Cryptocurrency can be broadly defined as virtual or digital money in the form of tokens or “coins.” Cryptocurrencies are free from centralised authority like government manipulation and control.
Bitcoin has not just been a trendsetter in the crypto world but it has also paved the way for other cryptocurrencies in the market. It has become the de facto standard for other cryptocurrencies that are constantly on the rise.
Though Bitcoin remains a pioneer in the world of cryptocurrencies, let us look at some of the most important cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin:
- Litecoin (LTC) – Litecoin was launched in 2011 and it was among the initial cryptocurrencies that has been referred to as “silver to Bitcoin’s gold”. Litecoin is similar to Bitcoin in many ways but the point of differentiation is the speed of processing which is much faster and offers a faster transaction confirmation.
- Ethereum (ETH) – Ethereum launched in 2015, is a decentralised software platform that enables smooth functioning of Smart Contracts and DApps without any downtime, fault or interference from third party. Ethereum has its own platform-specific cryptographic token named Ether.
- Zcash (ZEC) – Zcash was launched in the latter part of 2016 and offers privacy and selective transparency while making transactions. Just like https, Zcash provides its users with the choice of ‘shielded’ transactions.
- Dash (DASH) – Dash launched in January 2014, was originally known as dark coin. It is a more secretive version of bitcoin and offers heightened anonymity on the network that makes the transactions almost untraceable. In March 2015, ‘Darkcoin’ was renamed as ‘Dash’ which stands for ‘digital cash’.
- Ripple (XRP) – Launched in 2012, Ripple offers fast, instant and low-cost payments with end-to-end transparency. What makes Ripple stand apart from other cryptocurrencies is that it doesn’t require mining thus reducing the usage of computing power.
- Monero (XMR) – Monero was launched in April 2014 with a strong focus on decentralisation and scalability. It provides exceptional security by using the technique of ‘ring signatures’ which are unfigurable.
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH) – Bitcoin Cash emerged as a result of debates and arguments between developers and miners on the issue of scalability. Bitcoin has a strict limit on the size of blocks i.e. 1 megabyte, whereas BCH has an increased size of block (1- 8MB) which allow for faster transactions.
Though Bitcoin continues to stay at the apex among the cryptocurrencies, there are other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Ripple, which are becoming popular and increasingly used for enterprise solutions. Looking at the current trend it is certain that cryptocurrencies are here to stay but only time will tell which will emerge as leaders in this rising competition.