Ripples XRP is one of the more unusual of the crypto offerings. Designed specifically for financial institutions and payment providers and recently linked with Santander it is seen as the establishments entry into the market. It has a clear purpose, to facilitate the transfer of value between entities.
Because of this purpose is was designed with some core features in mind, scalability, speed and low cost.
XRP is the most scalable big cryptocurrencies but there are some new up and comers such as IOTA which also boast unlimited scalability.
A standard money transfer across the world now can take days while an XRP transfer can take seconds. The banks want to leverage this speed in their businesses as well as use XRP as a bridge between fiat currencies.
XRP is extremely secure as you would expect from a currency backed by big financial institutions. To date there have been no issues with any XRP transaction and is handling more than 2000 transactions per second. The security comes from the XRP Ledger which records every transaction and is totally decentralised.
It is very likely that the majority of big financial businesses will adopt XRP for their international dealings because by design it is the best cryptocurrency for the job. Once that happens it will be hard for the other cryptocurrencies without a specific niche to justify their existence.
Monero(XMR) is a secure and private open-source cryptocurrency available to all, created in 2014. With Monero you have total control over your finances are privacy. Monero is a decentralized cryptocurrency, which means it is operated by a network of users. All Transactions are confirmed by the network and is the confirmation is spread across multiple users, once confirmed the transaction is added to the blockchain in an irreversible transaction.
Monero maintains your privacy by using ring signatures and ring confidential transactions, this hides the amounts and origins of transactions. These transactions are also untraceable as the details are hidden by default and cant not be linked back to a outside identity. Monero offers the benefits of a decentralized cryptocurrency without the downsides of some other cryptocurrencies.
The focus on privacy and the ease of CPU mining has also given Monero a reputation of being Blackhat friendly. Criminals and malicious online entities can use the privacy offered to move money without trace. People have also found a way to embed Monero mining software into websites as to use the CPU of the visitor to mine for them without their knowledge. One of the big players in this field is Coin-Hive which allows users to place a small piece of javacript in their site to mine Monero from everyone who visits the site.
Unlike Bitcoin based currencies Monero uses the CryptoNote Protocol which has a very different approach to privacy. With bitcoin(BTC) the whole world can see every transaction, where it came from, where it went and how much was sent. With CryptoNote these details are secret from the world. This also means all Monero really are created equal, there is no difference to each unit as they have no history. BTC coins all have a history and some may be more illicit than others, would you want a BTC that tracked back a few transactions to a big heist.
To use Monero the user needs a wallet to interact with the Monero network as well as a viewkey and a spendkey. The Monero software is open source and split into 3 parts (Wallet, Blockchain parser, GUI) and because it is open source and with the rapid growth of Monero you can expect to see third party software to follow.
Litecoin (LTC or Ł) is another peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and open source software project which was released under the MIT X11 license in 2011. Like other cryptocurrencies the transfer of coins is decentralised with no overarching authority. Instead it is handled by a cryptographic protocol.
Litecoin is for the most part identical to Bitcoin with some small technical improvements which give it the ability to handle a greater number of transactions at any given time. It is also significantly faster than Bitcoin.
Released on October 7, 2011 by Charlie Lee , Litecoin was a fork of the Bitcoin Core client. The main differences at this point was its faster block generation time, its larger coin cap and its change in hashing algorithm (replacing SHA-256 with scrypt)
In November of 2013 Litecoin reached $1 billion in market cap and August of 2017 $2 billion.
So why choose Litecoin over Bitcoin? As mentioned earlier Litecoin is much faster than Bitcoin, infact it is 4x faster when confirming transactions and managed a transaction from Zurich to San Francisco in under one second.
This extra speed may also helps with security and although on the face of it BTC should be more secure, many have suggested that by being faster it is also more secure.
As an investment Litecoin may be the more attractive option. As of writing this Litecoin is Coin for Coin significantly cheaper than BTC. This gives the perception that it has a lot more room to grow and may have much greater % gains.
Litecoin also has 4x more potential coins to be mined which on one hand gives it more capacity to be a global crypto solution, but on the other hand also means coin for coin price comparisons with BTC are misleading.
Overall Litecoin looks to be one of the better options in the crypto currency landscape and is likely to continue to grow as long as long as the overall crypto market does.
IOTA is a third generation cryptocurrency with some powerful implementers over the previous models. IOTA has zero transaction fees and unlimited scalability, two of the issues which are hampering Bitcoin heavily. IOTA used a technology called Direct Acyclic Graph(DAG), IOTA's version of the implementation is called the Tangle. This technology sets IOTA up nicely to compete in the future of micro transactions and the growing internet of things.
With the ability to do fast fee-less transactions from a computer or cellphone to anywhere with a wallet IOTA could become the new standard in everyday transactions.
The way the transactions are made free is by removing miners and having the transacting parties do the processing work for the transaction. For normal transactions this is a very small piece of work and even older computers and cellphones should have no problem.
IOTA has total fixed supply of 2 779 530 283 277 761 units with zero inflation.
This makes micro /nano transactions possible and if it ever reaches the point where a single unit is to expensive for a micro transaction the developers have said they can turn on decimal points wiout much trouble.
Iota is grouped as following with the Mi being the standard unit and what most sites use for valuation against the dollar.
IOTA is still rather new as a cryptocurrency and has had some issue and there are areas for improvement.
The transaction speed was quite slow in the beginning but it has gone from hours to minuets while bitcoin has gone the opposite direction.
The Wallet technology is still new and clunky but is constantly being improved by the devs and the technology allows for 3rd party wallets to be developed so once IOTA gets more traction you can expect a whole slew of new wallet options to choose from.
Currently at time of writing the major issue facing IOTA is lack of support on the trading platforms with only Bitfinex offering it. Once more platforms adopt IOTA that could be the push it needs to take it mainstream.
Other platforms do want to adopt IOTA but it is not a blockchain currency like the others big cryptocurrencies and so needs some extra work to be incorporated . But once this work starts being completed IOTA could see huge gains and uptake and getting your hands on some before that happens could be a wise move indeed.
Ethereum is an open-source , blockchain-based distributed contract system. It provides a decentralized virtual machine, the Ethereum Virtual Machine(EVM), which uses an international network of public nodes. Ethereum facilitates the transfer of cryptocurrency tokens called ether. An internal transaction pricing mechanism(GAS), is used to allocate resources on the network and prevent spam.
Vitalik Buterin proposed Ethereum in 2013 and managed to aquire funding mid 2014 by an online crowdsale. Ethereum was launched 30 July 2015, with the first 11.9 million coins going to the contributers of the crowdsale.
In 2016 Ethereum was forked into two blockchains, Ethereum Classic and Ethereum. This was known as The DAO hard fork
The Ethereum Cryptocurrency blockchain is called ether. It is considered one of the big 3 along side Bitcoin and LiteCoin It is listed under ETH and traded on the majority of cryptocurrency exchanges. It is also used to pay for transaction fees and computational services on the Ethereum network.
Ethereum Virtual Machine(EVM)
The EVM is a “runtime environment for smart contracts in Ethereum” as defined in the Ethereum Yellow Paper by Gavin Wood. It is sandboxed and completely isolated from the network, filesystem or other processes of the host computer system. Every Ethereum node in the network runs an EVM and executes the same instructions. Ethereum Virtual Machines have been written in many languages including C++, Java, Python Ruby and Go amongst others.
One of the main points Ethereum distinguishes itself from Bitcoin is it's contract system. Smart contracts are an exchange mechanisms that carry out the direct transaction of value between untrusted agents. In Ethereum, contracts are treated as autonomous scripts or applications that are stored in the blockchain for later execution by the EVM. These contracts are paid for in Ether.
"Bitcoin Cash brings sound money to the world, fulfilling the original promise of Bitcoin as "Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash". Merchants and users are empowered with low fees and reliable confirmations. The future shines brightly with unrestricted growth, global adoption, permissionless innovation, and decentralized development."
On Chain Scalability - Bitcoin Cash follows the Nakamoto roadmap of global adoption with on-chain scaling. As a first step, the blocksize limit has been made adjustable, with an increased default of 8MB. Research is underway to allow massive future increases.
New Transaction Signatures - A new SigHash type provides replay protection, improved hardware wallet security, and elimination of the quadratic hashing problem.
Emergency Difficulty Adjustment (EDA) - Responsive Proof-of-Work difficulty adjustment allows miners to migrate from the legacy Bitcoin chain as desired, while providing protection against hashrate fluctuations.
Decentralized Development - With multiple independent teams of developers providing software implementations, the future is secure. Bitcoin Cash is resistant to political and social attacks on protocol development. No single group or project can control it. The bitcoin-ml mailing list is a good venue for making proposals for changes that require coordination across development teams.
Bitcoin cash, is very similar to its predecessor Bitcoin. It is a peer-to-peer electronic payment system that is supported by blockchain technology and decentralized network of computers. Bitcoin streamlines the transaction process by cutting out the mediation between buyers and sellers.
Created on August 1, 2017 Bitcoin cash was a hard-fork split from bitcoin. BCC features a block size limit of 8 megabytes (MB) compared to bitcoin’s 1 MB. The 8 MB block size limit enables BCC miners to process more transactions on the payment network. Proponents argue that BCC’s larger block size leads to faster transactions, lower fees and improved scalability. Bitcoin cash is not backed by any government or central bank.
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and also a digital payment system invented by Satoshi Nakamoto and released in 2009.
Bitcoin has seen a steady growth since 2009 followed by a more rapid growth in recent months (as of June 2017). It has been gathering a lot more media recognition, this and its soaring prices has garnered the attention of the general public.
How does it work:
Bitcoin is a peer to peer system which means users make direct transfers with each other without the need of intermediary. The transactions are then verified by nodes on the network and are recorded on a public ledger known as a blockchain. The maintenance of this blockchain is distributed across random nodes making the system extremely secure and hard to hack.
New Bitcoins are obtained through mining which becomes ever more difficult as new coins are found. This mining doubles up as maintenance of the blockchains. Currently it requires a large amount of specialised equipment to have any hope of mining a significant amount.
Bitcoin wallets store the information necessary to transact bitcoins. Due to the nature of the system, bitcoins are inseparable from the blockchain transaction ledger. So while practically wallets hold your bitcoins in reality they hold your digital credentials for your bitcoin holdings and allow you to spend or access them.
There are a few types of wallets available.
Online wallets are where a company will host the wallet for you and provide an interface for you to interact with the wallet and access from anywhere. They are convenient and good for people starting out with cryptocurrency but do open you up to wallet thefts if the people running the service decide to shut down and run with your money.
These wallets store the credentials offline. Examples being paper printouts or data files on flash drives.
These clients verify transactions directly on a local copy of the blockchain (over 110GB June 2017), or a subset of the blockchain (around 2GB.) Due to the size of these this type of client is not suitable for all users and may only be beneficial to traders and businesses.
Lightweight clients consult with a full client to make transactions without a local copy of the blockchain. This makes them much faster and easier to use for general users.
Transaction fees are optional but miners can choose which transactions to process and prioritise getting the higher fees. Fees are based on the storage size of the generated transaction, which is dependent on the number of inputs used to create the transaction.
Value in BTC
At $100 per BTC
Blockchain blocks are limited to one megabyte. This limit has created issues for transaction processing, such as increasing transaction fees and delayed processing of transactions larger than a block. Bitcoin Classic and Bitcoin Unlimited aim to solve these issues/