While Bitcoin is the most famous cryptocurrency, today it is only one of about 2,000 cryptocurrencies in circulation. All heavily traded cryptocurrencies are powered by some versions of a distributed ledger (blockchain) and each has at least one unique attribute that differentiates it. Here is an overview of 5 popular cryptocurrencies and how they compare with Bitcoin.
NoteOne of the main differences between Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies is that there is a limited supply of Bitcoin: 21 million (including about 1 million lost in the Mt. Gox hack.) Four of the five cryptocurrencies listed below have no limits on how many can be created.
Value: $ 77.39 | Market capitalization: $ 4.43 billion from 15/07/18
Overview: Litecoin was created in 2011 by Charlie Lee, a former Google engineer, shortly after the start of Bitcoin. Powered by an open source payment network and a decentralized authority, Litecoin is commonly used by developers, although many online merchants now accept it.
Litecoin vs. Bitcoin: like Bitcoin, Litecoin is easy to buy and sell for cash on traditional exchanges (such as Coinbase), and you can also open a Litecoin debit card for easy use. Its main advantage over Bitcoin (and the main reason it was created) is its faster block generation speed, which means faster transaction confirmation. While transactions with Bitcoin tend to take ten minutes longer to settle, Litecoin transactions are often resolved in a quarter of that time. The Litecoin Scrypt algorithm also makes the extraction easier for people without high-end graphics cards.
Value: $ 445.92 | Market Cap: $ 44.9 billion at 7/15/18
Overview: After a hugely positive pre-sales period in 2014, Ethereum was launched in 2015. Developers who want to create decentralized applications within Ethereum use their own platform token, Ether. After the 2016 attack on the decentralized autonomous organization (the DAO), Ethereum divided into Ethereum and Ethereum Classic. One of Ether's most popular uses is the purchase of shares in initial coin offerings (ICOs).
Ethereum vs. Bitcoin: Rather than simply extracting Ethereum, miners must work to earn Ether. Another important difference between the two is how they use blockchain. Bitcoin uses blockchain to record immutable transaction records, while Ethereum uses it to create decentralized computational platforms, which allow for the creation of distributed applications (DApp) and intelligent contracts without interference, fraud or downtime by third parties.
Want to know more about smart contracts and decentralized platforms? Here is a primer.
Value: $ 227.73 | Market capitalization: $ 1.88 billion from 15/07/18
Overview: originally known as Darkcoin, Dash (short for Digital Cash) launched at the beginning of 2014 as "a more reserved version of Bitcoin". The main use of Dash (very similar to Bitcoin) is like a cryptocurrency, with over 1,400 merchants accepting it as a form of payment. Dash offers instant transactions (called InstantSend) and private transactions (PrivateSend). Dash feeds these transactions through a two-level network of nodes and Masternodes; since mining and transactions are powered by separate networks, transactions take only a few seconds.
Dash against Bitcoin: Considering its ambitions to be a primary form of currency, Dash aims to be both less expensive and faster than Bitcoin. (Patrick Gray, founder and CEO of HashChain Technology, states that Dash is "what Bitcoin should have been.") Unlike other cryptocurrencies on this list, Dash is not a fork of Bitcoin, but uses its own blockchain and system mining.
Value: $ 0.44 | Market Cap: $ 17,48 billion USD as of 7/15/18
Overview: Ripple, launched in 2012, is one of the largest international payment networks in the world. By offering cross-border payments in real time (and at lower costs), Ripple effectively eliminates the need for a third party (such as Western Union) and enables currency exchanges in seconds. The ripple (both the platform and the currency) is accepted by the banks, which offers a level of legitimacy that many other cryptocurrencies do not have. In a global transaction, both parties buy Ripple, then exchange Ripple to save money on a currency exchange.
Ripple vs. Bitcoin: the platform is made up of 100 billion coins, all already existing. As such, the Ripple consensus register does not require mining, which makes it different from Bitcoin, which also means that it requires much less computing power and minimizes network latency. Rather than being a resource, Ripple aims to be a technology that allows global trading. With this in mind, Ripple was designed to have a stable value, but this has not yet happened.
Value: $ 123.75 | Market capitalization: $ 2 billion from 15/07/18
Overview: while Bitcoin aims to be private and secure, Monero aims to take it to the next level. After the launch in 2014, Monero decided to obscure the identities of each buyer and seller and each total amount, as well as the identities of its miners.
Monero vs. Bitcoin: While Bitcoin can be used to buy things that you may not want to associate with your name (or bank account), Monero has become a cryptocurrency preferred by criminals. This led to other illegal activities, including the incorporation of the Monero mining code into legitimate apps and websites. (North Korean hackers have also been accused of attacking cryptographic exchanges to steal Monero.) Unlike Bitcoin, Monero's design allows for an "unlimited" supply of coins, which makes it an inherently riskier investment compared to cryptocurrencies with supplies. limited.
This is for information purposes only: This is not a sponsored post. The point of this writing is to compare and contrast various popular cryptocurrencies with Bitcoin. I do not approve in any way, nor am I suggesting to invest or buy, any of these cryptocurrencies. I have no financial interest in any of the cryptocurrencies listed here. I am the author of this article and expresses my opinions. I'm not, nor is my company, a fee for this article.