The total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies is growing rapidly, recently surpassing more $800 billion and hitting an all-time high - with a more than 850 percent increase since the start of the year. When most people think of cryptocurrencies they think of Bitcoin, which was the first to market and is the current leader. But it’s not the only game in town. There are around 1,100 different cryptocurrencies to date. Not sure which is best? Check out this list of top cryptocurrencies to find out more about each, how cryptocurrency works, and where to buy cryptocrurency.
To understand the revolutionary impact of cryptocurrencies you need to consider both properties. Bitcoin as a permissionless, irreversible and pseudonymous means of payment is an attack on the control of banks and governments over the monetary transactions of their citizens. You can‘t hinder someone to use Bitcoin, you can‘t prohibit someone to accept a payment, you can‘t undo a transaction.
Dogecoin: Dogecoin (like the “Doge” internet meme about a dog and misspelling) had the 7th highest Market cap as of June 2015. In 2017 it was still a contender although it was more of one early in 2017. Individual coins aren’t worth as much as other coins on the list, but it’s value and popularity have remained relatively steady despite notable highs and lows. Dogecoin uses the same essential technology as Bitcoin with a few important technical distinctions. Like the failed Coinye West, Dogecoin was just in it for the lolz (i.e., it was created as a joke), but unlike Coinye, Dogecoin became inexplicably popular. Why do we suggest a joke coin? Because it’s a popular coin and today the only funny part about it is the name (and it’s mascot and backstory). It’s a lot like Litecoin — a fairly priced coin with some degree consumer confidence. Dogecoin has, one might argue, turned their comedic origins into an excuse to make their coin “fun and friendly,” which was a smart long-term move. It’s also one of the only major cryptocurrencies with a .com Top-Level Domain name and is one of the few that attempts to reach an audience outside of techies and cryptography nerds. As of September 2017, Dogecoin had taken a beating in value. One could argue that its roots as a joke coin weren’t as great a long-term strategy as it had once seemed (although one could argue the volatility it has seen is just business as usual in the cryptocurrency space.)
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Founded in 2014, Poloniex is one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges. The exchange offers a secure trading environment with more than 100 different Bitcoin cryptocurrency pairings and advanced tools and data analysis for advanced traders. As one of the most popular trading platforms with the highest trading volumes, users will always be able to close a trade position. Poloniex employs a volume-tiered, maker-taker fee schedule for all trades so fees are different depending on if you are the maker or the taker. For makers, fees range from 0 to 0.15%, depending on the amount traded.
Zcash, a decentralized and open-source cryptocurrency launched in the latter part of 2016, looks promising. “If bitcoin is like http for money, zcash is https," is one analogy zcash uses to define itself. Zcash offers privacy and selective transparency of transactions. Thus, like https, zcash claims to provide extra security or privacy where all transactions are recorded and published on a blockchain, but details such as the sender, recipient, and amount remain private. Zcash offers its users the choice of “shielded” transactions, which allow for content to be encrypted using advanced cryptographic technique or zero-knowledge proof construction called a zk-SNARK developed by its team. As of February 9, 2019, Zcash had a market cap of $291.25 million and a value per token of $49.84.
Then, in early 2009, an anonymous programmer or a group of programmers under an alias Satoshi Nakamoto introduced Bitcoin. Satoshi described it as a ‘peer-to-peer electronic cash system.’ It is completely decentralized, meaning there are no servers involved and no central controlling authority. The concept closely resembles peer-to-peer networks for file sharing.
Needless to say, Bitcoin’s place as an alternative digital asset among cryptocurrencies has become entrenched, despite likely headwinds it will continue to face as it evolves further. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced in early August 2017 that certain Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) – which use cryptocurrencies for financing – would be regulated as securities.
Today you can use USDC (a stable coin) in place of the dollar on Coinbase in some instances. Although this is mostly something to keep in mind for trading on Coinbase Pro, it is important to note here given that you can buy USDC without a fee directly on Coinbase (and swap between dollars and USDC for free at any time). On some trading pairs you have to use USDC, on others you can’t. Try buying USDC with your bank account and then swapping between USDC and USD as needed. The benefit of buying USDC and USD on Coinbase is that it has no fees (as opposed to buying cryptos directly through Coinbase.Com, which can result in fees and premiums).
Cindicator is a project that is building a hybrid AI and human intelligence ecosystem that will predict movements in financial markets. They have been able to build an ecosystem that generates over 400,000 forecasts a month utilizing over 30 machine learning algorithms. Cindicator already has a working platform and they have over 115,000 analysts that are providing their predictions. Cindicator uses the wisdom of the crowd each day by sending out questions about financial and cryptocurrency markets. Analysts answer the questions and the answers are aggregated. The AI portion will come in when Cindicator has to analyse these responses in order to come up with a reasonable prediction. The analysts are studied to determine patterns and common factors. Cindicator will then use advanced data analytics models and machine learning to improve upon themselves and refine the algorithms. Cindicator has a pretty strong team component and the founders each have backgrounds in data science, trading, platform development and marketing. They also have some well-known advisors on board including Anthony Diiorio and Charlie Shrem. The native token in the Cindicator network is the ERC20 CND token. This is used in the Cindicator ecosystem to get access to the predictions. The team held a token sale in September of 2017 and was able to raise $15m for 75% of the total supply. CND tokens hit the exchanges not long after the ICO and have been quite volatile since. They reached an ATH in January of 2018 but have since traced the market lower. There is reasonable liquidity for the token however over 96% of the trading volume is taking place on the Binance exchange. Token remains very volatile so trade with caution. *Coin Bureau's views are not investment advice. Do Your Own Research.
NEM — Unlike most other cryptocurrencies that utilize a Proof of Work algorithm, it uses Proof of Importance, which requires users to already possess certain amounts of coins in order to be able to get new ones. It encourages users to spend their funds and tracks the transactions to determine how important a particular user is to the overall NEM network.
The cryptocurrencies are a solution to many of the obstacles that the traditional financial system currently has, sending money to different parts of the world is expensive, sometimes delayed and in some places it is not possible to do so. We are in a globalized era and cryptocurrencies help make financial transactions fast, secure and low cost. There are projects with a great vision, for example, the cryptocurrency Ultrapoint has the mission to become the first currency for global and practical use in all sectors of the economy. Then when a cryptocurrency achieves massive use, then its benefits will be fully understood.
2) Pseudonymous: Neither transactions nor accounts are connected to real-world identities. You receive Bitcoins on so-called addresses, which are randomly seeming chains of around 30 characters. While it is usually possible to analyze the transaction flow, it is not necessarily possible to connect the real world identity of users with those addresses.
Bitcoin is pseudonymous rather than anonymous in that the cryptocurrency within a wallet is not tied to people, but rather to one or more specific keys (or "addresses"). Thereby, bitcoin owners are not identifiable, but all transactions are publicly available in the blockchain. Still, cryptocurrency exchanges are often required by law to collect the personal information of their users.