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Cryptocurrency Is Not All About Bitcoin

Bitcoin, in many peoples’ eyes, is the number one cryptocurrency around. This is due to it being the original and a trendsetter in a way. Bitcoin really paved the way for other cryptocurrencies to be born, and thus making cryptocurrencies less about themselves, and more about the collective. Each cryptocurrency is unique, presenting people with different pros and cons. Right now, especially after Bitcoin hit the mainstream, there are well over 1500 different types of cryptocurrencies around, so let’s look at just a few.

You could say that Litecoin is a direct relation of Bitcoin, especially as they have been built using a similar code, with a few tweaks here and there. The main difference between the two is that they use different algorithms when it comes to mining. Litecoin uses the Scrypt algorithm and this means it’s a lot faster to mine, transactions are processed and confirmed quicker, and it doesn’t require the use of an expensive mining rig either. This has made Litecoin the crypto of choice for many.

Again, like Litecoin and so many others, Ethereum takes its inspiration from Bitcoin. It has the traditional blocks and hashes, but the key difference is that this cryptocurrency introduces its own unique feature, smart contracts. It has its own token known as Ether and it’s this which is used to allow developers to create and run applications on the Ethereum network. Ethereum is one of the most popular cryptos about right now, with it being split into Ethereum and Ethereum Classic, and it’s said to have the largest share in the market behind Bitcoin.

For many of us, the appeal of cryptocurrencies is the fact that they allow users to remain anonymous. Dash, formerly known as Darkcoin, takes anonymity to the next level, making it the go to crypto for those wanting complete privacy. You could say that it’s Bitcoin’s secret cousin and it gained a big following almost immediately due to how secure it was. After rebranding to Dash, which stands for Digital Cash, it carried on in the same manner due to none of is unique features such as Instant X and Darksend being lost or changed.

Zcash is a relatively new cryptocurrency to hit the market after being formed in 2016. It’s decentralised and open-source and the signs have been good so far. Like many other cryptos, the focus of Zcash is privacy and security, and this is music to many peoples’ ears as it’s often why they use cryptocurrencies in the first place. They keep transactions extra secure and users also have the choice to use shielded transactions, a feature which sees encryption using an advanced technique known as zk-SNARK.

So, as you can see, there really is more to cryptocurrency than Bitcoin, with many taking inspiration from it, and then applying their own unique twist to enhance it further. What we’re also now seeing is less need for big mining rigs and therefore faster mining and transactions, which appeals to many players active in the crypto world.

It would only be natural that the hope of many would be that the more cryptocurrencies become accepted like Bitcoin, will bring all of them more into the mainstream sphere of doing business. In fact, we are already seeing a growing trend of online businesses starting to adopt this new way of transacting.

One only has to look at the online gaming space to see the more and more Bitcoin Casinos being launched. Furthermore, there is now new platforms like Funfair which employs Ethereum technology to provide operators with the ability to have online casinos that can be produced easily, totally secure and relatively cost efficient which can truly target a global audience.

Therefore, if the trend continues, it is certain that the market will be more accepting of cryptocurrencies; thus ensuring its long term future in the financial and retail world.

Based near Windsor, England, Matthew Warner is an enthusiast for innovative, cutting edge technologies. He is a B.Eng. graduate in engineering with honors from the University of Warwick and also holds an PGCE in education degree. Matthew is a member of Mensa.
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