Cryptocurrency is a digital currency encrypted with an algorithm so that it cannot be duplicated. It makes use of cryptography to secure transactions and control the creation of additional units of the currency. There are more than 700 cryptocurrencies available for trade in online markets. They have decentralized control as opposed to centralized electronic money/centralized banking systems. The decentralized control is made possible by blockchain technology. Here let us take a quick look at 10 of them.
Bitcoin (Market Cap – $17billion)
Bitcoin is the oldest recognized cryptocurrency available in the market. It was created in 2009, and in less than a decade, it has become the biggest cryptocurrency in the world with the largest market cap. All other cryptocurrencies are sometimes referred to as Altcoins (alternative coins).
Ethereum (Market Cap – $3billion)
It was launched in 2015, and it is called the next generation cryptocurrency. It billion dollar market cap already, and some believe it will get ahead of bitcoins someday soon. One can enact contracts just like selling tickets for a conference and refund it automatically to attendees.
Dash (Market Cap – $684million)
Dash stands for Digital Cash. It is known for its privacy as it uses an anonymous algorithm for encryption. It is super fast and several merchants have started using it making it appreciate in market value.
Monero (Market Cap – $305million)
Monera is another cryptocurrency that focuses on privacy and it uses ring signature technology. With Monero, you are your own bank. Only you control and are responsible for your funds. It is best for private transactions where the identity of the buyer and the seller remains anonymous.
Ripple (Market Cap – $261million)
Ripple works with banks to transform how they send money around the world — a necessary step to compete in today’s growing economy. It was released in 2012 and it focuses on real-time settlements. It has become popular among many banks and payment merchants as it reduces the overhead expenses significantly.
Litecoin (Market Cap – $200 million)
It is very similar to Bitcoin and was introduced by a former Google employee. Its market cap rose to nearly $1.2 billion, but at present, it has reduced to millions. It is one of the best-known altcoins which is used for transaction and transfer of money.
Dogecoin (Market Cap – $25million)
Released in 2013, it was made as a joke based on an internet meme – the Doge(meme), but somehow it received an overwhelming response. Its market capitalization has also appreciated.
Peercoin (Market Cap – &15million)
Peercoin is based on Bitcoin but uses a different method to verify mined coins. It seeks to be the most secure crypto-coin at the lowest cost, rewarding all users for strengthening the network. They eventually look implement a proof-of-stake (POS) system. The POS system basically means that the more coins you have, the more coins you can mine.
Namecoin (Market Cap – $10million)
Namecoin was not exactly designed as a currency; instead, Namecoin’s main purpose is to control an alternative Domain Name System (DNS) for the .bit domain. By existing outside of the control of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which governs the DNS for all other domains, .bit domains can escape censorship.
Primecoin (Market cap – $1million)
The main difference between Primecoin and most altcoins is that the mining doesn’t involve solving hashes. Instead, Primecoin mining involves finding Cunningham chains, which are certain large sequences of prime numbers. These numbers are said to be more mathematically valuable than the hashes that are usually decoded in cryptocurrency mining and are used in anything from number theory to public key cryptography.
The price of each cryptocurrency changes rapidly and can be accessed at Crypto-Currency Market Capitalizations.