Bitcoin is undeniably the leading digital currency in the market today. It has by far outdone the traditional currencies of the nations of the world. The interesting fact is that it is not the only cryptocurrency in existence, in fact, it has very worthy competitors. In this article, you shall learn of the top 8 worthy competitors of Bitcoin that are worth your time and money. Some of them might actually be more profitable that Bitcoin when utilized to the fullest.
This is a form of digital currency whereby encryption technology is used in the generation of its currency units, regulation of the currency and the transfer of funds. This operation is independent of a central bank.
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8 Bitcoin alternatives
Ever since Bitcoin registered its first real growth in 2011 when its use was first accepted, other forms of digital currencies have been emerging but only a handful are substantial enough to stand up to Bitcoin. Here are 8 Bitcoin alternatives cryptocurrencies that you can use today:
On October 7th, 2011, Charlie Lee released Litecoin via an open source client on GitHub. Like Bitcoin, Litecoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that uses an open-source cryptographic protocol for the creation and transfer of its currency.
This currency was inspired by Bitcoin and some may say it has similarities to it. However, Litecoin has some improvements when compared to Bitcoin and that is why it takes the number one spot. Such an improvement includes the use of the Segregated Witness (SegWit) which was developed by Pieter Wuille and released in the October of 2016.
Though it is part of the BTC network, Litecoin takes advantage of its features and utilizes them to the fullest. SegWit allows a transaction producing software to segregate transactions signatures, making them smaller which in turn makes a block (from the blockchain) smaller allowing more transactions to be included in one block.
Why go for Litecoin
It has the fastest block processing speed of 2.5 minutes compared to Bitcoin’s 10 minutes. This means you can confirm transactions faster when you decide to use Litecoin.
Litecoin has also beefed up security by including scrypt in its systems. Scrypt is a key derivation function that is password-based. Its original purpose was to make it very expensive to perform large-scale hardware attacks. This adds an extra layer of protection to the blockchain technology used by Bitcoin.
Ethereum is simply an open-source (public) blockchain-based cryptocurrency whose computing platform is distributed, characterized by a smart scripting functionality. It allocates a decentralized Turing-complete virtual machine called the Ethereum Virtual Machine, which has the ability to execute scripts using a global network of public nodes. Ethereum went public in January of 2014.
Ethereum currency is upgraded in phases called milestones. The current phase in use can be termed as a transition point since the 2017 version is in practical testing. The transition is from Homestead to Metropolis. Ethereum also has future milestones set aside such as serenity which ensures that the systems used by the currency are always up to date with the trending technology. Note that not even Bitcoin have this.
Zcash was developed to use the same blockchain technology used by Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies but what is unique about it is its level of anonymity. Unlike Bitcoin, the blocks that are kept public will not contain the amount transferred from one wallet to another. Zcash uses a sophisticated technology known as zk-snark or proof of construction that allows the Blocks to hide the details of a transaction from the public.
Zcash transactions are published on the public blockchain, however, the system gives the user the option of concealing information regarding sender, recipient, and amount transacted. There is only one other crypto with this feature.
This cryptocurrency has a fixed supply of 21 million units which mimics Bitcoin’s currency supply.
So as to comply with tax regulations, Zcash has implemented a selective disclosure option for each user, thereby allowing auditing to take place. This aspect makes it government friendly.
This cryptocurrency has similar characteristics to Zcash but with a slight advantage. Monero has improved the aspect of privacy to a whole new level.
Launched in April of 2014, Monero is one of the open source cryptocurrencies available in the market that emphasizes on privacy, decentralization, and scalability which operates on Android, Windows, Linux, Mac, and FreeBSD.
Monero system uses ring signatures and ring confidential transactions to defog the identity of the sender, the recipient and the amount that has been transacted. The transactions done within Monero are confirmed by distributed consensus without the involvement of any third party and then perpetually recorded to the Monero blockchain.
If you are looking for that extra privacy in your transaction and still want to remain the good side of the law then this is the currency for you.
This is a peer-to-peer type of cryptocurrency which utilizes both proofs of stake and proof of work systems in its transactions. Proof of stake is an algorithm used by cryptocurrencies in order to achieve distributed consensus. Its difference compared with proof of work (POW) is that ‘POW’ algorithm creates new blocks by validating transactions through awarding miners who solve complex equations. The building blocks of Peercoin’s blockchain are selected randomly based on the wealth of the account.
The mechanism used by Peercoin’s network makes it have what can be termed as a ‘super blockchain ’which comes in handy in matters of security. This currency is the affordable in this list and of great quality.
Peercoin generation of a coin can be done in 2 ways. Through mining which is the most common way and through minting. Minting can be compared to an interest since it is a reword for the value of the coins held in one account. The minting value at the moment stands at 1%P.A. How about that, a cryptocurrency that rewards you for having money in your account.
On December 8th, 2013, Dogecoin was launched and by the January of 2014, it had accumulated $60 million. That is quite an achievement for a new currency. The growth did not stop there, as of June of 2017, it has accumulated $340 million.
This could be attributed to its unique currency units. Unlike most cryptocurrencies, Dogecoin has well over 100 billion coins in circulation. It is said that every year there is 5.2 million Dogecoin generated and released into circulation.
Created by programmer Billy Markus, the main aim of Dogecoin was to reach a broader demographic than Bitcoin, allowing more people to access cryptocurrency.
It is one of the peer-to-peer open source cryptocurrencies in the market, which implements a specific unique and scientific computing proof of work system. This proof of work system specifically searches for chains with prime numbers.
Primecoin has been linked to Peercoin due to its source code and the developer’s pseudonym ‘Sunny King.’ Its source code is however copyrighted by ‘Primetime Developers.’
The number of coins released by Primecoin’s block is always equal to 999 divided by the square of the difficulty (answer to the complex mining equation). This means it does not have a predetermined number of coins released like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Darkcoin and XCoin were its former identities. Its main aim is to be more user-friendly than all existing cryptocurrencies and most on-chain-scalable digital currency in the world. It features instant transactions (faster than Bitcoin) and private transactions
Within 2 days of its introduction to the market, 1.9 million coins were mined. This was as a result of a minor bug that allowed miners to rip huge profit in coins during mining. The developers suggested a relaunch but the users protested against it. The second option (airdrop) was also met with disapproval from the users. To avoid being the first cryptocurrency to face inflation, Dash made sure that the coins were sold the following month at very low prices.
The market value of Dash at the moment is quite impressive as it is among the top 10 cryptocurrencies of 2017.
There are plenty of cryptocurrencies available in the market today. They all have something unique that others might not have or utilize better. It is up to the reader to decide which one best suits them based on the special features that each has. Always learn more about the coin you are about to invest in.