Hidden Cryptocurrency Gems: 4 Terrific Altcoins with Little to No Marketing Budget

Some cryptocurrencies remain relatively unknown for a good reason – they usually bring nothing new to the table, or are mere copies of existing successful projects like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

However, among the +2,000 cryptocurrencies listed on CoinMarketCap, there are a small handful of promising projects which deserve more attention than their marketing budgets can afford.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few altcoins which continue to fly under the mainstream radar despite solid fundamentals and and dedicated communities.

DigiByte (DGB)

Looking at the features underpinning the DigiByte blockchain it’s hard not to wonder why it isn’t more popular. A lack of marketing funds might have something to do with it, as evidenced last year when Binance appeared to demand ‘pay-for-play’ from DigiByte founder Jared Tate regarding a coin listing for DGB.

Since DigiByte launched without an ICO in 2014, the kind of money floating around for marketing and er, bribes, wasn’t easily found. DigiByte continues on without that prized listing – and that might just give DigiByte the unwanted title of ‘the best coin not on Binance’.

DigiByte is the longest UTXO (unspent transaction output, i.e. like Bitcoin) blockchain in the world, and can currently handle 560 transactions per second. New blocks are mined every fifteen seconds, meaning transactions are confirmed almost instantly. Fees are almost non-existent thanks to real-time difficulty adjustment for miners, and security is assured by circling through five different hashing algorithms for every five blocks.

One user experimented by sending himself DGB on his Ledger Nano S, and discovered that he had to send 500,000 transactions of 100,000 DGB before his fees exceeded one penny.

How to Market DigiByte?

The community-driven DigiByte Foundation was formed in 2018 to give the project’s marketing a boost in the arm. In the meantime, the best advertisement for DigiByte might still be its technology. Check out Why Investors Should Pay Attention to DigiByte for a further rundown on its most prominent features. Like every other coin on this list, DigiByte is not owned by anyone, and is as public and decentralized as Bitcoin – or even more so, if those claims of 200,000 active nodes are accurate.

How DigiByte looks under the hood compared to Bitcoin

Komodo (KMD)

Komodo is an open-source project created with the intention of being the one ring to rule them all. Or in the words of the pseudonymous founder of Komodo:

We the asset holders hereby declare our independence from any single blockchain. An open and jointly developed specification on cross-chain atomic asset transfers will be developed. Any current or future blockchain is invited to join”

The idea was to connect all the blockchains via one chain, and as of 2019 the team claim compatibility with 95% of existing blockchains. Komodo comes with its own decentralized exchange – the BarterDEX – which remains a rare and impressive piece of tech. Via the BarterDEX, Komodo has conducted over a thousand Atomic Swaps – the process of exchanging two coins from two different blockchains.

If decentralized exchanges really are the way of the future, then Komodo already has a leg up. With Atomic Swaps, users can exchange some EOS for some BTC, for example, and do not need to worry about using a trusted third-party intermediary.

Komodo was mentioned by Binance’s CZ in a Fortune article last year, where he spoke positively of multi-chain projects like KMD. As a hardfork of Zcash (ZEC), Komodo also comes with the option of private transactions, and uses a delayed Proof-of-Work (dPoW) system where the KMD blockchain is regularly backed up on the Bitcoin blockchain – meaning that for Komodo to fall, Bitcoin would have to too.

How to Market Komodo?

Like DigiByte, Komodo is a feature-heavy project with many interesting technical quirks, including personalized blockchains and token launches. Read Why Investors Should Pay Attention to Komodo to learn more.

Like with DigiByte, it’s easy to scratch your head and wonder why projects with so much to show for themselves don’t get more recognition. Komodo’s ICO raised just under $2 million in 2016, and 10% of that went to a ‘development and marketing’ budget. From that $200,000, BTC transaction fees have to be paid to keep Komodo backed up on the Bitcoin blockchain, and three years on very little must be left for large marketing campaigns.

Golem (GNT)

Golem’s relationship with marketing is unique. It’s already a well known project in the crypto community, and one that’s watched with curiosity by people who aren’t necessarily invested in it. On top of that, the Golem Network is already up and running, and is supplying distributed computing power for complex rendering at a fraction of the cost of its established competitors.

And here’s why Golem makes it onto this list: those established competitors are not other blockchain projects, they’re major firms like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Additionally, by this stage, Golem’s marketing should no longer be aimed at cryptocurrency investors, but the kind of customer base already using those aforementioned services.

The cloud computing industry is set to become a $400 billion juggernaut by 2020, as businesses cut the costs of physical hardware and offload it onto Amazon and Microsoft’ centralized servers.

These companies have cornered the market to an extent that in some cases they can charge over $100 per month for 1TB of computing bandwidth. Yet computing power is not that expensive – especially when it is siphoned off piecemeal from idle computers the world over, like with Golem.

How To Market Golem?

There are more people offering their computing services on the Golem Network than there are people looking to buy them. They say ‘Build it and they will come’, but Golem has been built and ‘they’ still haven’t came, at least not in the numbers expected by Golem enthusiasts. Golem did unveil this promo video at the Ethereal Summit in 2018 – the beginnings of a marketing campaign?

Development is not finished on the project, and it’s still seen as rough around the edges by some Blender users who have tested it. But if Golem can break out of its crypto confines and get noticed by the larger rendering/animation industry, one gets the feeling its piecemeal-pricing would speak for itself, and its lack of marketing would ultimately prove irrelevant in the end.

Ravencoin (RVN)

Ravencoin’s lack of marketing is partly what has earned its success thus far. In a time of airdrops, ICO’s and free cars, Ravencoin’s quiet launch in 2018 went largely unheralded. Fast forward one year and miners have taken such a liking to it that its hashrate has already exceeded that of Ethereum Classic (ETC).

At first glance Ravencoin can seem a little bit like a clone of multiple other coins we’ve seen recently. From the coin’s announcement page:

“This is a new open-source project that anyone can contribute towards with the goal of utilizing the blockchain to facilitate the transfer of assets.”

We’ve all become so accustomed to hearing the word ‘assets’ used interchangeably with ‘funds’ or ‘tokens’, but logging assets on a blockchain as opposed to fungible cryptocurrencies demands much more in the way of metadata. From the documentation:

These tokens can have whatever properties the issuer of the token decides – so they can be limited in quantity, divisible or not, named and be issued as securities or as collectibles.”

Ravencoin comes with an inbuilt messaging service, which can help facilitate negotiations between parties when transacting across the blockchain. Also, unlike Ethereum, Ravencoin can differentiate between assets and mere transactions.

How to Market Ravencoin?

Ravencoin’s best marketing campaign was probably the 500% growth of its RVN coin during Q1 of 2019. That came soon after a Binance listing in late 2018, and since then the RVN/BTC pair on that exchange has become the most active market for Ravencoin trades.

Conclusion – And A Hard Choice

All of these projects are open-source and community driven, and as such tend to lack a bombastic, loud and opportunistic leader to market for them. Compare that to Tron’s Justin Sun, who just announced the giveaway of a free Tesla along with multiple airdrops, and you start to see that progress in the crypto world is not always achieved by merely providing the best tech.

After seeing the split between the (often excellent) coins with zero marketing, and the (often pointless) coins with lots of marketing – you find yourself assaulted with a hard question.

Do you throw your money in with the nice, honest guys with the promising tech? Or do you jump on the hype train of the next well-funded shitcoin, knowing full well that you’ll have to jump off before the marketing funds run out?

Hopefully the wheat will soon be separated from the chaff and that won’t be a choice we’ll have to make.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Greg Thomson is a freelance writer who contributes to leading cryptocurrency and blockchain publications like CCN, Hacked, and others.