Cryptocurrency is a broad term that defines digital or virtual currency in the form of coins or tokens. Since bitcoin was introduced a decade ago, the field of cryptocurrencies has dramatically expanded. It keeps on leading the world of cryptocurrencies when it comes to popularity, user base, and capitalization. But there are other virtual currencies like XRP and Ethereum widely used for enterprise purposes. In fact, some cryptocurrencies are known for advanced or better features.
Ethereum is the first alternative to bitcoin listed here. It is a decentralized platform of Decentralized Applications and Smart Contracts to run without control, downtime, fraud, or interference by anyone else. The Ethereum runs on its cryptographic token named ‘ether.’ Ether is widely used by developers to run and develop apps in Ethereum or by investors to buy other digital currencies. Launched in 2015, Ether stands second among the leading digital currencies after bitcoin by market capital.
It is a network of global settlements offering specific, instance, and cost-effective global payments. Since 2012, Ripple has been used by banks for international payments with complete transparency and cost-effectiveness in real-time. Ripple doesn’t need mining as its consensus ledger is different. XRP tokens were pre-mined before the launch. It means XRP is not created over time. Ripple saves computing power and reduces network latency. It is one of the best digital currencies over traditional solutions.
Litecoin was one of the first cryptocurrencies and has also been called ‘silver standard over bitcoin’s gold.’ It was launched in 2011 and created by an MIT graduate, Charlie Lee, who was also a Google engineer. It is based on a global and open-source payment network which has no control by a central authority. As proof of its work, it has a ‘script,’ which is decoded with consumer-grade CPUs.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Bitcoin Cash is known to have a special position in altcoins as it is one of the most popular and earliest hard forks of bitcoin. A fork has been a matter of arguments and debates between miners and developers. Digital currencies have always been decentralized.
It was among the most widely used and first groups of stable coins to peg its market value to reduce volatility. A lot of digital currencies like bitcoin have faced constant volatility in a dramatic way. Tether is a stable coin that is aimed to relieve the fluctuation in prices to attract user-base that is skeptical. Launched in 2014, Tether is known as a blockchain-based platform designed to promote the use of currencies in a digital way.
As of January 2020, Libra is one of the most popular cryptocurrencies, and it has yet to launch. There were rumors that Facebook, Inc was introducing its official cryptocurrency in 2018. With huge global reach and potential for huge exchange volumes of Facebook, the world of cryptocurrency has been expecting that it may have its official digital token.
In June 2019, rumors were officially confirmed when social media titan finally came up with Libra’s white paper. The cryptocurrency is expected to launch later this year as Facebook has to sort out some regulatory barriers before launching it. Libra will be used as a new subsidiary by Facebook. It will definitely have a huge user-base, including those outside or inside the world of cryptocurrency.