Bitcoin is the leading cryptocurrency in the world, which is seen by the fact that you can now easily find a bitcoin wallet Android app. In fact, a lot of people refer to all cryptocurrencies as “bitcoin”, even though that isn’t true. There are, in fact, numerous other cryptocurrencies as well. Some bitcoin wallets will allow you to use all of those, others do not. Let’s take a look at some of the other forms of cryptocurrency that exist.
Litecoin was originally launched in 2011 and is often seen as silver, if Bitcoin is gold. It was founded by MT graduate and former Google Engineer, Charlie Lee. Litecoin and Bitcoin are very similar. However, the Litecoin block generation is a lot quicker, and this has made it much more acceptable.
Ethereum is also a decentralized, open source platform. It is quite new, having been launched in 2015. It allows for Distributed Applications and Smart Contracts to be built and they can run around the clock. You have to use Ether as a cryptographic token to use it, and this can then be used to decentralize, secure, or trade anything at all. In 2016, Ethereum was attacked, splitting it into Ethereum Classic and Ethereum. It is the second most popular form of cryptocurrency.
Zcash is one of the newest players, launched in 2016. It claims to be more secure than Bitcoin, describing itself as the https to Bitcoin’s http. The currency promises private transactions, security, and transparency. It even allows “shielded” transactions, which means data can be sent in an encrypted code form.
Dash is the original Bitcoin, but its secretive version. Because it is secretive, it is also referred to as “Darkcoin” by some. It is popular because it offers far more anonymity than any other cryptocurrency, even though anonymity is one of the main selling points of Bitcoin and other such currencies. However, with Dash, it is 100% impossible to trace a transaction. The first time Dash became public knowledge was in 2014, and it quickly developed a huge fan base.
Ripple has a market capitalization exceeding $1 billion. This cryptocurrency was first made public in 2012. It prides itself on its low cost, secure, and instant payments. You don’t have to mine the Ripple consensus ledger, which is what sets it apart from most other cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. Because there is no need to mine the currencies, the necessary computing power is also minimized. The result is that transactions are much quicker, and latency is minimized.
Bitcoin is, by far, the most popular of all cryptocurrencies. However, there are some significant rival contenders as well, as you can see. Ripple and Ethereum, for instance, are far more popular within enterprises, and they are becoming more and more popular as well. It seems that the concept of cryptocurrency is here to stay, and that means that Bitcoin now has some significant competition. Luckily, this is already being addressed by the different wallet apps.