How many times a week do we hear the news concerning Bitcoin? Probably, every day. Since it came into being, a world-famous digital asset started attracting more and more attention.
Obviously, cryptocurrency is invading the world. If at the very beginning all the buzz started just from Bitcoin, invented by an unknown person under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, now the world observes the appearance of more and more digital assets.
If you’re looking to invest in a cryptocurrency, it’s often difficult to decide which one to go with. Thus, according to Coinmarketcap, there are more than 9,000 various cryptocurrencies. What are the most popular digital currencies?
Let’s have a closer look at five among them, apart from Bitcoin.
Ether sits in second place among popular crypto-assets after well-known BTC. Ether is a decentralized cryptocurrency invented by Vitalik Buterin in 2013.
Similar to Bitcoin, Ether uses a mechanism of proof of work. In other words, ETH is mined – appears after miners (Ethereum users) approve the transaction and the new block is issued to be added to the blockchain.
Ether is powered by its own blockchain platform called Ethereum, which handles decentralized finance operations, creates and allows exchanging of NFTs (non-fungible tokens). NFT represent the same cryptocurrency as ETH or BTC, with one remark: NFTs are unique and cannot be replaced. They are kept on a digital ledger, and the owner has proof of ownership. NFTs can feature videos, pics, photos, GIFs, or any other type of digital file.
In fact, recently, NFTs have started penetrating into the art industry. Thus, the GIF of Nyan Cat was sold for $590,000, the picture of Banksy Morons was burned, converted to non-fungible tokens, and sold for $400,000. The most surprising was the record with the picture ‘Everyday: The First 5000 Days’ elaborated by internet artist Beeple. The picture features the images that the artist has been posting on social networks all long 5000 days – almost 15 years! It was sold at Christie’s for $69,000,000!
What makes Ether unique is that ETH is possible to buy in parts – it is divisible up to 18 decimal places. It means that if you want to buy just the part of ETH, you are allowed to do it. What is more, Ethereum manufactures different products called dapps – applications for business and entertainment.
Finally, there is a handy application that allows you to buy and keep Ether.
Litecoin is a digital asset released in 2011on GitHub like a BTC spinoff. The person who invented LTC is called Charlie Lee.
From a technological point of view, Litecoin seems to be similar to Bitcoin. Namely, while transmitting the transaction, it uses proof of work technology on the blockchain.
However, the two digital assets have several differences. One of them is a market cap: Bitcoin is worth one trillion dollars, while Litecoin – $13,7 billion (according to the statistics of March 2021).
What else differs Litecoin from BTC is that LTC generates blocks a bit faster than BTC: 2.5 minutes is needed to mine 1 Litecoin. Thus, LTC can release more coins compared to Bitcoin, and its total supply limit is 84,000,000 LTC.
One more drastic discrepancy lies in the algorithms both cryptocurrencies use. SHA-256 is the one used by BTC, while Scrypt – the newer algorithm – is used by Litecoin.
Ripple is a cryptocurrency that made an appearance in 2012 owing to the professional Jed McCaleb from American company Ripple Labs Inc.
XRP is powered by decentralized technology, blockchain, assuring quick transactions. Electronic registers – XRP ledgers – appear once in 3-5 seconds. Notably, Ripple provides 1500 transactions each second.
Significantly, Ripple has many benefits.
- The foremost is that it’s stable as far as there wasn’t any trouble with ledgers closure.
- What is more, the XRP protocols run worldwide.
- One of the biggest advantages of Ripple is the one for the environment. Contrary to the Bitcoin issued via proof of work (mining), XRP releases with a “consensus” mechanism. Consensus protocol makes it possible to proceed with a transaction without a central operator. Ripple gives an opportunity to any person or business institution to become a validator. Nowadays, XRP counts 36 validators, 6 of which are active.
You can follow the price changes of Ripple at CEX.IO on the XRP cart.
TRON was launched in 2017 by Chinese entrepreneur Justin Sun.
TRX represents a native digital currency of TRON – an operating system based on blockchain technology. To date, the total market capitalization of TRX is $12,317.
Tron is an entertainment platform with storage allowing users to share digital content. It assures 10,000 transactions each second. Similar to Ripple, TRON uses consensus or proof of stake models, which is known to be much more efficient than proof of work used by Bitcoin.
What differentiates TRON from other digital ledgers is reliability. TRON protocol parcels online resources by all TRX owners using a worldwide network of public nodes.
What makes Tether stand out from other digital assets is that it is a stable cryptocurrency that is tied to the US Dollar. USDT is called a stable coin because it always maintains the price of $1.00 and, compared to other crypto assets, is the least prone to market fluctuations.
USDT was released in 2014 by J. Willet and works on blockchain technology. The transactions go through a 3-layers flow:
- Bitcoin blockchain;
- Omni protocol;
- Tether limited.
According to the latest statistics of January 2021, Tether takes 3rd place by market capitalization, which currently consists of $24,4 billion.
The cryptocurrency USDT is widely used by exchanges, businesses, and financial services.
In a nutshell
Change is all around us. More and more people are searching for new easy ways to gain money with less effort. Even though Bitcoin remains the most demanded crypto, various digital assets don’t stop appearing and for now, their number has reached 9,000. Cryptocurrency is in the limelight as never before. Thus, it’s important to keep up with time in order not to miss the opportunity. We have chosen five of the most popular types of digital assets for you to look through.
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