As mentioned in our previous articles, the first blockchain-based digital currency was Bitcoin, which is still the most popular in the world and the most valuable as well, however, currently, there are hundreds of new cryptocurrencies with very different functions and specifications. Some of these are just a copy of Bitcoin, while others are new currencies built from scratch. Today, there are more than 18 million Bitcoins in circulation, with a total market value of about 289 billion (using current market prices).
Some of the competing cryptocurrencies that started the success of Bitcoin, known as “altcoins,” include Litecoin, Bircoin, and Nimecoin, as well as Ethereum, Cardano and EOS. Today, the total value of all digital currencies in the North is $ 210 billion, with Bitcoin accounting for more than 68% of that value.s
It is worth noting that the chosen cryptography used in digital currency today was originally developed for military applications. However, at one point, the US government decided to impose tight controls on encryption, similar to legal restrictions on weapons, but the right of civilians to use encryption on the basis of freedom of expression was preserved.
The most popular digital currencies
Cryptocurrencies have not only changed the world’s expectations surrounding money and financial assets, but they have also continued to develop their own space since the first Bitcoin block appeared in 2009. Since that time, thousands of unique digital currencies have appeared. Of these currencies, Bitcoin remains the most popular. In fact, a recent study found that 8% of Americans invested in digital currency, and of this total, 5.2% chose Bitcoin. We’ll show you some of the most famous digital currencies in the world:
1. Bitcoin (BTC)
More than a decade has passed since Bitcoin launched its currency into the digital space. Since that time, it has remained the most popular digital currency in the world. With Bitcoin, users can easily transfer money from one digital wallet to another. Each transaction is verified by other users and recorded on the general ledger, known as the blockchain. Some of the main factors that have contributed to Bitcoin’s popularity include:
- high value. Although it is volatile, its price has always been high. One bitcoin has reached $ 16,051 so far. This is much higher than other existing digital currencies.
- Big companies are starting to accept bitcoin. Like Microsoft, Overstock.com, and other companies.
Bitcoin is easy to set up and is backed by the world’s most popular exchange and wallet platforms, like Coinbase. This makes the process of entering into “trading” easier.
Investors have been supporting Bitcoin’s growth for years. Bitcoin has had a longer life span than all other digital currencies. This has allowed it to gain a strong following from investors and enthusiasts.
Bitcoin has the highest market value among cryptocurrencies, which is often looked at carefully by investors before making a decision. Market caps are calculated by multiplying the current supply of a currency by the current market price. This is known as a “rolling offer of currency”, and it can indicate whether the currency is risky to invest in or not. Usually, higher ceilings in the market indicate less risk, because the number of users is greater. Therefore, Bitcoin is believed to be a better option than the other digital currencies out there.
2. Ethereum (ETH)
Apart from Bitcoin, among the cryptocurrencies, Ethereum is most admired. This cryptocurrency uses blockchain like Bitcoin, but it has a completely different currency. The coin is called Ethereum; like Bitcoin, it is openly managed by a network of users.
Ethereum is distinguished from Bitcoin by its “smart contracts”. These contracts are digital contracts that are paid to users only after certain conditions are met. The advantages of smart contracts include:
- Exclusion of third parties in transactions. For example, you can consider that you have a smart contract for your home. In traditional transactions, you will need a realtor to help you with the paperwork and broker the deal with the buyer. Although, you can transfer home ownership to the buyer without the participation of anyone else through smart contracts. You also do not have to center on third parties, as you would a realtor.
- The speed of transactions. You don’t have to wait for the paperwork to be processed. Smart contracts are faster and easier, as everything is done online. Practically speaking, you can save on additional expenses.
- Ability to verify transactions by hundreds of other users. In addition to being able to verify your transactions, they are also encrypted and stored in the general ledger. This is to keep a documented record of your transaction, which will help you secure it.
3. Ripple (XRP)
Although most cryptocurrencies pride themselves on providing fast transactions, Ripple – and its digital tokens known as XRP – is especially unique for its transaction speed. Ripple only takes 4 seconds to process transactions, so it is faster when compared to Ethereum, which takes two minutes, and Bitcoin, which takes a little longer. Also, traditional currencies can take a few days.
Ripple works by creating a platform for banks and other payment providers to send money around the world. XRP can be exchanged in any currency. For example, it can be used to exchange for US dollars, euros or Japanese yen. The ability to send money around the world in seconds allows banks and financial institutions to reach new frontiers faster. The greater the expansion, the more clients it can serve. Other notable features of XRP tokens that contribute to its spread include the following:
A cost effective option for sending money. You can send money across borders in seconds, for relatively little cost without high foreign exchange fees and costs.
The presence of prominent institutional investors supporting it. For example, Accenture and Google Ventures invested a stake in Ripple.
It has high expandability. This is in reference to other, faster, and more demanding transactions for digital currencies to compete globally. According to industry sources, Ripple can handle 1,500 transactions per second – more than other digital currencies.
4. Litecoin (LTC)
Litecoin and Bitcoin have the most common factors not only of “currency” but in their names: Litecoin have the blockchain, general ledger, and miners, all at once, to verify transactions. However, there are three main advantages to Litecoin. Include the following:
- Processing speed. Litecoin transactions are faster than Bitcoin. In fact, Litecoin processes transactions in about 2.5 minutes but bitcoin processing can reach 10 minutes.
- Increase the supply of currency. Litecoin owns 84 million Litecoins, compared to Bitcoin which has 21 million Bitcoins.
- Less complex algorithms. Compared to Bitcoin, Litecoin has algorithms that are easier to undo. This can make transactions simpler, and the specialists also won’t need the high technologies to solve it as they do with Bitcoin.
5. Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Bitcoin is by far the most popular digital currency, but that doesn’t mean it’s without flaws. In fact, the smallest part of it, Bitcoin Cash, was created to help increase Bitcoin’s expansion, which along with other factors affects the speed of transactions. This has led to the increase in Bitcoin Cash’s popularity.
To help improve the speed of transactions, Bitcoin Cash has increased the size of each block from one megabyte to eight megabytes. Each block represents a list of transactions that need to be verified. Increasing the block size allows more transactions to be verified each time. The increased number of transactions that can be processed should help Bitcoin Cash compete with the largest, most established companies, such as PayPal, Visa and Mastercard. Additionally, Bitcoin Cash aims to lower transaction fees.
Among all the available digital currencies, how can you know which, if any, to choose? In short, looking at the market value of the currency, this method is the best for determining whether the digital currency is widespread or not, it shows you the current supply of the currency around the world. From this, you can verify the logical features of your future transactions. For example, will smart contracts be beneficial to you? If so, you may need to use Ethereum. And for ultra-fast processing, you can choose Ripple. Whatever you are looking for, cryptocurrencies are not expected to disappear anytime soon. It may even be the currency of the future.