The value of Bitcoin has soared this year, even surpassing an ounce of gold. There are also new cryptocurrencies in the market, which is even more amazing, which is worth more than a hundred billion cryptocurrencies. On the other hand, the longer-term cryptocurrency outlook is somewhat dim. There are conflicts over the lack of progress among the main developers, which makes it less attractive as a long-term investment and as a payment system.
Still the most popular, Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency that started it all. It is currently the largest market cap at around $41 billion and has been for the past 8 years. Around the world, Bitcoin has been widely used and so far there is no easy to exploit weakness in the method it works. As both a payment system and a stored value, Bitcoin allows users to easily receive and send bitcoins. The blockchain concept is the foundation upon which Bitcoin is based. It is necessary to understand the concept of blockchain to know what cryptocurrencies are.
Simply put, blockchain is a distributed database that stores all transactions on the network as chunks of data called “blocks”. Every user has copies of the blockchain, so when Alice sends 1 bitcoin to Mark, every person on the network knows about it.
An alternative to Bitcoin, Litecoin attempts to solve many of the problems holding Bitcoin back. It is not as resilient as Ethereum, especially with the value derived from strong user adoption. It should be noted that Charlie Lee, ex-Googler leads Litecoin. He is also working on transparency with what he is doing with Litecoin and is quite active on Twitter.
Litecoin was second fiddle to Bitcoin for a long time, but things started to change in early 2017. First, Litecoin was adopted by Coinbase along with Ethereum and Bitcoin. Litecoin then solved the Bitcoin problem by adopting Segregated Witness technology. This gave it the ability to lower transaction fees and do more. Decisively, however, Charlie Lee decided to focus his sole attention on Litecoin and even left Coinbase, where he was the Director of Engineering, solely for Litecoin. Therefore, the price of Litecoin rose in the last months, its strongest factor was that it could be a real alternative to Bitcoin.
Vitalik Buterin, the superstar programmer came up with Ethereum, which can do everything Bitcoin can do. However, its purpose is primarily to be a platform for building decentralized applications. Blockchains are the differences between the two. Basically, Bitcoin’s blockchain records a type of contract that indicates whether funds have been transferred from one digital address to another. However, there is a lot of expansion with Ethereum because it has a more advanced scripting language and a more complex and wide range of applications.
Projects started to emerge on top of Ethereum when developers began to notice its better features. Through token crowd sales, some have even raised millions of dollars and this is an ongoing trend even today. The fact that you can build amazing things on the Ethereum platform is almost like the Internet itself. This caused the price to skyrocket, so if you bought a hundred dollars worth of Ethereum this year, it wouldn’t be worth nearly $3000.
Monero aims to solve the problem of anonymous transactions. Although this currency was perceived as a method of money laundering, Monero aims to change that. Basically, the difference between Monero and Bitcoin is that Bitcoin has a transparent blockchain where all transactions are public and recorded. With Bitcoin, anyone can see how and where money was moved. However, there is imperfect anonymity in Bitcoin. In contrast, Monero has an opaque transaction method rather than a transparent one. No one is really sold on this method, but since some people love privacy at any cost, Monero is here to stay.
Unlike Monero, Zcash also aims to solve the problems faced by Bitcoin. The difference is that instead of being completely transparent, Monero is partially public in its blockchain style. Zcash also aims to solve the problem of anonymous transactions. After all, not all people love to show off how much money they’ve spent on Star Wars memorabilia. So the bottom line is that this type of cryptocoin really has an audience and demand, although it’s hard to say which privacy-conscious cryptocurrency will eventually come out on top of the pile.
Also known as “smart tokens”, Bancor is a new generation cryptocurrency standard that can hold more than one token in reserve. Basically, Bancor tries to make it easier to trade, manage and create tokens, increasing the level of liquidity and allowing for automated market pricing. At the moment, Bancor has a product on the frontend, including the creation of a wallet and a smart token. There are also features in the community such as statistics, profiles and discussions. In summary, Bancor’s protocol enables the discovery of an internal price and liquidity mechanism for smart contract tokens through an innovative reserve mechanism. Through the smart contract, you can instantly liquidate or buy one of Banco’s reserve tokens. With Bancor, you can easily create new cryptocoins. Now who wouldn’t want that?
Another competitor to Ethereum, EOS promises to solve Ethereum’s scaling problem through a set of more robust tools for running and building applications on the platform.
An alternative to Ethereum, Tezos can be upgraded by consensus without too much effort. This new blockchain is decentralized in the sense that it is self-governing through the establishment of a true digital commonwealth. It facilitates a mathematical technique called formal verification and has features to increase the security of the most conscious and financial smart contract. It will definitely be a big investment in the coming months.
It is extremely difficult to predict which Bitcoin on the list will become the next superstar. However, user adoption has always been a key success factor when it comes to cryptocurrencies. Both Ethereum and Bitcoin have this and while there is a lot of early adopter support for all the cryptocurrencies on the list, some have yet to prove their staying power. However, these are the ones to invest in and watch out for in the coming months.