Those investors who had the foresight (or the fortune) to buy into bitcoin in its earliest days and then held onto the cryptocurrency when it took off over the past year are now extremely wealthy. (See more: Who Are the Top 5 Bitcoin Millionaires?) The largest digital currency in the world by market capitalization has performed excessively well in the past few years, and the result is that many casual investors who timed it right and held onto their BTC ended up as millionaires.
In the wake of bitcoin's price explosion and as more digital currencies flood the market, investors are looking for the next digital currency to get rich off of. The question is, how does one go about finding a cryptocurrency which will take off in the future?
Price Is Crucial
One element to keep in mind when scanning for the next superstar is the price of the token. For the average investor who doesn't have a great deal of money to put into the cryptocurrency space, low-priced currencies may offer the best bang for your buck.
Imagine a potential investment of $5,000: at today's prices, that money could buy less than half of one bitcoin, over 25 litecoin, or thousands of coins from one or more currencies priced below $1 each. The ability to diversify with low-priced coins should not be overlooked.
Prospects for Adoption
Heading into 2018, ripple made huge growth. While XRP has declined somewhat since the start of the new year, it nonetheless has strong potential for adoption outside of the cryptocurrency speculation world. The reason for this has to do with the system of settlement that ripple's underlying technology promises to central banks and other financial institutions. (See also: Ripple Cryptocurrency Woos China's Central Bank.)
If you're able to identify a cryptocurrency which has an edge over others (and which therefore may be more likely to be widely adopted), this may be a good investment.
Supply Is a Factor
Most cryptocurrencies have a pre-determined maximum supply. When that maximum is reached, typically through mining efforts, no new tokens will be produced. (See also: Only 20 Percent Of Total Bitcoins Remain To Be Mined.)
If interest maintains while the supply is fixed, the price could go up. Be sure to consider the total supply and the current circulation of any cryptocurrency before you invest.
Price and Volume
Up-to-date information about cryptocurrency trading is easily available online. Those digital currencies with increasing price and volume of trades are likely to be those that have momentum going forward. Of course, there is no guarantee that this momentum will maintain, but it is nonetheless a useful way of seeing which digital currencies have the most investor interest for the time being.
Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns bitcoin. It is unclear whether he owns other bitcoin forks.