Cryptocurrencies simply broke all the barriers in 2017 and Bitcoin maintains the frontier position. A market which was worth $17 Billion at the start of 2017, is now worth up to $550 Billion by the end. Following Bitcoin, there are a number of other cryptocurrencies available, known as altcoins, comprising of distinct and better features. These cryptocurrencies offer promising value and are great for those who think Bitcoin is a bit too far from their reach. Therefore, we have prepared a list, in no particular order, of 10 excellent Bitcoin alternatives worth giving a look. Let’s start with the list.
Ripple is a digital payment protocol, widely used for transferring money preferably for banks. It operates on a decentralized, peer-to-peer platform, as compared to traditional money exchanges. Two consenting parties can exchange money in form of USD, Yen, Bitcoin or Litecoin over the Ripple Network. Traditional money exchanges have agents, which facilitate exchange between two parties, Ripple deploys Gateways, which work in the same way. Owing to its peer-to-peer nature, any person or business can register and open a Gateway, which facilitates trust and authorizes the transfer. The digital token of Ripple, “XRP”, acts as a bridge between currencies. This enables to send money in one form and receive in another form, so, for example, the sender may send payment in USD and receiver may receive in Bitcoin.
The main idea behind Civic is to use Blockchain technology in order to solve Identity Verification issues. You know the feeling of waiting days even weeks to be verified on exchanges. Civic aims to provide a low-cost and highly secure mechanism for personal information verification. The Civic ecosystem removes the hassle of identity verification undertaken every time a person does business with a new organization. The value token of Civic is the “CVC”, which the users will use while using any service associated with the Civic ecosystem.
Golem touts itself as a Global, Decentralized Supercomputer. Anyone can mine Golem by providing unused computing power. Basically, anyone can utilize the processing power Golem provides for almost any kind of application, be it rendering, research or simply hosting websites. It connects people who have idle machines and provides that raw processing power to people who actually need it. Golem can harness power from a wide variety of machines, from notebook computers to large data centers. The value token of Golem is known as “GNT” or “Golem Network Token” and is itself based on Ethereum.
EOS is basically a direct competitor to Ethereum and serves as a platform for creating decentralized applications just like Ethereum. It claims that it improves over Ethereum in terms of scalability, flexibility, and usability. The development team hopes that EOS will surpass Ethereum as more developers develop apps on this platform. The Developers tout EOS as an Operating System and EOS itself is not an acronym. Thanks to horizontal scaling, EOS can literally process millions of transactions per second, outperforming Ethereum by a large margin. The value token of EOS trades with the same name.
IOTA’s main focus is to provide a decentralized and secure communication and payment protocol for IoT devices. What distinguishes IOTA from rest of the cryptocurrencies is the fact that it uses a technology called directed acyclic graph (DAG) instead of Blockchain. A DAG doesn’t use blocks to store information, rather information is stored in randomly across multiple devices. This means that IOTA does not have to deal with scalability issues associated with blocks in Blockchain technology. The value token of IOTA is “MIOTA”.
Zcash is a cryptocurrency, focuses on anonymity and privacy of its users. Zcash’s Blockchain only records that a transaction has indeed occurred. Zcash users are provided with two addresses, a t-addr, which allows fully transparent transactions like Bitcoin and a z-addr, which enables completely private transactions that can only be viewed after providing a special view key, which only the user possesses. The value token of Zcash is “ZEC”.
Monero and Zcash are often mentioned together as they both basically aim for the same goal, that is anonymity. Like Zcash, Monero too is a privacy-focused cryptocurrency. The transactions on Monero are un-linkable and untraceable. Also, unlike Bitcoin, Monero’s mining algorithm is ASIC resistant, ensuring complete decentralization by preventing people from setting up large mining farms, creating a monopoly. Monero’s value token trades as “XMR”.
NEO is yet another strong competitor to Ethereum as it allows developers to make decentralized applications on Blockchain platform. It is based in China and receives support from Chinese authorities as well. Acquiring NEO basically gives the users voting rights using which they can steer the management of the platform, just like shareholders get. As the shareholders also receive’s dividends, the NEO platform produces dividends as well. The dividends are paid in form of the GAS token, however, which NEO manages.
A relatively new Blockchain, Cardano is a decentralized open-source network with its cryptocurrency know as “ADA”. Currently occupying the 5th position among top cryptocurrencies, Cardano is termed as the “Ethereum of Japan”. The main idea behind Cardano is to create a sensible cryptocurrency which provides the best of both worlds, i.e. protecting the privacy of users while keeping the needs of regulators in check. Cardano is developed to enable interoperability with existing legacy financial systems and currencies. Developers also kept the ease of incorporating forks in mind when creating Cardano.
Backed by IBM, Stellar is a decentralized currency exchange solution. It enables the users of the service, which can be people or banks, to transact and exchange in different currencies across the globe. Stellar also provides real-time, accurate exchange rate. Its relation with IBM can serve a crucial role in its growth and adoption. As of right now, Stellar is at number 10 among top cryptocurrencies and the value token of Stellar is “XLM”.