As someone who decided last year to make cryptocurrency a part of my overall portfolio strategy, I get the resistance from many of my fellow stock pickers to follow in my footsteps. It's a lot easier to value a company -- and what it should be worth in the future -- than it is size up a digital currency and what it could be worth.
There are no reasonable valuation equivalents in crypto-to-earnings multiples, sales growth, and other stock-assessing measuring sticks. You can watch trading volumes to gauge momentum, and chartists can dabble in technical analysis. There are plenty of catalysts that can catapult a particular denomination higher, but it's still an incomplete experience for most stock investors dipping their toes into the volatile cryptocurrency waters.
Let me see if I can help. Some digital currencies have more tangible catalysts to determine their future potential to appreciate. Decentraland (MANA 0.19%), Celsius (CEL -0.09%), Voyager Token (VGX -0.35%), Crypto.com (CRO -0.05%), and Ethereum (ETH 0.10%) fall into that camp, and they are cryptocurrencies that even a stock investor could love.
There's a growing number of digital homesteads for gaming with platform-specific crypto. We're talking about open-ended role-playing games, virtual worlds, and other online platforms where folks can play, build, trade, or otherwise socialize. Picture Minecraft or Roblox, only built on blockchain tech with a standardized cryptocurrency denomination serving as the legal tender of choice.
Decentraland is one of the more popular virtual realms. It's a virtual universe where players customize avatars in order to explore the perpetually expanding metaverse. It's growing in popularity, and last month there was even a virtual music festival headlined by Deadmau5 and Paris Hilton.
It doesn't have to be a passive experience. You can purchase a plot of land for a presence in the virtual realm, trade non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and explore other monetization opportunities. If you plan to spend or make money in Decentraland that's where MANA comes in as the official in-world currency. You'll need a digital wallet that can connect to your browser, and naturally load it up with Decentraland's official governance token. As a crypto investor you can buy Decentraland's currency across a growing number of popular exchanges just to ride the coattails of the platform's success.
2. Celsius, Voyager Token, and Crypto.com
Many cryptocurrency-trading marketplaces and fintech platforms have their own tokens and coins that can be traded across various exchanges. Some of the larger trading posts including Coinbase Global and Gemini have their own stablecoins that aim to be pegged 1-to-1 to the U.S. dollar. They may not seem all that exciting to growth investors -- tethered to the $1 price and all -- but they are becoming popular with income investors willing to take on some risk in exchange for the high interest rates they can command parked in decentralized finance platforms.
Celsius, Voyager Token, and Crypto.com are more speculative beasts as the loyalty tokens of Celsius Network, Voyager Digital, and Crypto.com. They are not pegged to a dollar, and like most digital currencies fluctuate based on supply and demand. These three denominations stand out to me because the platforms provide perks for the accounts that hold them.
The benefits of the Celsius token are currently not available for U.S. accounts, but for those in certain geographical jurisdictions owning Celsius provides better rates on the interest you get for holding assets on the platform or the interest you would pay if you are a collateralized borrower. Voyager Digital has three tiers of ownership of Voyager Token for most U.S. accounts, offering higher interest-generating rates and referral bonuses. Crypto.com takes things to an even higher level with different types of debit cards that are available based on how much Crypto.com currency you own. The higher the tier the more you earn on your parked crypto as well as the premium streaming services you can have subsidized by the platform.
Buying into any of the three denominations is a bet on the platforms continuing to grow. They aren't shy about promoting their growth, and you can also track the app download popularity to see if more or fewer people are warming up to the platform.
It's hard not to close with Ethereum, the world's second-most valuable cryptocurrency. It's the building block for a lot of the popular apps. Decentraland, for example, is built on Ethereum. Thousands of the world's popular NFT trading platforms and blockchain apps are based on Ethereum.
Tracking Ethereum's popularity may not be as easy as monitoring the success of a single virtual world like Decentraland or any single crypto marketplace like Celsius Network, Voyager Digital, or Crypto.com, but it's a play on the basket of the token's growing number of use cases.