Since bitcoin have been introduced, hundreds of cryptocurrencies enter the market. Many alternative cryptocurrencies or altcoins have been launched – following the success of Bitcoin, and they have grown into 700 in number. Some are being sold cheaper than Bitcoin, while some tend to be more accessible than Bitcoin.
In this section of the book – 12 of the most popular cryptocurrencies will be told. Maybe you already heard about Bitcoin and have some mysterious things on how it works, but this time you will be entering the world of cryptocurrency and understand what are the playful currencies inside cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin is the first and most popular cryptocurrency in the world, some are not aware of its existence but it actually stands as a worldwide payment system. Bitcoin has no bank; in fact, it is based on mathematical proofs. Just like the technology of E-mail, no one owns nor control the system of Bitcoin. Even the group and person behind it still remain a secret, only the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto is has been introduced to public.
To have a Bitcoin on hand you have to sign up for an online wallet first. Yes, a virtual wallet for a virtual money, there are sorts of online wallets you can sign-up for and they’re all free to use. Next is to buy a bitcoin directly from other people using marketplaces online, but you can also use digital currency exchanger like Coinbase, Kraken, Bitstamp, CEX.IO and BitFinex. Most exchanger requires to connect any of your cards or bank accounts to make a purchase.
You can now go to the exchange’s buy section and select
the amount of bitcoin you want to buy. Bitcoin changes its value from time to time, it can increase or decrease value – no one knows.
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Bitcoin has a public ledger called ‘Blockchain’, which serves as a record for every Bitcoin transaction. The blockchain has a growing list records called blocks that is secured by cryptography, once the block has been recorded they can’t be altered anymore. Bitcoin can be used in purchasing goods, sending money, travel booking online, and buying digital products – by this, transactions are made with no middleman, meaning no banks involved at all.
In 2011 a programmer named Vitalik Buterin from Toronto first grew interest on Bitcoin. Buterin, 19-year-old at that time have codounded
the online news website Bitcoin Magazine, and wrote hundreds of articles about cryptocurrency world. In the year 2013 Buterin have released the white paper.
Which describes an alternative platform designed for any decentralized application a developer wants to build. The system was then called Ethereum, just like Bitcoin, Ethereum is also a distributed public blockchain network.
Though there are some technical differences between the two cryptocurrency, because in Ethereum, miners work to earn Ether instead of mining. Ether is a piece of code that allows the program or application to run – no one owns Ethereum, but its system supporting its function isn’t free. Unlike Bitcoin, Ether doesn’t have a cap limit, in fact, 13 million Ether are mined per year.
In order to buy an Ether, you need to find online or a person who has it and at the same time wants to trade it for cash. There is also another option if you want to have an Ether on hand, some try to purchase a bitcoin first from trusted bitcoin exchangers then trade it for Ethereum.
This cryptocurrency is also generated by mining; it was created by Google’s former engineer Charles Lee in October 2011. Litecoin is created to enhance the speed of mining from the opposed time 10 minutes to 2.5 minutes when generating a block.
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The said online currency has faster transaction than bitcoin because it uses “scrypt algorithm”, which favors large amount of high-speed RAM that’s why scrypt is being called as the ‘memory hard problem’. Just like Bitcoin, the Litecoin has also its limit of 84 million coins and a market cap of $540, 274,528.26.
Litecoin can handle high volume of transactions
Reduces double-spending attack
Fast confirmation especially for merchants
What is Ripple? Is Ripple same as Bitcoin? Well, it’s a big NO. Ripple is a currency exchange and remittance network that uses a common ledger managed by a network and is validated by independent servers. The Ripple Labs, a global money transaction firm which is former OpenCoin, was co-founded by CEO Chris Larsen and CTO Jed McCaleb who is well-grounded in digital currency.
Jed McCaleb is currently handling the majority Bitcoin trades in the world. While Larsen used to be the co-founder of the financial company E-LOAN – the rest of the Ripple developers also have a background in Bitcoin. Ripple is based on shared public database – a big difference with Bitcoin that is generated by energy and computing intensive
proof of work. Ripple is doesn’t use the blockchain technology, the companies goal is to keep the money flowing freely.
Dash was first launched as Xcoin, then changed its name into Darkcoin, and in 2015 the Darkcoin has been rebranded into Dash, which is now the 6th biggest cryptocurrency in the world. Dash is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that was forked out from Bitcoin engaging to a faster and more private transactions.
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Dash is the first to have a decentralized blockchain governance system, just like many cryptocurrencies Dash is also trying to solve some of the Bitcoin’s inconveniences. It provides faster transactions and more anonymous service to its users. Dash transactions are made within 4 seconds, far from the transaction process of Bitcoin which usually
takes 10 minutes to finish. Dash is also earned by mining, just like Bitcoin.