Bitcoin prices have peaked at an all time high of $15,366 today, zooming past $14,000 early morning, and that number just keeps on climbing. It’s a stark rise from a cryptocurrency that was worth a measly $12 in 2013, and has since challenged expert claims that it’s a “fad” or an investment bubble.
Of course, at this point it makes absolutely no sense for you to invest in the currency, despite reports that Nasdaq may be attempting bitcoin futures maybe even in next year’s second quarter. Because of how safe it is from fraud, as well as being in finite quantity and hard to “mine”, the prices are only expected to climb higher in the foreseeable future.
Unfortunately, it’s also only valuable to other people looking to buy some. And that’s why the cryptocurrency rivals are now gaining popularity.
Ether tokens are mined just like Bitcoins using a blockchain network called Ethereum. Created in part by a former Bitcoin Monthly writer, Ethereum was launched in 2014 with a goal to further decentralise than Bitcoin. Ethereum is an open platform that borrows a lot from Bitcoin. Here, instead of people just earning tokens for donating their processing power to the blockchain, they can also collect fees from developers that plug into the blockchain to run other applications. It’s currently trading at $426.
Ripple, launched in 2012 by former bitcoin developers, it’s considered to be the successor. In fact, banks across the world are already accepting it as a worldwide payment option. Ripple isn’t just a currency like Bitcoin, but is instead a means through which any currency can be traded. It’s currently trading at $0.2232
IOTA is one of the newest cryptocurrencies around, and in fact doesn’t use a blockchain. Instead it uses an alternative ledger system called Tangle, and has even partnered with Microsoft, among other companies. It’s currently trading at $3.55.
Dash, which was originally launched as Xcoin in January 2014 (later Darkcoin and then Digital Cash) is a cryptocurrency focused on privacy above all else. It operates a dual system with people mining coins being overseen by “masternodes”. These are composed of a volunteer network across the world that signs off on transactions. It’s currently trading at $726.62
Launched in 2011 by a former Google employee, it’s been called a slightly cheaper, more accessible version of Bitcoin. Instead of Bitcoin’s 10 minutes, Litecoin processes a bloc every 2.5 minutes, meaning transactions are verified faster. It’s aimed at people who have a large number of transactions to authenticate as opposed to large sums. It’s currently trading at $101.64.