10 Important Cryptocurrencies Other Than Bitcoin
Bitcoin has become a cultural phenomenon, ushering in a new generation of digital currencies. Its decentralized nature and its growing popularity have become the de facto standard for all forms of payment.
What Are Cryptocurrencies?
A cryptocurrency is digital money that works as tokens or coins. Unlike Bitcoin, altcoins are not considered physical commodities. Instead, they are virtual currencies that can be used to purchase goods and services.
The term “crypto” often refers to complex cryptography that enables digital currencies to be created and processed across decentralized networks. Cryptocurrencies are usually developed as code.
Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that are designed to be secure and free from government manipulation. Some of these altcoins have tried to present themselves as improved versions of Bitcoin.
In this list, we'll take a look at some of the most popular digital currencies that are not Bitcoin. Due to the number of digital currencies in existence, it is impossible to provide a comprehensive list.
Beyond Bitcoin, the field of digital tokens is constantly expanding. Although Bitcoin is widely considered as the pioneer in the world of digital currencies, many analysts still use different approaches when it comes to assessing tokens.
Types of Altcoins
Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that are intended for making payments across a decentralized network. Many altcoins are classified in this way.
There are also tokens that are designed to serve a different purpose than that of money. For instance, a token that represents a stake in a decentralized finance project could be called security tokens.
Other tokens have specific uses or functions. Examples of these are Storj tokens and Namecoin.
Although most crypto users understand and appreciate the differences between tokens, most of them do not notice the difference since most exchanges trade on the same platform.
Ethereum is the first Bitcoin alternative that we've listed. Its decentralized software platform enables developers to create smart contracts and cryptocurrencies apps without requiring third-party intervention. Its goal is to create a decentralized financial system that is accessible to everyone.
Applications running on Ethereum are powered by ether, the platform's native token. Developers looking to develop their own applications are mostly looking to get started with ether instead of Bitcoin. Its market cap is currently second only to Bitcoin.
Trading at around $2,500 per ETH as of January 2022, ether’s market cap is just over half of bitcoin's.6
In 2014, ether launched a presale that received an overwhelming response. Its decentralized nature and its ability to decentralize and secure transactions made it an attractive option for ICO investors.
In December 2020, Ethereum switched its consensus algorithm from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. This move will allow its network to consume less energy and improve transaction speed.
This process secures the network and enables users to process transactions. Those who do it are rewarded with ether.2. Litecoin (LTC)
Litecoin, which was launched in 2011, is a cryptocurrency that follows the footsteps of Bitcoin. It was created by Charlie Lee, a former Google engineer.
Litecoin is an open-source payment network that uses scrypt as a PoW. Its fast block generation rate makes it a better alternative to Bitcoin.
Other than developers, many merchants are also accepting Litecoin. As of January 2022, its market cap is around $7.3 billion.
Cardano is a proof-of-stake cryptocurrency created by Charles Hoskinson, one of the original founding members of Ethereum. He left the company after disagreements with Ethereum's direction.
The team behind Cardano created the blockchain through extensive research. Its peer-reviewed papers and extensive experimentation helped develop the platform.
Due to its rigorous process, Cardano has stood out as a potential rival to other large cryptocurrencies. Its decentralized nature and its ability to provide more robust processing power make it the most likely contender for Ethereum's crown.
Cardano is focused on becoming the world's financial operating system. Its decentralized software platform enables developers to create products similar to Ethereum.
Polkadot is a unique PoS cryptocurrency that aims to provide interoperability among various blockchains. Its relay chain is designed to allow networks to work seamlessly together.
Unlike Ethereum, Polkadot doesn't allow developers to create dApps on its network. Instead, they can instead create their own blockchains with the same security measures that are used in Ethereum.
Gavin Wood is another co-founder of Ethereum who had different opinions about the project's future. As of January 2022, the market cap of Polkadot is around $9 billion.
Bitcoin Cash BCH is one of the earliest digital currencies to have a fork. A fork occurs when miners and developers disagree on the code base for a given token.
Sometimes, a digital currency is split when multiple factions can't agree on the project's future.
Due to the debate over Bitcoin's scaling, Bitcoin Cash started its life in August 2017. Its main purpose was to provide greater block size, which would allow more transactions to be conducted within it. This is also why it has the Segregated Witness protocol removed.
As of January 2022, BCH has a market capitalization of around $5.3 billion and a value per token of $280.19
Stellar is an open blockchain network that enables financial institutions to connect to each other. Its goal is to provide a way for people to make large transactions without intermediaries.
Though Stellar has been criticized for being an enterprise blockchain, it is still an open network that anyone can use. Its native currency is Lumens, it requires users to hold it to be able to transact on its network.
Jed McCaleb is the co-founder of Stellar and former CEO of Ripple Labs. He left his role at the company to start Stellar's development foundation.
The rise of Dogecoin caught the attention of the public in 2021. Due to its decentralized nature and its use of an image of the Shiba Inu, it became accepted by various companies, such as Mastercard and SpaceX.
In 2013, Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer created Dogecoin as a joke. They reportedly created it due to the wild speculation about the cryptocurrency market.
The price of Dogecoin reached an all-time high of 0.80 cents during the week when Elon Musk was scheduled to appear on "Saturday Night Live."
A memecoin inspired by a memecoin, Shiba Inu (SHIB), rose to prominence in the fall of 2021, briefly surpassing the market capitalization of Dogecoin.
Binance Coin is a utility cryptocurrency that enables users to pay for the fees associated with using it.
The Binance Exchange is the platform that enables users to transact in the world. It was founded by Changpeng Zhao.
Initially, Binance Coin was an ERC-20 token that operated on Ethereum. Its mainnet launch was held in August 2017.
Tether is one of the first stablecoins that tries to reduce volatility. Its goal is to provide a way for users to avoid panicking when the price of digital currencies rises and falls.
The price of Tether is tied to the US dollar. It allows users to transfer money from other cryptocurrencies to dollars in a more timely manner.
Launched in 2014, Tether is a blockchain-based platform that enables users to use fiat currency digitally. It also manages the complexity and volatility associated with digital currencies.
As of January 2022, Tether has the fourth-largest cryptocurrency market cap.
Monero XMR is an open-source cryptocurrency that was launched in 2014. Its decentralized nature and its community-driven development attracted a lot of attention from the cryptography community.
Monero is focused on decentralization and its use of a special technique known as ring signatures.
Due to its unique security features, Monero has been associated with various criminal activities. Its privacy-preserving features are also valuable to dissidents in oppressive countries.
As of January 2022, Monero has a market capitalization of $2.6 billion and a per-token value of $143.30
Although we only had 10 altcoins to list, there are many more cryptocurrencies that are important to consider. Some of these include Ethereum and Monero:
Why Are Cryptocurrencies Important?
As decentralized platforms, cryptocurrencies are able to serve as a way for individuals to transact without having to rely on a third-party intermediary. This is also beneficial for the financial system.
Why Are There So Many Cryptocurrencies?
Most cryptocurrencies are derived from Bitcoin, which has a censorship-resistant architecture and open-source code. This means that anyone can create their own coin.
What Are Some Other Important Cryptocurrencies?
Due to their promise to deliver value, many cryptocurrencies have gained significant importance. For example, Dogecoin, which was created by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, became the world's most valuable meme coin.
Why Is Bitcoin Still the Most Important Cryptocurrency?
Many cryptocurrencies have gained significance or have the promise to do so. For example, Dogecoin became the world's most valuable meme coin after Musk promoted it on social media.
Although cryptocurrencies are very risky and speculative, it is not a recommendation to invest in them. Due to the nature of ICOs, a qualified professional should not be used to make any financial decisions.
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