With its decentralized peer-to-peer model, Bitcoin has not only set the trend but also become the de facto standard for cryptocurrencies, inspiring an ever-growing legion of imitators and spin-off projects.
We’ll look at some of the most popular digital currencies that aren’t Bitcoin in the sections below. To begin, let me state that this is not an exhaustive list. In September 2021, there were over 6,500 cryptocurrencies in circulation, which is one reason for this. 1 While the majority of these cryptocurrencies have little to no support or trading activity, a tiny number of them have a large following and significant investor interest.
1. Ethereum (ETH)
With Ethereum, you can create and execute smart contracts and decentralized applications (dapps) without the need for downtime, fraud, control or third-party interference. Ethereum is the #1 Bitcoin alternative on our list because it is a decentralized software platform. Ethereum wants to create an open-source system for storing and exchanging value that anybody on the planet can use no matter where they are in the world or what religion they belong to. 2 Because of this, people who live in nations where government infrastructure and identity are weak can now open bank accounts, get loans, buy insurance, and a variety of other financial services.
2. Litecoin (LTC)
Established in 2011, Litecoin was among the first cryptocurrencies to follow in the footsteps of Bitcoin and has been termed the “silver to Bitcoin’s gold.
Charlie Lee, a former Google developer, and MIT alumnus, started the company.
Scrypt, the proof-of-work algorithm used by Litecoin, can be decoded by consumer-grade CPUs because it is built on an open-source worldwide payment network. The block production rate of Litecoin is faster than that of Bitcoin, therefore transactions are confirmed more quickly.
3. Cardano (ADA)
Engineers, mathematicians, and cryptography experts used a research-based approach to create the “Ouroboros proof-of-stake” cryptocurrency known as Cardano.
Ethereum was co-founded by Charles Hoskinson, one of the project’s five original founders. After some disagreements with the direction Ethereum was taking, he left and helped create Cardano.
Cardano’s blockchain was created through a process of extensive testing and peer review. Over 90 papers have been published by the team behind the project’s experts on a variety of blockchain-related topics. This research is the bedrock on which Cardano is founded.
4. Polkadots (DOT)
To make it easier for different blockchains to work together, Polkadot is a proof-of-stake cryptocurrency. By linking permission and permissionless blockchains, oracles, and other systems, its protocol facilitates cross-system collaboration. The relay chain of Polkadot is critical to its interoperability with other networks. Parachains, or blockchains with their own native currency, can also be created for specialized purposes using the technology. 12
5. Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
The fact that Bitcoin Cash (BCH) was one of the first and most popular hard forks of the original Bitcoin makes it notable in the history of alternative currencies. There is a rift in the bitcoin community because of disagreements and discussions between developers and miners. Decentralized digital currencies require general consensus for large code alterations. The mechanism for this process differs from cryptocurrency to cryptocurrency due to the decentralized nature of digital currencies.
6. Stellar (XLM)
Stellar is a decentralized open blockchain network designed to facilitate large-scale financial transactions. Banking and investment firms can now complete massive transactions in a matter of seconds without the need for middlemen and at a fraction of the cost, they used to. Previously, these transactions took days to complete, required multiple intermediaries, and were extremely expensive for all parties involved.
7. Chainlink (LINK)
Decentralized oracle network Chainlink connects Ethereum smart contracts to external data sources. There is no way to securely link blockchains to third-party programs. For smart contracts, the ability to communicate with external data is a key benefit of using Chainlink’s decentralized oracles.
8. Binance Coin (BNB)
To pay for trading charges on the Binance Exchange, users utilize Binance Coin, a utility coin. Token holders get a discount on their trades. Binance’s decentralized exchange is built on top of the Binance Coin network. The Binance exchange, founded by Changpeng Zhao, is one of the world’s most widely used in terms of trade volume.
9. Tether (USDT)
A popular stablecoin is Tether, which has a market value tied to the value of one currency or another external reference point in order to reduce the risk of price volatility. Tether and other stablecoins try to smooth out price variations in order to attract users who would otherwise be leery of digital currencies due to their frequent bouts of high volatility, particularly big ones like Bitcoin. To put it another way, the price of Tether varies in lockstep with the US dollar. The technique makes it easier and faster for users to send money from other cryptocurrencies to US dollars than if they converted to ordinary currency directly.
10. Monero (XMR)
Monero is a decentralized cryptocurrency that can’t be tracked. It’s also secure and private. Since its creation in April 2014, this open-source cryptocurrency has drawn the attention of both cryptography professionals and casual users. Donations and community involvement are the only sources of funding for the creation of this coin. Using a concept called “ring signatures,” Monero’s creators focused on decentralization and scalability while also providing absolute privacy.
Cryptocurrencies are on the rise for a variety of reasons.
Most cryptocurrencies today can trace their ancestry back to Bitcoin, which was created using open-source software and boasted a censorship-resistant design. Everyone has access to the source code, which means that anyone may copy it and make changes to it to create a new coin. It also means that anyone can join or do business on the network.
What makes Bitcoin the most widely used cryptocurrency in the world?
The original cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is still the market leader in terms of usage and economic value, despite the emergence of thousands of rivals. With a market cap of about $1 trillion by September 2021, each coin will be worth about $50,000.