How much do you know about the major Cryptocurrency markets?
Characteristic of Major Cryptocurrencies
There have been created thousands of Cryptocurrencies all over the world, and each of them featuring unique characteristics to make themselves more popular than others.
Although there are so many Cryptocurrencies in the world, the major and popular Cryptocurrencies that you know maybe only a few of them.
In fact, the market volume is extremely concentrated on these major and popular Cryptocurrencies.
Here, we will explain the character of each major cryptocurrency: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Ripple (XRP), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Dash (DASH), EOS (EOS), Monero (XMR), ZCash (ZEC), Stellar (XLM), Augur (REP), Gnosis (GNO), Quantum (QTM) and Cardano (ADA).
1. Bitcoin (BTC)
Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world.
Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: transaction management and money issuance are carried out collectively by the network.
The original Bitcoin software by Satoshi Nakamoto was released under the MIT license.
Most client software, derived or “from scratch”, also use open source licensing.
Bitcoin is the first successful implementation of a distributed crypto-currency, described in part in 1998 by Wei Dai on the cypherpunks mailing list.
Building upon the notion that money is any object or any sort of record, accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context, Bitcoin is designed around the idea of using cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money, rather than relying on central authorities.
Bitcoins have all the desirable properties of a money-like good.
They are portable, durable, divisible, recognizable, fungible, scarce and difficult to counterfeit.
2. Ethereum (ETH)
In many ways, Ethereum is similar to Bitcoin.
It’s a public, peer-to-peer network or blockchain with its own digital currency called Ether.
Ethereum was created by Vitalik Buterin in 2014 and the purpose of Ethereum is to be a platform on which smart contracts can be built and run.
Put very simply, Ethereum is intended to be a world computer.
Where Bitcoin stores a list of balances and transactions on its blockchain, the Ethereum blockchain is designed to store different types of data.
This data can be accessed and used by computer programs running on the Ethereum blockchain.
These programs are called decentralized apps, or apps.
Developers around the world can build and run decentralized applications on the Ethereum blockchain.
The purpose of these is to improve the industries of finance, personal information storage, governance and more by using the transparent nature of a blockchain.
3. Ethereum Classic (ETC)
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.
The Ethereum platform has been forked into two versions: “Ethereum Classic” (ETC) and “Ethereum” (ETH).
Prior to the fork, the token had been called Ethereum.
After the fork, the new tokens kept the name Ethereum (ETH), and the old tokens were renamed Ethereum Classic (ETC).
Ethereum Classic appeared as a result of disagreement with the Ethereum Foundation regarding The DAO Hard Fork.
It united members of the Ethereum community who rejected the hard fork on philosophical grounds.
4. Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Since its launch, Bitcoin faced pressure from community members on the topic of scalability.
Specifically, that the size of blocks – set at 1 megabyte (MB), or a million bytes, in 2010 – would slow down transaction processing times, thus limiting the currency’s potential, just as it was gaining in popularity.
A number of proposals have been made to deal with transaction processing over the years, often focusing on increasing block size.
Because the Bitcoin code is not managed by a central authority, changes to the code require buy-in from developers and miners.
This consensus-driven approach can lead to proposals taking a long time to finalize.
This has resulted in groups creating separate blockchain ledgers using new standards, called a fork.
Bitcoin Cash, launched in August 2017, is so far the most widely accepted fork from the original Bitcoin.
Bitcoin Cash differs from Bitcoin Classic in that it increases the block size from 1 MB to 8 MB.
It also removes Segregated Witness (SegWit), a proposed code adjustment designed to free up block space by removing certain parts of the transaction.
The goal of Bitcoin Cash is to increase the number of transactions that can be processed, and supporters hope that this change will allow Bitcoin Cash to compete with the volume of transactions that PayPal and Visa can handle by increasing the size of blocks.
5. Litecoin (LTC)
Litecoin is a peer-to-peer Internet currency that enables instant, near-zero cost payments to anyone in the world.
Litecoin is an open-source, global payment network that is fully decentralized without any central authorities.
Mathematics secures the network and empowers individuals to control their own finances.
Litecoin features faster transaction confirmation times and improved storage efficiency than the leading math-based currency.
With substantial industry support, trade volume and liquidity, Litecoin is a proven medium of commerce complementary to Bitcoin.
The rate at which transactions are confirmed: Bitcoin’s algorithm allows for one transaction to be added to the public ledger every 10 minutes, Litecoin has a faster rate of confirmation at one per 2.5 minutes.
6. Dash (DASH)
A peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that was forked out of Bitcoin to offer faster and more private transactions to users.
Dash is the first digital currency with a decentralized blockchain governance system.
Dash is a blend word for Digital Cash and its currency symbol in the markets is DASH.
Dash was launched in January 2014 as Xcoin, and then changed its name to Darkcoin.
In March 2015, Darkcoin was rebranded as Dash.
Dash was created as a fork of Bitcoin, which means it duplicated Bitcoin’s existent code and made it better by addressing the issues users faced with Bitcoin.
So apparent flaws and weaknesses in Bitcoin is absent in Dash, making both digital coins substantially different in terms of efficiency.
As an alternative to Bitcoin, Dash provides a faster and more anonymous service to its users.
Dash has a coinjoin mixing technique called PrivateSend (previously called DarkSend) which anonymizes the transactions carried out by its users.
Coinjoin mixes the transactions of multiple parties as one transaction, instead of separate transactions.
For example, three funds transfer from A to D, B to E, and C to F, will be read on the blockchain as A, B, C to D, E, F.
This way, there’s no sure way of identifying who received funds from who and in what amount.
With PrivateSend, at least three different users are required to conduct transactions which will be merged together to obscure the funds trail.
7. Monero (XMR)
Most existing cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, have transparent blockchains, meaning that transactions are openly verifiable and traceable by anyone in the world.
Furthermore, sending and receiving addresses for these transactions may potentially be linkable to a person’s real-world identity.
Monero uses cryptography to shield sending and receiving addresses, as well as transacted amounts.
Every Monero transaction, by default, obfuscates sending and receiving addresses as well as transacted amounts.
This always-on privacy means that every Monero user’s activity enhances the privacy of all other users, unlike selectively transparent cryptocurrencies (e.g. Z-Cash).
Monero is fungible.
By virtue of obfuscation, Monero cannot become tainted through participation in previous transactions.
This means Monero will always be accepted without the risk of censorship.
Monero is electronic cash that allows fast, inexpensive payments to and from anywhere in the world.
There are no multi-day holding periods and no risk of fraudulent chargebacks.
It is safe from ‘capital controls’ – these are measures that restrict the flow of traditional currencies, sometimes to an extreme degree, in countries experiencing economic instability.
8. ZCash (ZEC)
ZCash is a cryptocurrency with a decentralized blockchain that provides anonymity for its users and their transactions.
As a digital currency, ZCash is similar to Bitcoin in a lot of ways including the open-source feature, but their major differences lie in the level of privacy and fungibility that each provides.
ZCash employs a cryptographic tool called Zero-Knowledge Proof which allows two users to engage in transactions without either party revealing their addresses to the other.
Zero-knowledge proof makes ZCash transactions untraceable on its blockchain by obfuscating the addresses of both parties, as well as the amount involved in each transaction.
Because the addresses recorded on the blockchain are shielded and not the actual user’s payment address, it’s close to impossible to trace the path of any given funds to its sender or receiver.
This is unlike Bitcoin and many other blockchains which show the amount transferred from one’s actual public address to another.
Zero-knowledge proof provides a high level of fungibility given that a party involved in a transaction is not privy to the other party’s identity and hence, payment history and so cannot reject his coin payment
9. Stellar (XLM)
Stellar Network is a decentralized platform that keeps and maintains all the internet transactions between individuals and companies.
The servers of the Stellar Network have been designed to keep track and balance all these transactions.
The users of the Stellar Network basically have virtual accounts that can hold the Stellar Lumens coin.
Stellar Lumens (XLM) is a form of cryptocurrency that represents the assets of the Stellar Network.
A lumen is an equivalent of a unit of digital currency.
For although the currency is not tangible, it can be used effectively to transfer money all around the world and even facilitate various transactions in different currencies in a safe way.
The lumen was created in 2014 when the Stellar Network unveiled its assets to the public and the assets represented 100 billion Stellar Lumens.
Given that most currencies have a short form, Stellar Lumen coin can also be referred to as XLM.
The Stellar Network runs and operates all the transactions involving the Stellar Lumen coin.
While the normal centralized banking system relies on the government, the Central Bank, and corporate boards to determine the distribution of currency by printing fiat money, the decentralized Stellar Network, on the other hand, rely on the underlying servers that apply the technology of cryptography to distribute lumen coins.
10. Augur (REP)
Augur is a decentralized oracle and prediction market platform.
Users feed real world information into Augur’s contracts and Augur ensures the accuracy of this real world information by providing a financial incentive for REP token holders to correct markets they believe have been reported on incorrectly.
There are several ways users can participate in Augur: trade shares in markets, create prediction markets, or participate in the reporting system to keep the Augur oracle honest.
On Augur, market creators set the event start and end times, a designated reporter, resolution source, and settlement fee.
Traders can purchase shares in Augur markets immediately after market creation.
The Augur contracts maintain an order book for every market created, and offer shares at the current best price.
Settlement fees are paid by traders when positions are settled within a market.
After the event has occurred, the outcome is determined by the designed reporter, or ultimately, Augur’s decentralized oracle, if necessary.
REP (Reputation) token holders can participate in the Augur reporting system.
REP token holders have the ability to dispute the tentative outcome of any Augur market within 7 days of resolution by staking a dispute bond.
When doing so, the Augur market will go into a dispute round, where REP holders can stake REP tokens on one of the markets possible outcomes.
If the tentative outcome is overturned, users who participated by staking on the new winning outcome will receive a 50% ROI.
There is always a financial incentive to keep the Augur oracle reflecting reality.
11. Gnosis (GNO)
Gnosis is a decentralised cryptocurrency based on the Ethereum Protocol.
It concentrates primarily on trading in forecasting markets.
A forecasting market is a virtual market that provides information about uncertain events.
Gnosis utilizes Ethereum, a next generation blockchain protocol enabling advanced smart contracts, for its censorship resistant, globally availability, and guaranteed transparency about future operations of the platform.
With Ethereum, Gnosis can eliminate middlemen and counterparty risk.
Use cases category of Gnosis are “price discovery,” “Futarchy/Governance,” “Financial Markets,” “Insurance,” and more.
For example, auction houses can save millions of dollars with prediction/predicting market insights into variables such as where to begin auction pricing, and how much profit to guarantee to sellers.
Securities research firms can use non-monetized prediction market and obtain outside feedback on expected stock fundamentals.
In Gnosis’ Token model, fees will be charged to participants for using Gnosis as a platform every time new outcome tokens are created.
(ERC20 compatible outcome tokens are created for every event outcome.) This means that every event contract will be associated with at least two outcome tokens (for a prediction market asking “Where will Amazon locate its next headquarters?”, the outcome tokens would be a) Phoenix, b) Chicago, c) Austin, or d) other).
These platform fees can be paid in OWL tokens.
One OWL can be used to pay for the equivalent of one USD in fees, and Gnosis tokens (GNO) are the generators for OWL tokens.
12. Cardano (ADA)
Cardano is home to the Ada cryptocurrency, which can be used to send and receive digital funds.
This digital cash represents the future of money, making possible fast, direct transfers that are guaranteed to be secure through the use of cryptography.
Cardano is more than just a cryptocurrency, however, it is a technological platform that will be capable of running financial applications currently used every day by individuals, organizations and governments all around the world.
The platform is being constructed in layers, which gives the system the flexibility to be more easily maintained and allow for upgrades by way of soft forks.
After the settlement layer that will run Ada is complete, a separate computing layer will be built to handle smart contracts, the digital legal agreements that will underpin future commerce and business.
Cardano will also run decentralized applications, or dapps, services not controlled by any single party but instead operate on a blockchain.