The Most Popular Cryptocurrencies

A financial diagram displaying many different types of cryptocurrencyAlthough cryptocurrency is well-known across the world, it wasn’t always that way. The concept of cryptocurrency didn’t take full effect until 2009. The idea had been in the air before then, but it wasn’t until January of that year when Bitcoin—the most popular cryptocurrency there is—was fully conceived. 

Cryptocurrencies were made in an effort to secure transactions between two parties. Although this form of money is not tangible, it definitely takes a step up when it comes to security and digital services. 

In the past couple of years, other cryptocurrencies have arisen to join the ranks of the infamous Bitcoin. With an estimated 4,000 cryptocurrencies out there, how can one differentiate between them all? What makes each of them different? What does each have to offer? Let’s take a look. 

Bitcoin

From elusive individuals who may not actually exist to conspiracy theories that delve deep into the dark web, the creation and history of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency are shrouded in mystery. 

One thing is certain, however; Bitcoin is the world’s leading cryptocurrency. It has dominated the market since early 2009 and it doesn’t look to stop anytime soon. In fact, Bitcoin has accounted for more than 69% of the cryptocurrency market. This cryptocurrency is well known for its uncertain lows and incredible highs. By the end of 2018, Bitcoin plummeted to approximately $3,000. As recently as January 2020, it peaked at $40,000. 

Litecoin

Litecoin debuted in 2011, a couple of years after Bitcoin. It is operated through a platform that is not controlled by any central authority and uses Scrypt as a proof of security. Scrypt can be decoded if need be. What Litecoin has over Bitcoin is that it operates to provide faster transactions and confirmations. There is an increasing number of merchants who are opting for Litecoin. 

Bitcoin Cash

A variation of Bitcoin, this is considered a fork to the original cryptocurrency. A “hard fork” is a drastic change to a network’s protocol that aims to make invalid transactions, valid. It can also operate to do the opposite should a valid transaction be confirmed as invalid. This source of cryptocurrency may have also been made to bring in more funding for the company. 

Ethereum 

Ethereum is a decentralized software application that serves to promise less downtime, fraud elimination, maintenance and control, and the inability for anyone to interfere, especially third parties. Ethereum’s niche is to create a suite of financial products that anyone in the world can reach without having to worry about any kind of interference with their transactions. 

Binance Coin (BNB)

Binance Coin gets more into the specifics regarding the kinds of transactions people are making. Binance is dedicated to providing a payment method for those who are involved with trading on the platform, Binance Exchange. Those who use this form of cryptocurrency are entitled to trade at a discounted price. It is one of the most widely used exchanges in the world. 

Tether 

Tether is a unique form of cryptocurrency, known as stablecoins, which attempt to point their market value to another form of currency in order to reduce rapid and unexpected changes between transactions. Tether is known as “a blockchain-enabled platform that is designed to facilitate the use of fiat currencies in a digitally-based manner”. In simpler terms, it allows individuals to make traditional transactions without the fear of something going wrong between the two parties. 

Stellar 

Stellar cryptocurrency is a decentralized platform, as well, which is supported by its parent, the Stellar Development Foundation. The main goal and operation of Stellar are to enable quick transactions at low costs. As opposed to using any other kind of algorithm, they work with and use their own algorithm, called “Stellar Consensus Protocol,” while simultaneously providing decentralization, security, and trust. 

Zcash 

Zcash, short for Zerocash protocol, is an imitation of the basic Bitcoin database. What sets this cryptocurrency apart from others is that it provides anonymity of transactions. With bitcoin, each transaction can be seen. It’s practically public information. Zcash wants to provide consumers with the ability to stay just as private as when consumers use cash to purchase services or products. With Zcash, there is no way the transaction can be tied to the party who made the purchase. 

Tron 

Tron was able to thrive in the past year, where the entertainment industry had to take a hit. This is because Tron is a blockchain-based platform that is encompassed around sharing content. Tron does not aim to profit from gathering and selling data. Instead, it protects users and allows creators to monetize their content directly to its form of cryptocurrency. 

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