Bitcoin is the original and most popular form of cryptocurrency on the market today, and it’s therefore considered as the king. This is reflected in the amount of credible services like Luno providing a robust bitcoin wallet, the number of business which accepts the currency and how well known it is worldwide. However, while Bitcoin is often portrayed as the only form of cryptocurrency to get involved with, there are some viable alternatives out there, many of which crypto fans may not have even heard of. So, if you’re in the crypto scene and looking for a realistic Bitcoin alternative, keep reading.
Ether, in the eyes of most crypto users, is everyone’s second favorite. It’s the main rival to Bitcoin and one of the reasons for this is that they do share some similarities in some instances, however, there are plenty of differences between the two as well. Ether has more than proven itself capable of holding its own in what is now an industry rife with competition though.
Ether comes in the token form and this cryptocurrency runs on its own network. The Ethereum network operates using smart contracts, which are written by coders and then uploaded to the blockchain and put to work. The Ethereum network, very much like the network Bitcoin runs off, is open-source and therefore managed and maintained by the users themselves.
Litecoin shares many similarities with Bitcoin, none more so than its name, with many people viewing the pair as cousins. Both Bitcoin and Litecoin for the most part work in a very similar way, which automatically makes Litecoin a big attraction to those looking for a Bitcoin alternative, but there are of course differences, and it’s these differences which may see a crypto user choose one over the other.
While for many, the fact that the creator of Bitcoin is unknown, for some they prefer to know who is behind the digital currency they’re using. Litecoin’s creator, Charlie Lee, is very much in the public eye and well known. Transactions with Bitcoin are notoriously quick, but Charlie Lee, an engineer by trade, designed Litecoin to be up to four times quicker, and that’s a huge selling point. So is the fact that Bitcoin is limited to 21 million coins, while Litecoin’s limit is in excess of 80 million.
Ripple works in a completely different way to other cryptos on the market, and that’s perhaps what is its biggest attraction. The crypto world, for the most part, is unregulated, and this had led to many concerns being raised. This gave the people behind Ripple the idea to come up with a way to offer a bit of peace of mind, which was obviously lacking elsewhere.
The Ripple currency is known as XRP, with Ripple being the company who take charge of both payments and interactions. Ripple doesn’t use a public blockchain like the other cryptos mentioned in this list, instead choosing to operate through a group of nodes. There’s no mining required with Ripple either, which can be seen as both a positive and a negative.