Over the past few weeks, I’ve been writing up primers for the top 10 cryptocurrencies under Bitcoin, based on market cap. Now that those are finished, I’m putting them together here in a single, easily referenced archive. I hope you find this information useful, and I intend to keep putting these primers out I am slowly working my way down the list of top cryptocurrencies.
Ethereum is the undisputed #2 in the cryptocurrency field, with some expecting it to overtake Bitcoin in the near future. Their ERC-20 smart contract standard is used by many of top altcoins.
NEO is a centralized blockchain system designed as a platform for further projects. Their work with the Chinese government and NEO’s generation of the GAS dividend crypto both make this a strong coin.
Litecoin is the primary comptetitor to Bitcoin’s spot as a usable digital currency. It is fast, with cheap transaction fees and a robust, working network of payment options in the real world.
Bitcoin Cash is a hard fork of the original Bitcoin blockchain. They revamped the code base to allow larger blocks and faster transactions, without the decreased security of the Segregated Witness system.
Ripple is a product aimed at the financial industry, providing a lightning fast backend for bank transfers. Conventional bank transfer systems have been in place for decades and are woefully ill equipped for modern banking needs.
Carando is trying to establish their project as a cryptocurrency built from the ground up to be stable and upgrade capable. They’re looking to avoid the pitfalls of previous blockchains that have been bogged down by transaction traffic.
The Lumen cryptocurrency by Stellar is the non-profit version of Ripple’s corporate banking infrastructure. Rather than high end banking institutions, Stellar wants to provide banking to developing nations, while acting as a bridge currency for foreign exchange.
EOS is designed as a network for decentralized applications, rather than a digital currency. The EOS.io software allows the creation of applications that can be run directly from the blockchain in a secure environment.
NEM’s XEM cryptocurrency uses a unique Proof of Importance algorithm to pay out dividends. Proof of Work requires expensive hardware, while Proof of Stake requires a large investment and holding of assets. Proof of Importance rewards people who actively engage in the market.
IOTA is the only cryptocurrency on this list that does not use blockchain technology. They instead use their own Tangle network that eliminates the inherent traffic jam that comes with a blockchain system. Through parallel processes and point-of-transaction Proof of Work, their network is lightning fast.