It is with no reasonable doubt that in 2017 cryptocurrencies gained more fame seeing the increase in the price of Bitcoin. With a share price that topped the charts, people still are looking into other alternatives that they can use in place of Bitcoin such as Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Tether among others. We have written a review of some of the Bitcoin alternatives that you can be able to use and a small review for each.
Why should you look for a Bitcoin alternative
People can be seen looking for a Bitcoin alternative because of a number of reasons. At times the price of Bitcoin in the market will have dropped and people will be looking into something that they can invest in again. Some look for an alternative for Bitcoin when they feel that it is no longer safe for them and some would just want to widen their investments by making use of other cryptocurrencies that are not Bitcoin.
Alternatives to Bitcoin
There are a number of alternatives that can be used in place of bitcoin, some of which include:
1. Ethereum (ETH)
Ethereum is a decentralized software platform that enables Smart Contracts and Decentralized Applications to be built and run without any downtime, fraud, control, or interference from a third party. Ethereum aims at creating a decentralized suite of financial products that anyone in the world can have free access to, regardless of nationality, faith or ethnicity. This coin was launched in 2015 and is currently the largest digital currency after Bitcoin.
2. Litecoin (LTC)
Litecoin was launched in 2011 and is found among the first cryptocurrencies to follow in the footsteps of Bitcoin. Often at times it has been referred to as silver to Bitcoin’s gold. It was created by Charlie Lee, a former Google engineer. This cryptocurrency is based on an open-source global payment network that is not controlled by any central authority and makes use scrypt as a proof of work and this can be decoded with the help of CPUs of consumer-grade. Litecoin is like Bitcoin in many ways but however has a faster block generation rate and hence offers a faster transaction confirmation time.
3. Cardano (ADA)
Cardano is a cryptocurrency that was created with a research-based approach by engineers, mathematicians and also cryptography experts. The project was co-founded by Charles Hoskinson who is one of the five initial founding members of Ethereum. After they had had some disagreements with the direction that Ethereum was taking, he left and later helped to create Cardano. The team that behind Cardano created its blockchain through extensive experimentation and peer-reviewed research. Cardano seems to stand out among its proof-of-stake peers as well as other large cryptocurrencies. Cardano has also been dubbed the killer of Ethereum killer as its blockchain is said to be capable of more. That said, Cardano is still in its early stages. While it has beaten Ethereum to the proof-of-stake consensus model it still has a long way to go in terms of decentralized financial applications.
4. Polkadot (DOT)
Polkadot is a very unique proof-of-stake cryptocurrency that is mainly aimed at delivering interoperability between other blockchains. It has a protocol that is designed to connect permissioned and permissionless blockchains as well as oracles so as to allow systems to work together under one roof. The core component for this coin is its relay chain which allows for interoperability of varying networks, allowing also for parallel blockchains with their very own native tokens for specific use.
5. Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Bitcoin Cash holds an important place in the history of altcoins as it is one of the earliest and most successful hard forks of the original Bitcoin. This crypto was launched in 2017. There was a debate that led to creation of this type of cryptocurrency. The issue was centred on scalability as the Bitcoin network is known to have limits on the size of blocks which is one megabyte. The size increases from one megabyte to eight megabytes when it comes to Bitcoin cash. The whole idea will be that larger blocks will be able to hold more transactions within them meaning that transaction speed will then increase as well.
6. Stellar (XLM)
Stellar is a blockchain network that is open and designed to provide enterprise solutions by connecting financial institutions for the purpose of large transactions. Those big transactions that will be between investment firms and banks that usually take a lot of days, numerous intermediaries and cost you a lot of money as well will be done almost instantly with no intermediaries and costing a lot less as well when making transactions.
Chainllink is noted to be that decentralized oracle network that was released so as to help bridge the gap that is there between smart contracts similar to those on Ethereum. This Chainlink and its decentralized oracles make sure that smart contracts communicate with outside data so that those contracts will be executed based on the data that Ethereum cannot connect to. Its blog details numerous use cases for its system one of which would be to monitor water supplies for pollution or illegal syphoning that will be going on in certain cities. The oracle would be able to track data about this particular stuff and get to feed it directly into those smart contracts. The smart contract will be set up to execute fines, to release flood warnings to cities or to even invoice those companies that will be using a lot of water with the incoming data from those oracles.
8. Binance Coin (BNB)
Binance Coin is noted to be a utility cryptocurrency that operates as a payment method for those fees that are associated with trading on the Binance Exchange. People who make use of this token as a payment means for the exchange will be able to trade at a discount. The token’s blockchain is a platform also that decentralized exchange for Binace operates on. The exchange is known to have been founded by Changpeng Zhao and it is one of those most widely used exchanges across the globe. This token was at some point an ERC-20 token that was operating on the Ethereum blockchain.
9. Tether (USDT)
Tether is one of the most popular and the first of the stablecoins cryptocurrencies. These aim to pin their market value to a currency as a way of trying to reduce volatility. Tether together with other stablecoins try to smooth out those price fluctuations so that more users can be attracted who will otherwise be cautious. The price for this token is pinned directly to that price of the US dollar as well. Users are allowed by the system to be able to make their transfers more easily from other cryptocurrencies back to the US dollar than getting to convert it to normal currency. Having being launched in 2014, Tether sees itself as a blockchain-enabled platform that was designed in a way that allows the use of fiat currencies in a digital manner. Individuals are given the opportunity to make proper use of the blockchain network and other related technologies in order for them to transact in traditional currencies and at the same time minimizing the complexity and the volatility that is often associated with those digital currencies.
10. Monero (XMR)
Monero is an untraceable, secure and private currency. This cryptocurrency was launched in April 2014 and shortly after its launch it started gaining a lot of interest from the cryptography community and enthusiasts as well. Its development is based on donations and is also community driven. Its launch was strongly focused on decentralization as well as scalability enabling complete privacy for users when they make use of a special technique that is called ring signature. When using this technique, there will be a group of cryptographic signatures that will appear that will include at least one participant that is real. Since they will all be appearing valid the real one will not be isolated.
What to look for in an alternative
When you are dealing with an alternative you have to:
- Check security offered for users
- Fees that might be added when making transactions
- Privacy for users
Every time that you decide on investing you should:
- Make a strategy first so that you do not suffer any losses when you invest
- Do not be afraid to take risks
- When investing in alternatives that you are not entirely sure about you have to invest in small amounts so that you do not encounter lots of losses.
Time and again people have been using Bitcoin when it comes to gaming and also making some investments. As years have gone by there has been an introduction of a number of other cryptocurrencies that one can choose to use when trading or investing or even when gaming. Be sure to have a clear understanding of those other cryptocurrencies before you choose to make use of them, understand their properties and see what they can offer you.