The death of cryptocurrencies has been greatly exaggerated, to paraphrase Mark Twain. After suffering a bruising downturn last fall in the aftermath of the $8 billion collapse of crypto exchange FTX, cryptocurrencies have come roaring back this year. The prices of some digital tokens are up more than 50% in the last six months, while a few cryptos have seen their price double in that time. The roaring comeback has left many critics of digital coins scratching their heads and forced more than a few analysts to revise their outlook for cryptocurrencies.
Even the staunchest critics of crypto have been forced to admit that the digital assets are unlikely to disappear anytime soon and that they may prove to be more legitimate and have more utility than previously thought. As the current rally presses on, here are three candidates for the best crypto to buy now before they soar to new heights in 2023.
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Still the dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (BTC-USD), has experienced a strong recovery since last December and has been the best crypto to buy now this year, rising 62% so far this year and outpacing most other asset classes, including stocks, bonds, and commodities. The “crypto winter” that saw the collapse of several digital lenders, exchanges, and stablecoins turned out to be brief. And while BTC has come down from a peak price of more than $30,000 that it reached in April of this year, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization’s price has stabilized since last fall.
The recovery in BTC has been due to multiple factors, including improved sentiment toward digital assets, particularly among retail investors. The high-profile failures of several traditional banks in the U.S. and Europe, as well as expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve has reached the end of its monetary policy tightening cycle, have led people to reconsider crypto. With the price of Bitcoin back near $30,000, many analysts are revising up their price forecasts on the digital asset.
Monero (XMR-USD) is one of the more popular privacy coins. This blockchain’s transactions are completely anonymous and are untraceable by legal or illegal means. XMR’s blockchain uses technology that hides from view the sender, recipient, and amount of a transaction. The level of privacy provided by Monero, whose motto is “secure, private, untraceable,” is attractive to users all over the world. The growing popularity of privacy coins has XMR’s price up 16% in the last six months.
While gaining attention among investors and traders, Monero has been criticized by regulators and lawmakers for its use in facilitating unlawful activities, including international money laundering. However, users of XMR seem to shrug off the critics, and the use of the crypto continues to grow, as does its price. Since 2017, Monero’s value has risen 76%. The gains look likely to continue as crypto bulls say that growing regulation of crypto is only going to push more users toward the privacy offered by XMR.
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Sharing many of the same characteristics as Ethereum (ETH-USD), Solana (SOL-USD) could be considered the best crypto to buy now when it comes to facilitating decentralized finance (DeFi) transactions. However, some crypto afficionados claim that Solana is actually superior to ETH due to the speed at which it can execute DeFi transactions. SOL can validate financial transactions at breakneck speed, able to process 50,000 transactions per second compared to 13 transactions per second that can be processed by Ethereum.
The lightning speed of Solana gives it an edge over ETH and even traditional banks and credit card companies. Solana’s role in DeFi and digital payments is only growing with the creation of “Solana Pay,” a direct transaction connection between merchants and consumers. Solana Pay can be used without an intermediary such as a bank or credit union and charges zero fees. Those characteristics have made Solana Pay attractive, with more than 600 merchants signing up to use it within two months. Solana’s price has doubled so far this year.
On the date of publication, Joel Baglole did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.
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