Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Missed Out on Bitcoin? Buy These 2 Cryptos Instead

By Bram Berkowitz and Keith Noonan – Dec 31, 2021 at 2:02AM

Key Points

  • Brave's innovative web browser and fintech services could power huge gains for its token.
  • Harmony claims to be a blockchain network that can scale without sacrificing security and decentralization.

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

With so many cryptocurrencies now in existence, there are plenty of opportunities outside of Bitcoin.

About five years ago, Bitcoin (BTC 0.05%) traded at less than $1,000 per token. Earlier this year, the world's most popular cryptocurrency saw its market capitalization surpass $1 trillion. It now trades at more than $51,000 and earlier this year traded at more than $64,000 per token. While there could certainly be much more upside from here, the likelihood of the price of Bitcoin doing another 50x run is not very high. But two other cryptocurrencies may still have explosive growth ahead: Basic Attention Token (BAT 3.02%) and Harmony (ONE -0.61%). Let's take a look at why these two cryptocurrencies could be big winners.

This cryptocurrency still offers explosive potential

Keith Noonan (Basic Attention Token): The overall digital ads market is still primed for huge growth over the long term, and Brave Software is taking a unique approach to shaping the evolution of the market. Users earn the Basic Attention Token (BAT) crypto token by viewing ads through the company's privacy-centric Brave web browser, essentially receiving compensation for their attention. These tokens can then be held, traded, or used to support content creators that are partnered through the platform. 

The Brave browser currently has roughly 46 million monthly active users and 14.7 million daily active users, which also gives its cryptocurrency a relatively large user base compared to many other tokens. While those browser engagement figures are admittedly a far cry from the numbers that Alphabet's Google Chrome or Apple's Safari browsers put up, Brave has a strong pedigree behind it and some intriguing avenues to growth that could translate to big pricing gains for its digital token. 

Bitcoin logo in a gold and turquoise circle.

Image source: Getty Images.

Brave Software was founded by Brendan Eich, the visionary technologist and entrepreneur best known for creating the JavaScript programming language and founding Mozilla. In addition to Brave's web browser and digital ads businesses, the company also provides crypto wallet services that support decentralized finance (DeFi) initiatives and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). As Brave continues to attract new users and advertising partners to its ecosystem, its cryptocurrency could enjoy strong pricing momentum.

While BAT's price has climbed roughly 494% this year, those gains still look relatively muted compared to some of the more explosive names in the crypto space, and the token trades down roughly 38% from its 52-week high. With a market capitalization of roughly $1.8 billion, BAT ranks as just the 72nd largest crypto token by market cap and still has plenty of room for explosive growth.

Scaling without sacrificing security and decentralization

Bram Berkowitz (Harmony): A lot of new and legitimate cryptocurrencies keep popping up because, like with any new technology, there's always room for improvement. Harmony believes its network and unique architecture are making significant headway on one of the cornerstone challenges in the crypto world: How do you really scale a network without sacrificing security and decentralization? The answer to this, according to Harmony, is a process called sharding, which puts validators on the network into multiple groups and lets them approve transactions at the same time, which eases the congestion many blockchain networks deal with. 

Now, Harmony is not the only network applying this approach; the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade will also include sharding. But Harmony's approach appears to have the potential to process more transactions. While Ethereum 2.0 will give the network the potential to process up to 100,000 transactions per second, Harmony is planning to be able to process 1 million transactions per second in the not-too-distant future, and potentially as many as 10 million on a longer-term basis.

Harmony's sharding is done through a random generation process, keeping the network secure. And the ONE tokens that fuel the network are created through energy-efficient proof-of-stake mining, in which users stake their ONE tokens to validate transactions, opposed to using lots of computer power to solve a cryptographic puzzle. 

Harmony's innovative infrastructure has enabled it to share data with other blockchain networks, partly by having nodes on other networks validate transactions. This could be huge for cross-border payments because Harmony removes steps that would otherwise need to be taken when converting money or tokens between various blockchain networks. The gas fees for transactions are also very cheap on Harmony, which has been an issue on other networks.

Trading at roughly $0.26, the price of the ONE token is up more than 6,300% this year and now has a market cap of $2.7 billion. Smaller cryptocurrencies like Harmony can always be volatile, but the network certainly seems to be doing something very special right now.

Focus on the future

It's always easy to look back on the opportunities you missed with regret, but all you can do now is focus on the future. The crypto world is still relatively young and lots of opportunities abound. Basic Attention Token and Harmony are two you should be looking at.

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Bram Berkowitz owns Bitcoin. Keith Noonan has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Apple, Basic Attention Token, and Bitcoin. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.