While the cryptocurrency industry is always expanding, the next great digital token may be released tomorrow for all anyone in the crypto community knows. Bitcoin is widely seen as a pioneer in the world of cryptocurrencies, analysts adopt many approaches for evaluating tokens other than BTC. It’s common, for instance, for analysts to attribute a great deal of importance to the ranking of coins relative to one another in terms of market cap. Let’s dive into the list of top 10 altcoins for 2020.
Litecoin launched in 2011 and was among the initial cryptocurrencies following Bitcoin. Often referred to as “silver to Bitcoin’s gold,” Litecoin is based on an open-source global payment network that is not controlled by any central authority. It uses “scrypt” as a proof of work, which can be decoded with the help of CPUs of consumer-grade. LTC 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. As of February 9, 2019, Litecoin had a market cap of $2.63 billion and a per token value of $43.41.
Ethereum is a decentralized software platform that enables Smart Contracts and Distributed Applications (DApps) to be built and run without any downtime, fraud, control or interference from a third party. Ether is like a vehicle for moving around on the Ethereum platform and is sought by mostly developers looking to develop and run applications inside Ethereum, or now by investors looking to make purchases of other digital currencies using ether. Following the attack on the DAO in 2016, Ethereum was split into Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC).
Zcash, a decentralized and open-source cryptocurrency launched in the latter part of 2016, looks promising. “If bitcoin is like HTTP for money, zcash is HTTPS,” is one analogy Zcash uses to define itself. Zcash offers privacy and selective transparency of transactions. Zcash offers its users the choice of “shielded” transactions, which allow for content to be encrypted using an advanced cryptographic technique or zero-knowledge proof construction called a zk-SNARK developed by its team.
Dash (originally known as darkcoin) is a more secretive version of Bitcoin. Dash offers more anonymity as it works on a decentralized master code network that makes transactions almost untraceable. Launched in January 2014, Dash experienced an increasing fan following in a short span of time.
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 conformation) is unique in that it doesn’t require mining. So far, Ripple has seen success with this model; it remains one of the most enticing digital currencies among traditional financial institutions looking for ways to revolutionize cross-border payments.
Monero is a secure, private and untraceable currency. This open-source cryptocurrency was launched in April 2014 and soon spiked great interest among the cryptography community and enthusiasts. The development of this cryptocurrency is completely donation-based and community-driven. Because of exceptional security mechanisms like this, Monero has developed something of an unsavory reputation; it has been linked to criminal operations around the world. Monero has introduced important technological advances to the cryptocurrency space.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Bitcoin Cash holds an important place in the history of altcoins because it is one of the earliest and most successful hard forks of the original bitcoin. Due to the decentralized nature of digital currencies, wholesale changes to the code underlying the token or coin at hand must be made due to general consensus; the mechanism for this process varies according to the particular cryptocurrency. Bitcoin cash began its life in August of 2017 as a result of a disagreement in the Bitcoin network. The debate which led to the creation of BCH had to do with the issue of scalability; bitcoin has a strict limit on the size of blocks, 1 megabyte.
NEO began life in 2014. Originally called AntShares, the coin was later rebranded by creator Da Hongfei. To date, it is the largest cryptocurrency which has emerged from China and is sometimes referred to as a “Chinese Ethereum” because of its similar use of smart contracts. In 2017, NEO experienced its most successful year to date. One key to NEO’s success has been its support of programming in many existing languages, including Go, Java, C++, and others. Further, NEO has experienced benefits as a result of its positive relationship with the Chinese government, which is generally known for its harsh positions on cryptocurrencies.
For supporters of this digital currency, ADA offers all of the benefits of Ethereum, as well as many others. Cardano offers a platform for DApps and smart contracts, like Ethereum before it. Beyond that, ADA aims to solve some of the most pressing problems plaguing cryptocurrencies everywhere, including interoperability and scalability.
One of the newest digital currencies to make our list is EOS. Launched in June of 2018, EOS was created by cryptocurrency pioneer, Dan Larimer. Before his work on EOS, Larimer founded the digital currency exchange Bitshares as well as the blockchain-based social media platform, Steemit. Its initial coin offering was one of the longest and most profitable in history, raking in a record $4 billion or so in investor funds through crowd sourcing efforts lasting a year. EOS is also revolutionary because of its lack of a mining mechanism to produce coins. Instead, block producers generate blocks and are rewarded in EOS tokens based on their production rates. EOS includes a complex system of rules to govern this process, with the idea being that the network will ultimately be more democratic and decentralized than those of other cryptocurrencies.
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