How many of us wake up every morning and type “Bitcoin to USD” in the Google search bar? Ever since the Bitcoin price skyrocketed in late 2017, crypto currencies have dominated the market in a formidable manner. While the trends do tend to fluctuate a bit every day, the general ratings for crypto currencies are quite excellent. Inspired by the fame that Bitcoin garnered over the last five-six years, many new crypto currencies have emerged in the market. In this discussion, we give you an overview of top crypto currencies like Monero, Dai, Zcash, and Ethereum, and of course, the Bitcoin. Without going into too many details of the complex algorithms, we will try to acquaint you with characteristic features of these crypto currencies in a simple manner in this discussion!
Crypto currencies 101
Before we jump into the details of the top crypto currencies, we thought it would be worth recalling the very basics of crypto currencies. The reason why these are termed as crypto currencies is that several encryption techniques are used for securing the network when it comes to devising this brand of currency. Understanding crypto currency’s working is not possible without having a proper understanding of blockchains. There are different methods through which one maintains the integrity of the transaction. The concerns that encircle the crypto currencies are also mostly related to consequences associated with blockchains. We know it is getting a little technical so we will ditch the complex details for now!
Top crypto currencies
Now, let us have a closer look at the most flourishing and top crypto currencies in the world. We have considered only the top crypto currencies but there is a myriad of these that have emerged in the market over the last few years.
The actual top cryptocurrency that nearly everyone has heard about. Bitcoin or BTC is the biggest and most flourishing cryptocurrency. Can you guess the percentage that Bitcoin has in the crypto market? Almost 58 percent (as of Sep 2020)!
2017 was the most radical year in the history of Bitcoin. Some crazy fluctuations were observed. As of now, Bitcoin has maintained a stable price in the range of 10-11 thousand USD. For any novice, it is ideal to start with the Bitcoins. These are easily traded since a major chunk of the market trades via this cryptocurrency. There is only one thing that decides the investment you are willing to put in and that is courage. How much are you willing to invest?
This one is considered as the best possible alternative to Bitcoin. Let us have a closer look at the characteristic features of this cryptocurrency. The token used on the platform of this digital currency is known as Ether. Like any other crypto, Ethereum is also a decentralized platform that has some high tech features. One of the most important features of Ethereum is its ability to create smart contracts. A vast majority of well-known smart contracts are utilizing the Ethereum blockchain. As of now (28 Sep 2020), the overall market cap of Ethereum is close to 41 Billion USD, translating the Price / Eth to $364.
Since its inception nearly six years ago, Monero has considered three elements pivotal in its chain of operations. These are privacy, decentralization and interchangeability. The key mechanism is proof of work. In simple terms, it means that new coins can’t be issued until some hours are consumed for processing by the computer. The exchange rates are quite variable, but on average, one Monero is equal to 90-100 USD ( as of Sep 2020). If we were to select one reason for mining Monero, it would have to be privacy.
Dai’s functions rely on the Ethereum blockchain, but you can purchase DAI at a cryptocurrency exchange just like any other cryptocurrency, later save it into your wallet as well. The focus is on maintaining a soft peg with the USD so we dare say you won’t be too attracted by this crypto. But there are benefits like transparency and permission-free transactions. Since Dai is capable of maintaining its price at all times, it becomes especially useful during a sudden market crash.
Not your ordinary crypto, this one! The brightest minds from MIT, Hopkins, and Berkeley put their heads together to come up with this digital currency back in the year 2016. You must be thinking, what is the most distinguishing feature of this crypto? A simple answer would be transactions with privacy! You see, while the Bitcoin data is posted to a public blockchain, it isn’t exactly confidential. The Zero-Knowledge proofs ensure that your transactions are granted complete confidentiality and privacy. However, for audit, Zcash allows its users to access and share the data related to transactions.
Why are crypto currencies so popular all of a sudden? What are the advantages? The biggest advantage associated with this form of digital currency is the ease of access with which two parties can transfer funds reciprocally without the need for a bank account. Isn’t it crazy?
Apart from this, features such as nominal processing fees and microtransactions make the crypto currencies super-useful.
We must be fair in our analysis of crypto currencies. While there are several pros associated with crypto currencies, there are a few cons that cannot ignore either. While more and more currencies are plucking up the courage to come in the light, much of this business is still operated in a rather anonymous way. Hence, it wouldn’t be honest to not assume that some privacy-based crypto currencies are a great tool for laundering illegal wealth. Forensic sciences are focusing on figuring out the tax evasions reported and associated with crypto currencies.
In addition to this, during the great ICO boom of 2017-2018, a large percentage of projects that raised millions of dollars from the investors turned out to be scams. It indicates that a few dirty players in the cryptocurrency world could give a bad name to this entire market.
Well, that would be all for now. The concept of a decentralized currency is certainly a fascinating one and in the future, the world is likely to switch to the transaction methods which don’t rely on banks.
If you want to speed up the process, you should start investing in your favorite projects. There are many exchanges available and I wrote an article with my recommendations. Check it out here.
Do you like any of the coins I mentioned? What other projects should I follow. Leave a comment down below.