After the greatness and success of Bitcoin, many others followed its track, some are built from bitcoin core and others are programmed from scratch but following the bitcoin pattern. Alt-coins are minor coins and has different features and capabilities. Alt-coins operates in different blockchain network probably its own developed blockchain. We will examine each popular alt-coins to give you basic information.
- Ethereum – is not a currency itself. It is a blockchain platform where anyone can create a decentralized application as contract. That contract requires an ether for fueling the contract execution. The ether itself is the currency that runs under the Ethereum platform. The contract you write is a program that can store data, send and receive payments, and store an ether. Ethereum is completely different from bitcoin as it was developed from scratch by Vitalek Buterin and the Ethereum foundation and it runs on it’s own blockchain technology. Applications programmed in the Ethereum platform are called smart contracts. Another unique and interesting feature of Ethereum is, its blockchain is programmable. One can distribute an application using Ethereum’s blockchain. Each node in the network runs Ethereum Virtual Machine and executes the created application allowing your application to be infrastructure less. For this reason Ethereum is described as “world computer”(read more). Ether’s maximum supply is 92,666,230 ether. Ethereum is now second to the most popular Bitcoin. You can check ethereum here: coingecko.com
Litecoin – is a lightweight cryptocurrency sometimes reffered to as a silver coin to bitcoin, as bitcoin is gold. It is said that litecoin is a good fit for retail transactions as it almost has no payment fee and transactions are facilitated 4x faster than Bitcoin. Litecoin was built from Bitcoin source. Litecoin’s maximum supply is 84,000,000 coins.
Ripple – is a pre-mined digital asset crafted for realtime cross boarder bank to bank or payment provider transactions with minimal cost. 100,000,000,000 ripples were created by Ripple labs for distribution and exchange. Ripple is distributed via Ripple Transaction Protocol.
Dash – is another cryptocurrency that also relies on blockchain technology. It’s the former darkcoin and renamed to Dash as Digital cash. It’s decentralized technology, InstantX, guarantees and confirms payments in around 4 seconds comparing to Bitcoin transaction that takes an average of 10minutes. In Bitcoin, once you know the address of a person, you can view its spending and income in a blockchain(see). To avoid this, Dash added an extended privacy feature by allowing users to make their transactions private. Dash has a maximum supply of 18,900,000 dash.
Zcash – forked from Bitcoin protocol and it’s main feature is privacy. Like any other cryptocurrency, Zcash transactions are stored in a public blockchain but the sender, recipient and amount are completely private. Like Dash, users can choose to send Zcash privately or publicly but Zcash payments sent from a shielded address to a transparent address reveal the received balance, while payments from a transparent address to a shielded address protect the receiving value. Similar with Bitcoin, Zcash has a maximum supply of 21,000,000.
These are some of the popular cryptocurrency in circulation today which are also popular to individual investors. I didn’t post this to compare and evaluate which is the best one but just to give you an information. I will update this post constantly or add an alt coin if necessary.