Cryptocurrencies are systems that allow for the secure payments of online transactions that are denominated in terms of a virtual "token," representing ledger entries internal to the system itself. "Crypto" refers to the fact that various encryption algorithms and cryptographic techniques, such as elliptical curve encryption, public-private key pairs, and hashing functions, are employed.
Darkcoin (Dash): Darkcoin, known as Dash as of March 25, 2015 (dash=digital cash), but previously known as XCoin, has unique functionality. XCoin was developed by Evan Duffield who wanted to improve on Bitcoin but didn’t have the pull to do so. Thus, he developed his own coin. It takes less power to mine Dash than most coins. Using less energy to mine is important because mining coins is one of the most wasteful processes you can imagine. The wasteful mining process is key to security and stability of all coins that use a “proof-of-work” system. It prevents people from mining too fast. However, environmentally, it’s a nightmare. In 2015 we had said, “People know what a Darkcoin is. Hopefully, this familiarity rolls over to Dash” (today few remember XCoin and Darkcoin, and Dash is a well-known crypto). Back in 2015, Dash was one of the higher valued coins. Today that is still true, and Dash has performed almost as well competitors like Ethereum.
It is important investors realize not all exchanges and brokers that offer delivery of the underlying Bitcoin are created equal. Some firms have fallen victim to theft by hackers who have stolen Bitcoin belonging to clients whose money was held at the exchanges. Meanwhile, other Bitcoin exchanges have gone bankrupt (as in the case of Mt. Gox), as a result of fraud or mismanagement.
Ethereum is more than a peer-to-peer currency created by Vitalik Buterin; it operates as an infrastructure. The technology launched during 2015 with its first offering of ether, the Ethereum altcoin, raising $18.5 million. The centralized platform provides cryptocurrency, but it also allows the blockchain to be used for developing a variety of applications, such as contracts and crowdsourcing.
Your section on Dash is a little sparse. Dash’s first new feature wasn’t instantSend but PrivateSend. Indeed Dash is the first and longest-running privacy coin. Might wanna add that. Also, Dash invented the masternodes system, which allows instantSend and privateSend to work. This also lets the project have a decentralized governance structure, and a censorship-free way of funding projects. Currently, the Dash ecosystem gets roughly $1 million per month to spend on everything from Developers to expansion projects in Venezuela. I would love to see these brief updates made to your Dash section.
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Monero is a secure, private and untraceable currency. This open-source cryptocurrency was launched in April 2014 and soon spiked great interest among the cryptography community and enthusiasts. The development of this cryptocurrency is completely donation-based and community-driven. Monero has been launched with a strong focus on decentralization and scalability, and it enables complete privacy by using a special technique called “ring signatures.” With this technique, there appears a group of cryptographic signatures including at least one real participant, but since they all appear valid, the real one cannot be isolated. Because of exceptional security mechanisms like this, monero has developed something of an unsavory reputation; it has been linked to criminal operations around the world. Nonetheless, whether it is used for good or ill, there’s no denying that monero has introduced important technological advances to the cryptocurrency space. As of February 9, 2019, Monero had a market cap of $808.50 million and a per token value of $48.18.
Litecoin: Litecoin is probably the second most important digital coin [true in 2015, it is still relevant today]. It had the third-highest market cap as of June 2015, but today it sits closer to 7. Despite the decline, CPU mining is still sort of possible, people know what a Litecoin is, it uses essentially the same technology of Bitcoin, and it costs about 1/50th – 1/100th of what Bitcoin does (depending on the day). A Litecoin is a lot like a Bitcoin before the whole ‘Silk Road‘ controversy, or as some people would say “a Litecoin is like a Bitcoin except with a value closer to what a reasonable person would expect a digital coin to have in a rational market.”
In 1983, the American cryptographer David Chaum conceived an anonymous cryptographic electronic money called ecash. Later, in 1995, he implemented it through Digicash, an early form of cryptographic electronic payments which required user software in order to withdraw notes from a bank and designate specific encrypted keys before it can be sent to a recipient. This allowed the digital currency to be untraceable by the issuing bank, the government, or any third party.