It wouldn’t be wrong to say cryptocurrencies have created the greatest wave since the dot com era came into being. In 2017, a single bitcoin was valued at a whopping $19,000, and it has continued to mostly rise since then. This certainly puts it at top of mind when discussing cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin has become a major trendsetter in the business of decentralized peer-to-peer network. Blockchain systems have brought in a revolution in the cryptocurrency market. They are capable of recording all transactions of value. That said, there are also plenty of fascinating alternatives to bitcoin to consider.
Like most things in the world, bitcoins have their flaws too. Newer currencies are coming up as we speak, to fulfill the gaps in bitcoins. These alternatives to bitcoin are called altcoins. They come with the intention to be improvised and faster in comparison. Altcoins are becoming popular among investors because they have kept the benefits of bitcoins and have worked on its lacunas. Altcoins are known to be easier to mine too. But they have limitations like lesser acceptance, skewed liquidity, and skeptic value retention.
Even with the versatile nature of bitcoin, it fails to fulfill certain gaps that altcoins are flourishing at. Curious to know about these trending altcoins in business? Read on.
1. Ripple (XRP)
Among alternatives to bitcoin, this one stands out as a real-time global settlement network that allows instant and low-cost international payments. It is based on a public ledger and is the third largest cryptocurrency. Additionally, it doesn’t require mining, unlike other bitcoin and altcoins. The creators of ripple plan to make use of the digital currency for other deals and transactions. It’s designed to be used by financial organizations and validates transactions by using a consensus process. Unlike other currencies, it isn’t completely decentralized and is managed/validated by a company. Fortunately for businesses, it is faster than bitcoin’s network. Today, its market cap ranks at half of Ethereum and quarter of bitcoin.
This bitcoin alternative hasn’t been launched in the market yet but is already pretty popular among enthusiasts and investors. Currently, it is produced by Bartercoin Exchange Limited, under the laws of Trinidad and Tobago. They plan to offer around 1 billion coins, in an effort to spend on the rebranding of Port of Spain. They view this as the financial hub of the 22nd century. What makes it unique from bitcoin is that it allows its users to cash out after six months at will. It has an easy-to-use POS which enables consumers and merchants to purchase barter coins directly. It also has an e-commerce payment system that is known to be secure and trustworthy.
3. Litecoin (LTC)
This decentralized digital currency was developed and designed by MIT graduates. This functions very similarly to Bitcoin but has certain added advantages that sets it apart. It functions on “Scrypt” as a proof of work, which can be decoded easily even on CPUs.
- Digital coins are becoming popular among investors rapidly. This has led the way to the very popular Litecoin debit cards, or otherwise used as Bitcoin debit cards.
- It has worked on ranking down the risks involved with the fluctuations of the well-doing cryptocurrencies.
- Litecoin is easily buyable and sells equally at ease in return for cash.
- It has a much speedier block generation rate, hence confirms transactions faster. Its speed is what sets it apart in the marketplace today.
4. Ethereum (ETH)
This digital currency ranks second today as the most highly priced currency in the market, so it definitely stands out among alternatives to bitcoin. The value and the market cap of this currency has been rising steadily since its inception three years ago. Fortunately, experts suggest the value to grow fast and steady in the times to come too. After the sad drop of the DAO project, it has further subdivided itself into Ethereum classic and Ethereum. It allows apps to be developed and run without the interference of fraudsters or third parties. It is also a decentralized software platform allowing Smart contracts and Distributed Applications. Our friend Tom at TotalCrypto describes smart contracts in simple terms – “Think of them like a vending machine transaction. Smart contracts allow for the collection and distribution of assets in a predefined and trustless way with no need for a middleman.”
5. Zcash (ZEC)
Zerocoin project had taken the initiative to provide anonymity to its users, and Zcash was born. This digital currency was developed somewhere in the latter half of 2016. It’s an open-source cryptocurrency which is decentralized. What makes it special is the privacy and the choice of transparency it offers. It provides added privacy and security, to the point where all transactions are recorded and published in the blockchain. There is the concept of “Shielded Transaction” with Zcash. This allows the user to choose if they want the content to be encrypted by advanced cryptogenic techniques. It uses zero-knowledge cryptography to secure the network and maintains a secured ledger of your balances.
This altcoin was earlier known as Darker coin. As the name suggests, it was a more secretive or mysterious version of Bitcoin. Dash functions on a decentralized master code network, thus making transactions very hard to trace. Launched in 2014, it garnered much attention very quickly. Additionally, it can be mined using both CPU and GPU. It was rebranded to DASH in 2016. Much of its technological features remained the same and so did its algorithms. What separates it from others is the use of a two-tier network that allocates separate tasks to each network. The process of creating new blocks and coin specific features are handled separately.
Major MNCs are bringing out their own versions of digital currencies. More and more people are seeing the scope in them. It’s no longer just limited to investors and Businesses, students around the world aren’t willing to miss out on their piece of the cake either. Going by the trend around the marketplace, cryptocurrencies are here to stay for long. But what’s important to note is how many of them will fare through and come out successful.