There's a lot of speculation and many questions surrounding cryptocurrencies at the moment with the market currently sitting at 29 per cent below its all-time high in November.
But there's a silver lining: every past downturn has proved to be a buying opportunity, and there are still dozens of cryptocurrencies worth owning.
Cardano and Fantom appear to be two such tokens, which could be smart, long-term investments.
Cardano is a programmable blockchain powered by the ADA token, which is currently ranked as the seventh-most-valuable cryptocurrency.
Cardano aims to be a better version of Ethereum, and it characterises itself in three ways.
After it was launched in September 2017 by Charles Hoskinson, Cardano mostly remained under the radar of traders until the end of November 2020.
The token then witnessed a price surge of nearly 100 per cent in seven days in early February 2021, amid high interest from investors.
Since then, the cryptocurrency has jumped by 1,520 per cent, with a total market capitalisation of US$51.5 billion.
According to its website, ADA is the only coin with a “scientific philosophy and research-driven approach”. In practical terms, this means its open-source blockchain undergoes a rigorous peer-review process by scientists and programmers in academia.
The way Cardano was developed is unique. The platform was built in five stages, focusing on its foundation, decentralisation, smart contracts, scalability, and governance.
Moreover, the team frequently submits research papers for academic peer review, taking an evidence-based approach to development.
According to crypto analyst Santiment, on 3 January, Cardano was rated as the "most developed cryptocurrency asset" of 2021.
These numbers are compelling because they suggest Cardano is winning the hearts and minds of developers and investors.
Wallet Investor predicts Cardano's average price could kick off 2023 at US $2.79, climbing to US $9.22 in five years' time.
Fantom operates as a decentralised and open-source layer-1 blockchain that is powered by the Lachesis consensus mechanism. Lachesis uses a proof-of-stake structure that enables transactions to be quick, secure and scalable.
In fact, Fantom can handle thousands of transactions per second (TPS).
To understand this, Ethereum (which is the largest dApp and DeFi ecosystem) can handle about 14 TPS and it takes six minutes for those transactions to be incorporated into the blockchain.
That means Fantom is far more scalable than Ethereum, which could help it take market shares.
Looking at the next few years, as Fantom-powered dApps and DeFi products become more popular, rising demand for FTM tokens should drive its price higher.
These points all suggest this cryptocurrency could be a smart long-term investment.
It’s important to keep in mind that cryptocurrency markets remain extremely volatile, making it difficult for experts to accurately predict what a coin’s price will be in a few hours, and even harder to give long-term estimates.
As such, analysts can and do get their predictions wrong, so always do your own research.