Bitcoin: Bitcoin is the first and most widely used decentralized digital currency. It was created in 2009 by an anonymous group or person, known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer system that allows users to send and receive payments in Bitcoin without the need for a central authority. It is powered by a blockchain ledger that records all transactions securely and permanently on a public ledger. Transactions are verified by a network of miners and confirmed when enough miners agree.
Ethereum: Ethereum is an open-source, blockchain-based platform for developing distributed applications (DApps). Ethereum uses its own cryptocurrency, Ether, to incentivise the network and reward its participants. Ethereum was created in 2014 and since then it has become one of the most popular platforms for developing distributed applications. Ethereum offers a number of features and tools that give developers the ability to create complex and powerful DApps.
Ripple: Ripple is a payments protocol designed to enable faster, cheaper and more secure cross-border transactions. It was created by Ripple Labs in 2012 and is based on a shared ledger technology called the Ripple protocol. It is a real-time gross settlement system (RTGS) that can process payments almost instantly and with very low fees. The Ripple network is built on the principles of decentralization, which gives it several advantages over traditional payment systems.
Litecoin: Litecoin is a decentralized digital currency launched in 2011 by Charlie Lee, a former Google employee. It is based on the Bitcoin protocol but offers faster transaction speeds and lower transaction fees. The main difference between Bitcoin and Litecoin is that Litecoin uses a different algorithm for mining, called Scrypt. This makes it more accessible to miners who don’t have access to expensive specialized hardware.
Monero: Monero is a privacy-focused digital currency launched in 2014. Monero uses a unique technology called “CryptoNote” that enables it to offer true privacy and untraceability. It uses advanced cryptography to protect users’ transactions, making it impossible to track the sender or receiver. Monero is also open-source, meaning anyone can view and verify its code.
Dash: Dash (formerly known as Darkcoin) is a privacy-focused digital currency that was launched in 2014. It utilizes the same blockchain technology as Bitcoin, but adds additional features to keep transactions private and secure. Its main feature is its PrivateSend protocol, which obfuscates transactions and masks their origin. It also features a two-tier masternode system that further enhances its security.
Zcash: Zcash is a privacy-focused digital currency that was launched in 2016. It is based on the original Bitcoin protocol but adds an extra layer of privacy and security to users’ transactions through an advanced technology called zk-SNARKs. This technology enables users to selectively reveal transaction details when necessary, while keeping all other details hidden.
Tether: Tether is a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar. It was created to provide a stable alternative to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, which are highly volatile. Tether is backed by reserves of fiat currencies, so its value remains relatively stable compared to other cryptocurrencies.
Stellar: Stellar is an open-source, blockchain-based protocol for payments and asset trading. It was created in 2014 and its native currency is Lumens (XLM). Stellar provides a platform for fast, secure and low-cost payments and asset trading. It is used by a variety of companies, banks and organizations and supports multi-asset financial services.
NEM: NEM is a smart asset blockchain platform launched in 2015. It is written in Java and offers an open-source solution for businesses and developers. NEM provides a secure and flexible platform for building decentralized applications and asset management. It is powered by a cryptocurrency called XEM which is used to incentivize the network and reward its participants.