here. Bill Tai (goo.gl/ap1Rd1) is the main board advisor of the project. Bill Tai has a BSEE degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School. He is also a board member at Scribd, Voxer, BitFury and TreasureData and an Adjunct Professor of Innovation & Economic Development at Curtin University. Dr. Jemma Green Jemma, the Chair of Power Ledger, has more than 15 years experience in finance and risk advisory, having worked for 11 years in investment banking in London. Whilst there, she completed a Master’s degree and two postgraduate diplomas from Cambridge University. This project has one of the best teams I’ve seen behind an ICO and the overall feeling it transmits is high confidence.

D. 1 point – Although in the ICO stage, Power Ledger already has a rapidly growing community, with over 7.2k Twitter followers, 4.4k Facebook followers and more than 3.7k active members in the Telegram group.

E. 1 point – Yes, Power Ledger’s token sale is still open: https://mainsale.powerledger.io/

F. 1 point – According to the information on the token sale page, there will be 140 million POWR tokens available, so a very decent number, generally speaking.

G. 1 point – I will let you find out all the partners in the Partners section of the whitepaper or see the screenshots below. Power Ledger currently has a lot of organizations by their side, with many more to be announced.

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H. 0.5 points – The Power Ledger team is currently working on the first phase of the project and, according to their roadmap, we should see the first applications in beta testing very soon “(Q4 2017): The first Applications to be in beta testing after the Token Sale will be the Microgrid / Embedded Network Operator/Strata and the Electric Vehicle Trading Applications.”. So, given that we are very close to the first release and I do believe 100% in the team’s ability to deliver on time, I gave them 0.5 points instead of none. I hope I’m not going to be disappointed.

I. 1 point – The project tries to solve the issue of power exchange between individual users and creates a trading platform to facilitate this kind of transactions.

J. 1 point – Unfortunately, being still in the ICO stage, I cannot provide a Fibonacci retracement chart, due to the lack of data from any exchange. However, I have a feeling that buying now is a good decision (that I already made), given the high chances that the price will go up after the token sale ends. This is just a hunch I have, nothing more. Of course, proceed buying if and only if you read all about the project and the team and you consider it to be a potential superstar a few years from now. I certainly do.

TOTAL POINTS: 9.5 / 10

That’s it, guys! This is my complete portfolio in September of 2017. Will I invest in more ICOs? Maybe, if there’s one that really gets me excited. Will I buy more of the coins I already have? Definitely, but this doesn’t apply to all of them, most probably. It really depends on whether they evolve according to their roadmaps and improve their products. For instance, if one year from now I will see Sia at the same stage it is today, then I will definitely sell all my SC and throw them at Storj. I really believe in the technology and ideas behind Sia and Storj, but I won’t keep my money invested in a stagnant project. We shall see.

Before I wrap up, here’s a short recap of my portfolio, along with the score each of them got as a result of my 10-steps analysis.

  1. PowerLedger (POWR) – TOTAL POINTS: 9.5 / 10
  2. TenX (PAY) – TOTAL POINTS: 9.5 / 10
  3. Civic (CVC) – TOTAL POINTS: 9.5 / 10
  4. Storj (STORJ) – TOTAL POINTS: 9.5 / 10
  5. OmiseGo (OMG) – TOTAL POINTS: 9 / 10
  6. Ripple (XRP) – TOTAL POINTS: 9 / 10
  7. Stratis (STRAT) – TOTAL POINTS: 9 / 10
  8. Golem (GNT) – TOTAL POINTS: 9 / 10
  9. district0x (DNT) – TOTAL POINTS: 9 / 10
  10. Steem (STEEM) – TOTAL POINTS: 8.5 / 10
  11. 0x (ZRX) – TOTAL POINTS: 8.5 / 10
  12. Bitquence (BQX) – TOTAL POINTS: 8 / 10
  13. Aventus (AVT) – TOTAL POINTS: 7.5 / 10
  14. BitShares (BTS) – TOTAL POINTS: 7.5 / 10
  15. BlockCAT (CAT) – TOTAL POINTS: 7.5 / 10
  16. Sia (SC) – TOTAL POINTS: 6.5 / 10

Now, as I did at the end of a previous post, I must confess, I’m also keeping my eye on:

  • Kyber Network (KNC)
  • PivX (PIVX)
  • Iconomi (ICN)
  • IOTA (MIOTA)

In my next posts, I will keep you all updated, once a week, on the latest news, progress and token prices for all my (16) coins.

Photo Source: http://www.todayonline.com/business/jamie-dimon-says-his-eventual-successor-works-jpmorgan

6 Cryptocurrencies I Just Added to my Portfolio for their Huge ROI Potential – Part 1

As you’ve seen in my previous post, I have decided to take the long-term approach when it comes to cryptocurrency investing and to reveal my portfolio in front of everyone.

Moreover, I went ahead and focused on the WHYs when it comes to each coin I have put my money into, because I am a strong believer in the idea of having a calculated and well-argued reason behind your every decision. Even if it turns out to be a bad one, even if I lose all the money I’ve invested, there lessons to be learned and applied in the future.

So, I developed my own 10-steps (A to J) “grading” system, which helps me decide whether to invest in a coin or not.

Remember, you’re not actually investing in a coin, but rather in a project, a vision and a team’s potential.

If you’re nothing more than a day trader, that’s fine, good luck to you! But I’m not in this business to flip coins, buy one at 20 cents and sell it at 25, also not here for a 2x or 5x or even 10x profit. My goal is that at least one of the coins I invest into generates 100x profit, if not even more. Also, I am willing to wait and hold my coins until one of them reaches 1000x. Am I a dreamer? Certainly not, because that did happen in the past.

Anyway, having that said, let me reveal the 6 coins (5 already established ones and an ICO I found very interesting) I have invested in this week and, most importantly, WHY? Again, I will use my assessment system to answer that question. I will reveal the first three of them today and the other three in my next post, so you can digest the information better.

One more thing, please remember I am looking for high-potential, low-cost coins, that can have a huge ROI a few years from now. So, if you’re asking me why Dash or Litecoin or Monero isn’t on my list, it’s because I cannot image Dash going to $30k or $300k, given its current price of roughly $300+. It’s as simple as that. Not that it isn’t a great coin/project, it’s just that I don’t see the massive ROI.

Before we begin, please note that this post and the ones that follow are not professional financial advice. You should always research the projects and cryptocurrencies on your own and make an educated decision based on your findings. I cannot advise you what to do with your money.

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Let’s see the 10 items on my list of criteria before diving into the new coins:

*A. The whitepaper. Is it clear and describes the project in detail?
*B. Do I feel like this technology will solve an existing issue?
*C. Are there any founders / developers / special advisors with a solid background?
*D. Is there a well-established and active community? (Slack, Telegram, Discord, Twitter and so on)
*E. Is the current price low enough to believe in a future 100x return?

Additional parameters I look at:

*F. How high is the circulating supply of coins? The higher the circulating supply, the more trading volume the coin needs in order to have a considerable rise in price.
*G. Are there any current or announced partnerships with big names in the industry?
*H. Is there any existing product / prototype / alpha version for this technology?
*I. Does the technology solve a particular issue or tries to be the jack of all trades? (to not be confused with point B. Here, it’s very important to me if the team tries to address a particular problem and do it well, rather than trying to build X apps and platforms all at once, which can be counterproductive, especially when having a small team or budget)
*J. Does the Fibonacci retracement technique reveals a good entry point to buy right now? (More about Fibonacci retracement here: goo.gl/qqSZfC)

A. 1 point – Short (16 pages long) and to the point whitepaper (goo.gl/ieRDCu). Stated right from the beginning, “OmiseGO is building a decentralized exchange, liquidity provider mechanism, clearinghouse messaging network, and asset-backed blockchain gateway”. And, boy, do we need a decentralized exchange!

B. 1 point – As I said above, definitely yes.

C. 1 point – Jun Hasegawa (goo.gl/VQm93j), the CEO of the Omise company, which is a is a venture-backed payments company operating in Thailand, Japan, Singapore, and Indonesia, has a solid background (over two decades) as a CEO and Director. Among the huge team of advisors, OmiseGO has Vitalik Buterin on their side. Should I say more? Check out all of them in the About section on their official website.

D. 1 point – There are over 10k members in the Slack omise_go channel and more than 58k followers on the OmiseGO Twitter page (which is a very active page, by the way).

E. 0.5 points – The OMG token is at $8.06 at the time of this writing, so it’s kind of hard to see a 1000x return anytime soon. But 100x, sure, I can see that!

F. 1 point – There is a current circulating supply of 98,312,024 OMG out of the total of 140,245,398 OMG, so a more than decent number here.

G. 1 point – Omise definitely has a lot of investors on their side, like SBI Investment or SMBC, a fresh partnership with McDonalds Thailand and a lot of buzz around potential partnerships with Apple or Google.

H. 0.5 points – They do have a Product page on the website (https://www.omise.co/go), but there isn’t something to be downloaded immediately. They are promoting the OmiseGO mobile wallet on that page, but no working product yet. The wallet is scheduled for release in Q4 2017, so it should be just around the corner. I gave them 0.5 points, because Omise is an existing, well-established company, without a doubt.

I. 1 point – I really think that OmiseGo’s main achievements will be the mobile wallet and decentralized exchange. Compared to other projects I’ve seen, that try to do 10 things at once, OmiseGo is pretty focused on their goal: “Unbank the Banked with Ethereum”.

J. 1 point – OMG is currently at the 78.6% Fibonacci level and I think this is a good buying point, at $8, if you wish to invest. Let’s not forget OMG was over $13 not too long ago, so it has room to grow.

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TOTAL POINTS: 9 / 10

A. 0.5 points – From what I see (goo.gl/g5i1bd), Bitshares has a lot of papers and documents bundled together on a web page, but I would’ve loved to see is a damn 15 pages, well-formatted and easy-to-understand whitepaper, with a clear vision, goal, strategy, and roadmap, without any math formulas and with a one-column text.

B. 1 point – Yes, the need for a digital asset exchange.

C. 0.5 points – Good luck finding a list of Bitshares’ team members. However, after digging into the history of Bitshares, I found Daniel Larimer (goo.gl/7C9roa) as the “founding father”, Charles Hoskinson (ex-CEO of Ethereum) as Co-founder and CEO for about 4 months in 2013 and Mr. Li Xiaolai (one of the largest holders of Bitcoin in China) as an investor. But seriously, there needs to be a list of active leaders and developers on the website!

D. 1 point – Bitshares does have an active Twitter profile with more than 22k followers, over 3.3k readers on Reddit and a Telegram chat with over 3.7k members, called BitsharesDEX.

E. 1 point – Yes, 1 BTS is currently $0.0679.

F. 0.5 points – Kind of a huge supply of 2.6 billion BTS in circulation.

G. 0 points – I found nothing about any partnerships. Not even rumors.

H. 1 point – Yes, they have an online exchange and a desktop app available for download.

I. 1 point – Yes, they do solve a particular issue.

J. 1 point – BTS is currently under the 78.6% level, so it’s definitely a good entry point since the price is so low. Of course, only if you believe in the project itself.

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TOTAL POINTS: 7.5 / 10

A. 1 point – Good, short whitepaper (goo.gl/oYnciY), which clearly explains the technical basics behind the 0x project. Also, I’m starting to like whitepapers with a “Contents” section more and more, since I’ve seen a lot that just start talking about the product in the first row of the first page. Learn to write a document, people! You’re not publishing “Little Red Riding Hood”, but a technical and business-related paper! However, the folks at 0x have done a good job and deserve 1 point. And by the way, yes, this is yet another decentralized, peer-to-peer exchange based on the Ethereum blockchain. We need them like air!

B. 1 point – Again, like I said before, yes!

C. 0.5 points – To be honest, I’m not very impressed about the CEO and CTO of 0x, Will Warren and Amir Bandeali, respectively. According to their LinkedIn profiles, Will was an advisor for Basic Attention Token for 3 months and worked in research (physics) before that, and Amir was a trader before taking the CTO position at 0x, which is kind of disappointing to me because I was expecting a software engineer as CTO. Nevertheless, 0x does have some interesting advisors, with Fred Ehrsam (co-founder of Coinbase) being one of them.

D. 0.5 points – Their Slack channel (goo.gl/M9epN9) is offline for maintenance for some time now and that is pretty disappointing, but they do have an active Twitter page with over 24k followers.

E. 1 point – Yes, definitely, 0x is at a great price of only $0.173.

F. 1 point – There is a circulating supply of 500,000,000 ZRX at the moment, with 1 billion tokens in total.

G. 0.5 points – 0x is backed up by Polychain Capital, Blockchain Capital, Pantera and others and has a partnership with Aragon, but nothing spectacular in terms of partners.

H. 1 point – Yes, 0x does have an exchange portal available on their website: https://0xproject.com/portal

I. 1 point – 0x is solving a particular issue and it seems to be focused on that thing alone.

J. 1 point – ZRX is currently way below the 78.6% Fibonacci line and, given its current low price, I considered it to be a great low-risk investment. However, as I said many times, you should make your own research and assume decisions and risks based on your own assessment.

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TOTAL POINTS: 8.5 / 10

That’s it for now, guys and girls!

In my next post, I will reveal the other 3 coins I decided to invest it (one of which is a newly launched ICO) and the reasons behind my decision, following the same evaluation system.

So, until next time, happy investing!

My Crypto Portfolio Revealed: 10 CryptoCurrencies I Truly Believe In for the Long Term

Ok, so, as I promised in my previous post, I will reveal my current coin portfolio, which is subject to change if and only if any new coin will rise from the crowd and make me invest. However, no coin will disappear from my list, until it reaches at least 100x its current value. I said I am a long-term investor in cryptocurrency and I’ll stick to my word.

I currently have a list of 10 crypto coins that I truly believe will have a big impact on the future of the Internet, economy and technology, 3-5-10 years from now.

I am keeping track of my portfolio and its value using a mobile app called Blockfolio (https://www.blockfolio.com/). This is NOT a mobile wallet. I repeat: not a mobile wallet. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am strongly against using mobile wallet apps. I won’t go over the reasons why – just check out the “12 Steps to Improve the Security of your Cryptocurrency Holdings” post to find out the security implications of using such an app to store your cryptocurrency holdings.

My goal is to list all the crypto coins I’ve invested in and explain the reason behind each decision. You should follow a similar judgment whenever you decide whether to put your money in a coin or not.

In the following posts, I will log and document the evolution of each coin and the project behind it (relevant news, software releases, new features, roadmap implementation) and I will also monitor the value of my portfolio, based on the market conditions at the time of publishing each post. I should mention I have invested a 5-figure USD amount, which may seem either small or large to you, but remember one thing: always invest money that you can afford to lose! Live by this principle and you’ll be fine.

One more thing here – please note that this post and the ones that follow are not professional financial advice. You should always research the projects and cryptocurrencies on your own and make an educated decision based on your findings. I cannot advise you what to do with your money. I’m only tracking my journey through the world of crypto and hoping to learn from both my successes and my failures. And I really hope you will learn alongside me, as well.

For any coin I am planning to invest in, I have 10 points or criteria I look for, before making the decision. If the coin does at least 7 / 10 at the end of the evaluation, then “Yeey! Welcome, new coin!”. If the result is 5 or 6, then I add it to the “keep an eye on” list. Everything below 5 points is not of any interest to me. Quite straightforward, right?

Let’s see the 10 items on my list of criteria before diving into my portfolio:

*A. The whitepaper. Is it clear and describes the project in detail?
*B. Do I feel like this technology will solve an existing issue?
*C. Are there any founders / developers / special advisors with a solid background?
*D. Is there a well-established and active community? (Slack, Telegram, Discord, Twitter and so on)
*E. Is the current price low enough to believe in a future 100x return?

Additional parameters I look at:

*F. How high is the circulating supply of coins? The higher the circulating supply, the more trading volume the coin needs in order to have a considerable rise in price.
*G. Are there any current or announced partnerships with big names in the industry?
*H. Is there any existing product/prototype/alpha version for this technology?
*I. Does the technology solve a particular issue or tries to be the jack of all trades? (to not be confused with point B. Here, it’s very important to me if the team tries to address a particular problem and do it well, rather than trying to build X apps and platforms all at once, which can be counterproductive, especially when having a small team or budget)
*J. Does the Fibonacci retracement technique reveals a good entry point to buy right now? (More about Fibonacci retracement here: goo.gl/qqSZfC)

Without further ado, here’s the list. The order is not in any way important, so don’t consider this a classification of some sort.

A. 1 point – Ripple’s whitepaper (goo.gl/xJYqAL) is very clear and accurate regarding the purpose of this technology. Simply put, Ripple aims to build a decentralized, global network that banks can use to exchange payments with low fees and almost real-time speeds. Ripple will be targeting banks in the first place and has a huge potential to become a standard for cross-border transactions. Read more about Ripple, XRP and the ILP (Interledger Protocol) in the whitepaper.

B. 1 point – Definitely yes. Ripple will create the Internet of Value (IoV), by rapidly facilitating global transactions, in an era where information travels within seconds, however a payment from the US to Europe can take 3 to 5 days to complete.

C. 1 point – Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple’s CEO, has a strong background, having served as CEO of Hightail, CEO of Dialpad Communications and Senior VP of Yahoo! David Schwartz is the tech brain of Ripple and Chief Cryptographer. He developed encrypted cloud storage and enterprise messaging systems for organizations like CNN and the National Security Agency (NSA).

D. 1 point – Ripple’s forum (goo.gl/wEsyFd) is very active and packed with a lot of people. Also, XRPChat is a great place to stay up-to-date with the latest Ripple news (goo.gl/2UT8iR). Ripple is also very active on Twitter, where it has almost 140k followers.

E. 1 point – Yes, at the time of this writing, Ripple’s price is at 18.5 cents.

F. 0 points – Very high total supply of 99,994,523,265 XRP. Addition read on the topic and Ripple’s plans for this supply: goo.gl/7vwi7w

G. 1 point – Yes, a lot of banks all over the world have already adopted or tested Ripple’s solution. A few examples are UniCredit, BBVA, Santander, ReiseBank. You can check out all of them on goo.gl/RLKKpa

H. 1 point – Yes, as I said, some banks are already using or testing Ripple’s solution.

I. 1 point – Yes, although Ripple’s technology is comprised of several working parts, the end goal is very clear and to the point.

J. 1 point – At the time of writing this post, XRP seems to have found a support level around the 78.6% line and tends to go back up towards the previous support level at 61.8%, so around 20 cents. Is it a good time to buy now (09/18/2017)? Yes, it is.

xrpfib.png

TOTAL POINTS: 9 / 10

A. 1 point – Although a rather long whitepaper (goo.gl/MVxQkn), it manages to explain all the details behind the TenX debit card and wallet. What TenX does is “it enables users to spend their blockchain assets through their smartphone or a physical debit card at over 36 million points of acceptance online and offline.”. Basically, you can order a physical debit card and use it to pay across millions of stores, using your BTC, ETH, DASH and other altcoins. The difference from similar services, like TokenCard, is that the annual fee is 0 if you spend more than $1000 in the course of a year. Also, domestic exchange and foreign exchange fees are 0. Please find a great comparison inside the whitepaper. The card is already available for ordering and I will order mine very soon. Also, it’s important to mention that the TenX card allows users to spend their cyrptocurrency anywhere where VISA or Mastercard are accepted.

B. 1 point – Yes, it solves the issue of having a diverse portfolio of cryptocurrencies, but not having a simple and cheap way of spending them whenever and wherever. It is especially useful if you’re getting paid in Bitcoin.

C. 1 point – Toby Hoenisch, the founder and CEO of TenX is a Computer Science graduate, with a degree in Artificial Intelligence and has been a CEO in a few other companies before starting this project. The main TenX investor is Vitalik Buterin itself, the founder of Ethereum, so having him on board provides a high-level confidence.

D. 1 point – Although their Slack channel is currently not accessible, I still give them 1 point for an active Twitter account (over 37k followers), a Reddit community of almost 6000 members and a weekly Q&A session on their YouTube channel (almost 10k subscribers there).

E. 0.5 points – At the moment, the price for 1 PAY is about $2.16, which is actually not that bad, considering the potential of TenX in the long run. The price dropped to about $1.7 during the last market crash, which was a great time to buy some more. Which I did 😊

F. 1 point – The total supply of PAY tokens is 205,218,256, which is pretty decent, compared to the one Ripple has.

G. 1 point – As partners, we can mention Fenbushi Capital (the first Chinese venture capital firm that exclusively invests in Blockchain-enabled companies) and TaaS (according to this post: goo.gl/oDY53t). Also, TenX was part of PayPal’s start-up incubator in Singapore, which shows their potential once again (goo.gl/H5ey9a).

H. 1 point – Yes, the TenX Android, iOS and Web wallets are available, as well as the card I already mentioned.

I. 1 point – TenX solves a particular issue indeed and it does it very well, it seems.

J. 1 point – As I’m writing this post, the Fibonacci retracement indicates a good time to buy PAY tokens, because we see a support line being created around the 78.6% mark, so most probably (if no other market crash occurs) the price will start going up towards the 61.8% level. TenX (PAY) has the potential of reaching the $5-6 price at some point in the near future, but 1 or 2 years from now, who knows, maybe way higher. It definitely has the technology, the team and the investors on their side.

payfib.jpg

TOTAL POINTS: 9.5 / 10

A. 1 point – Definitely an interesting read, Civic’s whitepaper (goo.gl/1N34Az) is short (18 pages only) and provides a very good overview of the current identity management and verification landscape, as well as the solution it provides for making these processes easier and avoids identity theft and fraud, in general.

B. 1 point – Yes, as I mentioned, identity management, verification, and fraud.

C. 1 point – Vinny Lingham. Should I say more? Google him to find out more about his background and why he’s one of the top cryptocurrency influencers.

D. 1 point – Civic has a Telegram group with almost 5.5k members, a Reddit page with over 3.3k members and a very active Twitter page with almost 30k subscribers, so it gets 1 point for all of this.

E. 1 point – Given its potential for growth, CVC is at a great price right now, $0.423.

F. 0.5 points – There is a rather high total supply of CVC: 1,000,000,000, but still less than Ripple’s supply. I’ve seen coins with a lot more 0s than CVC, so this is quite decent, IMHO.

G. 1 point – Civic definitely has a lot of partners on its side, mainly due to Vinnie Lingham’s reach, experience, and presence in the online world. Check out the entire list at https://www.civic.com/partners

H. 1 point – Yes, the Civic app is already downloadable on both Google Play Store and Apple Store and to be honest, it looks pretty good. I haven’t had the chance to fully test it, but this is definitely on my list for next week.

I. 1 point – Civic is entirely focused on what we’ve discussed so far and doesn’t try to be a jack of all trades, but a master of one. So this is certainly a plus for them.

J. 1 point – CVC recently spiked through the 61.8% level, which was a resistance point in the last few days, but, given its price, I still think that it’s a good buying point, if and only if you’re committed to a long-term investment and really believe in its potential to become a giant (as I do).

cvcfib.jpg

TOTAL POINTS: 9.5 / 10

A. 1 point – Another pretty short, but well-designed whitepaper belongs to Aventus. Aventus is a decentralised protocol creating a less fraudulent and tout-filled event ticketing industry. And boy, do we need this! Considering the level of fraud in the industry, a blockchain-based solution is more than welcome to address this issue.

B. 1 point – Yes, without a doubt, if the implementation will be right, Aventus will nail this.

C. 1 point – Alan Vey and Annika Monari seem to be very dedicated to making this a huge success and are definitely well-suited for their roles, from a technological standpoint. The project also has a lot of (technical, economic, financial and business) advisors and the first that stands out from the crowd is Prof. Will Knottenbelt, Director of the Cryptocurrency Research and Engineering Centre, Imperial College.

D. 0.5 points – Although it’s pretty new, Aventus does have over 5k followers on Twitter and a Slack community of over 5k very active members. Lately, Alan and Annika became more active on the Slack channel, but there is room for improvement. Furthermore, I heard they’re looking to hire a Community Manager, which would definitely enforce the connection to the investors and drive the social media following up.

E. 0.5 points – The price is currently at $2.21 (under the ICO price, by the way), which can seem pretty high. Also, the AVT token isn’t yet available for trading on the big exchanges like Bittrex, Poloniex, Bitfinex or Liqui, but given the fact that the project is very new, this is only a matter of time. However, I think the price will go up when the trading volume will grow, so you have the chance to buy now, while AVT hasn’t hit the above-mentioned exchanges. Although I don’t personally like EtherDelta, it’s one of the few places you can purchase AVT from.

F. 1 point – The total supply of AVT is only 10,000,000 tokens, so this is a big plus for Aventus.

G. 0.5 points – No major partnerships just yet, from what I know. However, Aventus announced an agreement with Joy Records, a record label and event-promotion brand in Tel Aviv, Israel and with Blue Horizon Entertainment, a US-based venue management, and live entertainment optimization firm. So that’s something, for sure.

H. 0 points – Aventus doesn’t yet have a working product, but the public beta version is announced for Q4 2017 (so pretty soon) and the production version launch is set for Q2 2018.

I. 1 point – Yes, the Aventus solution does solve a particular issue and it’s 100% focused on attaining its goal.

J. 1 point – Unfortunately, being such a new coin on the market and not hitting the big exchanges, I cannot provide a Fibonacci retracement chart, due to the lack of data. However, given the fact that AVT is currently under the ICO price, it’s definitely a good entry point. Of course, if and only if you read all about the project and the team and you consider it to be a potential superstar a few years from now.

TOTAL POINTS: 7.5 / 10

A. 1 point – The whitepaper of Stratis (goo.gl/bhwWyd) is certainly a well-crafted document, describing in detail the architecture, the features and the benefits of the Stratis platform. Basically, quoting the whitepaper itself, Stratis is a powerful and flexible blockchain Development Platform designed for the needs of real-world financial services businesses and other organizations that want to develop, test and deploy applications on the blockchain. Stratis blockchain apps can be developed in pure C# and can also utilize the Microsoft .NET framework. Simply put, Stratis allows companies to develop C# applications in a secure and distributed environment.

B. 1 point – Yes, definitely. Stratis provides solutions for development, testing, and deployment of native C# blockchain applications on the .Net framework. So it does offer a complete, end-to-end solution for companies interested in application development.

C. 1 point – Stratis does have a strong team, led by Chris Trew, who has a large experience in enterprise technology, C#, .NET and blockchain. Furthermore, developers like Nicolas Dorier, Dan Gershony and Pieterjan Vanhoof are .NET ninjas and that really adds value and expertise to the project. Cesar Castro is the main advisor of Stratis and he adds a whole new level of credibility, being a Harvard Business School graduate and a strategic driver of corporate expansion for over 20 years with extensive experience in multiple high-change environments.

D. 1 point – The Stratis project does have an impressive community with over 45k followers on Twitter and more than 10k members on their Slack channel.

E. 0.5 points – The current price for 1 STRAT token is rather high at $5.1, however, it’s nowhere near it’s all-time max of $10.85. Given its high potential, there is definitely room for a 100x return or higher, if the project will be executed as planned.

F. 1 point – The circulating supply is 98,548,994 STRAT, which is very decent compared to one coin I’ve seen recently, which has about 8.000.000.000.000 tokens available. Pretty crazy, right?

G. 0.5 points – Stratis has signed a partnership with Escalate Group (goo.gl/GvWHqk), the company lead by Cesar Castro and also has been in contact with C-level executives of quite a few companies in Fortune 500 (more details here: goo.gl/7KFEpu).

H. 1 point – On the token side of things, Stratis does have a very well-built wallet, the Stratis Electrum. They also have another wallet meant for staking, called the Staking Wallet. Stratis has a mobile app as well, which is currently in beta and available for Android only – Stratis Identity. Moreover, you can find more details about their nStratis platform right here: goo.gl/5pVJpW and goo.gl/XoAahK. One thing to mention here is that you can use a Raspberry Pi device for staking STRATIS tokens (more about staking and setting up a STRATIS daemon and wallet on your Pi: goo.gl/1xXNCp).

I. 1 point – Stratis is trying to integrate several solutions and features in their platform, but the end-goal is clearly defined.

J. 1 point – Considering the recent market fluctuations and crashes and the latest highs and lows the STRAT token has gone through, the Fibonacci retracement (on a 1 day interval chart) shows that Stratis is now spiking through the 61.8% line. This means it’s not a bad time to accumulate some tokens. I think chances are (if no other market crashes occur) that soon STRAT will go towards the 50% line, creating a support line at 61.8%.

stratfib.jpg

TOTAL POINTS: 9 / 10

A. 0.5 points – The Bitquence whitepaper (goo.gl/awjdHL) is pretty basic, but covers the main principles and features behind the project. Bitquence aims to build an Universal Wallet for not only BTC, ETH, LTC or Dash, but also for Golem or SiaCoin. Universal Wallet means there’s no need to keep track of multiple wallets and private keys. Comparing Bitquence with other wallets (source: bitquence.com) …

Bitquence_WalletComparison2.png

B. 1 point – Yes, Bitquence solves the need for a universal cryptocurrency wallet, especially considering the growth of the crypto world and more and more people being interested in investing in and storing multiple types of coins.

C. 1 point – Shingo Lavine, the brain behind Bitquence, is a young, talented Bitcoin investor and a computer science and finance student at Brown University. Among other amazing team members, Shingo recruited Yu-Jen Dennis Chen, aka the “SQL-God”, a data guru with 5 granted patents to his name and ex-CTO of Funmobility and Maurice Herlihy, who holds an A.B. in Mathematics from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from M.I.T. So, a great team behind Bitquence, indeed.

D. 1 point – Bitquence has an active and growing community on Twitter (over 11k followers and daily news and updates), Slack (almost 2k members) and Telegram (over 2.6k members).

E. 1 point – Yes, yes, yes. At $0.85, BQX is still at a great price for purchasing, although it went down to $0.54 on Friday, September 15th. But still, 85 cents? Considering its potential, I think it’s still pretty low.

F. 1 point – There is a total supply of 222,295,208 BQX, which is a fairly decent amount.

G. 0.5 points – Bitquence has an ongoing partnership with iValley FinTech, which is a startup
incubator located in California, but I think there are a lot more partnerships to come in the near future, given the project and the team building it.

H. 0 points – Being very new on the market (crowdsale closed on 16. Jul 2017), Bitquence does not have a working application yet, but their website claims that we should see the first product release in late 2017 or early 2018.

I. 1 point – Bitquence aims to solve a single and very crucial need in the market and seems to be focused on delivering the best solution to meet this need.

J. 1 point – The only Fibonacci retracement analysis I was able to perform was using coinigy.com, based on the BQX/ETH ratio on the HitBTC exchange. The chart shows BQX is current just above the 61.8% line and seems to have created a support line at this level. I would definitely buy more BQX now, given its low price and low trading volume which are due to BQX being listed on EtherDelta, HitBTC and CoinExchange only. As soon as the token will be listed on Bittrex or Poloniex and the volume will grow exponentially, I expect BQX to become more and more expensive.

bqxfib.jpg

TOTAL POINTS: 8 / 10

A. 1 point – Steem’s whitepaper is a very detailed description of the technology, reward system and features of the Steem environment and paints a complete and clear picture of the entire project. Assuming you are reading this article on steemit.com, I won’t get into any details about what Steemit.com and Steemit.chat and DTube.video and Dsound.audio are. You can explore all of them by yourself and draw a conclusion.

B. 1 point – Yes. If we’re talking about Steemit.com alone, it definitely solves the need for a decentralized, content curation and reward-driven blogging platform, a new Reddit, Quora or WordPress, if you wish. At least this is how I see it. And with a grain of Twitter on top, I almost forgot.

C. 1 point – The CEO and co-founder of Steemit is Ned Scott, who has a fairly poor LinkedIn profile but seems like a smart guy nevertheless. However, the main star of Steemit’s team is Daniel Larimer, the founder of BitShares and ex-CTO of block.one’s EOS project, so a very experienced guy in the cryptocurrency world.

D. 1 point – As far as I know, there are over 373k users of Steemit.com at the moment, but the social media community numbers are far lower. There are over 2.5k steemians on Reddit and almost 32k Twitter followers, which is actually quite impressive.

E. 1 point – Yes, I really do think that the STEEM price is still very low, given its huge growth potential. 1 STEEM token is worth $1.17 at the time of this writing, but the max price was over $3 a few months ago, so there is definitely room to grow.

F. 1 point – There is a total supply 258,936,546 STEEM, which is a decent amount.

G. 0 points – I haven’t found any noticeable news about any partnerships, but I’ll be happy to change my rating here is someone will correct me on this.

H. 1 point – Yes. Check out steemit.com, dtube.video, dsound.audio. You can check out all of them here: goo.gl/gj7JHR

I. 0.5 points – Steem does try to solve a lot of issues all at once (blogging, video, audio, chat and others), but they really do seem to do a hell of a good job with most of them. So only half a point here, for not really focusing on one thing at a time only.

J. 1 point – The STEEM token is currently just under the resistance level of 61.8%, which was formerly a support line. If it breaks through this line and turns the resistance into support, we shall see, but my prediction is that soon it will start gravitating towards the 38.2% level and hopefully create a support line there once again. Of course, that’s an amateur prediction and I may be painfully wrong, who knows?

steemfib.jpg

TOTAL POINTS: 8.5 / 10

A. 1 point – What I like the most about Golem’s whitepaper, besides the use cases and the vision for building a Web 3.0, is the clear roadmap they have. I must say I think this is one of the most detailed roadmaps I’ve seen in a whitepaper. Quoting the document, “Golem is the first truly decentralized supercomputer, creating a global market for computing power and connects computers in a peer-to-peer network, enabling both application owners and individual users (“requestors”) to rent resources of other users’ (“providers”) machines.”. So, Golem aims to be a global, online network of processors, under an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), as well as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) model. You basically can rent your CPU/GPU’s unused power in exchange of GNT tokens and use the network’s processing capacity for your own projects.

B. 1 point – Yes, without any doubt, this is a revolutionary approach to building a supercomputer using the idle resources of the community.

C. 1 point – Julian Zawistowski, the CEO of Golem, is specialized in Economics (Warsaw School of Economics) and also held two previous CEO positions, which makes him a good fit for this role. On the tech side of things, Piotrek ‘Viggith’ Janiuk and Aleksandra Skrzypczak both have degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science and worked as a Senior Software Engineer for various companies.

D. 1 point – The Golem Slack community has more than 8k members and is quite active. Furthermore, there are more than 12.5k readers on the GolemProject reddit page and over 53k Twitter followers, so quite an impressive community, to be honest.

E. 1 point – At slightly over 26 cents, the GNT token is very accessible for buying right now and has a lot of potential to grow in price, when the technology will become widely adopted. And I truly believe it will, some day.

F. 0.5 points – There is currently a total supply of 1,000,000,000 GNT, which can be considered quite a lot.

G. 0.5 points – Golem does have a partnership with Streamr (goo.gl/rVNMg8), which provides a “complete system to create unstoppable real-time data apps, even without writing code.”. Also, there are rumors and discussions about a partnership with OmiseGO, but I haven’t found an official announcement yet.

H. 1 point – Yes, there is an alpha version available for testing (goo.gl/kKYXLg).

I. 1 point – Yes, Golem addresses a particular issue – building the world’s next supercomputer. That’s actually why I chose Golem over MaidSafe, which aims to build a very broad range of technologies under the SAFE Network (messaging, apps, email, social networks, data storage, processing, video conferencing, and much more.). I really think MaidSafe is a great project, but for now it seems a bit out-of-focus.

J. 1 point – As you can see, GNT is currently at the 78.6% level and seems to establish a support line here (maybe, we shall see). The previous low was due to the market crash of last week, but even now, at this moment, there is a great entry point for accumulating GNT.

gntfib.jpg

TOTAL POINTS: 9 / 10

A. 0.5 points – To be honest, I don’t really like the format and structure of Sia’s whitepaper (goo.gl/3ELrok). Also, the fact that it dates back to 2014 doesn’t seem very enticing. However, the document explains the purpose and technology behind the project pretty good, so no reasons to complain there. What does Sia accomplish? “Sia is a decentralized cloud storage platform that intends to compete with existing storage solutions, at both the P2P and enterprise level. Instead of renting storage from a centralized provider, peers on Sia rent storage from each other.”. So, basically, Sia aims to (and I really hope it will) replace, at some point, centralized, unsecured and expensive services like Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive.

B. 1 point – Too bad I can’t give Sia 2 points here, but yes, it definitely can become a better solution than the ones I mentioned above.

C. 0.5 points – Sia is developed by David Vorick and Luke Champine, both of them being graduates of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and colleagues at Nebulous Inc, a VC-funded startup in Boston. According to their LinkedIn profiles, they don’t seem to have a very solid technical background, but this doesn’t mean they don’t have a lot of talent and potential.

D. 0.5 point – Sia has a great Twitter following (over 35k people), but a not-so-active Discord group. Moreover, they have a forum with thousands of posts, where you can learn a lot more about the project (goo.gl/jVRDWd). They also recently promised monthly community updates, so they seem to be on the right track regarding user interaction.

E. 1 point – The SC token is currently priced at 4.99 cents, so this is a very reasonable value to consider investing, especially if you truly believe in this project.

F. 0 points – The current circulating supply of Sia coins is 29,479,132,422 SC, which can prove to be a downside when expecting huge spikes in its price. So 0 points here.

G. 0 points – Apart from a partnership with The Crypti Foundation, which seems to be supporting Lisk, as they say on their website, I couldn’t find any other partnerships of Sia. So no points here, sorry!

H. 1 point – Yes, Sia has released the Sia-UI and Sia Daemon software (Windows, Linux and MacOS versions), which acts both as an SC wallet and as a means to upload or host files in the Sia network. During my use of the Sia-UI on Windows 10, I encountered errors after the first block synchronization and the UI wouldn’t load anymore, making the software useless and having to re-download and run it again. This should be fixed! Sia also released two GPU miners and there are also some apps already build on top of Sia, like Minebox (goo.gl/5VV4rQ).

I. 1 point – Yes, Sia is definitely focused on solving one particular issue – decentralized, encrypted and distributed online storage. Their roadmap is over here: goo.gl/GbpLQA

J. 1 point – The Sia token (SC) seems to have hit a resistance point at 78.6% and it’s definitely a good time to buy if you care for this project. If not, maybe my last coin will prove to be more interesting to you.

scfib.jpg

TOTAL POINTS: 6.5 / 10
(I know I said a coin must score at least 7 / 10 in order to be a good investment, however I really believe in Sia, hoping the team will grow this project exponentially during the next few years.)

A. 1 point – Storj has a very detailed and well-structured whitepaper (goo.gl/YC1fof), so it definitely gets 1 point for that. Quoting the document, “Storj is a protocol that creates a distributed network for the formation and execution of storage contracts between peers. The Storj protocol enables peers on the network to negotiate contracts, transfer data, verify the integrity and availability of remote data, retrieve data, and pay other nodes.”. So, seems like Storj is very similar to Sia. Discussions about differences between the two can be found here: goo.gl/n8pRMw

B. 1 point – As with Sia, the answer is a big YES.

C. 1 point – Storj definitely has a large team of developers and community members. Shawn Wilkinson, the founder of Storj, has a degree in Computer Science, just like the CTO of Storj, Philip Hutchins, does. Moreover, on the advisory board of the project, we see Warren Weber of webereconomics.com, Economist, PhD, Carnegie-Mellon University, which can prove to be a great asset for the team.

D. 1 point – Storj has a huge and active Twitter profile (almost 37k followers) and more than 3.7k readers on Reddit. The Storj team is also active on Facebook and Medium, which is a big plus for the community.

E. 1 point – The STORJ token is currently at $0.482, which is a great price for purchasing.

F. 1 point – The total supply is under half a billion tokens, 424,999,998 STORJ to be more accurate, which is a reasonable amount.

G. 0.5 points – Storj currently has a partnership with FileZilla (according to goo.gl/MesxCw) and also partnered with Heroku, implementing the Platform-as-a-Service in the cloud (according to goo.gl/87hGbQ). So definitely more than Sia has.

H. 1 point – Yes, Storj already has a fully functional software application for desktop (goo.gl/y2xtmU), with which you can rent your drive space and earn STORJ tokens in return. I am already using the app (for testing purposes, for now) and have rented 50GB of my hard drive on one of my idle laptops. The app is available for Windows, Linux and MacOS. And it looks really great, it’s very easy to use and has a low impact on your computer’s resources.

I. 1 point – Yes, as stated above.

J. 1 point – Storj is currently under the 78.6% Fibonacci level, so this is definitely a great moment to buy some tokens. Check out the chart below, in case you don’t believe me.

storjfib.jpg

TOTAL POINTS: 9.5 / 10

Ok, finally, I finished this section of the article. Boy, was that a long one! 😊

One additional criterion I’m considering each time I look at a coin is if the token is an ERC-20 token or not. Why? Because I am always thinking of storing it in MEW and then to my Ledger Nano S (soon), instead of installing separate wallets for each coin, which is time-consuming and pretty risky (high number of private keys, seeds, passwords and so on). Keep this in mind for your next investments, it might prove to be way easier to own ERC-20 tokens only. More about this at goo.gl/gVTxD5.

Now, I must confess, I’m also keeping my eye on:

  • OmiseGO (OMG)
  • PivX (PIVX)
  • district0x (DNT)
  • Iconomi (ICN)
  • IOTA (MIOTA)

…and a coin (ICO) that just launched recently, which I’m very excited about.
But more on these 5 coins + the groundbreaking ICO in a future post, as soon as I will do more research on each of them. Remember: research is a must, before deciding to invest even $1 in a project.

Having that said, I hope you find this useful and stay tuned for the next post!

By the way? What coins do you own in your portfolio and why?

Price and coin supply data taken from coinmarketcap.com
Charts created using trandingview.com and coinigy.com

12 Steps to Improve the Security of your Cryptocurrency Holdings

I must confess, I am pretty new to the cryptocurrency world, but I am trying to learn the ins and outs of blockchain, bitcoin and altcoins as fast as I can.

This post is one of the many that will follow, describing the ups and downs I’ll encounter throughout this journey, the reasons for investing in certain crypto coins and avoiding others, the financial gains and losses I’ll go through along this path and many other personal opinions about the cryptocurrency space.

Before diving into the topic of this post, the basic steps that you can follow to maximize your wallet security, let me tell you a short story about me and how I ended up getting involved in the crypto world.

About a month ago, a friend of mine shared his “adventures” in the ICO world, talking about things like tokens, Ethereum, 10x gains and so on. As days went by, I got more and more excited about all of this and started to do my own research at a very fast pace. That was the time I invested in my first ICO, Aventus, which seems to have a solid project and team behind it and it really aims to solve a problem in today’s world. You can find more about their project on https://aventus.io/.

No, they don’t solve world hunger or bring peace in the Middle East, but they do address a major issue when it comes to event ticketing – fraud, in any way, shape or form. And that was the very first thing that I found attractive about this ICO – problem-solving, period. And I strongly believe that this should be an essential criterion, among others that we will discuss in other posts, whenever you evaluate an ICO or an already existing coin.

Moving along from Aventus, in the last couple of weeks I witnessed a lot of turbulence in the crypto market, with coins rising and falling dramatically overnight, with markets crashing because of a Tweet some guy posted on his profile, with rumors of ICO and exchange bans in China and with actual, real announcements from some Chinese exchanges that they will go out of business at the end of September.

So, I thought I will have a soft landing in the world of crypto, instead, my plane almost left the runway, lost a wing, grew another one, lost it again and so on. A hell of a ride, indeed. I wasn’t prepared for that. Actually, I didn’t see this storm coming so hard at me, at us, at the entire market.

But I definitely fell in love with it. It’s like a virus, like a first kiss, like a rollercoaster. You either love it or you hate it. Well, you get my point, I won’t stretch this metaphor any longer.

Furthermore, if you decide (and you should!) to join the Slack, Telegram or Discord communities of the projects you invest in, then you will have access to a world dominated by two major feelings, each of them with their own various masks. We have greed at one end of the spectrum and then we have fear. And these two are the ones who create the charts you’ll see and love and hate every day. Really! Any spike or fall on those charts has either greed or fear at its core, as its root.

chart.jpg

Moreover, inside these online communities, you have the opportunity to see people who are angry they invested $100 in some coin or ICO and they didn’t become a millionaire the next day. People who spread FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt), no matter if the market is in a FUDdy place or not, at the moment. They panic no matter what. They came to this world with unreal expectations and once those expectations were not met, they immediately start to curse, spread rumors and, even worse, sell everything they have, hoping to save something when the market goes down by 5%. These are the people who invested their rent or food money, people who don’t get the first principle of investing: “Always invest money you can afford to lose!”. Or, in even simpler words: “Don’t be stupid!”. It’s that simple.

Anyway, at the other side of the spectrum, you will find people like me, people that have already adapted to the volatility of the market and who expect better or worse times with each coinmarketcap.com page refresh. As in life in general, things will get better or worse, you cannot have this under your control. The important thing is how you react to each of these scenarios. And that is a personal choice, based on your character, life experiences, and intellect. That’s the equation and its variables, in my opinion. I am really relaxed whenever a market fluctuation occurs, I am already used to them, given the recent experiences. I followed the first principle of investing and I made a decision: I am here for the long term.

But will there be a “long-term”? I definitely think it will. Bitcoin and the whole cryptocurrency world is here to stay. As others said already, Pandora’s box has been opened and nothing will revert cryptocurrencies to the state of non-existence. Not any government, not any bank, not any war. Nothing.

Blockchain and crypto are the foundation of the new Internet and the new economy, respectively. It’s a reality. I heard someone saying (apologies for not remembering who!) that “You can ignore reality, but you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality”. Smart quote, smart guy or girl.

Getting back to my long-term strategy, I noticed there are basically two types of traders – day traders, who wish for short-term gains, like 1.2x, who like flipping coins all day and make a small profit. And then there are long-term traders, also known as investors. People who choose to invest in one or several projects (again, ICOs or various altcoins, for example) and expect the results in 1, 3, 5 or 10 years from now, without constantly worrying about last night’s market crash or what will Litecoin be worth next Tuesday. I don’t give a crap about this kind of things and that’s why I consider myself a long-term investor in cryptocurrency. Also, this approach implies you’re expecting not a 2x profit, but, at least in my case, 500x to 1000x.

Oh, my God, I’ll stop here with this introduction, I already wrote too much. I will expand on this in my future posts.
Now, it’s time for me to keep my promise and reveal the 12 steps or bits of advice that I think are crucial for an enhanced security when storing your crypto coins (and any other digital assets you have, as well).

  • Rule number 1: NO mobile wallets!

I don’t care how good the mobile wallet features look like, how promising the app looks on Play Store or Apple Store, how many 5* reviews are there on that page, I’m not using and will never use a mobile wallet app.

Simply because our mobile phones are, by far, the most vulnerable devices (apart from IoT refrigerators and toasters) we can use. And I mean vulnerable to spying, keylogging, traffic sniffing, malware injection, malicious apps that require more permissions than they actually need and so on. Moreover, our mobile phones are very likely to get lost – forgetting them in a taxi or being stolen at a concert – compared to our laptops or PCs. Unless you bring your laptop to concerts, which would be weird.

So, if you really care about your coins, I strongly advise you to not trust your phone with your finances. In my case, this also applies to online banking apps or PayPal. I never ever mix my smartphone stuff with my money and savings. Facebook? Yes. Slack? Ok. Blockfolio? Definitely. But nothing above this level.

  • Rule number 2: Keep your operating system up-to-date!

Really, I mean it. We already agreed upon the fact that the smartphone is a big No-No when it comes to wallets and private keys and stuff. But, should you decide to use a software wallet locally on your laptop or remotely on the web (MyEtherWallet, Exodus, Jaxx or others), you must secure your laptop before thinking of securing the wallet software or any other digital assets you might have.

So, even though I know that sometimes it’s a real pain to update your OS, especially when you’re heavily working and you have 35 open tabs in Chrome and a few spreadsheets in the background and that f*cking window pops up saying “Please restart to update!”, please do it! Don’t postpone it again!

Hackers can inject malware in your OS much easier when you leave all the doors and windows open. Updating your system adds crucial patches to your software and fills most of the cracks in your walls. I strongly advise you to do it before it’s too late. Go wash the dishes or grab a sandwich while the update takes place. You need a damn break from all that work, anyway!

  • Rule number 3: Have an antivirus solution installed!

I know, I know, if a hacker wants to get inside your computer, it will crush most antivirus solutions without even blinking.

However, having such software adds a layer of defense when it comes to basic malware or spyware or trojans knocking on your door. And keep in mind that any piece of malware that gets into your operating system can make a hacker’s life so much easier if and when you become a target.

Personally, I use McAfee LiveSafe on both my laptops and my smartphone. I have no affiliation with McAfee, feel free to choose whichever antivirus solution you like, but always try to make an educated decision. Why do I use McAfee? Well, it’s somehow a personal choice, because I really admire John McAfee, I’ve been following his work for quite some time and I always tend to believe in the people behind a piece of software, before believing in the software solution itself.

Most antivirus solutions today come with additional features like firewalls, intrusion detection, anti-spam engines and web browser protection, so always try to look for a complete solution, rather than just an antivirus.

  • Rule number 4: Use an anti-ransomware solution, as well!

As you know (and if you don’t, you will find out now), ransomware has become one of the most powerful online weapons today. And there are so many computers that are vulnerable to ransomware, that the “ransom industry” is flourishing more and more.

Now, imagine you have a couple of wallets installed on your computer, with their private keys stored on the same or a separate partition (doesn’t really matter) and some guy on the other side of the globe takes over your computer, encrypts everything in the background, while you watch a YouTube video and then asks you for $500 for the decryption key, otherwise you lose everything. And you have $1000 or $10k worth of coins in your wallets. Would you pay the ransom? Yes, you would, of course. Would you like this scenario to happen in real life? Of course not, who would? However, there are thousands of people who already went through this nightmare.

One way to avoid it is installing Cybereason RansomFree (https://ransomfree.cybereason.com/), a free tool created by the folks at Cybereason, that claims to protect you against 99% of ransomware. I had no ransomware problems thus far and this program runs quietly in the background and monitors your system for ransomware related behavior. It has a very low impact on your computer’s resources, so I definitely recommend it for your data’s security.

  • Rule number 5: Always double-check the website you log in to access your wallet!

A friend of mine recently had some Ethereum stolen from his online wallet and trust me, there’s no way of getting it back. Once the transaction was approved and generated, bye bye! There’s no central authority to call or email about your issue and that can be a pain, I truly understand.

Was it phishing? Was his private key intercepted or stolen? Was his password under the eyes of someone else? I don’t know yet, I haven’t had the chance to talk to him about this in depth.

However, phishing is real and it’s not that hard to impersonate or clone a website like myetherwallet.com or any other, for that matter. Then, simply change a character in the name of the new website (something like myetherwal1et.com) and wait for users to send you their private key and type in their passwords. You don’t even need to modify the domain name, actually.

This happens a lot with online banking websites and the cryptocurrency world will also face a lot of phishing, no doubt about that.

So, whenever you use an online wallet, double-check (hell, triple-check) the address in your browser bar and make sure your connection is HTTPS and not HTTP.

https.jpg

  • Rule number 6: HTTPS Everywhere!

Speaking about HTTPS, you can use EFF’s (Electronic Frontier Foundation) browser add-on called HTTPS Everywhere (https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere). Its job is to enforce HTTPS whenever a website is offering you its HTTP (non-secure) version. The add-on actually says “HTTP? No, thanks! Give me that S, as well!” (Well, that may sound weird, I know).

And this not only applies to your online wallets, this is a best practice to put in place whenever you browse the web and especially when you input personal or financial data into a web form.

Should your web traffic be sniffed by anyone (and this can be easily done by everyone with a laptop and the right software nowadays), the malicious person will be able to see your data when you send it over to an HTTP website, but in the case of HTTPS your data will be encrypted and thus unreadable.

So please go ahead and install this browser extension, it takes about 30 seconds and you will add a new level of security to your browsing experience without the need to be a cybersecurity geek. Not that there’s something wrong with being a geek.

  • Rule number 7: Use a password manager! For everything!

Again, this is an advice which not only applies to the cryptocurrency world, but to each and every account you hold on the websites you use, from Gmail to Twitter, from Bittrex to Dropbox.

Furthermore, when possible, enable two-factor authentication (or 2FA for short), to add a layer of security to your logins and be in complete control using your smartphone (Google Authenticator) or email address. Having 2FA enabled, you prevent an attacker who knows your password to login to a website unless he also stole your mobile phone and knows how to unlock it. And speaking about unlocking your smartphone or laptop, I always use devices that have a fingerprint sensor so I can restrict access even more.

Call me paranoid, but better safe than sorry!

As a password manager, I strongly recommend LastPass (https://www.lastpass.com/) which comes as a browser extension and offers to remember your usernames and passwords as you log into various websites. Then, all this data is encrypted and all you have to remember is the master password you used to encrypt your login information. It’s quite easy and intuitive to use, really. And it takes away a lot of headaches, trust me on that. You can choose the Free version or go right to Premium, it’s your call.

  • Rule number 8: Use a VPN!

I don’t use the Internet until my VPN connection is established. I simply don’t use it, period. Not at home, not at work and especially not in a coffee shop or an airport.

And this is valid for both my laptops and my smartphone. I really feel way comfortable knowing all my traffic is encrypted and no one can sniff it. Actually, they can sniff it but they’ll get nothing out of it. No matter what kind of traffic is it (web browsing or sending files), everything is secured. And you should implement this as soon as possible on all your devices. Encryption is key nowadays, even WhatsApp has added it, although I prefer using Signal or Telegram for encrypted messaging, rather than an application owned by Facebook.

Now, there are a lot of VPN providers out there, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, but what I use for two years or so is CyberGhost VPN (https://www.cyberghostvpn.com/). Again, I’m not in any way affiliated with them, but I really like their software and the support team is simply awesome. Apart from the VPN service, their software also provides ad blocking, malicious websites avoidance, online tracking prevention and lots more. Whichever VPN provider you choose, there’s a huge chance you’ll need to go for the paid version, which usually provides more features, improved stability and sharing across multiple devices.

  • Rule number 9: Store your sensitive data (like private keys) on a separate, encrypted partition!

Let’s say you created a folder in which you store your MyEtherWallet private key and some text files containing passwords and seeds for your other wallets (Yes, I know, we really need a universal wallet for all cryptocurrencies!). Sensitive data, for short.

Now, the question is: Where do you store that folder? On your desktop? In another folder called “Secret folder – do not enter”? Hidden between the pictures from the wedding you attended last week? NO!

What I did is I used a tool called MiniTool Partition Wizard (https://www.partitionwizard.com/free-partition-manager.html) to create a small (1 GB) partition, separate from all the others, on which to store the above-mentioned sensitive data. Then, I transferred all the files over to the new partition and finally, using a free software like VeraCrypt (https://www.veracrypt.fr/en/Home.html) I encrypted that partition. Now, even if someone hacks my computer and sniffs all around the place to find my private keys and passwords, they won’t be able to access that partition, unless they know the decryption password.

Not that complicated, right? And BAM! Another layer of security for my crypto coins.

  • Rule number 10: Always lock your PC/laptop when you walk more than 3 feet from it!

Lock it! Just lock it! Whether you’re using a password, a PIN, fingerprints or face recognition, just make sure that whenever you walk away from your computer you leave no one the chance to take a peek on your Desktop or even worse, on other partitions.

Of course, in case of a password or PIN, needless to say, you should not reveal it to anybody, otherwise locking it becomes useless.

This was a quick and to the point rule, I don’t feel like I have anything else to add here.

  • Rule number 11: Be aware of your surroundings when you type your passwords!

Another short one – be very careful if someone looks over your shoulder when you log in to your computer or on your MyEtherWallet account, for instance.

However, to enforce this rule, make sure that you always set up complex passwords, especially for your financial services and software, like wallets or online banking accounts. Please don’t use “September2017” as your password. There are a lot of cyberattacks that can find out your password within minutes and a lot of people who can easily read your keys as you type them in. Then again, having “Tr&sdgwqbddq71029912” as your password will strongly lower the risk of a successful dictionary attack.

  • Rule number 12: Consider using a hardware wallet!

This is, by far, the best solution we have at hand for dealing with all the software and online issues above. Having a hardware wallet strongly decreases any chance of hacking, making it technically impossible.

Two of the most famous solutions are the Ledger Nano S (https://www.ledgerwallet.com/) and the Trezor (https://trezor.io/).

“Yeah, but they’re kind of expensive!”

Oh really, take a look again at your cryptocurrency portfolio, determine its value (or you can use Blockfolio to keep track of everything) and then say that again to me. I dare you! Yeah, I thought so!

I am currently waiting for my Ledger Nano S to arrive. I chose this instead of Trezor because it supports a slightly bigger number of cryptocurrencies and I have like 10 of them, for now.

That’s it, guys and girls, I hope you found this post useful and I urge you to start implementing these steps as soon as possible, otherwise, you face the risk of losing all your Ether or Bitcoin or Ripple and making a hacker very happy.

Do you really want to make a hacker happy?

P.S.: Starting with my next post, I will begin to reveal the 10 cryptocurrencies I have invested in and why I chose each of them and I will also document and track all my progress regarding my investment and coin portfolio. Consider it as the journey of a noob trying to make as few mistakes as possible and learn from each and every one of them.