The rise of the decentralized digital currency market has brought about a lot of confusion. There are so many different options out there, and it can be difficult to tell which one is best for you.
Bitcoin is the original decentralized digital currency, and as such it has been a pioneer in the space. It remains the most popular and widely used cryptocurrency to date. Bitcoin’s current market cap of $71 billion makes it by far the largest of any digital currency on this list, with over 38 million users worldwide (as of September 2018). In addition, its price has remained relatively stable despite recent price fluctuations that have affected other cryptocurrencies. How to buy bitcoin? You can trade them from a bitcoin exchange easily. “It can be traded 24/7 and is purchasable in dollar terms,” as per SoFi experts.
Ethereum’s cryptocurrency, ether (ETH), is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Vitalik Buterin created Ethereum in 2013, and he wanted to build a decentralized platform for smart contracts. In other words, Ethereum allows users to execute programs without a third party overseeing them. Ethereum has been used to create new cryptocurrencies and build decentralized applications (DApps).
Litecoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and open-source software project released under the MIT/X11 license. In many ways, it’s very similar to Bitcoin. The main difference between Litecoin and Bitcoin is that Litecoin has a much faster block generation rate and hence offers a faster transaction confirmation (2.5 minutes).
In addition to technical differences, Litecoin also has some other notable differences when compared with Bitcoin:
- A much larger total coin supply of 84 million LTC; BTC has 21 million coins total.
- There are four times as many litecoins in circulation as bitcoins; however, they’re worth less on average because they’re easier to mine.
Monero is a decentralized, open-source cryptocurrency that was launched in April 2014. Monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol, unlike many cryptocurrencies and uses ring signatures and stealth addresses to obfuscate transactions.
Monero uses a public ledger to record transactions while new units are created through mining. Miners are rewarded with transaction fees and the newly created Monero. The Monero mining difficulty adjusts depending on how much mining power is available at any given moment on the network—as overall computational power increases or decreases, so does the difficulty level of finding valid hashes for blocks (and, as such, coins).
Dash is a decentralized digital currency known as “Digital Cash.” It was the first decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) and was launched in 2014. Dash uses a two-tier network consisting of miners and masternodes to achieve its goals of privacy, instant transactions and governance.
Masternodes are servers that perform different tasks like PrivateSend, InstantSend and Governance functions. Masternodes are required to hold 1000 Dash collateral (equivalent to around USD 1 million at current prices), which helps keep the system free from malicious attacks or tampering attempts by hackers or other parties looking to disrupt it for their own gain.
So, what are the best decentralized digital currencies? The ones that you’re most comfortable with, of course! Hopefully, this article must have helped give you some insight into what that might look like for your unique situation. Remember: you all have your own reasons for investing in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. So don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise!