10 Important Cryptocurrencies Other Than Bitcoin

10 Important Cryptocurrencies Other Than Bitcoin

Bitcoin is probably one of the most talked-about cryptocurrencies ever since its launch a decade ago. More so, since its price surge in 2021. Bitcoin is not only the pioneer in the crypto-verse but is also a benchmark standard for altcoins. Now everyone seems to want to get in on buying this crypto out of the fear of missing out (FOMO).

Bitcoin continues to lead the pack of cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalization, user base, and popularity. But that isn’t to say, it is the only one worth investing in; as there are thousands of other cryptocurrencies. Some altcoins offer newer and better features than Bitcoin, such as the ability to handle more transactions per second or use different methods of consensus algorithms such as proof of stake. Ethereum, for example, is helping to create decentralized financial (DeFi) systems.

Before getting into the top 10 important cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin, you should check out some important crypto slang words such as blockchain, altcoin, fiat, DeFi, mining and more, explained simply.

Recommended Read: What is Defi?

What is a cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency, broadly defined, is a form of digital tokens or coins that exist on a distributed and decentralized ledger called a blockchain. This decentralized structure allows them to exist outside the control of governments and central authorities like banks and financial institutions. Cryptocurrency is secured by cryptography, which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend.

The advantages of cryptocurrencies include truly peer-to-peer, cheaper and faster money transfers and decentralized systems that do not collapse at a single point of failure; like fiat currency would if a government falls. The disadvantages include price volatility, high energy consumption for mining, and risks of cyberthreat and crimes.

The field of cryptocurrencies has expanded dramatically since the inception of Bitcoin and there are new promising ones getting released frequently.

Here is our list of 10 important cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin in terms of market share, popularity and features.

1. Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum is a decentralized platform that enables smart contracts and decentralized apps (dApps) to be built and run without any third-party interference. Ethereum aims to use blockchain to replace internet third parties to store data and financial records and create a suite of financial products that anyone in the world can freely access, regardless of nationality or region. This makes it easier for people without state infrastructure and state identifications to get access to bank accounts, loans, insurance, or a variety of other financial products.

The native cryptocurrency, Ether, is the world's second-largest virtual currency by market capitalization as of 2022.  Trading at around $3,150 per ETH as of February 2022, Ether's market cap is just over half of bitcoin’s.

2. Litecoin (LTC)

Litecoin (LTC), launched in 2011, was among the first cryptocurrencies to follow in the footsteps of Bitcoin. Litecoins is based on an open-source global payment network that is not controlled by any central authority and used Scrypt as a PoW that can be decrypted by consumer-grade central processing units (CPUs).

Litecoin is often referred to as “silver to Bitcoin’s gold”. Although it is like Bitcoin in many ways, it has a faster block generation rate and hence offers a faster transaction confirmation time.

3. Tether (USDT)

Tether was one of the first and most popular stablecoins; cryptocurrencies that peg their market value to a fiat currency to reduce volatility. Tether’s price is tied directly to the price of the U.S. dollar. This enables users to make transfers from other cryptocurrencies back to U.S. dollars easily and in a more timely manner than actually converting to fiat currency.

As of the time of writing, Tether is the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, with a market cap of $78.1 billion and a per token value of 1 USD.

As of February 2022, Tether is the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market

4. Binance Coin (BNB)

Binance Coin (BNB) is a utility cryptocurrency that serves as a payment option for transaction fees on the Binance exchange. Those who use the token as a means of payment for the exchange can trade at a discount. Binance Coin was initially an ERC-20 token that operated on the Ethereum blockchain. Eventually, it launched on its own and uses a PoS (Proof of Stake) consensus model. As of February 2020, Binance Coin has a $73.5 billion market cap, with one BNB priced at $436.

Binance’s decentralized exchange also operates on the Binance Coin’s blockchain. The Binance Exchange was founded by Changpeng Zhao and is one of the most widely used exchanges in the world based on trading volumes.

5. Cardano (ADA)

Cardano (ADA) was co-founded by Charles Hoskinson, one of the founding members of Ethereum. He left after some disagreements with the direction that Ethereum was taking. The team behind Cardano did intense research and have written more than 120 papers on blockchain technology. This rigorous process was extremely fruitful as Cardano seems to stand out among its PoS peers as well as other large cryptocurrencies. It has also been dubbed as the “Ethereum killer” as its blockchain is capable of more. However, it still has a long way to go in terms of DeFi applications. As of February 2022, Cardano has the sixth-largest market capitalization at $38.5 billion, and one ADA trades for around $1.20.

6. Dogecoin (DOGE)

Dogecoin was created by two software engineers, Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, in 2013. Markus and Palmer reportedly created the coin as a joke, commenting on the wild speculation of the cryptocurrency market. It is seen by some as a “memecoin.”

As of February 2022, Dogecoin’s market capitalization is $21.7 billion and one DOGE is valued at around 16 cents, making it the 11th-largest cryptocurrency.

7. Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is one of the earliest and most successful hard forks of the original bitcoin. A fork happens when two miners find a block at about the same time, causing one of them to be discarded as an invalid block. It can also happen if there arises a disagreement on upgrading or changing the protocol that governs transactions on the network.

Bitcoin Cash was created to accommodate a larger block size as compared to bitcoin. The bitcoin network has a limit on the size of blocks: 1 megabyte (MB). BCH increases the block size from 1 MB to 8 MBs so that larger blocks can hold more transactions within them and the transaction speed would also increase.

As of February 2022, BCH has a market cap of around $6.5 billion and a value per token of $340.

8. Polkadot (DOT)

Polkadot (DOT) is a unique PoS cryptocurrency aimed at delivering interoperability among other blockchains. It also allows for parachains, or parallel blockchains with their own native tokens for specific-use cases. Where it differs from Ethereum is that rather than creating just dApps on Polkadot, developers can create their own blockchain while also using the security that Polkadot’s chain already has. With Ethereum, on the other hand, developers can create new blockchains but need to create their own security measures, which can leave new and smaller projects open to attack; the larger a blockchain, the more security it has. This concept in Polkadot is known as shared security.

Polkadot was created by Gavin Wood, another member of the core founders of the Ethereum project who had differing opinions about the project’s future. As of February 2022, Polkadot has a market capitalization of roughly $24.5 billion, and one DOT trades for $22.60.

9. Stellar (XLM)

Stellar (XLM) is an open blockchain network designed to connect financial institutions for the purpose of large transactions. Huge transactions between banks take a lot of time; usually, several days, involving a number of intermediaries, and cost a good sum of money. This can now be made nearly instantaneously with no intermediaries and cost little to nothing for making transactions.

Stellar’s native currency is Lumens (XLM). Stellar Lumens have a market capitalization of just under $6 billion and are valued at around 25 cents as of February 2022.

10. Monero (XMR)

Monero (XMR) was launched in April 2014 with a strong focus on decentralization and scalability. It enables complete privacy by using a technique called “ring signatures”. What happens is, while making transactions, many cryptographic signatures appear, including at least one real participant. But the real one cannot be isolated as they all appear valid. As a result, Monero is a secure, private, and untraceable currency.

This exceptional security mechanism has earned a tinted reputation for Monero, as it has been linked to criminal operations around the world.

As of February 2022, Monero has a market capitalization of $3.2 billion and a per token value of $178.

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