5 Most Important Cryptocurrencies Other Than Bitcoin
Bitcoin has remained the poster child of the world of cryptocurrency and there is no one denying that Bitcoin has been a trendsetter in the world of cryptocurrencies built on a decentralized peer-to-peer network. It has become the measuring standard for cryptocurrencies in the market. But today, the world of cryptocurrency is not confined just to Bitcoin, there are more than 2000 other cryptocurrencies or so-called altcoins in the market as of January 2020.
While bitcoin is widely seen as a pioneer in the world of cryptocurrencies, people are openly evaluating other options. So, here are the five most important cryptocurrencies worth exploring other than Bitcoin :
1. Ripple (XRP)
Ripple is one of the most famous altcoins there in the market right now. Ripple was launched in 2012, as a real-time global settlement network that offers fast, reliable, and cheap international payments. In other words, Ripple allows banks to settle cross-border payments in real-time, with end-to-end transparency, and at cheaper costs. Ripple’s consensus ledger doesn't' require any kind of mining. In fact, all of Ripple's tokens popularly known as XRP were pre-mined before launch which means that there is no creation of XRP token over time, only addition and removal of XRP from the market supply based on the network guidelines. Since Ripple doesn't need mining, hence it minimizes the network latency and reduces the usage of computing power.
Currently, Ripple is the third-largest cryptocurrency in the world with the overall market cap of around $8.92 billion and per XRP token value of $0.20. Until now Ripple has been successful and remains one of the most popular digital currencies among financial institutions that are trying to change the landscape of cross border payment. With backing from various financial institutions, the future of Ripple seems bright and interesting.
2. Ethereum (ETH)
Ethereum is arguably the most famous bitcoin alternative out there in the market at the moment. Ethereum is a decentralized platform the enables smart contracts and decentralized app popularly known as DApps to be built and run without any kind of interference from a third party. The applications on Ethereum are run on its platform-specific token called Ether. Ether was launched in 2015 and is currently the second-largest digital currency a market cap of $22.4 billion and per ETH token price of $202.22 at the moment. Ethereum still lags behind the bitcoin by a significant margin as of May 2020.
“Make no mistake – Ethereum would never have existed without Bitcoin as a forerunner. That said, I think Ethereum is ahead of Bitcoin in many ways and represents the bleeding edge of digital currency.” - Fred Ehrsam
In 2014, Ethereum launched a presale for ether which started the trend of initial coin offering (ICO) in the world. Ethereum can be used to trade, secure, codify, and decentralize almost anything. After the attack on the DAO in 2016, Ethereum was split into ETH and ETH Classic. Although Ethereum had its decent share of up and down until now, still the future seems quite promising for it.
3. Litecoin (LTC)
Litecoin was created by Charlie Lee, an MIT graduate and former Google engineer in 2011.
Litecoin was one of the first cryptocurrencies to follow the footsteps of bitcoin. Litecoin is often referred to as "silver to bitcoin's gold". Litecoin is based on an open-source global payment network that is not governed by any kind of central authority and uses "scrypt" as a proof of work, which can be decoded with the help of normal CPUs. Despite being similar to Bitcoin, Litecoin has a faster block generation rate which results in faster confirmation of transactions.
As of May 2020, Litecoin is the seventh-largest digital currency with a market cap of $3.53 billion and per LTC token price of $44.16. Other than being popular among developers, the acceptance for Litecoin among merchants is growing day by day which gives the hope of an interesting future for Litecoin.
4. Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is one of the earliest and most successful hard forks of the original bitcoin, which makes it an important player in the world of digital currencies.
What Is The Meaning Of Hard Fork?
In the world of cryptocurrency, a fork usually takes place due to the difference in vision between developers and miners. Due to the decentralized behavior of digital currencies, the changes to the code that power the coin must be made with the general consensus. Many times digital currencies split when different sections can't come to a common agreement. In this case, the original coin remains true to its original code and other copy starts as a new version of the original coin.
Bitcoin Cash was started in 2017 as a result of one of these splits. In the case of BCH, the difference was: Bitcoin network has a strict limit on the size of blocks i.e 1 MB but BCH increased the block size from 1 MB to 8 MB, with the idea being that larger blocks will allow for faster transaction times. BCH also removed the Segregated Witness protocol and made other changes too.
As of May 2020, Bitcoin Cash is the fifth-largest digital currency with a market cap of $4.33 billion and per BCH token price of $239.16. The growth trajectory of Bitcoin Cash clearly shows that it will have an important role to play in the world of cryptocurrency.
5. Tether (USDT)
Tether is a blockchain-based platform created to facilitate the use of fiat currencies in a digital manner. Essentially, it allows users to utilize a blockchain network and other related technologies to transact in traditional currencies. Tether was launched in 2014 and is considered one of the most popular stable coins out there in the market at the moment.
What Are Stable Coins?
Stable coins are the cryptocurrencies which aim to peg their market value to a currency or any other kind of reliable reference point so that volatility of the price can be reduced. As everyone knows that the world of digital currencies has a history of dramatic volatility therefore stable coins came with the aim to maintain price fluctuations in order to attract users who may be cautious about digital currencies.
As of May 2020, Tether is the fourth-largest digital currency with a market cap of $8.81 billion and per BCH token price of $1.00. The growth trajectory of Tether clearly shows that it is here to stay in the world of cryptocurrency.
We hope that with this post, you might have learned that the world of cryptocurrency is far beyond Bitcoin. There are so many cryptocurrencies floating in the market and with the list mentioned above, we barely scratched the surface layer of the cryptocurrencies.
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