A Mother and All Her Offspring
If you haven’t noticed already, we are in the middle of a cryptocurrency explosion. Since Bitcoin (the “mother” of all cryptocurrencies) first hit the stage in 2009, hundreds of other cryptocurrencies have been born. These lesser-known coins, referred to as altcoins, all project themselves as a better alternative to their almighty predecessor. All of them are working to solve any perceived limitations that Bitcoin presents. With hundreds of altcoins on the market, and new ones popping up every day, how does one determine which to trade? In this blog post, Coin Cloud compares and contrasts the top four (4) cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency and undoubtedly the largest in the world. It is the cryptocurrency that ‘gave life’ to all the others. In fact, several altcoins cannot be traded without using Bitcoin as the base.
Bitcoin is built on the blockchain and is backed by a large network of developers all over the world. There is no centralized entity that verifies transactions, which are instead determined by the network itself.
Because Bitcoin was first to market, it has the most brand recognition and is the most widely-adopted cryptocurrency in the world. Some of the largest multinational companies in the world, like Starbucks and Microsoft, have begun accepting the crypto.
Bitcoin also has the most liquidity of any other cryptocurrency. This means that it can very easily be bought and sold using cash.
Bitcoin can be bought and sold using an online exchange, or in person at a Bitcoin ATM. For online purchases, users must provide debit/credit or bank account info. For Bitcoin ATMs, users are able to buy and sell using cash while only sharing minimal personal information. Find the nearest Bitcoin ATM to you here.
In such a decentralized market, Ripple is one of the more centralized cryptocurrencies. It is still considered to be a cryptocurrency, but the way it was built is very different from Bitcoin and other altcoins. Unlike Bitcoin, which is backed by a worldwide network of developers, Ripple was built by Ripple Labs and continues to be backed by it to this day.
In addition, Ripple is supported by some of the largest financial institutions in the world, such as Santander, UBS, American Express, RBC, etc. As a result, the cryptocurrency is less susceptible to any government regulations that could be passed in the future. However, this also means that these institutions have a hand in the operation, holding Ripple at the mercy of a third party, unlike Bitcoin which is completely decentralized.
When Bitcoin came out, the equipment needed to mine it was extremely expensive, making it difficult for most people to get involved. To combat this, Litecoin was born. The founders of Litecoin built an algorithm that allowed anyone with a computer to mine their own coins.
Litecoin uses the same decentralized system as Bitcoin to validate transactions. The main difference between the two is that Litecoin can confirm transactions faster than Bitcoin. Because of this, Litecoin is able to process higher transaction volumes. However, this means that Litecoin’s blockchain will be significantly longer.
Like Bitcoin, Ethereum is built on a decentralized blockchain network. However, there are some significant differences between the two. Bitcoin was built solely to be used for peer-to-peer transactions whereas Ethereum was built to exist far outside of just financial transactions. Ethereum’s technology allows developers to build and deploy different types of decentralized applications that use the Ether coin as a means of fueling the network. For example, applications that are built on Ethereum can be paid for by its users with the Ether coin.
Ethereum has solidified its place in the crypto world, having taken over market share from all of the major altcoins except Bitcoin. Ethereum is moving forward and has a bright future ahead of it. Decentralized applications have the ability to disrupt some of the world’s longest-standing industries.
Which Coin Should You Choose?
At the end of the day, there is no “right” cryptocurrency to choose. Before investing, be sure to do your due diligence. Make sure you understand what the cryptocurrency is and the problem it’s looking to solve. Each coin has its own mission, so it’s up to you as the investor to do your research before making a purchase. If you are considering buying Bitcoin, we at Coin Cloud are experts and can assist you throughout the process. Please feel free to reach out to our live support team at any time.
What Is Coin Cloud?
Coin Cloud is a Bitcoin ATM company headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. With over 627 locations nationwide, Coin Cloud boasts one of the largest and fastest-growing networks of two-way Bitcoin ATMs in the world. Our network has helped more than 144,000 customers buy and sell cryptocurrency since opening our doors in 2014. To find your nearest Bitcoin ATM, please visit CoinCloudATM.com.