The dramatic rise of Bitcoin has been well-documented by the media, but as the world’s leading cryptocurrency surpasses the record value of $15,000, Sputnik invites its readers to consider the underdogs of the cryptocurrency world that may still surprise you.
Often referred to as “silver to Bitcoin’s gold”, Litecoin was amongst the first cryptocurrencies to be introduced into the digital space, created by former Google engineer Charlie Lee in 2011.
Similar to its more popular cousin, Litecoin relies on an open source world-wide payment network that lacks centralization under a single authority.
However, unlike Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency is mined (created) via “scrypt algorithm,” an entirely different proof of work algorithm to Bitcoin.
At the same time, some commentators note that Litecoin is a more attractive cryptocurrency due to its faster block generation time (2.5 minutes to the Bitcoin’s 10), thus it enables a more expedient confirmation of the electronic transaction.
In November 2017, Litecoin’s market capitalization reached some $4 billion, demonstrating strong growth.
As of early December, the value of an individual Litecoin stood at $104.3.
Originally the DarkCoin, Dash was launched in 2014 by Evan Duffield, following a bug that hampered the operations Litecoin.
Although the code error was quickly corrected, the DarkCoin remained, though it was rebranded as Dash (Digital Cash) in light of the increasing use of cybercurrencies by criminal enterprises.
Owing to its easy and secure protocols, Dash is quite popular with the digital community, and its capitalization rests at about $4.8 billion.
Dash users also created the most vibrant “alt-coin” community with some 6,400 pages and 7.9 million reads on the BitcoinTalk forum.
As of today, a single Dash coin is worth about $696.6.
A bit of the late bloomer, Ether was launched by Russian-Canadian computer programmer Vitalik Buterin in 2015.
Ether forms an operating token for the Ethereum, an open, block-chain, decentralized software platform, which enables the network’s users to codify, develop and operate applications within the system.
Ethereum was funded by the pre-sale of some 11.9 million Ethers, reflecting the high public support for the platform.
The network’s market capitalization exceeds $4.46 billion and Ether’s price currently stands at $430, though it has recently suffered a 4 percent drop in value.
Introduced in 2016, Zcash is a cryptocurrency that was launched by computer security expert Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn, who purported to build on the success of Bitcoin by adding further security measures.
Digital payments through Zcash are posted on a public block-chain, yet the users may choose to enact an optional privacy protocol that can conceal the sender, the receiver and/or the amount of funds transferred.
Another distinct feature of Zcash is the “selective disclosure” mechanism than allows the users to audit their payments via the cybercurrency.
Its current value is $316.5.
Monero was launched in 2014 in an effort to make the cyptocurrency mining procedures more accessible to users as well as to improve their privacy.
The mining protocols for Monero tend to be more “egalitarian,” allowing its community to enjoy a more distributive mining scheme.
Unlike Bitcoin, however, it is not a public-ledger currency, thus its units are indistinguishable from each other, enhancing anonymity of users and making it a popular coin for transactions on the dark markets.
Monero’s value is about $277.7.