First there existed e-cash, which then grew into Bitcoin. Since then an entire new world of currency has emerged known as crypto currency, which is a virtual, decentralized currency system that actually only exists as a computer file with transactions recorded in a ledger. It’s an Internet-based system of money that goes beyond traditional currency exchange and offers a global system that can be used by everyone for buying products and services here and there and everywhere.
No question Bitcoin has been capturing the world very fast. Still although Bitcoin is the pioneer and beyond all doubt the most popular ‘crypto currency’, it is not the only one. A number of other crypto currencies are appearing thus offering alternatives and are just as valuable and actively traded. Below there are some examples of this crypto currency:
Litecoin is a peer-to-peer Internet currency that enables instant, near-zero cost payments to anyone in the world. It was released via an open-source client on GitHub on October 7, 2011 by Charles Lee, a former Google employee. Litecoin is an open source, global payment network that is fully decentralized without any central authorities. Mathematics secures the network and empowers individuals to control their own finances. Litecoin features faster transaction confirmation times and improved storage efficiency than the leading math-based currency. With substantial industry support, trade volume and liquidity, Litecoin is a proven medium of commerce complementary to Bitcoin.
Dogecoin is another currency from the family of crypto currencies. Dogecoin, which has a Shibu Inus (a bread of a Japanese dog) as its logo, was created by Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer. It presents itself broadly based on the Bitcoin protocol, but with modifications and uses scrypt technology as a proof-of-work scheme. It has a block time of 1 minute and the difficulty retarget time is four hours. There is no limit to how many Dogecoin can be produced i.e. the supply of coins would remain uncapped. Dogecoin deals with large numbers of coin that are lesser in value individually, making the currency more accessible with a low entry barrier and fit for carrying out smaller transactions.
Peercoin, also referred to as PPCoin, Peer-to-Peer Coin and P2P Coin, was created by software developers Sunny King (a pseudonym) and Scott Nadal. It was launched in August 2012 and was the first digital currency to use a combination of proof-of-stake and proof-of-work. The coins are initially mined through the commonly-used proof-of-work hashing process but as the hashing difficulty increases over time, users are rewarded with coins by the proof-of-stake algorithm, which requires minimal energy for generating blocks. This means that over time, the network of Peercoin will consume less energy. Peercoin is an inflationary currency since there is no fixed upper limit on the number of coins.
Primecoin is an altcoin with a difference. Developed by Sunny King (who also developed Peercoin), its proof-of-work is based on prime numbers, which is different from the usual system of hashcash used by most crypto currencies based on the Bitcoin framework. It involves finding special long chains of prime numbers (known as Cunningham chains and bi-twin chains) and offers greater security and mining ease to the network. These chains of prime numbers are believed to be of great interest in mathematical research.
Offering more anonymity than other crypto currency, Dash uses a decentralized master code network called Darksend that turns the transactions into nearly untraceable ones. Dash can be mined using a CPU or GPU. Its fan following started building soon after its 2014 launch. It was rebranded from “Darkcoin” to “Dash” on March 25, 2015, a blend of “Digital Cash”.
As another offshoot of Bitcoin, this decentralized open source information and transfer system offers an additional option that is focused on continued innovation in the altcoin industry. It is known for being the first to implement a decentralized DNS, which allows it to operate outside of the regular Internet and governance by Icann, and merged mining.
Billing itself as ethical crypto currency, this currency was created with the intent of helping to fund any type of open-source project that someone wanted to build. Started in 2011, is based on Bitcoin, but mining is considered to be much easier. It is slowly adding merchants that will accept this type of crypto currency.
Based on litecoin, this cryptocurrency offers regular updates with new features, including a mining calculator, QR code generator, button generator and feathercoin API as well as digital wallets for Mac, Linux, Windows and Android. Other features include protections from forking by group mining.
San Stalnaker created this digital currency for his business club known as Hub Culture. Launched in 2007, the currency is entirely backed by reserve funds to remove the risk of inflation as much as possible. The digital currency is now focused on socially responsible business segments with the intent of creating a currency that supports the environment versus traditional currencies that do not.
The digital currency bills itself as using hybrid proof-of-work and proof-of-stake block generation methods, differentiating itself from other altcoins. The protection scheme integration aims to deter any abuse by mining groups.
This is one of the few digital currencies to truly focusing on branding itself to make it more mainstream for audiences around the world. Based in New Zealand, it concentrates on a very consumer-friendly approach with the selling point that this is “the people’s currency.”
So there are a number of alternatives to Bitcoin that are competing for attention. Perhaps not all of them could move forward, but the idea is that many people and businesses all over the world are step-by-step becoming accustomed to the concept of a new type of currency. The idea of crypto currency is no doubt catching on as more people to see the potential for how it can be used to the local and global economies.
How do you feel about the concept of crypto currency and what future do you predict for it? Which crypto currency in your opinion does deserve attention except for Bitcoin? I’ll be glad to hear your thoughts in the comments below.