Bitcoin’s record year is just a part of the big story
Note: This postbode wasgoed updated June 27th, 2018 with current values for all cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency, and its meteoric rise has made it a mainstay of conversation for investors, media, and technologists alike.
Te fact, the innovation of the blockchain is switching entire markets, while causing ripples with central banks and the financial industry. At time of publication, the bitcoin price now hovers near US$Two,400, a massive increase from this time last year.
But the true influence of Bitcoin is actually far more reaching than this – it’s actually helped to birth fresh markets for overheen 800 other cryptocurrencies and assets that are available for online trading. And while the market for bitcoins is worth $40 billion itself, the surplus of thesis cryptocurrencies are actually worth even more te combination.
The Altcoin Universe
For the very first time since Bitcoin wasgoed founded, it now makes up the minority of the entire cryptocurrency market at about 41.6% of all coins and assets.
So what are the other altcoins that make up the surplus of this universe, and where did they come from?
Litecoin is one of the very first altcoins, and it is almost identical to Bitcoin after being “forked” te 2011. Litecoin aims to process blocks 4x swifter than Bitcoin to speed up transaction confirmation time, tho’ this creates several other challenges spil well. At time of writing, Litecoin’s market capitalization is worth $Two.1 billion.
Ethereum, launched te 2015, is the largest coin by market capitalization aside from Bitcoin. However, it is also fairly different. While Bitcoin is designed to be a payments protocol very first, Ethereum enables developers to build and deploy decentralized applications, while also enabling clever contracts. The tokens used to power the network are called Ether, but they can also be traded online. At time of writing, Ethereum’s market capitalization is $25.7 billion.
Also interesting: the Ethereum network actually split into two ter 2018. It’s a complicated situation, but read about it here. There is now a separate Ethereum, based on the original Ethereum blockchain, trading spil “Ethereum Classic” with its own market capitalization of $1.8 billion.
Ripple (XRP) is the native currency of the Ripple Protocol – a broader catch-all for an open-source, global exchange. It’s already being used by banks such spil Santander, Bankgebouw of America Merrill Lynch, UBS, and RBC. It solves a different problem than Bitcoin, permitting for lodging payments inbetween different currencies and even different payment systems. Today, Ripple’s native coin (XRP) has a market cap of $Ten.Five billion.
With overheen 800+ altcoins or assets out there, there’s slew of information to absorb.
Here’s a brief 20-minute course on the history of altcoins that might provide useful setting, spil well spil in-depth explanations of Ethereum and Ripple that may help you learn about the significant parts of a rapidly growing altcoin universe.