The “crypto” in cryptocurrencies refers to high-level cryptography allowing for the security in the creation and processing of digital currencies and their transactions across a multitude of decentralized systems. This important “crypto” feature of these currencies comes with a common commitment to decentralization; cryptocurrencies are typically developed as code by teams who build in mechanisms for issuance (often, although not always, through a process called “mining”) and other controls.
Cryptocurrencies are nearly always designed to reign free from government intervention and control, even though as they have risen higher in popularity this foundational aspect of the industry has time and again come under fire. The digital currencies modeled after Bitcoin are collectively called altcoins. Some of these currencies have some impressive features that Bitcoin does not, but matching the height of security that Bitcoin’s networks have achieved is largely yet to be seen by an altcoin.
Enlisting the fields, on the basis of which is it possible to come to a “fair – enough” judgment:
BTC has been around for longer than any other cryptocurrency. It’s evident why it carries the volume of trust it does. Its trajectory, since its launch in 2009 has been convincing; in spite of the several drops, each time it has recovered itself in a better way. Even with thousands of other cryptocurrencies on the market, Bitcoin still represents 40% of the cryptocurrency market cap.
Bitcoin is priced at $57,018.90 with a market cap of $1,064,899,607,297
Ethereum serves as a network that allows developers to create their own cryptocurrency utilizing the Ethereum network. While Ethereum lags far behind Bitcoin in value, it’s pretty much ahead of its rivals.
Launched much later than in the crypto timeline, it has overtaken practically all of its peers save Bitcoin, which stays far ahead.
Ethreum is priced at $2,021.19 with a market cap of $233,113,483,276
Binance Coin – a utility cryptocurrency operating as a payment option for the fees associated with trading on the Binance Exchange. The use of this token as a means of payment for the exchange enables you to trade at a discounted price. Binance Coin’s blockchain is the same platform that Binance’s decentralized exchange operates on. The Binance exchange was founded by Changpeng Zhao and the exchange is one of the most widely used exchanges in the world based on its trading volumes.
Binance Coin is priced at $402.73 with a market cap of $61,681,701,839
Launched in 2014, Tether is a self-described “a blockchain-enabled platform designed to facilitate the use of fiat currencies in a digital manner.” In effect, this cryptocurrency permits individuals to use a blockchain network and ancillary technologies to transact in sovereign currencies, thus, minimizing the volatility and complexity often associated with digital currencies. In January of 2021, Tether was the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, with a total market cap of $24.4 billion and a per token value of $1.00.
Tether is priced at $1.00 with a market cap of $43,682,293,446
The researchers behind Cardano designed its blockchain after extensive experimentation and peer-reviewed research. The team behind the project is credited with over 90 papers on blockchain technology across a wide range of topics. This research is the backbone of Cardano.
Owing to this rigorous process, Cardano stands out among its proof-of-stake peers as well as larger cryptocurrencies.
Cardano is priced at $1.20 with a market cap of $38,339,212,353
Polkadot is a distinctive proof-of-stake cryptocurrency, aimed to interoperate between other blockchains. The underlying protocol is designed to connect permissioned and permissionless blockchains as well as oracles to allow systems to work together under one roof.
Polkadot’s core component is its relay chain allowing interoperability among varying networks. It also allows for “parachains,” or parallel blockchains with their own native tokens for specific use cases.
Polkadot is priced at $40.02 with a market cap of $37,845,586,919
Ripple is the brand that unveiled the XRP token and is enticing to investors because it sets itself apart from other cryptocurrencies by offering international transactions. With a bank, international money transfers can take up to 10 business days. With Ripple, the same transactions take mere seconds.
Further, Ripple strikes contracts with big banks around the world. The more contracts in its possession, the more accessible the Ripple cryptocurrency is to adopters.
Launched in 2011, Litecoin starred among the first cryptocurrencies to follow in the footsteps of Bitcoin. It has often been referred to as “silver to Bitcoin’s gold.” Created by an MIT graduate, and former Google engineer, Litecoin operates 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.
Litecoin is priced at with a market cap of $14,995,177,891
A decentralized oracle network, Chainlink serves to bridge the gap between smart contracts. Not unlike the ones on Ethereum, and data outside of it. Blockchains themselves do not possess the ability to connect to outside applications in a trusted manner. Chainlink’s decentralized oracle network allows smart contracts to communicate with outside data so that the contracts can be executed based on data that Ethereum itself cannot connect to.
Chainlink is priced at $32.20 with a market cap of $13,483,115,559
Stellar’s open blockchain network is designed to provide enterprise solutions by connecting financial institutions for the purpose of large transactions. Huge transactions operating between banks and investment firms typically take several days, several intermediaries, and cost a great deal of money. This can now be done almost instantaneously with no intermediaries and cost ranging from little to nothing for those making the transaction.
Stellar has positioned itself as an enterprise blockchain for institutional transactions. However, it is still an open blockchain that can be used by anyone. The system allows for cross-border transactions between any currencies. Stellar’s native currency is Lumens (XLM). The network requires users to hold Lumens to be able to transact on the network.
Stellar is priced at $0.4912 with a market cap of $11,194,654,934
The cryptocurrency, undisputedly, is here to stay. With the billions invested in them from the largest corporate giants, the probability of a “fizzle-out” is extremely narrow.
Security is yet another issue with crypto. You need to be smart and wise with crypto handling. Also, crypto investment is not for quick yields. It’s more of a long-term investment.
With some insight and patience and a wee bit of luck, you’re sure to make a decent earning of your crypto assets.
N.B: The figures given are of the time of writing.