However, in the wake of bitcoin’s revolutionary involvement in online trading, other cryptocurrencies have also propped up to rival it. We know them categorically as altcoins and the ones that are not bitcoin try to market themselves as more improved and sophisticated over the daddy.
In some ways, that is true. But none have so far been able to take the crown away from bitcoin since all have their own fair of risk that causes them to fall short of achieving bitcoin status. Now, there several hundred cryptocurrencies currently in existence but we have isolated what we believe to be the top four that you can try out if you are not keen on trading bitcoin.
1. Litecoin (LTC)
Launched in 2011, Litecoin is only a couple of years junior to bitcoin and has often been called the ‘silver to bitcoin’s gold.’ We would not be surprised if the founder, Charlie Lee found that a tad bit insulting. Lee was a graduate of MIT as well as an engineer for Google. His cryptocurrency is rooted in a network of open source global payment which is decentralized and relies on ‘scrypt’ for a proof of work.
It is also simple enough to be decoded with a consumer grade CPU. Litecoin as generates blocks a lot faster compared to bitcoin and therefore faster confirmation on transactions as well. And its popularity among traders is fast growing.
2. Ethereum (ETH)
Ethereum is fairly recent arrival to the cryptocurrency market launching only in 2015. It too is a decentralized online platform which also allows smart contracts and Distributed applications. More importantly, it enables these functions without the threat of downtime, control, fraud or other interference from outside. Ethereum’s cryptographic token is called ether. It is the essential vehicle by which you navigate through Ethereum’s platform. There was even a pre-sale for it back in 2014 which was met with an overwhelming response. Although being a relatively young cryptocurrency, ethereum has already managed a managed a market cap of well over $4 billion which is only second to – you guessed – bitcoin which is in excess of 7 billion right now.
3. Zcash (ZEC)
Zcash is an even more recent cryptocurrency launched late into 2016 but it has already garnered a good reputation within trading circles. Like Litecoin, it comes across as a decentralized, open source cryptocurrency. Also like Litecoin, it has its own associated catch-phrase in relation to bitcoin. In this case, it is“If Bitcoin is like http for money, Zcash is https,” because Zcash promises better security measures on both privacy and security concerning any and all transactions that are recorded on a blockchain. Specifically, details such as the identity of the sender and receiver, and also the transacted amount are kept confidential. Zcash also offers options with shielded transactions so that information can be encrypted through an advanced technique or zk-SNARK, a zero-knowledge proof construction.
Dash was originally known as Darkcoin and they should have stuck with that name because what it really is, is a darker version of bitcoin. It operates on a decentralized mastercode which lends more anonymity to both individuals as well as transactions. It is not the most recently released cryptocurrency, debuting in January of 2014 but it has enjoyed an exponential growth of its fan base since becoming active. It was developed by a certain Evan Duffield and is simple enough to be mined with a CPU or GPU. The brand name was switched to Dash in March of 2015. It is really just an abbreviation for Digital Cash and no further changes were made to any of the technological aspects like InstantX or Darksend.
List Of Cryptocurrencies By Market Cap
Here is a top10 list of cryptocurrencies by market cap (time of writing Jan 4 – 2018):
List Of Lesser Known Cryptocurrencies
Here is a list of cryptocurrencies that aren’t in the top10: 0x, AdEx, Aeternity, Aragon, Ardor, ATMChain, Augur, Bancor, Basic Attention Token, Binance Coin, Bytom, ChainLink, Civic, DigixDAO, Edgeless, EOS, Ethos, FunFair, Gas, Gnosis, Golem, Iconomi, Kyber Network, Loopring, MaidSafeCoin, Metal, MobileGo, Monaco, OmiseGO, PayPie, Populous, Power Ledger, Raiden Network Token, SALT, SingularDTV, Status, Storj, TenX, Tether, TRON, Veritaseum, Walton.
Bitcoin still retains its position at the top of the leaderboard for cryptocurrencies and we are yet to see it get knocked over even once. But these four have been biting at its heels for a while now and who knows, perhaps one of them will take the lead one day.