Bitcoin is not just a pioneering digital cryptocurrency in a completely new field, it is the one that has founded and launched a wave of cryptocurrencies built on decentralized peer-to-peer networks.
Bitcoin has become the de facto standard for cryptocurrencies, inspiring a growing group of followers and affiliates to enter the crypto market and learn more about this young field.
What are cryptocurrencies?
Before we take a closer look and learn about the best encrypted digital currencies after Bitcoin, it is okay to first know what encrypted digital currencies are.
Cryptocurrencies or altcoins are digital currencies that take the form of coins, but whose work is entirely digital.
While some cryptocurrencies have entered the physical world with credit cards or other projects, the vast majority of them are still completely immaterial.
The term “crypto” refers to the complex cryptography that allows the creation and processing of digital currencies and their transactions via decentralized systems.
Besides the important “crypto” feature of these currencies, there is a shared commitment to decentralization, in which cryptocurrencies are typically developed as a token by teams that build mechanisms for issuance (often, though not always, through a process called “mining” and other controls).
Cryptocurrencies have always been designed to be free from government manipulation and control, although as they are becoming more common, this foundational aspect of the industry has come under fire and attacks from various quarters.
Alternative encrypted digital currencies Are all digital currencies other than Bitcoin, as Bitcoin cannot be said to be an alternative digital currency as the asset in this market.
Many altcoins are trying to modify and improve the functioning of Bitcoin through independent projects with different names and ideas than the parent currency Bitcoin.
These altcoins may have some impressive features that bitcoin doesn't have, but matching the level of security that bitcoin networks provide has largely not been seen by altcoins.
Below, we will look at some of the most important cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin.
Before reviewing the list we must note that it is almost impossible to prepare a list like this to be perfect and completely comprehensive.
One reason for this is the fact that there are more than 8000 cryptocurrencies as of January 2021.
While many of these cryptocurrencies have little following or trading volume, some of them are incredibly popular among dedicated communities of supporters and investors.
Moreover, the field of cryptocurrencies is always expanding, and the next digital currency may be released tomorrow.
While Bitcoin is widely seen as a leader in the cryptocurrency world, analysts are adopting several approaches to valuing tokens other than BTC.
It is common, for example, for analysts to give a great deal of importance to the ranking of digital currencies relative to each other in terms of total market capitalization, without prolonging the introduction we review the ten best cryptocurrencies after Bitcoin.
The first alternative to Bitcoin on our list, Ethereum, is a project that offers a decentralized software platform that enables smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps) to be created and run without any downtime, fraud, control or third-party interference.
The goal of Ethereum is to create a decentralized set of financial products that anyone in the world can access for free, regardless of nationality, race or religion.
This means that Ethereum offers effective practical solutions for those in some countries with fragile financial infrastructure.
The applications on Ethereum run on the encryption of the Ethereum platform.
The digital currency Ether is a means of navigating the Ethereum platform and is mostly sought by developers looking to develop and run applications within Ethereum, or now by investors looking to buy other cryptocurrencies using Ethereum.
Launched in 2015, Ethereum is currently the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization after Bitcoin, although it lags behind the mainstream cryptocurrency by a significant margin.
As of January 2021, the market capitalization of Ethereum is about 19% of the volume of Bitcoin.
In 2014, Ethereum launched an initial offer to sell (Ethereum) which received a huge response, helping usher in the era of Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
According to Ethereum, the Ethereum platform can be used to blog, decentralize, secure and trade anything.
After the attack on the DAO in 2016, Ethereum was split into ETH and ETC.
As of January 2021, the market capitalization of Ethereum is $138.3 billion and the value of each coin is $1,218.
In 2021, Ethereum plans to change its consensus algorithm from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake.
This move will allow the Ethereum network to run itself at much lower power as well as improve the speed of transactions.
Proof of Stake allows network participants to share their Ethereum in the network.
This process helps secure the network and handle the transactions that occur.
Those who do so are rewarded with Ethereum like an interest account. This is a Proof of Work alternative that exists in Bitcoin.
2- Litecoin LTC:
Litecoin, launched in 2011, was among the first cryptocurrencies to follow in Bitcoin's footsteps and is often referred to as Bitcoin's silver versus gold.
The coin was created by developer Charlie Lee, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a former Google engineer.
Litecoin is based on an open source global payment network that is not under the control of any central authority and uses “scrypt” as proof of work, which can be decrypted.
He sees it with the help of CPUs from consumers.
Although Litecoin is similar to Bitcoin in many ways, it has a faster rate of block generation, thus providing a faster transaction confirmation time.
Other than the developers, there are a growing number of merchants that accept Litecoin.
As of January 2021, Litecoin has a market capitalization of $10.1 billion and each coin is worth $153.88, making it the sixth largest cryptocurrency in the world.
3- ADA Cardano:
Cardano is a Proof of Stake based cryptocurrency created using a research-based approach by engineers, mathematicians, and cryptographers.
The project was co-founded by Charles Hoskinson, one of the five initial founding members of Ethereum.
After having some disagreements with the direction Ethereum was taking, he left and later helped create Cardano.
The team behind Cardano created its blockchain through extensive testing and research reviewed by the development team.
The researchers behind the project have written more than 90 research papers on blockchain technology across a range of topics.
This research is the backbone of Cardano.
Due to this rigorous process, Cardano appears to stand out among its peers in Proof of Stake as well as other large cryptocurrencies.
Cardano has also been dubbed the “Ethereum Killer” as its blockchain is said to be able to do more than Ethereum.
However, Cardano is still in its infancy.
While it has beaten Ethereum in its race towards the Proof of Stake consensus model, it still has a long way to go in terms of decentralized financial applications.
4- DOT Polkadot:
Polkadot is a unique Proof of Stake cryptocurrency that aims to provide interoperability between different blockchains.
Its protocol is designed to connect its private and public blockchains as well as oracles to allow systems to work together under one roof.
The core component of Polkadot is the relay chain that enables interoperability of different networks.
It also allows for "parachains" or parallel blockchains with their tokens for specific use cases.
Where this system differs from Ethereum is that instead of creating decentralized applications only on Polkadot, developers can create their own blockchain while using the security that the Polkadot chain already has.
With Ethereum, developers can create a new blockchain but need to create their own security measures which can leave new and small projects open to attack, as the larger the blockchain, the greater the security demands.
In Polkadut, this concept is known as shared security.
Polkadot was created by Gavin Wood, another co-founder of the Ethereum project who has differing opinions about the future of the project.
As of January 2021, the Polkadot project has a market capitalization of $11.2 billion and DOT is trading at $15.54.
5- Bitcoin Cash: BCH
Bitcoin Cash occupies an important place in the history of altcoins because it is one of the oldest and most successful hard forks of the original Bitcoin.
In the cryptocurrency world, the split occurs as a result of discussions and arguments between developers and miners.
Due to the decentralized nature of digital currencies, bulk changes must be made to the underlying code of an existing token or currency due to general consensus; The mechanism of this process differs for different digital currency.
When the different groups cannot come to an agreement, the digital currency is sometimes split, with the original network remaining compatible with its original token and the new network coming to life as a new version of the previous currency, complete with changes to its digital currency.
Bitcoin Cash started its life in August of 2017 as a result of one of these splits.
The debate that led to the creation of Bitcoin Cash was related to the issue of scalability.
The Bitcoin network has a block size limit of one megabyte.
Bitcoin Cash wants the block size to increase from one megabyte to eight megabytes, with the idea that larger blocks can have more transactions within them, so the transaction speed will increase.
It is also making other changes, including removing the "Segregated Witness" protocol that affects block space.
As of January 2021, the market capitalization of Bitcoin Cash is $8.9 billion and the value of each coin is $513.
6- Stellar XLM:
Stellar is an open blockchain network designed to provide enterprise solutions by connecting financial institutions for the purpose of large transactions.
Huge transactions between banks and investment firms that usually take several days, a number of intermediaries, and cost a great deal of money, can now be done almost instantly without intermediaries and at little or nothing to those doing the transaction.
Stellar has positioned itself as an institutional blockchain for institutional transactions, yet it is still open and anyone can use it.
The system allows cross-border transactions between any currencies.
The original currency of Stellar is XLM.
The network requires users to maintain XLM so that they can perform transactions on the network.
Jed McCaleb is the founder of the Stellar project, a founding member of the Ripple company and the developer of the Ripple protocol.
He eventually left his role with Ripple and went on to found the Stellar Development Foundation.
The stellar has a market capitalization of $6.1 billion and the coin has a value of $0.27 as of January 2021.
Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network that bridges the gap between smart contracts, such as those on Ethereum, and data outside of it.
The blockchain networks themselves do not have the ability to reliably connect to external applications.
while ysChainlink's decentralized oracle allows smart contracts to communicate with external data so that contracts can be executed based on data that Ethereum itself cannot connect to.
Chainlink's blog outlines a number of use cases for its system.
One of the many use cases explained would be supply monitoring…
Sensors can be set up to monitor businesses' consumption, water tables, and levels of local water bodies.
Chainlink Oracle can track this data and enter it directly into a smart contract.
A smart contract can be set up to enforce fines, issue flood warnings to cities, or bill companies that use a lot of city water with data from Oracle.
Chainlink was developed by Sergey Nazarov with Steve Ellis.
As of January 2021, Chainlink has a market capitalization of $8.4 billion, and one Link is worth $21.53.
8- Binance BNB:
BNB is a cryptocurrency that acts as a payment method for fees associated with trading on the Binance platform.
Those who use the currency as a means of payment for the exchange can trade at a discount.
The BNB cryptocurrency blockchain is the same as the blockchain that the decentralized platform Binance is working on.
Binance was founded by Changpeng Zhao and is the most used platform in the world based on trading volume.
Binance Coin was initially an ERC-20 cryptocurrency that runs on the Ethereum blockchain.
Then it became operational on its main network.
The currency uses the Proof of Stake form.
As of January 2021, Binance has a market capitalization of $6.8 billion with a single BNB value of $44.26.
9- Tether USDT:
Tether was one of the first and most popular stablecoin cryptocurrencies.
Stable cryptocurrencies are cryptocurrencies that aim to link their market value to a currency or other external reference point in order to reduce volatility.
Since most digital currencies, even majors like bitcoin, have experienced repeated periods of massive volatility, tether and other stablecoins are trying to smooth out price volatility in order to attract users who might otherwise be wary.
The price of Tether is directly related to the price of the US dollar.
The system allows users to make transfers from other cryptocurrencies to US dollars more easily and in a timely manner than with an actual transfer into regular currency.
Tether was launched in 2014, and the project describes itself as a platform designed to facilitate the use of fiat currencies in a digital way.
Effectively, this cryptocurrency allows individuals to use the blockchain network and related technologies to transact in traditional currencies while reducing the volatility and complexity often associated with digital currencies.
In January 2021, Tether was the third largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, with a total market capitalization of $24.4 billion and a value of $1.00 each.
10- Monero XMR:
Monero is a secure, private, and untraceable digital currency.
This open source cryptocurrency was launched in April 2014 and quickly gained a lot of attention among the crypto community and privacy enthusiasts.
The entire development of this cryptocurrency is based on donations and is led by its own developer community.
Launched with a strong focus on decentralization and scalability, Monero enables complete privacy using a proprietary technology called “ring signatures.”
With this technique, a set of cryptographic signatures appears including at least one real participant, but since they all appear to be valid, the real signature cannot be isolated.
Because of exceptional security mechanisms like these, Monero has developed something of a notoriety around, being linked to criminal operations all over the world.
Monero provides the possibility of decentralized transactions with anonymous identities and in no way accessible to their owners.
As of January 2021, Monero has a market capitalization of $2.8 billion and each coin is worth $158.37.
These were the top 10 altcoins after bitcoin.