It goes without saying that Bitcoin has been a trendsetter in the world of cryptocurrencies, which ushered a wave of several others. A de facto standard of crypto, Bitcoin has also inspired an ever-growing legion of spinoffs and followers.
Let’s understand the different cryptocurrencies that are in the market in 2021.
A decentralised software platform, Ethereum facilitates decentralisation of applications or dapps and smart contracts to be built without potential fraud, interference, downtime, or control from third parties. As a result, it creates a suite of financial products. These are not centralised, and therefore, allows free access to individuals across the globe. It is also popularly known as Ether.
That said, although the names Ethereum and Ether are used interchangeably, there is a difference between the two. While Ethereum is the blockchain-based platform, Ether, is the cryptocurrency of this platform.
Also, Ether is presently the second-largest cryptocurrency with a $413 billion market cap.
Popularly known as the silver to Bitcoin’s gold, this crypto is also one of the oldest altcoins. Charlie Lee, a former Google engineer was the founder of this cryptocurrency. While Litecoin shares similarities with Bitcoins, there are a few key distinctions between the two.
Firstly, Litecoin uses a global payment network. That is open-source and banks and governments are in charge of controlling it. Moreover, its cryptography is based on a new algorithm called Scrypt. In addition, this one has a higher block generation rate compared to Bitcoin. This makes it widely popular among developers and traders alike. Litecoin’s market cap, at the moment, stands at $14.15 billion, making it one of the top bitcoin alternatives in 2021.
Tether is a blockchain-based platform that allows users to utilise fiat currencies in a digital manner. It was launched in the year 2014. It is also a ‘stablecoin’, which implies that Tether has a less volatile market.
This also means that its price hovers around the US dollar’s value. And is not as volatile as other cryptocurrencies. It is one of the largest cryptos at present, with market capitalisation worth $71.10 billion.
A team of cryptography experts, mathematicians, and engineers created Cardano by writing more than 90 papers to support their project. It was also co-founded by one of the founding members of Ethereum named Charles Hoskinson.
The blockchain platform operates on Ouroboros. This was the first blockchain protocol to utilise proof of stake. As a result, it provides enhanced security, alongside being more environmentally friendly compared to proof-of-work. Popularly referred to as the “Ethereum-Killer’, Cardano has a market capitalisation of $68.22 billion.
Monero is another open-source and blockchain-based platform. It is known for its superior privacy and security features. A fork of Bytecoin, Monero was launched in 2014 with a strong focus on scalability and decentralisation.
It uses ring signatures, which is a tech that assures completely untraceable and anonymous transactions. As of September 2021, it had a market capitalisation of about $4.84 billion.
Also Read: How to buy Bitcoin in India
Dogecoin is an open-source and peer-to-peer cryptocurrency. Launched in 2013 as a joke by Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, Dogecoins is one of the top altcoins in 2021. As it is based on Litecoin, Dogecoin’s proof-of-work uses the same technology as the platform it is established on.
Widely known as the “fun” version of Bitcoin, this crypto’s casual representation aligns with the mood of the burgeoning market. In addition, DOGE marks its distinction by way of low prices and unlimited supply. As of October 2021, Dogecoin had a market cap of $35.69 billion.
Bitcoin is a notable name in the world of cryptocurrency as it is one of the earliest hard forks of the original Bitcoin. It is also one of its most successful hard forks, which means that BCH began operations as a new version of the original Bitcoin following a split.
Launched in 2017, Bitcoin Cash increased its block size to 8MB from 1 MB. As a result, it enabled quicker transactions compared to Bitcoin. Its market capitalisation currently stands at $11.51 billion.
This is a distinctive proof-of-stake crypto that aims to deliver interoperability among the other blockchains. Moreover, its protocol connects permission-less as well as permissioned blockchains and oracles. Therefore, it allows systems to operate alongside each other under one roof.
Additionally, its relay chain enables the interoperability of different networks while allowing parallel blockchains or parachains for specific uses. Also, developers use Polkadot to develop their own blockchain while using the chain’s ‘shared security’ without creating their own measures.
Gavin Wood, one of the core founders of Ethereum, created Polkadot in 2020. Its market cap is roughly $53.23 billion.
Founded by a former member of Ripple Labs named Jed McCaleb in 2014, Stellar is another open blockchain network. It offers enterprise solutions by forming connections between financial institutions to facilitate large transactions.
Such transactions between investment firms and banks generally take several days and involve numerous intermediaries, which in turn, increases costs. Therefore, Stellar allows large transactions to take place instantaneously without intermediaries and at lower costs.
Although positioned as a blockchain for the purpose of institutional transactions, Steller is also an open blockchain system. In order to transact on this network, users must hold Stellar’s native currency called Lumens. It has a market cap of $9.21 billion.
One of the best crypto coins in 2021, Binance Coin serves as a payment method for the associated charges of trading on Binance Exchange. This network also uses the consensus model of proof-of-stake. BNB has a market cap of $93.35 billion.
The current cryptocurrency market is brimming with a wide variety of these cryptos. So, the individuals speculating on digital assets can look into the best Bitcoin alternatives in 2021 discussed above.
Disclaimer: the views expressed here are of the author and do not reflect those of Groww.