This year the value of Bitcoin has soared, even past one gold-ounce. There are also new cryptocurrencies on the market, which is even more surprising which brings cryptocoins’ worth up to more than one hundred billion. On the other hand, the longer-term cryptocurrency-outlook is somewhat of a blur. There are squabbles of lack of progress among its core developers which make it less alluring as a long term investment and as a system of payment.
Still the most popular, Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency that started all of it. It is currently the biggest market cap at around $41 billion and has been around for the past 8 years. Around the world, Bitcoin has been widely used and so far there is no easy to exploit a weakness in the method it works. Both as a payment system and as a stored value, Bitcoin enables users to easily receive and send bitcoins. The concept of the blockchain is the basis in which Bitcoin is based. It is necessary to understand the blockchain concept to get a sense of what the cryptocurrencies are all about.
To put it simply, blockchain is a database distribution that stores every network transaction as a data-chunk called a “block.” Each user has blockchain copies so when Alice sends 1 bitcoin to Mark, every person on the network knows it.
One alternative to Bitcoin, Litecoin attempts to resolve many of the issues that hold Bitcoin down. It is not quite as resilient as Ethereum with its value derived mostly from adoption of solid users. It pays to note that Charlie Lee, ex-Googler leads Litecoin. He is also practicing transparency with what he is doing with Litecoin and is quite active on Twitter.
Litecoin was Bitcoin’s second fiddle for quite some time but things started changing early in the year of 2017. First, Litecoin was adopted by Coinbase along with Ethereum and Bitcoin. Next, Litecoin fixed the Bitcoin issue by adopting the technology of Segregated Witness. This gave it the capacity to lower transaction fees and do more. The deciding factor, however, was when Charlie Lee decided to put his sole focus on Litecoin and even left Coinbase, where’re he was the Engineering Director, just for Litecoin. Due to this, the price of Litecoin rose in the last couple of months with its strongest factor being the fact that it could be a true alternative to Bitcoin.
Vitalik Buterin, superstar programmer thought up Ethereum, which can do everything Bitcoin is able to do. However its purpose, primarily, is to be a platform to build decentralized applications. The blockchains are where the differences between the two lie. Basically, the blockchain of Bitcoin records a contract-type, one that states whether funds have been moved from one digital address to another address. However, there is significant expansion with Ethereum as it has a more advanced language script and has a more complex, broader scope of applications.
Projects began to sprout on top of Ethereum when developers began noticing its better qualities. Through token crowd sales, some have even raised dollars by the millions and this is still an ongoing trend even to this day. The fact that you can build wonderful things on the Ethereum platform makes it almost like the internet itself. This caused a skyrocketing in the price so if you purchased a hundred dollars’ worth of Ethereum early this year, it would not be valued at almost $3000.