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Guide: Bitcoin Alternatives: 10 Cryptocurrencies You Should Know
Bitcoin may be the name on everyone’s lips right now, but did you know Bitcoin is just the tip of the cryptocurrency icebergFor those unaware, cryptocurrencies are basically decentralized and anonymous (or at least pseudonymous) peer-to-peer digital currencies that implement cryptography as a central security featureCryptocurrency coins are “mined” on computers by solving complex mathematical equations called “hashes”.
Bitcoin’s success has led to the development of many alternative cryptocurrencies, often referred to as “altcoins”. Most of these altcoins offer their own take on the Bitcoin protocol, and are interesting in themselves. It also helps that most of these are still cheap and much easier to buy or mine
Of course, there is no guarantee that any of these altcoins will ever be as successful or valuable as Bitcoin, but if you are kidding yourself for missing the Bitcoin boat, you could do worse than watch one (or more) of these 10 altcoins we are in this post.
Introduced: October 2011
Price unit: $ 13.78
Total offer: 24,055,992 LTC
Total value: $ 331.5 million
The most common way to describe Litecoin is that it is the silver to the gold of BitcoinLitecoin, like most altcoins, is based on the Bitcoin protocol, but it is designed to ensure that mining is much cheaper and more democratic than Bitcoin.
One of the ways Litecoin achieves this is by using a different cryptography protocol, scrypt, which can be decoded effectively with consumer grade GPUs
Introduced: August 2012
Price unit: $ 2.09
Total offer: 20,931,643 PPC
Total value: $ 43.6 million
Peercoin is based on Bitcoin, but uses a different method of verifying mined coins. Rather than relying solely on the proof-of-work (POW) system, which requires miners to resolve hashes, Peercoin will eventually implement a proof-of-stake (POS) system.
The POS system basically means that the more coins you have, the better your chances of mining more coinsPeercoin has no fixed upper limit of coins and thus is an inflationary currency.
Introduced: April 2011
Price unit: $ 2.69
Total offer: 7,514,992 NMC
Total value: $ 20.2 million
Namecoin is not designed as a currency; instead, Namecoin’s main goal is to manage an alternate Domain Name System (DNS) for the .bit domain
By being outside the control of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which manages the DNS for all other domains, .bit domains can escape censorship
4. QuarkCoin (Discontinued)
Introduced: July 2013
Price unit: $ 0.069
Total offer: 246,484,913 QRK
Total value: $ 16.9 million
QuarkCoin is definitely the security-conscious altcoin out there. QuarkCoin implements nine hash rounds, where you can choose from six different hash methods
Most cryptocurrencies use only one hash, and thus QuarkCoin as an inherent security advantage over other cryptocurrencies in this regard. QuarkCoin uses CPU mining, and like Peercoin, has no hard limit on the total number of QRK
5. Primecoin (no longer available)
Introduced: July 2013
Price unit: $ 1.63
Total offer: 3,624,698 XPM
Total value: $ 5.9 million
The main difference between Primecoin and most altcoins is that mining does not involve resolving hashes. Instead, Primecoin mining involves finding Cunningham chains, which are certain large series of prime numbers.
These numbers are said to be more mathematically valuable than the hashes commonly decoded in cryptocurrency mining, and are used in everything from number theory to public key cryptography.
Introduced: February 2013
Price unit: $ 9.61
Total offer: 523,071 NVC
Total value: $ 5 million
Novacoin is a fork of Peercoin, and so shares Peercoin’s hybrid POW / POS systemHowever, Novacoin pulls a leaf out of Litecoin’s book and uses scrypt hashing for its POW system.
It also has a higher POS difficulty than Peercoin. Another interesting thing to note is that Novacoin has a maximum total delivery of 2 billion NVCalthough it is unlikely that this limit will ever be reached.
Introduced: April 2013
Price unit: $ 0.19
Total offer: 26,645,550 FTC
Total value: $ 4.9 million
Feathercoin is a direct derivative of Litecoin. It is very similar in general to Litecoin, but it has some differences that set it apart from its immediate predecessor. Feathercoin adjusts its difficulty more often than Litecoin
Feathercoin also implements Advanced Checkpointing. Advanced Checkpointing is a security measure designed to prevent protect Feathercoin from 51% attacks, which are often used maliciously to reverse cryptocurrency transactions.
8. Zetacoin (no longer available)
Introduced: August 2013
Price unit: $ 0.018
Total offer: 158,756,403 ZET
Total value: $ 2.9 million
Zetacoin is another Bitcoin-derived altcoin, but it claims in two different ways. First, it has a much faster blocking speed than Bitcoin, which means that the transaction rate is 20 times that of Bitcoin. This fast transaction rate is matched by quick adjustment of the difficulty level
Zetacoin is an inflationary cryptocurrency.
9. Digitalcoin (discontinued)
Introduced: May 2013
Price unit: $ 0.15
Total offer: 11,524,550 DGC
Total value: $ 1.7 million
Digitalcoin is a Litecoin derivative intended to hold its value and be more stable than most cryptocurrencies. It does this by being optimized for performance and by quickly refocusing on the mining environmentIn addition, Digitalcoin’s block rewards decline much more slowly than other cryptocurrencies.
There are also quite a few suppliers accepting Digitalcoin, which is more than can be said about some other altcoins.
10. Stable currency
Introduced: June 2013
Price unit: $ 0.045
Total offer: 8,751,555 SBC
Total value: $ 389,000
An interesting one feature about Stablecoin is that has a built-in coin mixing service. This service takes care of that Stablecoin transactions are encrypted and untraceableThis is to ensure that Stablecoin will not be vulnerable to attempts to regulate it and its transactions.
In addition, Stablecoin take active steps to promote themselves worldwide, and has even set up a Chinese language website to promote Stablecoin in China.
Note: All figures are from Crypto-Currency Market Capitalizations and are correct at the time of writing.back to menu ↑
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