When Bitcoin was first launched in 2008, it was just a mere idea that was put into implementation without much gusto. However, the idea was soon given much fuel, and cryptocurrencies reached heights of sometimes uncharted success. The popularity of cryptocurrencies was neither planned nor anticipated. The digital forms of currency continued to make headlines and reaching new heights with every passing day. What started with just Bitcoin eventually branched out to several other cryptocurrencies, which is also what we are about to discuss in this article. A common misconception that accompanies the domain of cryptocurrency is that it is all about Bitcoin. However, there are more digital currencies besides just Bitcoin, and we shall now look into them in more significant details.
If we had to start the discussion with an alternative to Bitcoin, it would definitely be Ethereum. Ethereum is not just another cryptocurrency, but also a decentralized software platform that has no third-party interference. It also has minimal risks of fraudulent and illicit activities. The reason why Ehereum has all the potential to replace Bitcoin is because it is more than just a cryptocurrency. It is a software platform that can be used by developers to develop and initiate newer cryptocurrencies.
The next on the list would definitely have to be the cryptocurrency that goes by the name Ripple. The unique selling point of Ripple is that it provides an instant solution to international payments and at prices that would bewilder the wits out of you. Ripple has been around the corner since 2012 and has been enabling quick cross-border payments since then, with utmost transparency. Therefore, it has quite the attention it requires from investors and speculators around the globe. Speaking of transparency in transactions using cryptocurrencies, you must look up payment gateways like Flexipay, before you consider going through with any payment in the near future.
Litecoin was launched sometime in 2011 and rose to popularity soon after. Often referred to as ‘silver to Bitcoin’s gold,’ Litecoin was developed by Charlie Lee, a former engineer of Google. Litecoin has several features that work on the similar lines of that as Bitcoin (which is why there is a similarity in their names) with one intriguing and distinguishing feature. Litecoin has a faster block generation rate which helps in transactions using blockchain to be deemed complete in a shorter period of time.
Tether is a part of the group of cryptocurrencies known as the stablecoins whose main aim to minimize the volatility associated with the domain of cryptocurrencies. Tether, along with the other coins in the group of stablecoins, has risen to the heights of popularity owing to its feature of smoothening out price fluctuations and reducing volatility in the domain.
Our list shall remain incomplete if we were to miss out on this significant cryptocurrency that has been raising quite a few eyebrows across the globe. Libra is Facebook’s cryptocurrency and is all set to be launched in 2020 with the aim of getting the unbanked together on the same platform and easing out transactions using cryptocurrencies. Libra is Facebook’s ambitious project and aims at making cryptocurrencies a household name.
NEO is the cryptocurrency with the potential to ignite an economical metamorphosis. Having launched in China in 2014, the growth was rapid over the years to sprawl all over the globe. NEO is more a platform to create smart contracts and decentralized applications than merely a cryptocurrency. Although Ethereum is a strong rival of NEO with a similar set of characteristics, the latter stands a better option with faster transactions. Value of NEO has increased over the years from about $33 to $124.
What makes Monero unique is the feature of enhanced privacy that almost every cryptocurrency user was waiting since the advent of Bitcoin. Blockchain technology has been employed in Monero to equip it with the much-awaited anonymity in transaction details that contain the identity of both senders and recipients and the transaction amount. Ring signatures and stealth addresses are used in Monero to make the entire money transfer a private affair.
Jed McCaleb, the co-founder of Ripple, created Stellar Lumens amid controversies of a huge hack. Despite all the shortcomings, he managed to bring it into the global economy and stood firm in the wave of new cryptocurrencies in the market. It is now known by the name XLM coin, which has grown from the initial rate of $0.15 to a relatively massive $0.49.
Cardano is a decentralized blockchain platform that was developed in Hong Kong. Having employed the blockchain technology with a decentralized approach, Cardano has been moulded into the quintessential open-source cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency exchanges like Upbit, Binance, and Cryptopia have listed Cardano for transactions despite being new to the market. The market price Cardano has been rather steady without any drastic spikes or drops at about $0.125.
Justin Sun, a 26-year-old Chinese student and ex-employee of Ripple, created Tron. Transforming the method of content publication was the objective behind Tron’s design. It focuses mainly on web content creators such as YouTubers, musicians and artists to have control over their data. Online gamblers and social media fanatics are the major cash cows of Tron. From the 56th position on the list of best cryptocurrencies, it has shot up to 12th, manifesting the potential of the coin.
Bitcoin might have been the start of something the world had never witnessed before, but the kind of popularity it had witnessed soon after its launch is much laudable. Also, it was just the first of many other cryptocurrencies that would be launched eventually. Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology are technological marvels, and they must be appreciated the way they always deserved to be. The blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies keep pushing their limits and set new boundaries as the days slowly turn to months and years. Therefore, it is essential that we learn as much as we can about whatever they have within their embraces and use the knowledge to make successful decisions for the future.