Cryptocurrencies are money or fiat money in the form of digital means of payment. They apply principles of cryptography to realize a distributed, decentralized and secure digital payment system. In contrast to central bank money, they are still drawn exclusively by private individuals. However, their qualification as currency is sometimes contentious.
The first publicly traded crypto-money of this type is Bitcoin, which has been traded since 2009. Since then, numerous other cryptocurrencies have been implemented (see table). In addition to the better known, more than 3000 other cryptocurrencies are in use on the model of Bitcoin, of which about 100 achieve a daily trading turnover of more than $ 1000 each at corresponding trading venues for cryptocurrencies.
Ripple is more known for its digital payment protocol than its cryptocurrency, XRP. Ripple operates on an open source and peer-to-peer decentralized platform that allows for a seamless transfer of money in any form, whether USD, Yen, litecoin, or bitcoin.
Bitcoin cash (BCC or BCH), like its predecessor bitcoin (BTC), is a peer-to-peer electronic payment system that is supported by blockchain technology and decentralized network of computers. The cryptography-based system processes, verifies and records electronic payment transactions without relying on trusted third parties such as financial institutions. Bitcoin cash lowers transaction costs by removing third parties who mediate disputes between buyers and merchants. It decreases fraud by requiring security protocols such as proof-of-work and digital signatures that are verified on a publicly-distributed ledger known as blockchain.
Bitcoin cash was created on August 1, 2017 after 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.
Thus far, it’s an unregulated financial instrument, although government and banking authorities in the United States, China, Russia and other developed countries are reviewing or implementing steps aimed at regulating cryptocurrencies.
IOTA is an open-source distributed ledger (cryptocurrency) focused on providing secure communications and payments between machines on the Internet of things. Using directed acyclic graph (DAG) technology instead of the traditional blockchain, IOTA's transactions are free regardless of the size of the transaction, confirmations times are fast, the number of transactions the system can handle simultaneously is unlimited, and the system can easily scale. IOTA was founded in 2015 by David Sønstebø, Sergey Ivancheglo, Dominik Schiener, and Dr. Serguei Popov. It began beta testing in the summer of 2016. As for November 2017, the market capitalization of IOTA is over $1.5 billion, making it the 10th largest cryptocurrency in circulation.
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.
Ethereum is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contract (scripting) functionality. It provides a decentralized Turing-complete virtual machine, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which can execute scripts using an international network of public nodes. Ethereum also provides a cryptocurrency token called "ether", which can be transferred between accounts and used to compensate participant nodes for computations performed. "Gas", an internal transaction pricing mechanism, is used to mitigate spam and allocate resources on the network
Litecoin (LTC or Ł) is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and open source software project released under the MIT/X11 license. Creation and transfer of coins is based on an open source cryptographic protocol and is not managed by any central authority. While inspired by, and in most regards technically nearly identical to Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin has some technical differences compared to Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies. Litecoin also has almost zero payment cost and facilitates payments approximately four times faster than Bitcoin
NEM is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and blockchain platform launched on March 31, 2015. Written in Java, with a C++ version in the works, NEM has a stated goal of a wide distribution model and has introduced new features to blockchain technology such as its proof-of-importance (POI) algorithm, multisignature accounts, encrypted messaging, and an Eigentrust++ reputation system. The NEM blockchain software is used in a commercial blockchain called Mijin, which is being tested by financial institutions and private companies in Japan and internationally.
Dash (formerly known as Darkcoin and XCoin) is an open source peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that aims to be the most user-friendly and most on-chain-scalable cryptocurrency in the world. On top of Bitcoin's feature set, it currently offers instant transactions (InstantSend), private transactions (PrivateSend) and operates a self-governing and self-funding model that enables the Dash network to pay individuals and businesses to perform work that adds value to the network. Dash's decentralized governance and budgeting system makes it a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO)
Monero is a secure, private, and untraceable cryptocurrency. It is open-source and accessible to all. With Monero, you are your own bank. Only you control and are responsible for your funds. Your accounts and transactions are kept private from prying eyes.
Ethereum Classic is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contract (scripting) functionality. It provides a decentralized Turing-complete virtual machine, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which can execute scripts using an international network of public nodes. Ethereum Classic also provides a value token called "classic ether", which can be transferred between participants, stored in a cryptocurrency wallet and is used to compensate participant nodes for computations performed. The classic ether token is traded on cryptocurrency exchanges under the ticker symbol ETC. Gas, an internal transaction pricing mechanism, is used to prevent spam on the network and allocate resources proportionally to the incentive offered by the request