For new and experienced traders alike, there’s no denying that Bitcoin is the most commonly known and widely understood cryptocurrency of them all. Despite this, however, there are a number of ‘altcoins’ that have the potential to give their predecessor a run for its money. With bitcoin currently on a downward run and more and more of the top crypto trading platform companies offering cross-currency trading, could there be another coin that proves stronger than the original? We’re exploring exactly that below.
What is an altcoin?
In simple terms, an altcoin is simply a cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin, though they often have different processing methods, algorithms and more. Altcoins tend to fill gaps that Bitcoin may have left or improve upon weaknesses that the original cryptocurrency has proven to have over the years. While some have been around since the earlier days of Bitcoin’s growth, others are being introduced with every passing day and determining the strength of each can be difficult to keep up with. However, there are a few coins, in particular, that stand out from the crowd as alternative investments, which you can find out below.
What are the strongest competitors?
Like any currency across the globe, the market worth, cap and more can all determine that strength but with cryptocurrencies, the project itself can also make a huge difference. While GDP or USD is simply a form of money for their dedicated country, cryptocurrencies often have a few more layers to it than that. In most cases, the coin operates within a blockchain project – take Ripple and Ethereum for example – so determining the potential behind each one can be difficult. However, going off of worth and popularity alone, here are some of the strongest coins and competitors for Bitcoin:
Litecoin is perhaps the closest to Bitcoin in terms of operating methods but was created in an attempt to fix Bitcoin’s downfalls and fix them it has. Bitcoin was originally created with fast transaction times, low fees and more, but with more and more people jumping on the Bitcoin wagon, Litecoin has certainly proven that its mission to improve all of these areas has been successful. Having started with these improvements, even a sudden influx of popularity could still leave this coin with a better system than Bitcoin, but as it stands, Litecoin is only worth $98.03 compared to Bitcoin’s $6584.78 (at the time of writing). This difference isn’t all bad, however. Due to this lower price and arguably more stable market, the price tends not to fluctuate quite as much as its predecessor.
Ethereum isn’t actually the cryptocurrency here – Ether is. Ethereum is the network from which this coin can operate, specifically designed to allow users to complete smart contracts and other DApps (decentralised applications) without the need for third-party interference in any way. Smart contracts allow two parties to form a contract and have one side of the contract automatically filled once the initial half of the contract has been completed – this can reduce fraud and create a much more trustworthy contract system, and the same applies to DApps. It currently trades at $499.81 at the time of writing, though it has reached highs of over $1,100 in the past, providing just how valuable this coin could be in the future.
Ripple is another coin within a platform with something unique to offer and has even been adopted by banks across the globe. The RippleNet payment network has been set up in an attempt to allow fast, low cost and trustworthy domestic and international payments. While the worth hasn’t quite towered as high as Ethereum, Litecoin or Bitcoin, it’s worth of $0.552025 is a much more realistic cost for large financial institutions looking to use the system. Amazon has even been rumoured to be considering partnering with this cryptocurrency in the near future.
Bitcoin’s altcoins may not be on the way to overtaking their predecessor on price, but in interest and strength, there are a few strong contenders regardless. From Ethereum and Ripple offering unique ways of completing contracts and large transactions to Litecoin offering a ‘new and improved’ version of Bitcoin, this is only the start of a potentially enriched cryptocurrency market in the future regardless of Bitcoin’s success.