If you’ve just been introduced to cryptos, you might be taken aback by the sheer number of altcoins and ICOs out there. While it’s always good to keep an eye on the big players, diversification will become more important than ever this year. As most major cryptocurrencies are bottoming out, taking the rest with them, real investors who are interested in more than making a quick buck will start coming in. And cryptocurrencies with an actual purpose besides speculation will start to take off. This is why it’s essential to expand your horizon besides Bitcoin and start searching for new opportunities. Let’s take a look at some of the currencies you should know besides Bitcoin and Ethereum.
If Bitcoin is the gold of cryptocurrency, Litecoin is the silver. While it isn’t as popular yet, Litecoin does have a cult following and is one of the top cryptocurrencies of choice for people wanting to participate in currency exchanges. It’s also much faster than Bitcoin and was created specifically to fix some of the issues with it. As long as there are exchanges, we can expect that there will be demand for Litecoin. At the time of writing, it has a $1.89b market cap and is trading at $31.44 per coin.
XRP is kind of a bad word in some crypto circles and is often called an anti-crypto by some of its detractors. But it remains one of the cryptos with the strongest use case and one people should keep an eye on if they’re looking for a genuine store of value.
XRP has been dubbed the “banks cryptocurrency” because it was created to replace the outdated SWIFT system so banks could use their own proprietary blockchain to facilitate international bank transfers. XRP is also one of the most centralized cryptocurrencies out there, which most coins still owned by the Ripple corporation.
This can be both a good or bad thing depending on which side of the fence you are. Those who are fiercely against centralization will say that it goes against the goal of cryptocurrencies, and those who prefer stability will like that a regulatory body can have some sort of control over the supply. XRP is the second biggest cryptocurrency in terms of market cap and is now trading at $0.31 per coin, but Ethereum is still not far behind. If you want to see the most recent changes in XRP prices, you can check them there.
Monero is also a very popular altcoin and has taken off since it was released in 2014. Monero focuses on community, and its development is completely community-based and funded through donations. What separates Monero from others is its focus on scalability and privacy. Privacy coins are a class on their own and will probably continue to rise in the future.
Monero uses what are called “ring signatures” to protect transactions. With this system, multiple seemingly valid signatures will be involved in each transaction, but since they all look legitimate, it’s impossible to track down which ones are actually real. Monero also put a lot of emphasis on decentralization. Monero now has a $731,590,276 market cap and is trading at $43.60 per coin.
EOS is the brainchild of Dan Larimer, who was well-known for creating the Steemit platform and launching the Bitshares cryptocurrency exchange. Just like Ethereum, EOS’s goal is to provide a platform for developers that will allow them to create blockchain based decentralized apps or dapps. But what initially pushed EOS in the forefront was its ICO, which was one of the most long-lasting and profitable in history. Another thing that separates EOS from the competition is it delegated proof-of-stake system, which they say will allow them to be more scalable than other platforms.
EOS also doesn’t rely on miners for coin production. Instead of working with miners, block producers are rewarded with EOS coins based on their production. They also have very strict rules when it comes to governance, with the ultimate goal of making EOS the most decentralized and democratic network out there. At the time of writing, EOS has the 4th highest market cap of all cryptocurrencies and is being traded at $2.32 per coin.
The world of cryptocurrency is vast, and if you want to get an edge, you have to learn as much as you can about alternate coins. Do not stick to the big players; look for coins with actual use cases that extend beyond speculation and hype.