A cryptocurrency is a digital medium of exchange that uses encryption to secure the processes involved in generating units and conducting transactions. The market value of all cryptocurrencies has recently reached the $100 billion point. It is now obvious that cryptocurrencies are not merely a hobby of IT geeks and a shady payment medium for illegal Internet goods. In a matter of years cryptocurrencies can become an alternative to fiat money in all spheres of human activity.
The change cryptocurrencies brought to the world of finance — and the world in general — is hard to overestimate. Not yet observed by most people, the possibilities are indeed numerous and captivating. Finally, people all over the world will get an opportunity to transfer their funds instantly, securely and directly.
International transactions take up to one week to process. Sending the necessary amount of money to any part of the globe in a matter of seconds is a lucrative option for both individuals and businesses.
Fraud is almost impossible when using cryptocurrencies. The blockchain technology, that is behind all cryptocurrencies, is secure by design. Less fraud will make the world of finance a better and a safer place.
Cryptocurrencies managed to do something that the rest of the world wasn’t not able to do in centuries… Get rid of the banks. At least, for the purposes of money transfers. Not only do banks process payments painfully long, they also charge the mediation. With cryptocurrencies becoming more and more popular, it will stop being a problem.
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Launched in 2009, Bitcoin became the first publicly traded cryptocurrency and marked the beginning of a new era in the development of the global financial system. Bitcoin constitutes approximately 45% of the total cryptocurrency market capitalization and is currently the most expensive cryptocurrency. The number of bitcoins is hardware-limited to 21 million and it’s the most trusted cryptocurrency among all. The creator of Bitcoin is considered to be Satoshi Nakamoto, but no one ever seen him.
Formerly known as Darkcoin and XCoin, Dash was launched three years ago, on 18 January 2014. It offers all capabilities of bitcoin but also spices them up with instant transactions (InstantSend), private transactions (PrivateSend) and decentralized governance (DGBB). When using Dash, it is possible to send money almost instantly and remain completely anonymous with the help of a Tor-like technology.
Dash utilizes a two-tier system. Miners, who write transaction to the blockchain, belong to the first tier. Masternodes that enable the advanced features (Dash-specific add-ons), belong to the second tier.
Ethereum is the second most popular cryptocurrency after bitcoin, which is a great success considering the pioneering status of BTC. It is worth more than 50% of all bitcoins in the world.
The distinctive feature of Ethereum is the smart contract functionality. It helps to provide additional security and to reduce transaction costs. Stored in the Ethereum blockchain, smart contracts are the exchange mechanisms that can carry out the direct transaction of value between untrusted agents. This technology is one of the reasons behind Ethereum’s success.
Ethereum is well-known for volatility spikes. On 24 June 2017, the currency briefly crashed from $319 to 10 cents only to rebound later that day.
IOTA is a relatively new cryptocurrency, which is advertised as a new generation blockchain. It is optimized for the Internet-of-Things. Unlike heavy and complex blockchains, IOTA was developed with the intention of making it as lightweight as possible.
Instead of using blockchains, IOTA relies on tangles. The latter are based on the Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) technology that does not differentiate between regular users and validators that approve the transactions. Therefore, to commit a transaction himself the user first has to confirm two other transactions. That’s the foundation of a decentralized IOTA system.
Litecoin is one of the alternative cryptocurrencies, created after the initial triumph of bitcoin. You can think of Litecoin as bitcoin on steroids. The main difference between two cryptocurrencies is that Litecoin can confirm transactions much faster. Litecoin is not controlled by any central authority, has almost zero payment cost and carries out transactions at four times the speed of bitcoin.
Ripple is a company, providing global financial solutions. It was a logical step for them to launch their own cryptocurrency. According to its creators, Ripple is the world’s fastest and most scalable digital asset. It can boast almost immediate transactions, ability to process 1 000 deals per second (66 times more than Ethereum) and unmatched stability.
Ripple is currently the world’s third largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
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Bitcoin is legal in the following states and territories: the EU, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Canada, United States, Nicaragua, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, India, Pakistan, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.
The following countries banned the use of bitcoin or cryptocurrencies in general: Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Ecuador.Trade on cryptocurrency here
NOTE: This article is not an investment advice. Any references to historical price movements or levels is informational and based on external analysis and we do not warranty that any such movements or levels are likely to reoccur in the future
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