Cryptocurrencies to watch in 2018

ten largest cyptocurrencies December 2017

Prices as of December 17, 2017

Ether (Ethereum)

Ethereum logo

Market cap: $66 billion

Performance in 2017: $8.51 to $721 = 8,472%

Ether runs on the Ethereum blockchain, which was first described by bitcoin programmer Vitalik Buterin in 2013, who at the time was aged 19 years old. Coded transactions are stored in a decentralised ledger, the blockchain, and are visible for everyone on the network to see.

Compared with Bitcoin, Ethereum allows for "blocks", the records of cryptocurrency transactions, that can be created much more quickly than bitcoin which increases efficiency of transactions. 

The technology allows for third party applications, not just the currency, to run on the ethereum network.  The network is also being used by start-ups to raise money with initial coin offerings, which exchange ether or other currencies for special "tokens" that grant access to a service.

Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin cash

Market cap: $30.8 billion

Performance in 2017 (since start of trading on July 23rd): $508 to $1,826 = 359%

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) resulted from a split in Bitcoin, called a “hard fork” or software update. If a software update is adopted the currency carries on as before, but if not a new, competing digital currency can be created. This is what happened with Bitcoin Cash.

BCH was created by a team of people who forked the bitcoin blockchain ledger and it is now controlled by several independent developers.

BCH's software is able to process transactions more quickly, at lower cost, and to maintain that speed by altering the difficulty of “mining”. It is accepted in less places than Bitcoin and since it is more centralised than Bitcoin it can be argued it is less secure.

Litecoin (LTC)

Litecoin logo

Market cap: $17.8 billion

Performance in 2017: $4.3 to $328 +7,628%

LTC was created by former Google employee Charlie Lee in 2011. Compared with Bitcoin, Litecoin is faster and designed to produce more coins. It has a maximum of 84 million coins compared with Bitcoin’s 21 million. 

Monero (XMR)

Monero logo

Market cap: $5.4 billion

Performance in 2017: $13.79 to $346 +2,509%

With Monero, the details of every transaction are recorded on a public ledger, but are obscured to make them untraceable and in addition idoesn’t have a fixed coin supply.

Neo (NEO)

Neo crpyto logo

Market cap: $3.6 billion

Performance in 2017: $0.14 to $55.3 +39,500%

Neo was created in 2014 by Da Hongfei and Erik Zhang and is known as the “Ethereum of China”. It was originally called Antshares. There are 65 million Neo coins, out of a total of 100 million coins.

Cardano (ADA)

Cardano logo

Market cap: $14.7 billion

Performance in 2017 (since start of trading on October 1st): $0.0188 to $0.565 +3005%

Cardano was created by Blockchain developer Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) and was built by leading academics and engineers through peer-reviewed research.

About 26 billion out of a maximum 45 billion coins are currently in circulation.

Ripple (XRP)

Ripple logo

Market cap: $29.1 billion

Performance in 2017: $0.0065 to $0.751 +11,538%

Ripple’s coins, called “XRP” are not "mined" but issued and uses a blockchain network to validate transactions, but that network consists of participating financial institutions. It was created in 2012 by web developer Ryan Fugger, businessman Chris Larsen and programmer Jed McCaleb

Transactions are instant, and in place of a transaction fee a small amount of XRP is destroyed every time a transaction is made for security reasons  to make it very expensive for someone to attempt to overload the network by putting through lots of transactions.

The New York Times once described Ripple as “a cross between Western Union and a currency exchange, without the hefty fees” because it’s not only a currency, but also a system on which any currency, including bitcoin, can be traded.

Ripple has licensed its blockchain technology to over 100 banks including CIBC, ATB Financial, UBS, Reisebank, Santander, UniCredit, BMO Financial Group, Shanghai Huarui Bank, Abu Dhabi Bank, Standard Chartered.

There are 38.7 billion XRP's out of a maximum supply of 100 billion.

Iota (MIOTA)

Iota coin logo

Market cap: $12.66 billion 

Performance in 2017 (since start of trading in June): +623%

Who created it? David Sønstebø, Sergey Ivancheglo, Dominik Schiener, and Dr. Serguei Popov, a team of entrepreneurs, mathematicians and developers

The skinny: lota’s big draw is that it doesn’t have any trading fees, miners or blocks. For every transaction you make, your processing power is used to validate two other transactions, making every Iota owner also an Iota “miner.”

Essentially, Iota focuses on becoming the backbone for secure machine-to-machine payments in the Internet of Things economy and is unique in that it is hailed as the first crypto created without the use of a blockchain. Instead, it is based on a distributed ledger architecture called “The Tangle,” an innovation that is credited for allowing Iota to achieve three major crypto milestones: zero-cost transactions, offline transactions, and infinite scalability.

Word of its latest partnership with Microsoft just gave it a big boost and propelled it into the top tier of the most valuable cryptos.

The maximum supply of MIOTA is just under 2.8 billion, and the entire maximum supply is currently in circulation.


Will Lionsgold exploit the blockchain revolution?

Lionsgold logo

The world has gone Bitcoin and altcoin crazy and everyone is jumping on the blockchain bandwagon. Many Fintech companies are developing platforms to trade cryptocurrencies and then there is Lionsgold (LION)who is working on a product linked to physical gold.

LION shares are up today around 35% to 3.8p after a rise from 1p in recent weeks on the blockchain craze with CEO Cameron Parry clearly trying to move the company from a traditional gold exploration company to exploit online gold trading. 

Lionsgold is AIM listed and is gold-focused company with exploration and production assets in India and Finland, and the retail application of gold through its financial technology division that provides online accounts for physical gold,

On 1 November 2016, Lionsgold announced that it had agreed terms for a joint venture with TRAC Technology Limited  to launch an online gold and silver trading and storage platform for the Indian market. During the financial year the Company's initial shareholding of 27.3% was grown to become 37.7% as announced on the 3 May 2017 and then to 55% in July 2017. In concert with Parry's 5% holding, LION has control of a total of 60% of the subsidiary.

TRAC has partnered with Railsbank Limited to integrate its exchange platform and accounts ledger with Railsbank's banking and compliance platform that is designed to connect a global network of partner banks through its proprietary application programming interface. 

LION has the aim of rolling out a suite of alternative-banking gold-based products, including a direct debit card and mobile phone banking-style app, as well as developing a gold-backed currency planned for release during Q2 2018 under the name Goldbloc.

What is Goldbloc?

Goldbloc's aim is to provide the convenience and utility of a currency bank account, but representing direct ownership of physical gold  Each Goldbloc unit will represent 1/1,000th of a gram of physical gold (approximately £0.03 based on the current gold spot price) and shall be divisible to two decimal places.  Goldbloc evolved from TRAC's offering of an online physical gold holding and trading platform to become a physical gold digital currency, in a bank account.

Goldbloc has the potential to enable gold to be used more readily in daily life, enable micropayments to be made in gold and allow people to fully utilize gold digitally, with the underlying physical gold owned by the Goldbloc holder.

In early November 2017, TRAC received approval as an EMD Agent from the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a payment or e-money institution under an electronic money ("E-Money") licence.


With 295,779,898 shares in issue, LION is valued at £11.2 million.

The loss after tax for the year to 30 June 2017 was £862,256 compared to £930,778 for the year to June 2016.

As at 30 June 2017, the Group's cash balances were £565,128 (2016: £404,806). During the financial year, the Company undertook a placing of 81,818,182 new ordinary shares at a price of 1.1p per share raising £900,000 before fees and expenses and placing of 50,000,000 new ordinary shares raising £550,000 before fees.  

In late November 2017, To fund activities going forward, LION raised gross proceeds of £550,000 through the placing of 68,750,000 new ordinary shares at 0.8p each with a 1 for 1 attaching warrant exercisable up to and including 31 December 2018 at 1.2p.


LION is certainly riding the blockchain wave and it was encouraging the company received the E-Money approval for Goldbloc in November. 

Lionsgold share price 2017

The shares are up from less than 1p to close to 4p now since early December. Its a classic momentum trade with investors waiting for news on further developments in Goldbloc. With an £11 million valuation, the company is not in crazy territory just yet but sentiment will be driven by "Bitcoin mania" and if that particular bubble bursts it will hurt sentiment. Goldbloc looks to be an interesting product and assuming technical developments remain on track with TRAC and Railsbank in Q1 2018 should be fruitful for Lionsgold. Will the company ditch its other physical gold assets that is the question? For those buying in around 1p, a smart trade and those participating in the placing even smarter. Could be interesting company to own on any share price dips to join the blockchain stampede

Greatland Gold disappoints with further wait for Ernest Giles project

Ernest giles Greatland gold

The anticipation of news relating to Newmont and Greatland Gold's Ernest Giles project was diminished today as GGP announced a delay to the announcement to early 2018.

Further to the announcement of 17 November 2017, Greatland Gold plc (AIM:GGP), the precious and base metals exploration and development company, would like to notify investors that that the Company now expects to be able to provide an update to the market regarding work completed by Newmont Exploration Pty Ltd ("Newmont") at the Ernest Giles project, under the agreement announced 16 May 2017, in early January 2018. Newmont is currently evaluating the results of the Newmont surface sampling program on the Ernest Giles project.

The shares are down around 7% with the disappointment of a further wait and also news of more warrant exercises. The company has received a binding option conversion notice for the conversion of 5,000,000 options at a price of 0.2p per share for a total amount of £10,000.00.

UKOG update December 14th 2017

UKOG shares are up 5% so far today to 3.6-3.7p as anticipation builds that an operational update RNS is imminent for Broadford Bridge.

Stephen Sanderson holds fully vested options over 35,000,000 ordinary shares (total options held by directors is 35,000,000) which are exercisable at 0.4p and 1.82p each up until 31 December 2017, and 28 September 2019,  respectively. Kiran Morzaria holds no options. 

Will Sanderson exercise his right to options before the end of December 2017? You would think so at 0.4p. If he does exercise, he can either sell them immediately or hold. There is no obligation to sell but he will have to pay for the purchase. There will be a tax implication if he sells in terms of CGT.

What do we know:

1. County Clean tanker arriving and leaving - for removal of water and well fluids

2. Change in rod pump to new specification - change in liquid profile from clean up to light oil?

3, New separator kit arrived on site - why replacement? (existing broken, so much output from well that additional capacity needed)

3. No photos so far of oil tankers but on-site tanks for storage. Reports of tanker seen on Adversane Lane, but could be oil being delivered to nearby residential properties for heating?

News anticipated for KL2-KL4 zones with KL3/KL3 the key Horse Hill limestones. Has cement squeeze been done for KL2/3? Will UKOG release total flows or for individual zones?

Questions, questions.

With all the Bitcoin hype, what about Litecoin?

Litecoin accepted here logo

Everyone in the media has been talking Bitcoin but Litecoin's rise has been even more incredible in the last few weeks. 

Litecoin price September to december 2017

What is Litecoin?

Litecoin is a cryptocurrency that has evolved from Bitcoin. This alternative or ‘altcoin’ is one of the most prominent altcoins and was created by former Google employee and Director of Engineering at Coinbase, Charlie Lee. Litecoin was the first to alter Bitcoin.

Charlie Lee. Litecoin founder

Miners who use a huge amount of expensive computer hardware and electricity to run Bitcoin’s network cannot easily switch over to Litecoin since they have invested in the existing infrastructure to mine Bitcoins.

What is the difference between Litecoin and Bitcoin?

The most significant difference is that it takes 2.5 minutes for Litecoin to generate a block, or transaction, in comparison to Bitcoin’s 10 minutes. Litecoin also has bigger blocks, and more coins in circulation, making it more affordable and quicker when transacting.

Litecoin can deal with higher volumes of transactions because of the capability of transacting faster and if Bitcoin attempted to transact on the scale of its altcoin, a code update would be needed.

Price of Litecoin

Litecoin reached a fresh record price yesterday of $297.69 (December 12, 2017). It  has gained over 95% from its closing price of $148.66 on Sunday, December 10th, and more than 78% in the past 24 hours. On Monday, December 11, the price moved up as high as $225.29, up 116% from the daily high just one week earlier. By Tuesday morning, trading volume surged to $6.2 billion.

On Jan. 1st 2017, Litecoin traded at $4.51 per coin, so it is up over 6,000% this year and over the same period, bitcoin has gained about 1,500%.