The father of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, was created in 2009 by an anonymous coder using a Japanese pseudonym.
It can be used for everything from crowdfunding campaigns to international money transfers.
Anyone can buy bitcoins with ease—all you need is an email address and cash (or any other currency) in your bank account.
There are no transactional fees when using bitcoin, which means it’s cheaper than most payment processors. And you don’t have to worry about fraud or chargebacks either.
But that also means there’s less consumer protection if something goes wrong.
If someone steals your bitcoin wallet, you can recover those funds for yourself. If you lose your password or get hacked, you can restore access to those funds.
More and more merchants are starting to accept bitcoin as a form of payment.
With a market cap of more than $20 billion, Ethereum is one of the biggest cryptocurrencies. Founded in 2015 by developer Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum works much like Bitcoin—offering blockchain capabilities and enabling users to process transactions themselves.
Unlike Bitcoin, however, Ethereum doesn’t have a fixed cap on how many coins can be generated; instead, it uses an inflationary model that increases its overall coin supply at a rate of about 17 per cent annually.
This means that if you buy $100 worth of Ethereum today, it may be worth as little as $90 tomorrow. This makes Ethereum different from Bitcoin (and most other cryptocurrencies), which are deflationary because their total number of coins is capped at a certain point.
If you are looking to make money from cryptocurrency, you should start with Ripple. If a recent report by an analyst at Morgan Stanley is to be believed, it could be a good time to buy XRP, but not other cryptocurrencies.
The company’s analysis claims that XRP is still one of today’s most practical investments in terms of financial technology.
In fact, they believe it will transform some of Wall Street’s financial service providers entirely. In comparison to Ethereum and Bitcoin, Ripple seems much more straightforward.
You can think of it as a middleman for any type of currency transaction or payment settlement between banks and businesses across borders.
Because its value isn’t tied to mining or proof-of-work like Bitcoin or Ethereum, XRP tokens have already proven themselves as a viable means for transferring funds quickly and efficiently – both within countries and internationally.
If you’re looking to get started with cryptocurrency investing but don’t want to deal with all of bitcoin’s drama and instability, you might be better off going with a different cryptocurrency.
Litecoin is similar to bitcoin in many ways—it allows instant, near-zero cost payments to anyone in the world and trades on a public blockchain like bitcoin—but it also has some key differences.
By being able to trade litecoin for fiat currency on regulated exchanges, it offers stability that other cryptocurrencies can’t provide.
In fact, its strength is one of its most significant selling points and one of its downsides since it tends to attract more conservative investors rather than those seeking wild returns.
Choosing between cryptocurrencies can be challenging but not impossible. There are hundreds of options out there, so where do you start?
One solid option is Monero. It is a privacy-focused coin that places a strong emphasis on being censorship-resistant and decentralized.
Additionally, it uses a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm, which means that users validate transactions as well as mine new tokens—which actually helps protect against potential 51% attacks by adding more hashing power to their network.
All in all, Monero is one of my favorite coins right now because it’s just getting started.
It’s another top ten currency that has exploded in popularity over recent months. Dash also has a strong base in Venezuela, and South America, making it one of many currencies expanding in terms of geographical reach and use.
With some really impressive marketing tools (especially their business on ATMs), Dash is looking to become more and more popular as a competitor to Bitcoin.
This is one to watch if you have some spare cryptocurrency lying around that you are looking for something to do with!
This currency had a meteoric rise earlier in 2017, but it’s still growing at an impressive rate.
In addition, Monero can be traded on multiple exchanges, such as Poloniex and Bittrex, so you don’t need to worry about not being able to access your funds when trading between cryptocurrencies.
7. Stellar Lumens (XLM)
Not only is XLM one of our top cryptocurrency picks for 2018, but we believe it’s likely to be one of the best crypto investments of 2019.
The company boasts some key advantages over Bitcoin and Ethereum, namely in its speed and ease of use.
It takes three to five seconds to conduct an XML transaction, whereas Bitcoin and Ethereum can take anywhere from 10 minutes to two hours respectively to execute a single payment.
Stellar also has low fees, with payments costing as little as $0.00001 (yes, that’s 1/100th of a penny).
While other cryptocurrencies have high transfer costs due to their slow processing times or limited network capacity, Stellar solves both problems by using an open-source protocol known as Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP), which increases reliability while decreasing costs at the same time.
Finally, Stellar has huge long-term potential due to its unique tiered token system.
8. NEM (XEM)
NEM is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and blockchain platform launched on March 31, 2015. Inspired by NXT, it was written from scratch in Java.
NEM has a stated goal of a wide distribution model and has introduced new features to blockchain technology, such as its proof-of-importance (POI) algorithm, multisignature accounts, encrypted messaging, and an Eigentrust reputation system. What makes NEM unique?
The first thing that sets NEM apart from other cryptocurrencies is its use of POI. POI allows every transaction made with XEM to be given a ranking based on how vital that transaction is to the network. Transactions with higher importance are given priority for processing over those with lower importance.