As of now, there are over 1,600 different cryptocurrencies. However, just because there are such a high number of them doesn’t mean that they are all relevant. Due to the fact that the method for creating cryptocurrencies is not very hard, many people have decided to create their own currency. Even though so many cryptocurrencies currently exist, the top 20 account for nearly 90 percent of the total market. If you don’t know much about the crypto world, then you’ve probably heard only about Bitcoin.
Although Bitcoin is currently the most popular cryptocurrency, there are also others that you should watch, especially if you’re interested in investing your money into them. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency created and while it still remains on the throne, it certainly has its shortcomings like long transaction times, high transaction fees, and limited scalability. This is why some believe that it may get replaced by a different cryptocurrency. If you’re just now entering the crypto world, it’s important that you learn more about the most notable cryptocurrencies today.
Ethereum is a cryptocurrency that was proposed in late 2013 and launched during the summer of 2015. It represents a platform which allows distributed applications and smart contracts to be built and run just as programmed without the chance of censorship, downtime, third-party interference or fraud. Even though Bitcoin is far more popular in the crypto world at the moment, many believe that Ethereum may be the cryptocurrency to take over the throne soon.
Last year, 30 tech giants, banks, and other organizations like Intel and Microsoft united to make business-ready versions of the software behind Ethereum. On top of that, the founder of this cryptocurrency announced last year that Ethereum will have transactional power that is equal to Visa within the next two years.
Litecoin was one of the first cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin to make a name for itself. It was launched in 2011, and was considered to as the silver to Bitcoin’s gold. This cryptocurrency was created by a former Google engineer named Charlie Lee, and is based on an open source global payment network that isn’t controlled by a central authority.
The main reason why Litecoin initially became popular was because it settled transactions quicker than Bitcoin. Namely, the average transaction time of this cryptocurrency is 2.5 minutes, while Bitcoin settles transactions in 10 minutes. On top of that, Litecoin also offers lower transaction fees. It’s worth noting that a lot of merchants currently accept Litecoin as a form of payment.
Ripple is a cryptocurrency that was released in 2012. Unlike most other cryptocurrencies, Ripple’s consensus ledger doesn’t require mining. Because of this, the structure of this currency minimizes network latency and lowers the usage of computing power. Ripple was created to provide banks with a low-cost way of settling cross-border payments in real time.
Today, it can take up to a few days for international payments to get made. On top of that, the cost of these payments can be very high. This is why banks find it unprofitable and extremely expensive to move money around. However, Ripple is the cryptocurrency that is making an effort to solve this problem by using its technology. A large number of financial institutions like American Express have already started conducting trials with Ripple in order to see how effective it is. During a transaction, it basically serves as a bridge between fiat currencies. It’s worth mentioning that Ripple’s average transaction time is only four seconds, which is much lower than of any other major cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin Cash was created in 2017, after Bitcoin split in a hard fork. In other words, certain Bitcoin developers started getting concerned about its high transaction time. They wanted to implement a solution that would lower the transaction time, but not everyone in the community agreed with this idea, which is why they split. Bitcoin Cash offers lower fees compared to Bitcoin.