6 Key Cryptocurrencies Besides Bitcoin
There are a number of alternative cryptocurrencies have been emerging, trying to represent themselves as a better version of Bitcoin - with varying success.
There is no second opinion that Bitcoin is far the best known and valuable cryptocurrency. It became almost synonymous with the term as a trendsetter. However, a number of alternative cryptocurrencies have been emerging, trying to represent themselves as a better version of the Bitcoin, with varying success. These cryptocurrencies are widely known as 'altcoins'.
Some of them are easier to mine, but on the other hand, they have lower liquidity, which makes investing in them riskier. There are hundreds of altcoins on the market today, but we want to bring to your attention six of them, identified by Prableen Bajpai, the Founding Director at Indian financial research and education company FinFix, as potentially interesting and promising.
1. Litecoin (LTC)
Often referred as the ‘silver’, as compared to the ‘gold’ of Bitcoin, Litecoin was created in 2011 by Charlie Lee, a former engineer in Google and graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Litecoin is not controlled by any central authority and uses “scrypt” as a proof of work. Notably, it offers faster transaction confirmation. A growing number of merchants accept Litecoin, making it a sustainable alternative for the Bitcoin.
2. Ethereum (ETH)
Ethereum is a decentralized software platform that was launched back in 2015. Public interest was triggered a year before the official launch of the Ether, Ethereum’s token, which was available on pre-sale and attracted huge demand. The Ether is used mainly by developers who want to develop apps on the Ethereum platform. The coin is considered secure and it can be used to trade almost everything. Following the 2016 attack on the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), a programme that was meant to democratize how Ethereum projects are funded, Ethereum was split in half into Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC).
3. Zcash (ZEC)
Launched in the second half of 2016, Zcash is another promising cryptocurrency, which also pretends to be a better version of Bitcoin, especially in terms of security. “Zcash is the first open, permissionless cryptocurrency that can fully protect the privacy of transactions using zero-knowledge cryptography,” its website claims. All transactions are published on a blockchain, with personal details such as sender, recipient and amount remaining private.
The Dash, which was launched back in 2014 under the name Darkcoin, is commonly known to be the more secretive version of Bitcoin, with its transactions almost impossible to be traced. The coin, which was rebranded in 2015 to Dash, standing for Digital Cash, has been enjoying high popularity.
5. Ripple (XRP)
The main advantage of Ripple is that it offers low-cost international payments. “Ripple connects banks, payment providers, digital asset exchanges and corporates via RippleNet to provide one frictionless experience to send money globally,” its website explains. A major feature that differs Ripple from the competition is that this currency doesn’t need mining, so the usage of computer power is significantly reduced and the network latency is minimized.
Launched in April 2014, Monero is an open-source cryptocurrency that is developed by donations. Monero’s website claims it is "secure, private, and untraceable". It uses a special technique, called “ring signatures”, which allows full privacy.
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