Bitcoin continues to lead the pack of cryptocurrencies, in terms of market capitalization, user base, and popularity. Going by the current trend, cryptocurrencies are here to stay but how many of them will emerge as leaders amid the growing competition within the space will only be revealed with time.
Ethereum (ETH) -5.95%
During 2014, ethereum launched a pre-sale for ether which received an overwhelming response; this helped to usher in the age of the initial coin offering (ICO). According to ethereum, it can be used to “codify, decentralize, secure and trade just about anything.” Following the attack on the DAO in 2016, Ethereum was split into Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC). As of December 10, 2018, Ethereum (ETH) had a market cap of $9.5 billion, and a per- token value of $91.67.
Litecoin (LTC) -6.33%
Litecoin, launched in 2011, was among the initial cryptocurrencies following bitcoin and has often been referred to as “silver to bitcoin’s gold.” It was created by Charlie Lee, an MIT graduate, and former Google engineer. Litecoin is based on an open source global payment network that is not controlled by any central authority and uses “scrypt” as a proof of work, which can be decoded with the help of CPUs of consumer grade. Although Litecoin is like bitcoin in many ways, it has a faster block generation rate and hence offers a faster transaction confirmation. Other than developers, there are a growing number of merchants who accept Litecoin.
Ripple (XRP) -4.61%
Ripple is a real-time global settlement network that offers instant, certain and low-cost international payments. Launched in 2012, ripple “enables banks to settle cross-border payments in real time, with end-to-end transparency, and at lower costs.” Ripple’s consensus ledger (its method of confirmation) is unique in that it doesn’t require mining. In this way, ripple sets itself apart from bitcoin and many other altcoins. Since Ripple’s structure doesn’t require mining, it reduces the usage of computing power, and minimizes network latency.