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Cryptocurrencies are a new form of currency that relies on cryptography to secure transactions, generate new units, and verify payments. Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency, but there are many others available. Here’s an overview of four other cryptocurrencies you may not have heard of before.
Ethereum is similar to Bitcoin in that it can be both mined and traded on cryptocurrency exchanges. The creators of Ethereum have significant backgrounds in blockchain technology, cryptography, and computer science. Because of this extensive experience in coding for blockchains, they designed an open-source platform that features smart contracts.
Smart contracts are simply applications programmed to self-execute tasks when certain conditions are met. This system of having applications that run on the blockchain network has many uses, both inside and outside of finance.
History of Ethereum
Ethereum has been in development since 2013 and launched on July 30, 2015. The first phase of the project was funded with a pre-sale of ETH tokens to those interested in supporting this new platform. There were approximately 72 million Ethers created for the first investors, with an estimated value of $18.40 per token at that time.
From there, Ethereum continued with a successful crowdfunding campaign that allowed the platform to expand significantly by 2016. Their website has received nearly $15 million from more than 3,700 supporters, including several big names in the tech industry.
The development team behind Ethereum has not only been transparent and public about their goals and progress, but they have also included a page dedicated to their published documents and source code.
One of the advantages that Ethereum has over other cryptocurrencies is that it can be used in smart contracts with existing laws rather than trying to change the law itself. This allows for easier regulatory compliance worldwide while still allowing individuals and entities access to more efficient blockchain technology.
What Makes It Popular
Ethereum is famous for both its value and ability to process transactions without charging high fees. Including Ethereum in your cryptocurrency portfolio can be beneficial for diversification while still having the potential to generate significant returns.
In 2021, Ethereum will switch from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake consensus. This change will allow Ethereum’s network to run on far less energy while improving transaction speed. Staking ether to the network is possible with proof-of-stake. This process aids in the protection and processing of transactions. Those who complete this task are given ether, similar to a savings account. This is a different sort of proof-of-work algorithm than Bitcoin’s, in which miners are rewarded more Bitcoin for doing work.
Litecoin has solidified itself as one of the most popular cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin because it has stayed true to Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision of a decentralized, peer-to-peer currency. As an open-source project, Litecoin has attracted developers interested in creating applications across various industries using blockchain technology.
Litecoin is one of the oldest and most recognized cryptocurrencies worldwide and was released via an open-source client on GitHub in October of 2011. Since its launch, Litecoin (LTC) has experienced steady growth and is currently the sixth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
The price of Litecoin rose significantly in 2017 to reach highs nearing $400 at several points during the year. Although it did see a decline along with other cryptocurrencies in 2018, Litecoin still has a price of well over $50 and a market capitalization of around $10 billion.
History of Litecoin
As with all cryptocurrencies, the history of Litecoin is an interesting one. The creator behind this cryptocurrency was not known for several years but was revealed as former Google employee Charlie Lee in 2013. Before working for Google, Lee worked as a software engineer at Guidewire Software for six years.
Lee released Litecoin on GitHub in October 2011, and it has been traded since April of the following year. One of the key differences between Bitcoin and Litecoin is that Lee wanted to create a cryptocurrency mined using regular computers. Bitcoin requires specialized hardware for effective mining.
Cardano (capitalized as ADA) is another popular cryptocurrency that has had significant growth in 2018. Like many other major cryptocurrencies, it has experienced its ups and downs throughout the year. Currently, it sits at over $0.30 per token with a market capitalization of more than $9 billion.
While Bitcoin was created as a digital currency, the Daedalus wallet for this cryptocurrency is not just a storage space for your tokens. It can also be used to create and manage decentralized applications. There are currently 45 cryptocurrencies on the market that use the Cardano system and more than a dozen projects in development.
What Makes It Popular
Cardano has several benefits over other cryptocurrencies, including its method of storing information. It uses a hierarchical wallet system that allows users to store and manage multiple wallets at once effortlessly.
While Bitcoin is popular, it does have some drawbacks when compared to Cardano. For example, the need for miners in the Bitcoin network has led it down an environmentally destructive path to secure the network. With Cardano, users can stake their tokens to carry out the verification process for transactions on the network.
History of Cardano
Cardano was created by Charles Hoskinson, the former CEO of Ethereum. He left that project over disagreements about how much control he should have in its development. Instead, He decided to create his cryptocurrency called Bitshares. After leaving that venture, Hoskinson eventually started IOHK, a blockchain technology company focused on developing cryptocurrencies in consultation with groups of expert academics.
Cardano was formally released by IOHK in September 2017 after almost a year of development work. It is built on the Haskell programming language, which is more secure than some other languages that are used for blockchain projects. The ADA cryptocurrency runs on the Cardano Settlement Layer (CSL), which is a unique platform that separates accounting of value from the actual transactions being made.
Polkadot is an interesting cryptocurrency that has garnered significant attention over the past few months. It was originally announced back in January 2018 and had $145 million in private investments within 24 hours of its launch. Its ICO was originally only supposed to be available to strategic investors, but this changed due to its popularity among investors.
The developers behind Polkadot saw a problem with blockchain technology that was limiting its effectiveness in real world applications, mainly that it did not have the ability to connect with other blockchains. This is what led to the development of Polkadot and ultimately made it one of the more popular cryptocurrencies available today.
History of Polkadot
Polkadot was created by Gavin Wood, who is also the co-founder of Parity Technologies and Ethereum. He came up with the idea for Polkadot after working on Ethereum as a way to solve its scaling issues and interoperability problems associated with blockchains.
Wood worked with the Web3 Foundation to develop Polkadot and its ICO was set to launch on October 21, 2017. It ended up selling out in a matter of hours, and there was a total of 294,756 ether created by the sale.
What Makes It Unique
Polkadot is not only unique because of its interoperability – it also provides an interesting way to connect blockchains together through what is known as parachains. There are two types of parachains available through Polkadot, public and private ones. Public parachains can be used by anyone to move their data across systems, while private ones are for use by businesses that might want to keep some of their information confidential.
What Makes It So Popular
There are several reasons why Polkadot is so popular, including its interoperability between blockchains, its scalability solutions, and ability to connect other chains together. But perhaps the biggest reason it has gained so much popularity is because of its strategic investors.