5 Best Cryptocurrency Stocks to Buy Now in 2018

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5 Best Cryptocurrency Stocks to Buy NowWall Street has a major crush on cryptocurrency markets that it just can't seem to get over. Stock investors look upon the massive gains earned by early Bitcoin and Ethereum investors with envy. They see the value in blockchain technology and distributed ledgers and want to get in on the action before the markets have fully priced in the impact that cryptocurrencies will have on the economy. While most investors won't put in the effort to open up an account with a private cryptocurrency exchange like Binance or Coinbase, there are still plenty of opportunities to get exposure to cryptocurrencies in the public markets.

Don't be fooled though. Publicly-traded companies know their stock price will skyrocket if they make a blockchain announcement, so companies like Long Blockchain Corp (formerly Long Island Ice Tea Corporation) are making spurious pivots into Blockchain technology to ride the hype train. Does anyone really think that an Ice Tea company will become a major player in cryptocurrency markets?

Fortunately, there are plenty of legitimate companies that stand to gain from the cryptocurrency mega-trend. Here are five cryptocurrency stocks that you might consider for your portfolio

#1 - AMD (NASDAQ:AMD)

Advanced Micro Devices logoBitcoin is mined using high-end specialized hardware packages called ASICs that perform no other function than mining Bitcoin. Creators of newer cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Dash wanted to make it so that everyone could mine cryptocurrencies, not just centralized mining facilities with specialized hardware in parts of the world with cheap electricity. They changed their hashing algorithms so that anyone with a modern computer and graphics card, like those made by AMD and Nvidia, could mine their coins. 

AMD's Radeon graphics cards are preferred by cryptocurrency miners because they offer superior hashing performance to those produced by Nvidia. By targeting their products toward miners, they have significantly expanded their potential market size by creating products that can be sold to high-end computer gamers and to cryptocurrency miners.

There are plenty of other reasons to like the company as well. AMD's revenue is now steadily growing again after years of not being able to compete with rival Intel. Analysts keep raising their price targets on the stock and their financials are looking better quarter-by-quarter. 

About Advanced Micro Devices
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. is a global semiconductor company. The Company is engaged in offering x86 microprocessors, as standalone devices or as incorporated into an accelerated processing unit (APU), chipsets, discrete graphics processing units (GPUs) and professional graphics, and server and embedded processors and semi-custom System-on-Chip (SoC) products and technology for game consoles. The Company's segments include the Computing and Graphics segment, and the Enterprise, Embedded and Semi-Custom segment. The Computing and Graphics segment primarily includes desktop and notebook processors and chipsets, discrete GPUs and professional graphics. The Enterprise, Embedded and Semi-Custom segment primarily includes server and embedded processors, semi-custom SoC products, development services, technology for game consoles and licensing portions of its intellectual property portfolio.

Current Price: $9.99
Consensus Rating: Hold
Ratings Breakdown: 13 Buy Ratings, 11 Hold Ratings, 5 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $14.6029 (46.2% Upside)

#2 - IBM (NYSE:IBM)

IBM logoMany of us think of International Business Machines (IBM) as a relic of times past. They no longer produce personal computers and largely sell specialized technology service to Fortune 500 companies. This might not be exciting to most, but IBM has been able to introduce and scale new technologies into the Enterprise like no one else. 

IBM is now focusing on democratic applications of the blockchain, allowing its customers to create networks, setup governance rules, invite members into the network and validate transactions. It has launched a consultancy for blockchain technologies teaching companies how to best use the technology and create their own blockchain networks. It has also launched a "blockchain accelerator" program to help guide businesses through the technical and legal ramifications of running blockchain networks.

IBM has also launched an open-source collaboration initiative called Hyperledger that hopes to expand the use of the blockchain in all industries. Hyperledger already has more than 130 member companies in industries spanning financial services, manufacturing and technology all working together to create a distributed ledger framework that is standardized and open.

About IBM
International Business Machines Corporation operates as an integrated technology and services company worldwide. Its Cognitive Solutions segment offers Watson, a cognitive computing platform that interacts in natural language, processes big data, and learns from interactions with people and computers. This segment also offers data and analytics solutions, including analytics and data management platforms, cloud data services, enterprise social software, talent management solutions, and solutions tailored by industry; and transaction processing software that runs mission-critical systems in banking, airlines, and retail industries. The company's Global Business Services segment offers business consulting services; delivers system integration, application management, maintenance, and support services for packaged software applications; and finance, procurement, talent and engagement, and industry-specific business process outsourcing services. Its Technology Services & Cloud Platforms segment provides cloud, project-based, outsourcing, and other managed services for enterprise IT infrastructure environments. This segment also offers technical support, and software and solution support; and integration software solutions. The company's Systems segment offers servers for businesses, cloud service providers, and scientific computing organizations; data storage products and solutions; and z/OS, an enterprise operating system. Its Global Financing segment provides lease, installment payment plans, and loan financing services; short-term working capital financing to suppliers, distributors, and resellers; and remanufacturing and remarketing services. The company was formerly known as Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co. and changed its name to International Business Machines Corporation in 1924. International Business Machines Corporation was founded in 1911 and is headquartered in Armonk, New York.

Current Price: $144.90
Consensus Rating: Hold
Ratings Breakdown: 9 Buy Ratings, 14 Hold Ratings, 5 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $166.4023 (14.8% Upside)

#3 - Overstock (NASDAQ:OSTK)

Overstock.com logoThe markets have been kind to Overstock (OSTK) for the last several months, primarily because of its growing focus on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

One of its divisions, Medici Ventures, has quietly been working on blockchain technologies for the last three years. According to its website, Medici focuses on “six key areas of emerging crypto-industries” — capital markets, money and banking, identity, land, voting and underlying tech.

Overstock has a a number of portfolio companies dedicated to working on blockchain technology, with tZero being the most prominent. TZero will soon be launching an initial coin offering (ICO) to fund the development of SEC-compliant trade tokens as an an alternative to traditional financial markets. 


About Overstock.com
Overstock.com, Inc. operates as an online retailer in the United States. It operates in two segments, Direct and Partner. The company offers home and garden products, including furniture, home decor, garden and patio, kitchen and dining, bedding, home improvement, housewares, and other related products; jewelry and watches; clothing and accessories; electronics and computers; and other products. It also provides handcrafted products; new, used, and certified pre-owned cars; and loans, credit cards, and insurance, as well as access links to automated financial advisory and discounted stock brokerage services. The company sells its products and services through its Internet Websites located at overstock.com, o.co, and o.biz, as well as through third party logistics providers to international customers. The company was formerly known as D2-Discounts Direct and changed its name to Overstock.com, Inc. in October 1999. Overstock.com, Inc. was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Midvale, Utah.

Current Price: $36.65
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 2 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $62.50 (70.5% Upside)

#4 - Square (NYSE:SQ)

Square logoSquare (SQ) could be the first established payments company to fully integrate Bitcoin technology into their payments platform.

Square helps small business owners around the globe accept credit cards through point-of-sale systems and mobile card readers. Business owners might flock to the platform if they become the company that allows them to easily and seamlessly accept Bitcoin. Just about every business owner in the world wishes they had bought Bitcoin five years ago, and owning some that the receive as payments for their business will help business owners feel like they're part of the cryptocurrency mega-trend. 

Square CEO Jack Dorsey has previously called blockchain the "next big unlock" and the company is actively testing Bitcoin payments in its marketplace app, Square Cash. If Square becomes the company that makes it easy to buy Bitcoin and use it for payments, it could benefit from a first-mover advantage and generate significant fee revenue from people using their platform to buy and sell the cryptocurrency.

About Square
Square, Inc. provides payment and point-of-sale solutions in the United States and internationally. The company's commerce ecosystem includes point-of-sale software and hardware that enables sellers to turn mobile and computing devices into payment and point-of-sale solutions. It offers hardware products, including Magstripe reader, which enables swiped transactions of magnetic stripe cards; Contactless and chip reader that accepts Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) chip cards and Near Field Communication payments; Chip card reader, which accepts EMV chip cards and enables swiped transactions of magnetic stripe cards; Square Stand, which enables an iPad to be used as a payment terminal or full point of sale solution; and Square Register that combines its hardware, point-of-sale software, and payments technology, as well as managed payments solutions. The company also provides Square Point of Sale software; Cash App, which provides access to the financial system, allowing customers to electronically send, store, and spend money; Caviar, a food ordering platform for restaurants to offer food ordering, pickup and delivery, to their customers; and Square Capital that facilitates loans to sellers based on real-time payment and point-of-sale data. Square, Inc. was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

Current Price: $51.46
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 22 Buy Ratings, 11 Hold Ratings, 2 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $43.2576 (-15.9% Upside)

#5 - Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Microsoft logoMicrosoft's (MSFT) Azure cloud computing arm hopes to offer the first mainstream blockchain solution to enterprise businesses. The company is now selling new distributed ledger infrastructure and offering several different blockchain apps for companies to create their own cryptocurrency networks. 

According to Microsoft,  “Rather than spending hours building out and configuring the infrastructure, we have automated these time-consuming pieces to allow you to focus on building out your scenarios and applications. You are only charged for the underlying infrastructure resources consumed, such as compute, storage, and networking. There are no incremental charges for the solution itself.”



About Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports software products, services, and devices worldwide. The company's Productivity and Business Processes segment offers Office 365 commercial products and services for businesses, including Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business, and related Client Access Licenses (CALs); Office 365 consumer services, such as Skype, Outlook.com, and OneDrive; Dynamics business solutions, such as financial management, enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, supply chain management, and analytics applications for small and mid-size businesses, large organizations, and divisions of enterprises; and LinkedIn online professional network. Its Intelligent Cloud segment licenses server products and cloud services, such as Microsoft SQL Server, Windows Server, Visual Studio, System Center, and related CALs, as well as Azure, a cloud platform; and enterprise services, such as Premier Support and Microsoft Consulting that assist in developing, deploying, and managing Microsoft server and desktop solutions, as well as providing training and certification to developers and IT professionals on Microsoft products. The company's More Personal Computing segment comprises Windows OEM, volume, and other non-volume licensing of the Windows operating system; patent licensing, Windows Internet of Things, MSN display advertising, and Windows Phone licensing system; devices, including Microsoft Surface, phones, and PC accessories; and search advertising, including Bing and Bing Ads. It also provides gaming platforms, including Xbox hardware, Xbox Live, video games, and third-party video games. The company markets and distributes its products through original equipment manufacturers, distributors, and resellers, as well as through online and Microsoft retail stores. It has a strategic partnership with CNH Industrial N.V. and BlackBerry Limited. The company was founded in 1975 and is headquartered in Redmond, Washington.

Current Price: $95.00
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 28 Buy Ratings, 6 Hold Ratings, 1 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $99.8125 (5.1% Upside)







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