The more cryptocurrencies there are in existence, the harder it can be for everyday investors to parse out which are worth following. Now that the biggest names in the industry, including bitcoin and ethereum, are well known by a broad investor base, some feel it's beneficial to keep an eye out for the "next big thing."
A recent report by bitcoin.com suggests that EOS, Cardano, and Tezos are "big sleepers" that may be finally picking up activity. In the case of Tezos, legal troubles have sidelined the project for the better part of a year.
EOS and Cardano have continued to chip away at developments, but they have failed to garner the same type of attention as bitcoin or ethereum. Here are some reasons why these three digital currencies may be on the rise.
Governance, Speed, and Ethereum
What EOS, Cardano, and Tezos have in common is a link to ethereum. Each is, in some way or another, modeled after ethereum, and each is also attempting to supplant ethereum by improving upon the larger cryptocurrency's shortcomings.
In the case of Tezos, developers are aiming to have a network which has better governance; the EOS team is aiming to beat ethereum on efficiency and speed. (See also: Is Ethereum More Important Than Bitcoin?)
There are many reasons why these and other cryptocurrencies are looking to topple ethereum. Ethereum is far and away the largest smart contracts leader in the industry. Nearly all ICOs and dApps are integrated with ethereum.
Ethereum far surpasses bitcoin when it comes to transactions on many days as well. Nonetheless, ethereum has a scalability problem. It also has issues with security, fraudulent ICOs, and broader governance concerns. (See also: Ethereum Smart Contracts Vulnerable to Hacks.)
Signs of Life
EOS recently made headlines when a token swap was announced. It boasts impressive speed, with blocks produced once every three seconds. Add to that the fact that EOS has generated more than $1 billion in its fundraising efforts, and it begins to look like a very real competitor for ethereum. (See also: What Is EOS?)
Cardano is headed up by Charles Hoskinson, co-founder of ethereum and widely respected in the cryptocurrency space. Any cryptocurrency with a name like that attached is likely to draw attention sooner or later. (See also: Cardano Aims to Create a Stable Crypto Ecosystem.)
Tezos' appeal lies in its broad flexibility; upon launch, token holders can expect to be able to dictate how the project is run. However, infighting among developers has slowed the project over the past few months.
Investing in cryptocurrencies and 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 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 and ripple.