When we think of cryptocurrencies the name Bitcoin always crops up first in our minds. However, the Bitcoin is not the only popular crypto coin these days, even though it continues to hog the limelight and remains the highest in terms of market capitalization.
- Ethereum (ETH) is decentralized software allowing smart contracts and DApps or decentralized apps. Ethereum was launched to allow anyone to access financial products regardless of ethnicity, faith, or nationality. This appealed to nations where banking services are limited and people can get loans, accounts, financial products and insurances easily. Ether’s market cap is approximately 10% of Bitcoin in January, 2021.
- Litecoin (LTC) was introduced in 2011 and follows closely on Bitcoin’s heels. It was founded by Charlie Lee and is an open-source international payment network not under any central authority control. It uses “Scrypt” as proof of work and guarantees a quicker transaction time. In January 2021, its market cap was $10.1 billion, making it the 6th largest crypto.
- Cardano was set up using a research approach by mathematicians, engineers, and crypto experts. This rigorous research process makes Cardano exceptional as a crypto. It is still in a nascent stage and has to make improvement in decentralized financial apps. It has a market cap of $9.8 billion as of January, 2021.
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is one of the most effective hard forks of the Bitcoin. Forking usually happens in the crypto space because of arguments between miners and developers. In such cases, the cryptocurrency gets split with the first one remaining true to the original code and the new one starting as a new version with code changes. It was scalability issues with the Bitcoin that led to the emergence of Bitcoin Cash. BCH increases the block size from 1MB-8MB so that this can accommodate more transactions. The automated trading apps like the Bitcoin Loophole App were also widening the transactions. BCH has a market cap of $8.9 billion as of January, 2021.
- Chainlink bridges the gap between data outside and the smart contracts. Blockchains cannot connect to external applications but Chainlink’s decentralized system allows the smart contracts to communicate with external data.
- Binance Coin (BNB) is a utility coin which works like a payment system for exchange users. Binance exchange, founded by Changpeng Zhao, is one of the most extensively-used exchanges in terms of trading volumes. It was started as an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain and later had its launch on the main net. The coin uses a Proof of Stake algorithm and currently has $6.8 billion s market cap.
- Tether (USDT) is a stable coin that aims to peg market values to some currency to reduce volatility. Their attempt to lessen price swings appeals to cautious users because this system facilitates easy money transfers in a timely manner. It was founded in 2014 and allows users to use a blockchain network. It was the 3rd largest crypto coin according to market cap in January, 2021.
- Monero (XMR) is a private, secure, and untraceable crypto coin. This open-source crypto was founded in 2014 and was developed by donations. It focuses on scalability and decentralization and guarantees privacy through “ring signatures”. Such exceptional security provision makes Monero’s reputation slightly dubious as there is fear of it being used for illicit operations.
- Stellar is an open-source blockchain network for offering enterprise solutions. This ensures that large transactions between firms and banks, that tend to take many days to process and are very costly, can be done instantly without third parties. It facilitates cross-border transfers between currencies. The native currency is Lumens or XLM and the network requires you to have Lumens to transact.