by Nick Donahue - December 6, 2018

How you could have turned $1,000 into a fortune in 2017

2017 was a breakout year for Bitcoin.There were highs and lows, but now BTC has stabilized at around $8200. Early adopters (“crypto enthusiasts”) became vindicated in their beliefs in a decentralized future and the average consumer became familiar with hearing words like “Bitcoin” and “cryptocurrency”. The increased interest and attention surely helped fuel the 2017 bull market in crypto.

In this article, we take a look of what a $1000 bet into different altcoins (e.g., cryptocurrencies that are not Bitcoin) could have returned. We will start by exploring some of the top performing initial coin offerings (ICOs) from 2017 to the present. Hopefully, along the way, this will offer some perspective for those that are currently stuck in the gloom of today’s bear market.

Top Performing ICOs


ICO Price: $0.007

Current Price: $2.8

Change in Price: 39,903%

A $1000 investment in Stratis would yield $399,030

Stratis is a smart contract platform that offers many of the features that Ethereum does. It was built with C# on the .NET framework making it ready for many enterprise applications right out of the box. Ethereum uses the proprietary language Solidity, which many saw as a barrier to enterprises. The idea is that many organizations may already have C# engineers, and integrating smart contracts into their existing codebase may be easier as a result. Many saw Stratis as a very solid investment because of its many advantages over ETH in the field of smart contracts. In addition companies and institutions can implement their own sidechains with customizable features that are still interoperable with the main Stratis blockchain. An investment in Stratis represents a belief in the many enterprise applications of blockchain as Statis is one of the most compelling BaaS (blockchain as a service) projects.


ICO Price: $0.001

Current Price: $0.199

Change in Price: 19,816%

A $1000 investment in Spectrecoin would yield $198,160

Spectrecoin was a fork of Shadowcash (SDC). One major difference is that it runs over the TOR network offering additional privacy. One of the key goals of the project was to make a user-friendly yet private cryptocurrency. Spectrecoin has many fairly unique features. One of which is the fact that it’s proof-of-stake. This was one of the first implementations of this feature for a privacy coin. Despite being on only a few obscure exchanges (limiting its daily trading volume), Spectrecoin has grown to prices as high as $6. Additionally, with a relatively low market cap (measured in the tens of millions) there’s potentially a lot of room for XSPEC to grow even further.


ICO Price: $0.01

Current Price: $1.614

Change in Price: 16,041%

A $1000 investment in Ark would yield $160,410

It’s easy to remember what Ark does through its name. Ark is an “arc” or bridge. The key feature that the team developed was “Smart Bridges”. These act as the intermediary between separate blockchains that allow them to communicate and trigger programmatic events between the chains. In addition, Ark allows developers to build on top of it with a number of popular programing languages such as Python, Elixir, RPC, Java, and even Apple’s Swift. Ark also incorporates Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) as a consensus algorithm. One of the key value propositions with Ark is its flexibility and ease of use. It’s easy to fork Ark and create new projects off of these forks. This makes it an ideal sandbox for small organizations to test blockchain applications. Additionally Ark’s team is comprised of many industry veterans. The CTO was one of the core developers in Lisk. Lisk was one of the most respected blockchain projects by developers.


ICO Price: $0.076

Current Price: $5.91

Change in Price: 7,676%

A $1000 investment in Lisk would yield $76,760

Lisk allows developers to write blockchain based applications in Javascript. The significance of this comes from the fact that Javascript is a daily staple for most popular tech companies. In essence Lisk was designed to make blockchain development more accessible. In addition to customizable blockchains and smart contracts, Lisk brings many other interesting features to the table. Cloud storage and compute nodes are fairly unique, they offer developers the flexibility to host and power apps. This makes Lisk an comprehensive platform to build, distribute, and monetize their applications in an all-in-one platform. Lisk also provides sidechains for each project created on it. Issues on sidechains will not compromise Lisk’s main chain and lead to the necessity of a hardfork. Additionally Lisk is one of the most respected projects in terms of developers. This might come from the fact that they’re offering the ability to develop blockchain applications in one of the most commonly used programming languages in the world.


ICO Price: $0.022

Current Price: $1.671

Change in Price: 7,497%

A $1000 investment in Komodo would yield $74,970

Komodo incorporates zero knowledge proofs to anonymize transactions. It was developed by a team called SuperNET who forked it from Zcash. Aside from the price appreciating several manifold from its ICO, Komodo also pays dividends to holders. Holders receive 5% annually for holding Komodo in their wallets. Komodo uses an innovative system called Delayed Proof of Workto ensure security and immutability. Delayed proof of work or “dPOW” is a creative consensus mechanism that allows one blockchain to piggy-back on the security of a secondary chain. Komodo attaches itself to the Bitcoin blockchain by creating custom transactions to “notarize” its blocks. These transactions are signed with data from Komodo’s blockchain, allowing Komodo to enjoy the security of Bitcoin’s POW blockchain.


ICO Price: $0.033

Current Price: $1.927

Change in Price: 5,738%

A $1000 investment in Ethos would yield $57,380

Ethos was originally called Bitquence in their ICO. The overall goal of the project is to popularize cryptocurrency use and investing to the masses. Within the Ethos app you can invest in collections of coins that are categorized by different traits like Big Cap Coins, Privacy Coins, or Cloud Computing Coins. Users can transfer BTC, ETH, or BQX into the Ethos app to buy diversified baskets of different crypto assets. One of the big bets from the Ethos team was making a user friendly mobile app that would hopefully make crypto more usable and accessible to everyday people. Ethos aims to be the “go-to” on-ramp for everyday people to exchange fiat currency for crypto.


ICO Price: $0.602

Current Price: $36.438

Change in Price: 5,953%

A $1000 investment in Augur would yield $59,530

The core theory behind Augur is harnessing the wisdom of crowds to predict a variety of different events. The goal of Augur was to create an accurate and democratic prediction market. The native token is Augur or REP. The token is used to buy “shares” that represent different outcomes of an event. Payouts go to individuals that predict correctly. Shares can be traded like coins or stocks. The market value of a share therefore becomes connected to the probability of an event taking place. The goal of the founders was to leverage crowdfunded data to create a reliable “search-engine” that users can use to get reliable predictions on a variety of different events.


ICO Price: $0.134

Current Price: $4.976

Change in Price: 3,613%

A $1000 investment in Particl would yield $36,130

Particl is a privacy focused project launched in 2017. Particl uses similar technology as Monero in that it uses Ring CT technology. The most important aspect of the Particl project is a decentralized anonymous marketplace. Particl Desktop was meant to be a decentralized marketplace where users can transact peer to peer. Unlike other online shopping sites, Particl Desktop has no intermediary fees. It was designed to be private as a first priority. Particl desktop is in alpha right now. The second development in Particl’s beta is a governance system that offers voting control to users of the platform. When this feature is active on the mainnet, active users will be able to self-govern and kick bad actors off the platform.


ICO Price: $3.235

Current Price: $106.352

Change in Price: 3,188%

A $1000 investment in Digixdao would yield $31,880

Digixdao is one of the most interesting projects out there in that it relates to physical asset in the real world. A “DAO” is a decentralized autonomous organization. In the case of DigixDao the asset of the organization is managing a supply of gold. All DGD holders are rewarded with DGX a token that directly represents 1 gram of gold. Digix utilized PoA or Proof of Assets that is recorded on the Ethereum blockchain. There are 3 facets of Digixdao’s ecosystem. Vendors that sell the organization gold, Auditors that check the quantity and quality of the gold, and Custodian vaults that store the gold.


ICO Price: $0.307

Current Price: $9.175

Change in Price: 2,889%

A $1000 investment in QTUM would yield $28,890

Qtum is an open source project managed by the Qtum Foundation. Qtum employs technical details from other projects. It’s founding team includes veterans like Neil Mahi and Jordan Earls that have been core contributors in other projects. Qtum uses code from both Ether and Bitcoin. Qtum employs smart contracts combined with Bitcoin’s UTXO (Unspent Transaction Output). UTXO helps Qtum’s nodes validate transactions in the database.Qtum also employs proof of stake. Overall the project borrows a lot from working ideas within blockchain to build a hybridized chain dedicated to enterprise applications.

Identifying the next winners

It’s safe to say that we’re still very early in the overall timeline for blockchain projects. Projects take time to fully mature and reach their targeted potentials. Additionally, markets are cyclical and we could just be in a down market overall with factors outside of everyone’s control. Regulation plays a big part in the cryptocurrency market as well. Uncertainty about regulation can be an inhibiting factor for many institutions participating.

However, one thing remains clear, its important to have an in-depth understanding of what you’re investing in. It’s always important to do your own research. A good platform to research alongside peers is is a social platform for crypto traders, enthusiasts, and newcomers. The current fragmented landscape makes it hard for people to get into crypto.’s platform acts as a dashboard allowing for users to interact with friends, manage your portfolio, discover new coins, and catch up on all things crypto. Hilo’s token will be utilized to incentivize users, transact, and encourage widespread token adoption to the average person. is your connection to crypto.

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