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: $11.82
Consensus Rating: Hold
Ratings Breakdown: 12 Buy Ratings, 12 Hold Ratings, 4 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $14.93 (26.3% Upside)

#2 - IBM (NYSE:IBM)

International Business Machines 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 International Business Machines
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is a technology company. The Company operates through five segments: Cognitive Solutions, Global Business Services (GBS), Technology Services & Cloud Platforms, Systems and Global Financing. The Cognitive Solutions segment delivers a spectrum of capabilities, from descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics to cognitive systems. Cognitive Solutions includes Watson, a cognitive computing platform that has the ability to interact in natural language, process big data, and learn from interactions with people and computers. The GBS segment provides clients with consulting, application management services and global process services. The Technology Services & Cloud Platforms segment provides information technology infrastructure services. The Systems segment provides clients with infrastructure technologies. The Global Financing segment includes client financing, commercial financing, and remanufacturing and remarketing.

Current Price: $154.19
Consensus Rating: Hold
Ratings Breakdown: 9 Buy Ratings, 14 Hold Ratings, 6 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $164.17 (6.5% 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. is an online retailer and incubator of blockchain technology. Through its online retail business, the Company offers a range of price-competitive brand name, non-brand name and closeout products, including furniture, home decor, bedding and bath, housewares, jewelry and watches, apparel and designer accessories, health and beauty products, electronics and computers, and sporting goods. It operates Retail and Medici businesses. Its Retail business consists of its Direct and Partner segments. Its Other segment consists of Medici. The Company also sells various books, magazines, compact discs (CDs), digital versatile discs (DVDs) and video games. The Company sells these products and services through its Internet Websites located at www.overstock.com, www.o.co and www.o.biz. The Company's other offerings include Worldstock Fair Trade, Main Street Revolution, Farmers Market, Pet Adoptions, Insurance and Supplier Oasis.

Current Price: $64.15
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 2 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $67.50 (5.2% 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. (Square) is a commerce ecosystem. The Company enables its sellers start, run and grow their businesses. It combines software with hardware to enable sellers to turn mobile devices and computing devices into payments and point-of-sale solutions. Once a seller downloads the Square Point of Sale mobile application, they can take their first payment. With its offering, a seller can accept payments in person via magnetic stripe (a swipe), Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) (a dip), or Near Field Communication (NFC) (a tap); or online via Square Invoices, Square Virtual Terminal, or the seller's Website. Once on its system, sellers gain access to technology and features, such as reporting and analytics, next-day settlements, digital receipts, payment dispute management and chargeback protection, and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance. On the consumer (buyer) side, Square Cash offers individuals access to a way to send and receive money.

Current Price: $46.07
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 21 Buy Ratings, 13 Hold Ratings, 1 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $36.44 (-20.9% 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 is a technology company. The Company develops, licenses, and supports a range of software products, services and devices. The Company's segments include Productivity and Business Processes, Intelligent Cloud and More Personal Computing. The Company's products include operating systems; cross-device productivity applications; server applications; business solution applications; desktop and server management tools; software development tools; video games, and training and certification of computer system integrators and developers. It also designs, manufactures, and sells devices, including personal computers (PCs), tablets, gaming and entertainment consoles, phones, other intelligent devices, and related accessories, that integrate with its cloud-based offerings. It offers an array of services, including cloud-based solutions that provide customers with software, services, platforms, and content, and it provides solution support and consulting services.

Current Price: $92.00
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 27 Buy Ratings, 6 Hold Ratings, 1 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $98.68 (7.3% Upside)







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