Holding very small amounts in about 16 cryptos, including ripple (heretical to some) & nxt, I have been following closely which is performing the best as I have a vested interest to watch closely.
While I some are relatively new, and a few older ones have fallen by the wayside, for me PeerCoin stands out and is the one I wish I had purchased more why?
Well earlier this year I purchased some TRC, LTC, worked for some FTC, XRP (that right for hard BTC) & PeerCoin.
A quick scout of the forums, and it appeared that sunny king was likely one of if not the most competent devs. The launch of primecoin later in 2013, I feel confirms this view.
When PeerCoin, TRC & FTC hit BTCE, FTC was the one that started highest for a good amount of time, but soon went down, trc was worth double Peercoin. Peercoin sat ~0.0026, then slid down to 0.001x, TRC touched PeerCoin price then shot up, but then sank down, to be well, lets just say that coin gave me headaches and I got out.
At some point though PeerCoin hit home where it counts for core of early adopters, not in the release sense, but the comprehension sense. As a result I think it has had one of the most consisted and built rises in value, versus other that seem to do well on coin cap but then slide in oblivion.
why is this?
 Apart from the DEV’s programing competence, they appear to have a good grasp of maths.
 Further the the style of the DEV is consistently communicative, regular eg weekly updates.
 The DEV looks to be collaborative in the crypo sphere, and not acerbic, which others though brilliant sometimes come off in that manner.
 PeerCoin sets out to solve several issues in the crypto sphere,
power consumption, not some much spam by 0.01 fee 0.01 fee = smaller block chain minting to recover 0.01 fee over time supply limited to about 30 M ~ 10 years to 50 Million by 2050 and not much after that but some, this answers some of the lost coins issue
 Theres no scam going on with the DEV. The DEV like everyone else had to mine or buy the coin
 the DEV actually actively refuses donations, 5 & 6 makes the coins truly stand on it merits and entrenches impartiality of the DEV.
These features make for a powerful proposition of long term high values store of wealth, and this is precisely what we are seeing reflected in the price.
Sure there are issues like check-pointing~which I don’t fully understand, …and waiting for 0.4, as well as perhaps easier minting. but they seem to be being addressed.
BTC is brilliant but it seems to suffer a bit from ossification at the decision making level, block-chain bloat, block height debate, implementation of the mBTC, uBTC, nBTC debate, the whole mining issues. Now there are reasoned answers to all of these, but they are still to do list items.
LTC is what I call a semi class coin and had excellent dev team, and commands hard currency status like BTC in the CC environment, perhaps can try a few
In pure value I think this year PPC has increased more than LTC and BTC.
The final delinkage came not only from USD on BTC but when in the last few days with the recent “crash” I noticed that PeeCoin turned the corner before BTC and LTC did.
Finally the PeerCoin community seems to be one of the best, they are not over the top, but really helpfull, no flame wars going on, not decrying others (that I have seen) it just feels so positive, solid and steady.
PeerCoin set out to be a long term high value chain, and is fast becoming that.
My prediction PeerCoin will be $100 within 12 months in today’s prices, or rather ~ 0.12 BTC to allow for BTC variation.
The Other really interesting currency to watch is EMU, because if it works, among many other things, it could largely solve the stability and thus use as a currency problem.
If I understand EMU right, it keeps the emu more pegged to say USD, but gives the value increase in extra emu’s to emu holders. A big ask but very interesting. EMU Dev and community is also very good.