Cryptocurrency usage has exploded since Bitcoin’s release. Though exact active currency number fluctuate currencies’ values are highly volatile, the overall market value of all active cryptocurrencies is generally trending upward. At any given time, hundreds of cryptocurrencies trade actively.
Some cryptocurrencies have been described below:
Bitcoin is the world’s most widely used cryptocurrency, and is generally credited with bringing the movement into the mainstream. Its market cap and individual unit value consistently dwarf (by a factor of 10 or more) that of the next most popular cryptocurrency. Bitcoin has a programmed supply limit of 21 million Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is increasingly viewed as a legitimate means of exchange. Many well-known companies accept Bitcoin payments, though most partner with an exchange to convert Bitcoin into US. dollars before receiving their funds.
Released in 2011, Litecoin uses the same basic structure as Bitcoin. Key differences include a higher programmed supply limit (84 million units) and a shorter target block chain creation time (two-and-a-half minutes). The encryption algorithm is slightly different as well. Litecoin is usually the second or third-most popular cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
Released in 2012, Ripple is noted for a “consensus ledger” system that dramatically speeds up transaction confirmation and block chain creation times there’s no formal target time, but the average is every few seconds. Ripple is also more easily converted than other cryptocurrencies, with an in house currency exchange that can convert Ripple units into US. dollars, yen, euros, and other common currencies.
However, critics have noted that Ripple’s network and code are more susceptible to manipulation by sophisticated hackers and may not offer the same anonymity protections as Bitcoin~ derived cryptocurrencies.
Launched in 2015, Ethereum makes some noteworthy improvements on Bitcoin’s basic architecture. In particular, it utilizes “smart contracts” that enforce the performance of a given transaction, compel parties not to renege on their agreements, and contain mechanisms for refunds should one party violate the agreement. Though “smart contracts” represent an important move toward addressing the lack of chargebacks and refunds in cryptocurrencies, it remains to be seen whether they’re enough to solve the problem completely.
Dogecoin, denoted by its immediately recognizable Shiba Inu mascot, is a variation on Litecoin. It has a shorter block chain creation time (one minute) and a vastly greater number of coins in circulation the creators’ target of. 100 billion units mined by July 2015 was met, and there’s a supply limit of 5.2 billion units mined every year thereafter, with no known supply limit. Dogecoin is thus notable as an experiment in “inflationary cryptocurrency,” and experts are watching it Closely to see how its long-term value trajectory differs from that of other cryptocurrencies.
Coinye, a semi-defunct cryptocurrency, is worth mentioning solely for its bizarre backstory.
Coinye was developed under the original moniker “Coinye West” in 2013, and identified by an unmistakable likeness of hip-hop superstar Kanye West. Shortly before Coinye’s release, in early 2014, West’s legal team caught wind of the currency’s existence and sent its creators a cease-and-desist letter.
To avoid legal action, the creators dropped “West” from the name, changed the logo to a “half man, half fish hybrid” that resembles West (a biting reference to a “South Park” episode that pokes fun at West’s massive ego), and released Coinye as planned. Given the hype and ironic humor around its release, the currency attracted a cult following among cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Undaunted, West’s legal team filed suit, compelling the creators to sell their holdings and shut down Coinye’s website.
Though Coinye’s peer-to-peer network remains active and it’s still technically possible to mine the currency, person-to-person transfers and mining activity have collapsed to the point that Coinye is basically worthless.
NEM is a Peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and blockchain platform launched on March 31, 2015. Written in Java, with a C++ version in the works, NEM has a stated goal of a wide distribution model and has introduced new features to blockchain technology such as its proof-of-importance (POI) algorithm, multisignature accounts, encrypted messaging, and an Eigentrust++ reputation system. The NEM blockchain software is used in a commercial blockchain called Mijin, which is being tested by financial institutions and private companies in Japan and internationally.
Dash is an open source peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that offers all the same features as Bitcoin but also has advanced capabilities, including instant transactions (InstantSend), private transactions (PrivateSend), and decentralized governance (DGBB). Dash’s decentralized governance and budgeting system makes it the first decentralized autonomous organization.
Dash uses a two-tier architecture to power its network. The first tier consists of miners who secure the network and write transactions to the blockchain. The second tier consists of master nodes which enable the advanced features of Dash.
Monero (XMR) is an open-source cryptocurrency created in April 2014 that focuses on privacy, decentralization and scalability. Unlike many cryptocurrencies that are derivatives of Bitcoin, Monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol and possesses significant algorithmic differences relating to blockchain obfuscation. Monero experienced rapid growth in market capitalization (from US$5M to US$185M) and transaction volume during the year 2016, partly due to adoption in 2016 by major darknet market AlphaBay (closed July 2017 by law enforcement).
Zcash is a cryptocurrency that offers privacy and selective transparency of transactions. Zcash payments are published on a public blockchain, but the sender, recipient, and amount of a transaction may remain private. The Zcash trade symbol, ZEC, is not an official ISO 4217. Like Bitcoin, Zcash has a fixed total supply of 21 million units.
BlackCoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency. BlackCoin uses a proof-of-stake system and is open-source. BlackCoin was created by the developer Rat-4, with the goal of proving that BlackCoin’s way of disabling proof-of-work is stable and secure. BlackCoin secures its network through a process called “minting”. Transactions in BlackCoin were called “significant” in a Citibank whitepaper.
Burstcoin is a digital cryptographic currency and payment system based on the blockchain technology. Burstcoin was introduced on the bitcointalk.org forum on 10 August 2014 as an Nxt-based currency. Burstcoins are mined using an algorithm called proof-of-capacity (PoC) in which miners use computer storage instead of the more common energy expensive method of permanent complex computational calculations.
Emercoin is a cryptocurrency that is in some ways similar to Namecoin and Peercoin. It was launched in December 2013 and announced three days before launch in order to notify miners in advance.
Emercoin employs both proof of work (POW) mining and proof of stake (P0S) minting and uses SHA-256 hashes.
Namecoin is a cryptocurrency and the first fork of the bitcoin software. It is based on the code of bitcoin and uses the same proof-of-work algorithm. It is limited to 21 million coins. Unlike bitcoin, Namecoin can store data within its own blockchain transaction database. The original proposal for Namecoin called for Namecoin to insert data into bitcoin’s blockchain directly. Anticipating scaling difficulties with this approach, a shared proof-of-work (POW) system was proposed to secure new cryptocurrencies with different use cases.
Peercoin, also known as PPCoin or PPC, is a peer-to~ peer cryptocurrency utilizing both proof-of-stake and proof-of-work systems.
Peercoin is based on an August 2012 paper which listed the authors as Scott Nadal and Sunny King. Sunny King, who also created Primecoin, is a pseudonym. Nadal’s involvement had diminished by November 2013, leaving King as Peercoin’s sole core developer.
Peercoin was inspired by bitcoin, and it shares much of the source code and technical implementation of bitcoin. The Peercoin source code is distributed under the MIT/Xll software license.
PotCoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency which exists with the aim of becoming the standard form of payment for the legalized cannabis industry. PotCoin is an open source software project released under the MIT/X11 license and was technically nearly identical to Litecoin until August 23, 2015, when Potcoin changed to POSV similar to Reddcoin. PotCoin is not managed by any central authority and provides a decentralised solution for the transfer of value. As of August 2014, PotCoin has received mainstream media coverage from agencies such as Fox Business, Vice, and TechCrunch.
Primecoin is a peer-to-peer open source cryptocurrency that implements a unique scientific computing proof-of-work system. Primecoin’s proof-of-work system searches for chains of prime numbers. Primecoin was created by a person or group of people who use the pseudonym Sunny King. This entity is also related with the cryptocurrency Peercoin. The Primecoin source code is copyrighted by a person or group called “Primecoin Developers”, and distributed under a COnditional MIT/X11 software license.
Primecoin has been described as the main cause of spot shortages of dedicated servers because at the time it was only possible to mine the currency with CPUs. For the same reason, Primecoin used to be the target of malware writers.
Vertcoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and software project. It is a Bitcoin-like blockchain currency with additional features such as Stealth Address technology and ASIC resistant Proof-of-Work (PoW) function. The main difference between Bitcoin and Vertcoin is the latter’s resistance to centralized mining and the long term promise of Vertcoin developers to keep it that way. Vertcoin has already forked two times to a new Pow function because of a veritable threat of centralized mining. The Vertcoin cryptocurrency wallet can be downloaded from Vertcoin’s official website.
Mazacom was developed by the ETC Oyate Initiative, under the direction of Payu Harris, a Native American activist, web developer, and digital currency trader who has traced his ancestry to the Northern Cheyenne tribe. Harris hopes that the currency will cause the international community to “realize we’re serious about our sovereignty”, as well as help alleviate poverty within the nation.
Auroracoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency launched in February 2014 as an Icelandic alternative to bitcoin and the Icelandic krona. The unknown creator or creators use the pseudonym Baldur Friggjar Odinsson (or Odinsson). They stated that they planned to distribute half of auroracoins that would ever be created to all 330,000 people listed in Iceland’s national ID database beginning on March 25, 2014, free of charge, coming out to 31.8 auroracoins per person.
Auroracoin was created as an alternative currency to address the government restrictions on Iceland’s krona, in place since 2008, which severely restricts movement of the currency outside of the country. Iceland’s Foreign Exchange Act also prohibits the foreign exchange of bitcoins from the country, according to a government minister. Auroracoin was the first of a number of country-based cryptocurrencies.