The term cryptocurrency is pretty common these days. It has altered how we see money and want we expect out of it. In 2009, the very first Bitcoin block had been mined but the currency has evolved since then. Part of that evolution entailed the emergence of new cryptocurrencies that are fast becoming as popular as the original bitcoin.
A new study showed that 8% of Americans are investing frequently in cryptocurrency and that 5.15% of that 8% are investing in Bitcoin. So, why is Bitcoin so popular and what are the other new alternatives in the field of cryptocurrency?
A little bit about Bitcoin
Bitcoin helped push currency into the internet’s digital arena and has been popular ever since. Here, money can be transferred across digital wallets easily where each transaction is verified by the users and recorded on a public ledger, or blockchain. Bitcoin is popular today because a single bitcoin is valued at$4,931 U.S. dollars, and even with price fluctuations, the overall value is always on the higher side.
Many of the top companies like Overstock.com, Microsoft have begun accepting Bitcoins from customers. A lot of users today find it very easy to set up bitcoin as it’s supported by noted digital wallet platforms, exchanges that offer a form of credibility and security around the use of this currency.
Since it is regulated, investors are more confident about the growth of this currency. It even has a very high market capitalization when compared with other cryptocurrencies, a factor that attracts these investors. A market capitalization is calculated by multiplying the current currency supply with the current price.
The result is termed as the circulating currency supply and is indicative of the risk levels that a currency has and if it can be invested in safely. A high market capitalization shows less risk rate of a certain currency because there are more people using that currency. When you take these factors into consideration, it is easy to see why bitcoin is the choice in cryptocurrencies.
Are there any other cryptocurrencies?
Bitcoin is what most of us think of when we’re asked about cryptocurrency. However, there are other kinds of digital money made with software development services.
Ethereum or ETH
It was first seen in 2015, by a crowdfunding platform that was accepting donations in bitcoins. The overall value of all Ethereum issued to date is valued at $26 billion. One ether costs about $352 per unit and is cheaper than bitcoin, it is often used as a form of currency in smart contracts too.
This is a very fast cryptocurrency, and unlike other cryptocurrencies, and isn’t the result of other small changes made to the bitcoin code. The Ripple was written using all-new codes that were requested by venture funds. This currency was created for faster banking speeds and to help users save money. Ripple technology is being utilized by HSBC, theBank of America because it can’t be mined. All digital money that does exist is in a centralized system that belongs to the Ripple Lab.
Litecoin stems out of bitcoin code and can be processed faster than bitcoin. It can process more transactions at a faster rate but is limited to 84 million units.
Bitcoin transactions are visible, but the recipient and sender are usually unknown. With Dash, you can’t track the transactions done by other people. The system containstransaction data that is not in the form ofblocks. This because the system behind Dash is controlled by operators that ensure that data isn’t visible. Theseoperators process the information on computers and thenreceive funds for doing so.
It appeared sometime in 2015 with a unique code, but it works using aproof of importance or POI that is basically algorithm technology. This POI algorithm rewards users that possess a higher account balance and monitors the frequency at which transactions are made. All users are certified, or verified with a trust rating, and the higher this trust rating is, the better your chances of being rewarded.
It is the 6th largest in terms ofmarket capitalization and China’s first open-source blockchain. The platform uses two kinds of tokens – Neo and GAS – where Neo is an asset transfer alternative to move non-digital into digital currency. GAS, on the other hand, facilitates transactions in the system and gives blockchain usage rights.
This Japanese initiative was launched in 2017 and is the 7th largest in terms ofmarket capitalization. It is an open-source system and has two layers to it – a settlement layer that operates the ADA token and a computing layer that recognizes smart contracts and individual users. This multi-layer guarantees users their right to privacy. It uses a new Ouroboros algorithm that is mathematically proven to be secure. In fact, Cardano source code is available to the public for accelerated development and problem identification.
Short for the ‘internet of things application’, IOTA has a $5.25 billion market capitalization. The aim of this cryptocurrency is to facilitate machine-to-machine transactions. It uses a new acyclic graph technology called Tangle that manages transactions so that IOTA remains free of fees and is decentralized and scalable. IOTA is often used for micropayments at reduced fees since there are no miners involved. It is a distributed ledger system that has a crypto called MIOTA.
This currency network lets the user send, receive and trade using several fiat, currencies, and crypto at lower costs. Stellar is the name of the network at large and the currency it operates is called Lumens. It is a matchmaker of various currencies, global transfers, exchanges carried out in Fiat to cryptocurrency.
This is a decentralized blockchain technology for smart contracts and lets the user control the network rules directly. As a result, Tezos is constantly evolving and could lead to renewed interest and investment value. Tezosfacilitates peer-to-peer transactions as well.