The enormous success of the Bitcoin globally has led the emergence of hundreds of Cryptocurrencies. In this article, we will take a look at the top ten cryptocurrencies (at the time of writing) that are in the market right now. However, before we get there, let us address the question – what is a cryptocurrency?
A cryptocurrency is any digital currency or digital asset which has been designed to function as a medium of exchange for goods and services and which uses the technology of cryptography in order to secure its transactions, to regulate the creation of new additional units and also to confirm the transfer of assets from one peer to another. Cryptocurrencies also go by the terms digital currencies and virtual currencies.
The Bitcoin was not exactly the first cryptocurrency; however, it was the only one that really got some traction at that time. It was introduced in 2009, and now in the year 2017, we are looking at literally hundreds of other cryptocurrencies which are flooding the market. The term given to any Cryptocurrency which is not the Bitcoin is Altcoin, as in Alternative or alternate coin (as an alternate to the Bitcoin).
Unlike traditional currencies, Bitcoins and altcoins are not controlled or regulated by any centralized bank, authority or government state. They are all decentralized and transparent and most of them use a distributed ledger in full view of the public to keep an ongoing account of transactions in real time. This brings with a few inherent advantages.
Advantages and disadvantages of Cryptocurrencies
Some of the main advantages of Cryptocurrencies are as follows –
- Fast processing times and low transaction fees
- No chargebacks
- Robust in terms and security
- Private and anonymous
- No need to trust someone else with your money
There are some disadvantages with some of the traditional Cryptocurrencies –
- Payments are one way and irreversible
- Not as widely accepted as fiat currencies, yet.
- Loss of wallet or private address can lock you out
Top Ten Cryptocurrencies
(apart from Bitcoin)
- Ethereum – Ethereum is a decentralized platform wherein applications run on a custom blockchain without any possibility of downtime, fraud or interference from any third party. This platform features what is known as the smart contract functionality which is essentially scripting. The currency that can be used on this network is known as Ether. At the time of writing, the value of one Ether is $636 US dollars.
- Ripple – Ripple is currency exchange network which is owned and operated by a company known also as Ripple. It is based on an open source internet protocol. It was introduced in 2012 and promises provide secure and instant transactions with no chargebacks.” The currency on this network is known as Ripples and is denoted by XRP. At the time of writing, 1 XRP is equal to 0.4111 US dollars.
- Litecoin–Litecoin is digital currency like the Bitcoin and is denoted by LTC. Like the Bitcoin, it too is based on an open source software project. It uses a cryptographic protocol in order to facilitate the creation and transfer of new Litecoin. While it is based predominantly on the Bitcoin, there are some minor technical differences between the two. At the time of writing, one LTC is equal to $324.4031US dollars.
- IOTA – Also an open source cryptocurrency with a public ledger, this network allows for secure payments and also communications between any two devices on the Internet of Things (IOT). However, while most cryptocurrency platforms use blockchain, IOTA uses a directed acyclic graph technology. It is supervised by the IOTA foundation. It was introduced in June of 2016. At the time of writing, 1 IOTA is equal to $3.80US dollars.
- Dash–This Cryptocurrency used to be known as Darkcoin and Xcoin. It is peer to peer Cryptocurrency which is based on an open source technology. Its aims to be an intuitive and on scalable crypto currency. It is a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). At the time of writing, 1 Dash is equal to $869.34US dollars.
- Monero – Moreno was introduced in April of 2014 and is denoted by XMR. Its main focus is on being a secure, private and completely anonymous mode of payment within the Monero platform. It supports operating system such as Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, and FreeBSD. At the time of writing, 1 XMR is equal to $329 US dollars.
- NEM –Denoted by XEM, this Cryptocurrency was introduced in 2015. It is a fixed, decentralized, peer to peer cryptocurrency and blockchain that is developed using Java. There also is a C++ version of this Cryptocurrency in the pipeline. The blockchain it uses is called Mijin which is being considered by financial institutions and private companies in Japan. At the time of writing, 1 NEW is equal to $0.5412 US dollars.
- Cardano – This the platform which is powered by the Cryptocurrency ADA. Based on open source technology, Cardano, like most other Cryptocurrencies used a public blockchain to facilitate transparency and trust. The network has a platform with advanced features. At the time of writing, 1 ADA is equal to $0.135455 US dollars.
- EOS –EOS is an operating system which is decentralized and uses a blockchain to facilitate peer to peer payments without any third-party interference. It is designed mostly to support commercial scale decentralized applications which allows software companies to develop applications on the network like they would develop web applications on the web. 1 EOS is currently equal to $6.39 US dollars.
- NEO –Known previously as Antshares, NEO is a next generation smart economy platform. This Cryptocurrency has seen a huge surge in recent times. At the time of writing, 1 NEO is equal to $43.54 US dollars.