The 5 Most Important Cryptocurrencies to Watch in 2020

Cryptocurrencies are only getting more prominent in 2020. While there are still plenty of people who are largely unaware of them or lack interest, these new-age digital assets appeal to a growing population in a number of ways. For some, it's the increasing ease with which cryptos can be spent that is most attractive; Forbes points to payment giants like Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal that are changing their tune on cryptos, and beginning to work on helping to make it easier to handle and use them.

For others, the investment potential is what matters more. Though investing in crypto is far from easy, it's become clear that there are at least opportunities for meaningful gains. Sometimes, this means simply buying cryptocurrencies hoping that they'll gain value and pay off as direct investments. In other cases though, an investment can come in the form of borrowing. Here at CoinLoan, for instance, investors can easily borrow BTC, XRP, or USDT and earn up to 10.3% annually.

With all of this said, however, the crypto market is also over-crowded at this point. With new cryptocurrencies emerging on a never-ending basis, there are now too many assets to reasonably keep track of. So, for those who are intrigued either by using or trading cryptocurrency, it's worthwhile to have a feel for some of the most important or relevant assets on the market. And in 2020, these are some of the ones that come to mind.

1. Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin may be an obvious one to mention, but it’s still necessary for any conversation about cryptocurrencies. In addition to being the original crypto option, bitcoin is still the most valuable (by a very wide margin) and the one that is most widely accepted as currency. It can be somewhat challenging to get into as an investment today, simply because its value is so high already. But keep in mind that you can acquire tiny portions of bitcoin, and use or save them accordingly. Additionally, bitcoin is simply worth keeping an eye on, given that it tends to set the tone for the crypto class more broadly.

2. Zcash (ZEC)

Zcash has emerged as a reasonably prominent bitcoin alternative. It’s actually quite similar to bitcoin, though Airtm highlights privacy and anonymity as distinctive features. That’s not to say that bitcoin doesn’t offer a degree of privacy or anonymity. But Zcash was designed with these features in mind and provided a few extra layers of protection for its users. Essentially, transactions are verified in a manner that masks the sender and recipient of the currency. This makes Zcash a more appealing option to many and gives the asset potential as an investment as well.

3. Ripple (XRP)

Ripple is a particularly interesting asset to consider because it exemplifies how a cryptocurrency can be worth very little, but valued for the future. The asset is worth a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction of bitcoin, yet it has become a very trendy investment and one that most everyone in the crypto world is eyeing closely. And in this case, this is because of its function rather than its monetary value. Ripple was included on a list of crypto options traders should know about in 2020 published by FXCM, and the article states that its speed as a payment protocol is the basis for its appeal, and this is a nice way to put it. Ripple is meant to facilitate lightning-quick transactions, even if they’re made with other monetary assets. It is thus seen as having the potential for mass adoption in financial services. XRP (Ripple) Listed on CoinLoan.

4. Tether (USDT)

Some consider Tether to be a sort of fringe cryptocurrency, and it is, in fact, what’s become better known as a stablecoin. Regardless of the distinction, however, it’s certainly crypto-related, and it’s definitely become one of the most important assets in the category in 2020. Tether largely introduced the concept of a cryptocurrency that is tied — or “tethered” — to the value of a separate, stable asset. In this case, Tether’s value is backed by the U.S. dollar, such that while it operates as a cryptocurrency, it is meant to avoid some of the volatile price swings that plague other crypto assets. The concept is still in its early days, and Tether has had to deal with a few problems in the last 18 months or so. But it’s essentially the founding father of stablecoins, which are fast becoming popular assets under the crypto umbrella.

5. Digital Yuan

As we wrote in our take on ‘What You Need to Know About China’s New Digital Yuan’, this is not actually a cryptocurrency. It is not meant for speculation, and it is also not decentralized — being backed and distributed instead by the People’s Bank of China. Nevertheless, it is often described and discussed alongside cryptocurrencies, and it’s significant enough that we include it in this conversation. The digital yuan, or e-RMB, is a fully digital version of China’s national currency and will act as a cryptocurrency when it comes to transaction speed and security. What really makes it worth keeping an eye on though, is that it may be the asset that persuades other world governments and major financial institutions to consider crypto-style assets.

written for

by Rose Jane