If you stopped the average person on the street and asked them to name a cryptocurrency, they would probably name Bitcoin. This is because the token has become synonymous with cryptocurrency as a whole and is the most famous one in existence.
It was first created in 2008 as a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency. Since then, it has become a pacesetter for the thousands of altcoins in the market today. Even ‘altcoin’ as a term means tokens besides Bitcoin and encompasses thousands of tokens.
Cryptocurrency, as a whole, has expanded over the last decade. Bitcoin, however, is still leading other tokens in terms of community adoption, market capitalization, user base, and popularity.
Keep in mind that market capitalization is not the only factor to consider when ranking digital coins. Sometimes, you would want to invest in important cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin that come with a higher profit margin. You may also want to invest in some of the most important cryptos that are cheaper to acquire and have a lively community and attractive prospects.
If you are a cryptocurrency miner, then you want to experiment with mining different coins to figure out which combination works best for your mining hardware.
So what are these fabulous altcoins to put your money into? In this article, we will look at 13 alternatives to Bitcoin and find out why they can be a good investment option.
13 most important cryptos other than Bitcoin
Let’s look at 13 important crypto coins other than Bitcoin that are good Bitcoin alternatives and have the potential to join your investment and mining portfolio.
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Ethereum is the most popular crypto after Bitcoin and has always been a well-known alternative for Bitcoin. It has dominated the market for years and has a large user base, which easily makes it one of the best and most important cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin. Currently, the decentralized platform of this Bitcoin alternative occupies the second position in market capitalization.
Ethereum is based on Decentralized Applications (Dapps) and smart contracts. These are built in such a way that investors and traders can have a safe and inclusive environment for exploring Ethereum.
Dapps are web apps backed by Ethereum’s smart contracts. They do not use a centralized server or database but rely on the blockchain as a backend source for storage and program logic. This results in applications that can be deployed on the front-end by anyone. They can then connect it to the public Ethereum network.
Ethereum launched a new policy in 2014 that saw to their market growth today — launching pre-sale tokens of Ether was widely accepted by investors.
However, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. In 2016, an attack on the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) led to the splitting of Ethereum. Users were exploiting a DAO code vulnerability, which let them funnel one-third of the DAO’s funds to a different account. After the attack, the altcoin was hard forked into two different altcoins — Ethereum and Ethereum classic.
Ethereum continues to grow and remains a popular altcoin. The fact that its team is focused on running DApps without any subsequent fraud, downtime, or third-party interference makes it a favorite altcoin for both investors and miners. It could easily be one of the best cryptocurrencies to invest in now.
2. Ripple (XRP)
Ripple was introduced as an altcoin in 2012. It works as a real-time payment platform where you can make payments locally and internationally.
The transaction fee on Ripple is less, making it one of the most used platforms to settle payments. The platform is transparent, secured, and totally decentralized.
Unlike thousands of cryptocurrencies in existence, you do not mine Ripple’s XRP. All the coins in circulation were pre-mined before the cryptocurrency was launched in 2012.
XRP is used as a transaction fee to stop unwanted transactions happening on the network. Parties wanting to make updates to the Ripple protocol ledger must pay in XRP. Ripple’s XRP amount is as less as 0.0001 XRP. This fee is independent of consumption, which means that it goes to no one and is “burned”, which leads to a constant decrease in the existing XRPs.
The payment protocols that operate at Ripple are often referred to as “currency agnostic”. This implies that you can feed any currency to the platform and get any currency out. This built-in currency exchange makes Ripple a highly useful tool for individuals, corporations, and other financial institutions.
Ripple is incredible fast. It takes only a few seconds to transfer XRPs anywhere in the world. This is another reason why Ripple is one of the best Bitcoin alternatives.
Litecoin is a hard fork of bitcoin. The digital currency was built on the existing principle of Bitcoin.
Litecoin was launched in 2011. Its operation is not too different from that of Bitcoin. At some points, people referred to Litecoin as “the silver to Bitcoin’s gold”.
Litecoin takes 2.5 minutes to process a single block against Bitcoin’s 10 minutes. This speed also affects a purchase made through Litecoin as the time it takes for Litecoin coins to change addresses is much shorter.
Another key difference between Bitcoin and Litecoin is that of their maximum supply or the number of individual coins that can be created. For Litecoins, the number of coins stands at 84,000,000 LTC, whereas the number of Bitcoins is 21,000,000 BTC.
Litecoin uses an open-source network for transactions like most other digital currencies. Its decentralized payment scheme ensures that no central government or community affects the transactions on its platform.
Miners can mine Litecoin from their homes using just a CPU or a GPU.
The majority of coin exchanges now support LTC — both in fiat and cryptocurrency.
Tether was officially launched in 2014 as a digital tool to reduce volatility in the crypto market, and now it is one of the most popular stable coins.
You shouldn’t be surprised to see this coin in the top five position when it comes to market capitalization. Tether is wholly built on a blockchain set-up, which facilitates the use of fiat currencies in the digital world.
Every Tether is 100% backed by the reserves of the company. These reserves may include currency in the traditional form along with cash equivalents. These may consist of other receivables as well as assets such as loans and affiliate entities.
The value of the reserves at Tether is updated and published daily. It usually matches or exceeds all the Tether in circulation.
Several hundred coins were launched after Bitcoin made it to the market in 2009. A lot of them were just forked from Bitcoin. Some were soft forks, while others were customized to great extents.
BCH is one of the most successful coins to have forked out of BTC. It’s a hard fork of Bitcoin. Usually, forks result from debates between cryptocurrency miners and developers. If there’s a general consensus on changing the underlying code of a particular altcoin, the result is what we refer to as ‘fork’ in digital currency.
This was precisely what happened in August 2017 when BCH was created.
One important issue that led to BCH’s creation was scalability in the Bitcoin network. Scalability is a crypto term that refers to the number of blocks that can be mined on a particular platform.
BTC’s scalability is one megabyte and BCH’s was increased to eight megabytes upon creation. The ideology is simple: larger blocks will increase the rate at which transactions are processed. This implies that BCH is eight times faster than Bitcoin.
6. Libra (LIBRA) – unlaunched
In 2018, a rumor took over the media that Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook was launching his own digital currency called Libra. There were speculations that if Mark launched the purportedly Facebook-owned cryptocurrency, the whole world would not hesitate to accept it due to Facebook’s large user base.
On June 18, 2019, what sounded like a rumor for almost one year was confirmed by Facebook. The whitepaper containing details of the operation of Libra coin was made public.
This alternative to Bitcoin is aimed at providing people worldwide access to safer and affordable financial services. It’s supposed to be scalable, fast, secure, and stable.
When it eventually launches, Libra would attract the attention of many cryptocurrency miners and investors. The trust Facebook users have on the platform will make it easier for people to adoptt the crypto brand. Besides, Facebook is known for barrier-shattering innovations.
7. Monero (XMR)
The cryptocurrency market welcomed Monero in April 2014. For the past six years, Monero has managed to be amongst the top cryptocurrencies as its market capitalization shot up. Its features definitely make it a great Bitcoin alternative.
Monero is one of the leading open-source cryptocurrencies. The transactions on the platform are safe, untraceable, and secure.
This top cryptocurrency launched with a focus on scalability and decentralization. It has grown out of donations and unwavering community support.
Monero uses a technique known as “ring signatures” which keeps all users anonymous.
Monero also has a vast support network that explains in detail how to set things up and create a wallet so that you can start transacting.
Binance cryptocurrency exchange market had existed long before the official token was launched in 2017. The growth of this altcoin is as a result of the fact that the platform is one of the largest exchange platforms in the world of cryptocurrency.
Binance has a world-class matching engine that can make up to 1,400,000 orders every second. This makes the platform extremely quick, efficient, and reliable. The interface is also easy and intuitive, and most of the tasks can be performed in a few clicks.
The token allows users from different trading platforms to trade efficiently without any fear of scam or security threat. Binance coin is not limited to transaction fee facilitation. You can also use the coin to pay for goods and services online. If you’re traveling from one country to another, you can pay for flights and book tickets with Binance coin online on some platforms.
Stellar is a reputable cryptocurrency that enables users to trade their assets globally. Investors that are looking at long-term benefits and a considerable amount of return can use Stellar as its open network for storing and moving money.
Its global payment apps, APIs, and SDKs empower a small company or organization to reach out to much bigger banks. Its built-in,decentralized exchange for cryptocurrencies, securities, and forex makes it easier to swap between tokens using its built-in protocol.
In a split second, currencies and tokens are traded globally on the platform without any hitch.
While some other altcoins charge high amounts for transactions to be effected, Stellar charges almost nothing for transactions. The platform charges as low as $0.000001 to effect transactions.
Stellar has progressed to create one of the largest market communities, where users can use the coin to buy goods and services.
NEM is another alternative to Bitcoin cryptocurrency. It was introduced in the middle of 2014 and was written in Java. Since its official launch, this altcoin has continued to grow in market size.
NEM is known for its flexible and customizable solutions that are simple, powerful, and come with plenty of built-in features. It also has experienced zero downtime or chain hacks and has not suffered any major outages since 2015. So far, it is one of the most stable alternatives to Bitcoin.
NEM comes with other features such as an encrypted messaging system, multiple signature accounts, and the infamous Eigentrust ++ reputation system that makes the platform engaging for investors and traders.
11. Zcash (ZEC)
The developers of Zcash have been able to develop sophisticated technologies that are more advanced than Bitcoin. Like other crypto platforms, Zcash aims to ensure optimum security and privacy for its users.
Zcash is open-source, less complicated, and transparent with transactions that are very easy to execute. Its underlying protocol came out of research by scientists from MIT, Technion, Tel Aviv University, Johns Hopkins, and UC Berkeley.
Every transaction made in ZEC is recorded in the blockchain and user identity is kept anonymous. With the introduction of the Equihash algorithm, transactions are being kept safe from the reach of scammers.
Zcash also comes with selective disclosure features which allow users to share details of some transactions so that they can be audited if needed.
There’s a decent reward for miners as well. Every miner gets a total of 12.5 units of the coin.
12. Cardano (ADA)
Cardano is similar to Ethereum in operation. Some of the basic features they share are the development of decentralized applications by users and the smart contracts connection.
Cardano is designed in layers, making it easier and more flexible for developers to maintain and make upgrades to the platform through soft-forking.
To improve efficiency on Cardano, the developers are working on introducing a smart contract system. The smart contract system, like Ethereum, will help enable the self-circulation of digital currency.
Cardano is characterized by its ability to operate at high transaction speed with improved scalability and reliability. The platform’s elasticity and liquidity have made it a go-to option for many crypto investors out there.
13. Dash (DASH)
Dash was launched in 2014 and has become one of the largest peer-to-peer digital money networks with over 1000 master nodes. Considering its vast network, it is undoubtedly an important cryptocurrency alternative to Bitcoin.
As a result of the increasing the number of nodes, carrying out safe and secure digital transactions on this platform has been simplified. A miner is rewarded when they secure master nodes or complete a blockchain.
It’s available for desktop, Android, and iOS, making it easier for users to access it across platforms.
As of Q1 of 2020, it has over 4,800 merchants and services. Its payment value has also reached 1 Billion. It also supports a transaction speed of 1 second, which is super fast.
There are a lot of benefits associated with investing in Dash altcoin. If you’re able to store or serve blockchain to users, you will be rewarded by the system. If you also know how to validate transactions on the digital crypto market, you will be rewarded more.
Dash is a secure network and offers one of the best services in terms of privacy and transaction speed.
Bitcoin is, in many ways, considered a very viable investment, on par with giants such as gold. At the same time, It’s always good to look for the best Bitcoin alternatives so that you can expand your investment portfolio. If you are a crypto miner, then it would be a great idea to explore other coins for mining on your hardware.
So which of these Bitcoin alternatives has worked out for you? Did we miss out on any other top alternatives for Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.