Digital currencies or cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are designed as a medium of exchange. These two are the most popular. This article aims to introduce the other cryptocurrencies aside from BTC and ETHER.
Litecoin was launched in October 2011 as an alternative to Bitcoin. It was created by Charlie Lee who wanted to develop a faster and cheaper version of Bitcoin. It is one of the very first altcoins on the market. While many altcoins from the period 2011–2013 have now disappeared, Litecoin has remained in the market thanks to some minor modifications compared to Bitcoin, but still useful and well thought out.
Bitcoin is often referred to as ‘digital gold’. Litecoin quickly became ‘digital silver’. It is sometimes referred to as Bitcoin’s little brother. Litecoin is close to Bitcoin on many features, but has some fundamental differences. For example:
- A “proof of work” that uses the scrypt hash function rather than the SHA-256.
- Four times faster block creation with an average interval of 2.5 minutes instead of 10 minutes.
- A four-fold increase in the total number of units, from 21 million to 84 million.
- A mining difficulty that changes every two and a half days instead of every two weeks.
Ripple coin was first implemented in 2004 by Ryan Fugger, a Web developer in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. In 2005, Fugger began to build Ripplepay as a financial service to provide secure payment options to members of an online community via a global network. On the basis of this protocol, a new digital currency system appeared in May 2011, for which its own crypto currency XRP was issued.
Ripple is a company headquartered in California with over 200 full time employees that owns about 60% of all the XRP in existence. Ripple is utilizing XRP as a settlement asset for international payments to go with its payment platform, RippleNet.
XRP came into existence in 2012 with a 100 billion supply. Of which, 20 billion XRP were retained by the creators (Jed, Chris and Arthur — also founders of and shareholders in OpenCoin) and the remaining 80% were gifted to OpenCoin, Inc.
XRP — which is the actual cryptocurrency — is a token which is used on the Ripple network to facilitate transfers of money between different currencies. By first converting the value of the transfer into XRP, rather than USD, exchange fees are eliminated and processing of payments is reduced to seconds.
Tether (USDT) is a cryptocurrency with a value meant to mirror the value of the U.S. dollar. The idea was to create a stable cryptocurrency that can be used like digital dollars. Coins that serve this purpose of being a stable dollar substitute are called “stable coins.” Tether converts cash into digital currency, to anchor or “tether” the value of the coin to the price of national currencies like the US dollar, the Euro, and the Yen.
BITCOIN CASH (BCH)
Bitcoin Cash is a peer-to-peer electronic cash system that aims to become sound global money with fast payments, micro fees, privacy, and high transaction capacity (big blocks). Bitcoin Cash can be used to pay participating merchants for goods and services in-store and online. Very low fees enable new micro-transaction economies, such as tipping content creators and rewarding app users a few cents. Bitcoin Cash also reduces the fees and settlement times for remittances and cross-border trade. Other use cases include tokens, simplified smart contracts, and private payments with tools such as CashShuffle and CashFusion.
BINANCE COIN (BNB)
BNB was launched through an initial coin offering in 2017, 11 days before the Binance cryptocurrency exchange went online. It was originally issued as an ERC-20 token running on the Ethereum network, with a total supply capped at 200 million coins, and 100 million BNBs offered in the ICO. BNB can be used as a payment method, a utility token to pay for fees on the Binance exchange and for participation in token sales on the Binance launchpad. BNB also powers the Binance DEX (decentralized exchange).
Cardano (ADA), founded by Charles Hoskinson (also one of the founders of Ethereum), is a decentralized platform that will allow complex programmable transfers of value in a secure and scalable fashion. Cardano is reportedly the first blockchain platform to evolve out of a scientific philosophy and a research-first driven approach, and one of the first to be built in the Haskell programming language. It does not run on a proof-of-work blockchain like Bitcoin. Instead, Cardano has a proof-of-stake algorithm known as Ouroboros, which works in a specific way as compared to most proof-of-stake algorithms.
TRON (TRX) was founded in 2017 by Justin Sun through a Singapore-based non-profit called the Tron Foundation. The TRON Protocol represents the architecture of an operating system based on blockchain technology which could enable developers to create smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps), freely publish, own and store data and other content.
There are over 7,000 cryptocurrencies in the market today. Total market capitalization is about $349 Billion. With such remarkable stats within over a decade, cryptocurrency arena is still considered to be a nascent market. There are still so much to learn and be discovered about. Everyone is advised to do his own due diligence before engaging in anything.