The four most important cryptocurrencies (other than Bitcoin)

By Payger Official Blog

Everybody’s talking about Bitcoin. Long familiar only to true computer nerds, the digital currency is moving into the spotlight because of its dizzying increase in market price as well as its extreme price volatility. There are, however, many interesting cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin that can be used as a medium of payment or as an investment.

As the popularity of Bitcoin rises, more and more problems have arisen. For example, the large network makes it difficult to perform software updates needed for the blockchain. As a result, a typical Bitcoin transaction takes longer than an hour to complete and costs more than 22 euros in fees. This practically rules Bitcoin out as an everyday means of payment. In the meantime, the competition has been doing a better job. According to experts, there are four main competitors that have the potential of ousting Bitcoin from its digital currency throne in both the medium and long term.

Ethereum: The rising star

Ethereum was launched in 2015 as an open source platform based on blockchain technology. Within just three years, Ethereum had already grown remarkably. After Bitcoin, it is already the cryptocurrency with the second highest market capitalization (around 55 billion US dollars as of May 31, 2018). Many market observers are of the opinion that this growth could continue. Here are the most important facts:

 

● Popular amongst startups: Through Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), startups can work around the stringent requirements for obtaining capital through banks.

● Decentralized: With its decentralized structure, developers are able to create and implement their own applications.

● Support from industry: Ethereum is gaining increasing support from the finance and tech sectors, with JPMorgan, Chase, Intel, and Toyota among the companies contributing to the technology.

● Speed: In contrast to Bitcoin, Ethereum’s data processing is much faster. This is due in part to the fact that the conditions and business terms of a contract can be automatically accepted by the Ethereum system when a transaction is made.

Litecoin: Bitcoin “silver”

Developed by MIT graduates under the leadership of former Google employee Charlie Lee, Litecoin is a fully decentralized digital currency. Even though its functionality is similar to that of Bitcoin, Litecoin has the following advantages:

● Faster than Bitcoin: Bitcoin manages only about seven transactions per second, while Litecoin can handle 56.

● Easier to mine: Litecoin is based on a simple algorithm that makes it faster to mine. Bitcoin completes a block in about ten minutes whereas, at two and a half minutes, Litecoin is a good four times as fast.

● Inexpensive and simple buying and selling: Transactions are completed not only faster than with other networks, but Litecoin transactions are also less expensive and use less energy.

 

Ripple: The favorite of banks

Ripple isn’t a “real” cryptocurrency, but is rather a mix between an open payment network and a digital currency. Developed by Ripple Labs, Ripple makes instant, inexpensive international payments in euro, dollar, or bitcoin possible. All 100 billion coins already exist and don’t require costly calculations for mining. They are however being issued gradually in order to avoid flooding the market. Other Ripple features:

● Efficient: Since Ripple requires no mining, large amounts of computing power are unnecessary. As a result, transactions can be completed in nearly real time.

● Support from banks: The Ripple platform and currency have been accepted by many banks and provide more legitimacy for the overall process. According to the Ripple company itself, they already count more than 100 financial institutions among their customers.

● Transparency: The Ripple system is based on a ledger of debits and credits, so-called IOUs (“I owe you”). All transactions are recorded to the last detail in the publicly accessible Ripple register.

Dash: Digital cash

Dash (a portmanteau of the words “digital” and “cash”) was initially referred to as Xcoin in 2014 and in 2015 as Darkcoin. Only later did the system receive its final name. It is an open source P2P cryptocurrency based on the blockchain. The advantages of Dash over other cryptocurrencies are primarily technical. The digital currency promises nearly cost-free, encrypted, rapid money transfers.

● Anonymous and fast: The PrivateSend and InstantSend functions make anonymous or real-time transactions possible. These are two features that are painfully lacking from many other digital solutions.

● Decentralized: Like Bitcoin, Dash is also fully decentralized and independent of governments, and its currency systems work as so-called DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations). This makes manipulation of the system impossible.

● Bitcoin-compatible: Since Dash is based on the code for Bitcoin, the currency is compatible with all existing traders, wallets, and digital exchanges.

 

The Payger Wallet enables flexibility

Regardless of which cryptocurrencies end up taking hold, whether new ones come or others disappear: Transactions with Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, and other cryptocurrency networks make the Payger Wallet easier to use than anything before. The startup directs its business model to both private individuals and traditional banks wanting to be able to make rapid, inexpensive, and uncomplicated international money transfers. Payment providers and companies that regularly transfer money between their international locations benefit likewise.

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