Although the projects in the crypto world are valued with their technologies and innovations, they can also be valued with the tweets of famous people. We have experienced this many times at Dogecoin. After Elon Musk’s tweets, Dogecoin, which started as a parody, was almost on the moon.
Let’s take a closer look at the 10 the top 10 cryptocurrencies right now. So, there are the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap. Keep in mind that this changes all the time but I’m just going to talk about the top ones right now and generally, it’s an indicator of popularity. So whether you have any of these cryptos right now or not, it’s always good to know what’s popular. And of course, it’s always good to learn more about the crypto space so that you can be prepared for any other new developments in the future.
The first one is Bitcoin. The original decentralized digital currency is also known as internet money also known as digital gold. On January 3rd, 2009, the Bitcoin network was created when an anonymous entity known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Keep in mind that one of the primary reasons that Bitcoin was created was so that online payments transactions could be directly sent from one party to another without the need of financial institutions. So basically Bitcoin’s a unit of currency on a peer-to-peer payment network, a p2p network. Bitcoin is also pseudonymous. Meaning that funds aren’t tied to real-world entities but rather public addresses. So generally owners of Bitcoin addresses can remain anonymous but all transactions on the blockchain are generally going to be public.
All right the next one let’s talk about Ethereum. Launched in 2015 Ethereum is an open-source, blockchain-based, decentralized, software platform. And if you’ve ever heard of Ether, that’s a native cryptocurrency of the platform. What does Ethereum do? It enables smart contracts and distributed apps also known as Dapps to be built and run without any interference from third parties. Quickly, What’s an example of a smart contract? Real estate is a really good example. Let’s say a buyer and a seller, both enter into a contract. A smart contract of course. Once the payment is sent to the seller then automatically ownership of the house gets transferred to the buyer.
What about Dapps? So you know how other tech companies like Apple and Microsoft allow their developers to build apps on their software or using their software. Well, you can do the same thing, you can build apps on Ethereum. Except, in this case, it’s decentralized.
All right now let’s talk about Tether. This was launched back in 2014. It was first called Realcoin and then US Tether and then finally they just called it Tether. This is one of the first cryptocurrencies to peg its market value to a fiat currency. What does that even mean?
It means it’s trying to mirror the price of something like the U.S dollar. Why would you even do this? Well to reduce friction in the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem. It is trying to bring some stability here. So it’s a stable value cryptocurrency also known as a stablecoin. Something like this of course it’s going to be controversial but generally, it’s considered to be a safe haven for crypto investors. Why? Because during periods of high volatility, you can park your portfolio in Tether rather than cashing out in U.S dollars.
All right now let’s talk about Binance coin (BNB). It’s important to know what Binance is. Binance is the world’s most popular cryptocurrency Exchange. Well, Binance coin that’s the native cryptocurrency of Binance. It’s used for a lot of things. Technically it powers the ecosystem. For example, BNB can be used to trade and pay for fees on the Binance Exchange. Binance is also known for its dual chain system. So if you’ve ever heard of Binance Chain and Binance Smart Chain, that’s all part of this thing too.
The next one is Cardano. This was founded back in 2017 and it was conceptualized by one of the co-founders of Ethereum. The native crypto of this it’s ADA. ADA was actually named after Ada Lovelace. ADA was a 19th-century mathematician recognized as the first computer programmer and the daughter of poet Lord Byron. According to the co-founder of Cardano, we’ve gone through three generations of blockchains;
- Generation 1, that’s Bitcoin and money transfer.
- Generation 2, that’s Ethereum and smart contracts
- Generation 3, that’s Cardano.
So, Cardano says, it’s the next generation of blockchains. There’s a lot of differences but one example is instead of Proof of Work(PoW) which is something that Bitcoin has right now, there’s something called Proof of Stake(PoS). Proof of stake will make the entire mining process virtual and it’s going to replace the miners with validators. Generally, this is going to make things more cost-effective among a lot of other things.
Let’s keep going here XRP. Well, you know that sending international payments and transfers takes days, sometimes even longer, especially when crossing borders. Well Ripple or the token XRP, it’s designed to make this not only faster but also cheaper, lower transaction fees. Real-time gross settlement system. Also known as RTGS, global instant payments. Yes, you can do that using XRP.
So who could be using this for rapid cross-border transactions and payments; Enterprises, banks, companies, corporations even payment providers? Really quickly, it’s also important to understand the difference between XRP and Ripple Net. XRP is the currency on Ripple net. Ripple net, that’s the digital payment platform. And Ripple is also the company that runs Ripple net. And all of this is on top of a distributed ledger database called XRP Ledger. It also isn’t even made up of a blockchain but rather something called a Hash tree.
The next one is Dogecoin. Dogecoin was revealed to the public around 2013. it literally started as a parody, as a meme. The amazing thing is that it’s still popular to this day. Besides the great branding of the logo, the mascot, the Shiba Inu, people eventually realized there was some practicality to this. The large supply and low price actually made it really popular for micro-tipping users on social media like Reddit.
All right now let’s talk about Polkadot. This is an open-source protocol that’s aimed at connecting all different blockchains; public chains, private chains, permissionless networks, Oracles, and other future technologies. By connecting all of these blockchains together, you allow them to all work together and you share data with each other. If you really want to get technical here, it’s an open-source, sharding, multi-chain protocol. Meaning that it can process multiple transactions on multiple chains in parallel also known as parachains. Well, why would you even do this? Apparently, this parallel processing power improves scalability. And they also make it pretty easy to connect custom blockchains to Polkadot’s entire network. Oh yeah and one of the co-founders of Ethereum is also on the founding team here.
The next one is Uniswap(UNI). Uniswap is a popular decentralized trading protocol known for its role in facilitating the automated trading of decentralized finance tokens, DeFi tokens. So it aims to keep token trading automated. It also attempts to solve issues that previous platforms had in terms of liquidity. So if you think about it by automating the entire process of market-making, the protocol incentivizes activity by limiting risk and reducing costs for all parties involved. Uniswap was also created by a previous Ethereum developer. You see the trends here.
Bitcoin Cash is a spin-off or an altcoin and was conceived in 2017. Who created this though? Miners and developers. But why did they do it? Well, they were concerned about Bitcoin and its future, especially in terms of scalability. The whole question was and still is can Bitcoin scale effectively into the future and beyond. So that’s why Bitcoin Cash was created. And it also has its own blockchain and specifications. Including one very important distinction from Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash has increased block size relative to Bitcoin and this helps accelerate the verification process. So technically Bitcoin Cash can process transactions faster than Bitcoin or anything on the Bitcoin network, the original Bitcoin network. There are downsides though. One of the things is that faster verification times could lead to security issues, relative to Bitcoin. Also if you think about it Bitcoin will probably always be more popular than something like Bitcoin Cash. If Bitcoin Cash does become more popular than Bitcoin, it’s probably going to be really far out in the future. So hopefully this helped you out.
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