Crypto projects are a very, very volatile market. As of this writing, Bitcoin is valued at $6,213.68 USD with a total market cap of $86Billion. The cryptocurrency price fluctuates greatly and daily, so while general consensus tells us that it’s in the process of becoming more mainstream and will have an impact on the economy as a whole in the future- no one knows what that impact will be.
1. Bitcoin is the OG
One of the original cryptocurrencies and still widely used today, Bitcoin was released in 2009. Bitcoin was a breakthrough of modern technology and even though it’s now over ten years old; it’s still at the forefront of innovation within cryptocurrency. It became highly popular (and valuable) due to its rarity and ease of access, as well as its use in illegal transactions on dark web marketplaces. However, in 2014 Bitcoin was seen as a viable currency for personal transactions at certain merchants. In December 2017, Microsoft started to accept Bitcoin payments for both their Windows store and Xbox subscriptions.
Ethereum is undoubtedly one of the most popular cryptocurrencies around today. It was created in 2014 and since then it has grown in popularity because of its smart contract mechanism, which allows users to execute large scale, automated operations on its network. One of the most well known companies to integrate this feature into their services is Microsoft hosting all of their Microsoft Azure services on Ethereum.
Ripple was created back in 2011 but has only recently caught the attention and interest of bigger corporations due to its speed, efficiency and low cost transactions- a problem that plagued Bitcoin at first, but one that it has found a solution for now thanks to innovations like lightning networks and payment channels. Ripple has also been criticized for its centralized nature as a currency and its ability to be censored at the whim of banks or government. News approved site is here.
Litecoin was created in 2011 by Charlie Lee, an ex-Googler and former MIT graduate who left Google to work on Bitcoin full time. Litecoin is often described as being Bitcoin’s silver and this may have something to do with the fact that it was the first cryptocurrency to use scrypt for its proof of work algorithm which keeps transaction times low and makes mining easier.
5. Bitcoin Cash
Bitcoin Cash was launched in August 2017 and is similar to Bitcoin, but with a larger block size capacity. The currency saw a 400% increase in value since its launch and currently holds the fifth biggest price of all cryptocurrencies. It has become more popular thanks to its ability to scale as it stretches the limits of current transaction capacities as well as its decentralized structure.
Monero is one of the most secure cryptocurrencies for manual link building out there, primarily because it’s based on an algorithm called CryptoNight, which makes it much more difficult to mine than other currencies and centralize its operations. It’s also very private and ensures that all transactions remain completely anonymous- an alternative to providing your personal data or credit card details online.
Cardano is currently one of the newest cryptocurrencies and is work in progress. It’s not a fork of Bitcoin or Ethereum and instead, has been developed from scratch. Cardano’s platform aims to make blockchain technology as user friendly as possible for every day use and so far, it looks like its goal is well on its way to being achieved with its current status as being one of the most secure cryptocurrencies out there.
EOS was launched in June 2017 and was designed to solve the governance issues that plague other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum by allowing users to vote on issues relating to the development therefore removing bottlenecks from blockchain development due to lack of user engagement. EOS is also built to scale much easier than other cryptocurrencies and can handle a lot more transactions per second.
Dash is a cryptocurrency that aims to solve the problem of slow transactions in Bitcoin by using its own instant send feature which settles payments almost instantly- something BTC has been slow to implement. Dash also has a decentralized governance system that allows anyone using it to vote on important issues relating to its development and progress, thus removing the need for bottlenecks that can cause long delays in other cryptos like BTC or ETH.
NEM is a crypto currency that was launched in 2015. It uses a unique consensus mechanism known as Proof of Importance. This process uses an algorithm which measures the importance of each node and its contribution to the network. It also aims for simplicity and ease of use, meaning that anyone can use NEM right away with little to no previous knowledge on cryptocurrencies.
As the crypto market continues to grow, new cryptocurrencies will emerge and their numbers are sure to increase. The above list only shows some of the more commonly used cryptocurrencies today, but there are many more that may even become more valuable and widely used in the near future. There can only be one or two winners though, so it will be interesting to see which ones stick around long enough to make a lasting impact on our global economy.