For many of us out there cryptocurrencies are synonymous with bitcoins. Now, we understand that cryptocurrencies- based on peer to peer networks have emerged as the de facto payment system embraced by businesses and freelancers. However, what we do want to point out is that when it comes to cryptocurrencies, bitcoins are definitely not the only option that you have access to. There are legitimate alternatives to bitcoins and these alternatives are collectively called altcoins. Notably, there have been significant efforts in recent times to present these alternatives (together called altcoins) as improved versions of bitcoins. Notably, some of these alternatives are even easier to mine than bitcoin as well.
Documented below are the 5 great alternatives (cryptocurrencies) to bitcoins. Make sure you are acquainting yourself with the market capitalization of altcoins before accessing them.
Dash: This one makes it to the top of our list quite simply because it has enjoyed notable popularity since the time it had been introduced – i.e. 2014. Not even 4 or 5 years in the scene and it has already been hailed by traders for its secretive attributes. Based on decentralized mastercode network, the cryptocurrency offers you unbridled access to anonymity. There are definite other reasons behind its popularity, Dash like most of the other cryptocurrencies is associated with very low fee. However, in certain cases you can even go on to send this currency for free. Developed by Evan Duffield, both GPU and CPU can be employed to mine Dash which was earlier known as Darkcoin.
Ethereum: Leading the pack of altcoins (it wouldn’t really be wrong to say) is Ethereum. It was launched in the year 2015. It is often described as “interesting”because it can be employed both as digital currency as well as an application layer. The highly “functional” digital currency can actually be used both as Smart Contracts and Distributed Applications. The applications can notably be developed and run without discrepancies like fraud, downtime and third party interference. All the applications associated with Ethereum are run on ether. Ether, once again, has been described as a very interesting part of Ethereum. It has been called a vehicle which runs within Ethereum and developers mostly end up seeking it while running platform-specific applications. At present, the altcoin commands a market capitalization of $4.46 billion – which is second only to what’s bitcoin’s present valuation is.
Litecoin: This one makes it to the top 5 bitcoin alternatives quite simply because it’s one of the oldest – though not as popular. In fact, keeping the fact that it has the ability to handle higher transactions than that of bitcoin in view – it’s quite unfortunate that it never got the recognition in the financial market that it deserved.
Launched in the year 2011, Litecoin is backed by some of the coolest features including ease of mining and wallet encryption which enables you to see balance and transactions. However, you won’t be able spend your litecoins unless you are using the password for the same. As a litecoin user, you might as well be duly assured about due protection from trojans and other viruses.
Monero: If you are talking about secrecy and security then Monero (XMR) should definitely be included in the picture. Introduced to the market in the year 2014, the altcoin stoked interests among the cryptocurrency users – almost immediately. A special technique called ring signatures is employed to ensure infallible security. Very interestingly, this was introduced to promote the concept of donation, decentralization and scalability in the world of cryptocurrency.
Ripple: Ripple- like many other altcoins- acts both as a digital payment platform as well as a cryptocurrency. This one remains one of the oft-used platforms for making international payments – quite simply because this one allows you to make low-cost payments with ease. This altcoin was introduced in the year 2012 and today it has a market capitalization worth $1.26 billion. The primary advantage of using this particular altcoin is that it does not require mining and as a result entails lower consumption of computer power and network latency.