When you think of cryptocurrency or hear it being said, what are some of the things that spring to mind? For some, it’s that it is a form of digital payment that allows them to purchase goods and services, as well as trade them for profit. For others, they have a vague concept about what it is and what it does. One of the most common thoughts that people have when they hear the word cryptocurrency is ‘Bitcoin’ – which is one of the original, most highly valued, and widely discussed forms of cryptocurrency.
Essentially, Bitcoin is a computer file that is stored in a digital wallet app that you can have either on your smartphone or a computer. Users can transfer Bitcoins between one another’s digital wallet, with each transaction recorded in a public list commonly known as the blockchain. Whilst each transaction is recorded, you are unable to tell whose transaction is whose unless you know a person’s account number.
Having initially started back in 2009, Bitcoin is considered one of the top currencies available in the world today by market value. However, in the world of digital payment, there are many other forms of cryptocurrency other than just Bitcoin. Excluding Bitcoin, here are the three most important cryptocurrencies to know about.
Ethereum was launched in 2015 and is a blockchain-based, decentralized software platform that is used for its own cryptocurrency – Ether (ETH). It was originally launched as an upgrade to the perceived weakness in Bitcoin. Switching to Ethereum provides more opportunities for developers to create new applications, which gradually became a separate and competitive entity to Bitcoin. Over the years, the popularity of Ethereum has grown and on the market today, there are countless places where you can purchase Ethereum from, including Paxful, which offers the coin as well as Bitcoin and Tether (USDT)..
Created with a research-based approach by engineers, mathematicians, and cryptography experts, Cardano is a digital coin that can be used to store value or send and receive funds. The Cardano blockchain can also be used to create decentralized applications and protocols. Alongside this, they also can transfer and receive funds instantly, at minimal fees, through numerous applications available in the world of business and finance.
As it continues to grow, Cardano is working towards building a blockchain with the regulation in mind that will provide financial services to all.
Initially launched in 2011, Litecoin was among some of the first forms of cryptocurrencies that followed in the footsteps of Bitcoin. Based upon an open-source global payment network, Litecoin was decided to be used for cheaper transactions, so it would be more efficient for everyday use. Whereas Bitcoin was designed to be used more as storage value for long-term purposes.
One of the main differences between the two is that the coin limit market cap is set significantly higher on Litecoin in comparison to Bitcoin, and the mining process is also far quicker than the original cryptocurrency. As a result, this means that Litecoin transaction is faster and cheaper, but are generally smaller in size.