2017 became the year of Crypto-currency. In January, the aggregate market capitalization of all digital currencies did not exceed $ 18 billion. In just 12 months, it jumped by more than 3300%, to 613 billion. And at the beginning of the year the market had to survive the decline, and now its capitalization is about 470 billion dollars, perhaps this is the best result in history for a limited class of assets.

Such rapid growth is often explained by interest in the technology underlying most crypto currencies. Block  is a digital, decentralized register that stores data about all transactions. It eliminates the need for financial intermediaries, such as banks.

Bitcoin was the  first to attract public attention to the blockade, but it was the ether, the second on the capitalization of the crypto currency, that led to its evolution. More than 200 companies and organizations from different countries of the world have united in the Enterprise  Ethereum  Alliance. Its purpose is to test the work of the Ethereum blockade in various sectors with the help of small pilot projects.

Now the capitalization of the air is more than 89 billion dollars. In other words, it can not be called a hidden treasure. Perhaps, it’s time to forget about ether and bitcoin and pay attention to crypto-currencies with high growth potential. Here are eight of them:

1. Ripple

Among the largest crypto-currencies (with a capitalization exceeding $ 10 billion), Ripple deserves special attention from enthusiasts due to the incredible speed of work and the growing number of partner companies.

The analysis of the speed of work, conducted by the site HowMuch.net, showed that Ripple’s blocker can process up to 1500 operations per second. This is only 10% of the speed of the Visa payment system, however, it is more than 200 times higher than the bandwidth of bitcoin and almost 75 times faster than that of the air. Of course, speed is not all. The processing time of the blocks is important  , but even the existing advantages make Ripple an attractive option for financial companies (on which it is primarily oriented).

In November, Ripple, along with American Express and Banco Santander, conducted a test of the service that allows payments through the American Express international network with the help of a blockbuster.Money sent to the accounts of the British branch of the bank Santander, arrived in a few seconds instead of a few days.

In January, Ripple and MoneyGram International announced a deal that will allow MoneyGram to use XRP tokens to accelerate transactions and reduce costs. Although the Crypto currency has a relatively high capitalization ($ 41 billion), the agreements listed above show that the Ripple blockade is attractive for large financial companies and its rate may grow.

2. Qtum

The advantage of Qtum in combining the basic infrastructure of bitcoin with the virtual machine Ethereum (that is, the pluses of the two most popular crypto-currencies are borrowed). As a result, we get a block with extremely wide customization possibilities – developers are sure that many companies will want to use it. Last month Qtum signed cooperation agreements with two major Chinese companies (the Qtum Foundation hopes to announce five more key partnerships this year).

The first partner was 360 Finance, a subsidiary of the private company Qihoo 360. She owns the 360 ​​Search service with the third largest market share in China. Under the terms of the 360 ​​Blockchain Research Center agreement, BTN Foundation and Qtum Foundation form a kind of laboratory for the development of next generation solutions based on the blockbuster.

Just one day after the agreement with 360 Finance Qtum Foundation announced a strategic cooperation with Baofeng Bokocloud. Baofeng offers one of the most popular streaming video services in China and has more than 200 million active users. Qtum will be able to launch more than 50,000 nodes in the cloud service Bokocloud, which will allow it to significantly expand coverage and possibly exceed the Ethereum network.

3. Stellar

Like Qtum, Stellar focuses on attracting multinational corporations to its so-called “smart contracts”. Smart contracts  independently monitor compliance with the terms of agreements. The Ethereum platform has become very popular due to the fact that these contracts are completely transparent and legally binding. For the same reason, many developers (in particular, the Stellar team) include smart contracts in their own unit.

The biggest success of Stellar was the signing in October of an agreement on cooperation with IBM and the crypto exchange platform KlickEx. IBM earns tens of billions of dollars outside of the US, and a partnership with Stellar will allow it to conduct transactions faster with foreign countries.

Stellar deployed its technology in the top ten of the largest banks in the South Pacific. According to company estimates, each transaction will take from 2 to 5 seconds, which is much faster than payments on modern banking channels (when the payment comes in a few days). This will potentially increase the profitability of IBM and improve its relationship with customers.

4. NEO

Like Qtum and Stellar, NEO uses clever contracts, simultaneously trying to borrow the advantages of Ethereum technology. The NEO block is distinguished by its increased determinism, scalability and compatibility. For example, smart contract developers for the NEO network do not need to learn a new programming language. This provides the crypto currency with a tangible advantage over Ethereum and analogs.

An interesting aspect of the NEO network is that it is not decentralized (at least for now). Distribution, or the idea that no one person or organization can control the Crypto currency, is the basis of most of the blockades. However, in the case of NEO, developers control a significant share of coins issued, and the crypto currency itself is not extracted. Such centralization disturbs some investors, but at the same time contributes to rapid progress, as key decisions are made by a small group of people. Thanks to this, the developers were able to increase the throughput of the NEO network to 1000 transactions per second. By speed, it is somewhat inferior to Ripple, but it far exceeds Ethereum.

5. Nano

Perhaps the main advantage of Nano is the high speed of its blocker, arranged in a spatial architecture.The Nano network is capable of handling up to 7,000 transactions per second, while upgrading the equipment will increase this figure even more. For comparison, Ethereum can only conduct 20 payments per second.

For high bandwidth Nano meets the above mentioned spatial architecture of the block. Each account has its own chain of blocks, so when transactions do not need to wait for  confirmation of the  entire network. Users control their own accounts and block accounts, as a result of the transaction, they pass lightning fast.

However, it is worth mentioning one feature. Each payment in the Nano blockbuster requires two transactions (albeit free). First, the sender withdraws money from his account, and then the recipient credits them to his. This structure significantly increases the cumbersome system, although the incredible speed and scalability of the Nano network partially compensate for this deficiency.

6. IOTA

If you are looking for something unusual in the world of crypto currency, pay attention to IOTA. At the end of last year, the IOTA Foundation presented the Data Marketplace. This block-based service allows companies to share and sell their unused data. The developers believe that most corporate data remains unclaimed. In these conditions, the detachment will act as a reliable intermediary, authorizing the joint use of these data.

IOTA blockade is actually considered “blockless”. In other words, it is open and completely free for users on the network. The waiver of  commissions  provides a significant advantage in comparison with other projects based on the blockbuster and modern payment systems.

Of course, to scale your blockade IOTA has a lot to do. Data Marketplace is still being tested, and about 40 large companies provide feedback on the project, but the transaction speed is still far from ideal.Nevertheless, this is an intriguing start-up, which is worth paying attention to.

7. Monero

In recent months there has been a growing popularity of confidential crypto currency, such as Monero.All of them are trying to ensure the complete security and privacy of digital transactions.

Perhaps one of the main misconceptions about crypto currency is their high anonymity. Since senders and recipients of digital money do not indicate their passport data or social security number, it is considered that they can not be tracked. However, this is not true. In many cases, analysis of the blockage allows you to identify the identity of the sender or recipient. In the case of Monero, however, it is almost impossible. All references to the parties to the transaction are destroyed after it is committed.

The success of Monero is based on the use of ring signatures and hidden  addresses . A good analogy for ring signatures is a joint bank account with several owners. Nobody knows who receives or sends money from them. In the process of creating a so-called “hidden address”, which allows the owner (and only him) to block and transfer their funds.

However, interest in crypto-currencies with increased anonymity is growing not only among investors, but also with the authorities. Recently, the government of South Korea obliged all  traders to  tie exchange accounts to bank accounts, thus intending to increase transparency in the crypto currency market.

8. NEM

There are few crypts in the world that can compete with Nano or Ripple in speed. NEM is one of them. Its network is capable of carrying out about 4000 transactions per second. The basis of NEM is an intelligent lock-up with wide settings, able to fit into various industries and  sectors of the  economy.

In particular, NEM can find application in non-currency applications (although it has also proved itself in the financial sector). NEM blocking allows retailers to increase the effectiveness of bonus programs and programs to support customer loyalty, reducing fraud and increasing customer interest in retail chains.

NEM is suitable for the  technological sector , where it can be used to authorize and store data.Theoretically, its blocker is able to verify the authenticity of IoT-devices that make independent decisions (for example, ordering spare parts for repair with the consent of the owners).

Recently, NEM has entered into a partnership agreement with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation. This government organization manages the digital infrastructure of Malaysia, controls industry laws and promotes technology development. Partnership can bring significant benefits and significantly expand the range of possible use of NEM.