Arguably the most well known cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is a digital payment system released in 2009 as open source software .
The system is peer-to-peer (P2P) and called the first decentralized digital currency.
Transactions occur directly between users and are anonymous. They can be impossible to trace unless the Bitcoins are converted to USD or any other real currencies.
Bitcoin can be exchanged for various other non-digital currencies or another cryptocurrency. It can be used for products and services in legal or black markets, such as in the deep web.
In 2010, a pizza was bought using 10,000 bitcoins. Today,1 bitcoin is worth $3835, making that pizza worth more than $38 million.
Bitcoin may be the primary cryptocurrency but upwards of one thousand alternatives exist today, sometimes called altcoins.
Let’s look at 5 of these alternatives :
Dash is a blend of 2 words “digital” and “cash“. It was first released in 2014 as XCoin (XCO). The name was later changed to Darkcoin. It was finally rebranded as Dash in 2015.
Dash is open-source and built on the core of Bitcoin. But it comes with the added benefits of complete privacy and instant transactions. It also offers very low transaction fees.
As of June 2017, the daily trade volume of Dash is about 100 million US Dollars every day.
Today, 1 DASH is valued at $208.
Dash boasts of a market capitalization of $ 1.55 billion and a circulating supply of 7,487,479 DASH, making it the current market’s 9th most valuable cryptocurrency.
Dash is supposed to have a maximum supply of 18,900,000 DASH and this supply has been estimated to come to an end only in 2300.
Here is the official website for Dash.
Having existed since 2012, the name Ripple is used for both the cryptocurrency (XRP) and the payment protocol used to transfer currency (RTXP).
It is one cryptocurrency not built on Bitcoin. It offers immediate conversion into various currencies. Users are even able to convert BTC to XRP and vice-versa.
The Ripple protocol is now being accepted and adopted by banks, financial corporations and payment networks. In terms of price and security, Ripple is helpful over Bitcoin.
1 XRP is valued at $0.177007.
Its daily trade volume is more than $66 million.
Ripple boasts of a market capitalization of nearly $7 billion, thereby making it the 3rd largest cryptocurrency today.
Currently there are 38,352,642,160 XRP circulating. The maximum available supply is 100,000,000,000 XRP.
Here is the official website for Ripple.
Ethereum is an open source decentralized platform that went live in 2015. Its cryptocurrency token is called Ether. It is the 2nd largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization, next only to Bitcoin.
At present, 1 ETH is valued at $315. Ethereum’s daily trade volume is more than $1 billion.
It boasts of a market capitalization of nearly $30 billion. Currently, Ethereum has a circulating supply of 93,950,023 ETH.
Advantages include :
Safe from third parties,
Protected from corruption and tampering,
Applications are never down or off.
Even companies like J.P. Morgan Chase and banks like the Royal Bank of Scotland have approved of Ethereum.
Proposals have been made to use this in enterprises in various sectors from banking and management to technology and entertainment.
Litecoin is an open source software and P2P cryptocurrency released in 2011. Although, Litecoin is based on Bitcoin, it offers a number of advantages : more transactions in less time, reduced congestion, negligible payment cost.
1 LTC is valued at $46.79.
Its daily trade volume is more than $143 million.
Litecoin is the 6th largest cryptocurrency because of its current market capitalization value of more than $2 billion.
Litecoin has a circulating value of 52,429,657 LTC and the maximum supply is 84,000,000 LTC.
This is the official Litecoin website.
Released in 2015, NEM is yet another P2P decentralized cryptocurrency blockchain platform. It is written in Java, with a C++ version being developed.
NEM has a host of new features like proof-of-importance (POI) algorithm, encrypted communication and aims to reduce the number of inauthentic files. NEM has implemented multi-signature technology thus making it nearly impossible to use a stolen wallet. NEM is user-oriented and can run on third-party software.
NEM uses the Mijin blockchain, which is being reviewed by financial corporations and private companies globally. Mijin significantly reduces costs and increases security. As per the latest test results, Mijin has achieved a rate of 10000 transactions per second on a local network and 100 transactions per second on a global network.
1 XEM is valued at $0.275.
Its daily trade volume is nearly $10 million.
NEM is the 5th largest thanks to its capitalization value of $ 2.5 billion.
It has a maximum supply of 8,999,999,999 XEM, which is more than 400 times that of BTC.
NEM even offers a mobile wallet app and a browser extension (Nanowallet) for desktops.
This is NEM’s official website.
Changelly – Lets you exchange cryptocurrency at the best rates.
Shapeshift – Lets you trade blockchain assets.
CoinMarketCap – lets you check out instantaneous values of various cryptocurrencies, along with their market statuses.
CryptoCompare – where you can discuss Cryptocurrency and look at markets in real time.
Be sure to check out our article on the 5 Best Investment Apps for Android.
Share what cryptocurrency alternatives you prefer in the comments!