The Top 5 Cryptocurrencies
Our company mines various cryptocurrencies. The more popular ones are these 5 cryptocurrencies. They are the largest cryptocurrencies based on market capitalisation (Accurate as of 14th December 2017). Each one has its own particular use and unique characteristics.
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and worldwide payment system. It is the first decentralized digital currency, as the system works without a central bank or single administrator. The network is peer-to-peer and transactions take place between users directly through the use of cryptography, without an intermediary. These transactions are verified by network nodes and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain. Bitcoin was invented by an unknown person or group of people under the name Satoshi Nakamoto and released as open-source software in 2009.
Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services. As of February 2015, over 100,000 merchants and vendors accepted bitcoin as payment. Research produced by the University of Cambridge estimates that in 2017, there are 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using bitcoin.
Ethereum is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contract (scripting) functionality. It provides a decentralized Turing-complete virtual machine, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which can execute scripts using an international network of public nodes. Ethereum also provides a cryptocurrency token called “ether”, which can be transferred between accounts and used to compensate participant nodes for computations performed. “Gas”, an internal transaction pricing mechanism, is used to mitigate spam and allocate resources on the network.
Ethereum was proposed in late 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, a cryptocurrency researcher and programmer. Development was funded by an online crowdsale between July and August 2014. The system went live on 30 July 2015, with 11.9 million coins “premined” for the crowdsale. This accounts for approximately 13 percent of the total circulating supply.
Ripple is a real-time gross settlement system (RTGS), currency exchange and remittance network by Ripple. Also called the Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP) or Ripple protocol, it is built upon a distributed open source Internet protocol, consensus ledger and native cryptocurrency called XRP (ripples). Released in 2012, Ripple purports to enable “secure, instantly and nearly free global financial transactions of any size with no chargebacks.” It supports tokens representing fiat currency, cryptocurrency, commodity or any other unit of value such as frequent flier miles or mobile minutes. At its core, Ripple is based on a shared, public database or ledger, which uses a consensus process that allows for payments, exchanges and remittance in a distributed process.
The network is decentralized and can operate without the Ripple company; it cannot be shut down. Among validators are companies, internet service providers, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Used by companies such as UniCredit, UBS and Santander, Ripple has been increasingly adopted by banks and payment networks as settlement infrastructure technology, with American Banker explaining that “from banks’ perspective, distributed ledgers like the Ripple system have a number of advantages over cryptocurrencies like bitcoin,” including price and security.
As of December 15, 2017, the market capitalization of XRP is $31 billion, making it the 3rd largest cryptocurrency in circulation.
Litecoin (LTC or Ł) is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and open source software project released under the MIT/X11 license. Creation and transfer of coins are based on an open source cryptographic protocol and is not managed by any central authority. While inspired by, and in most regards technically nearly identical to Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin has some minor technical differences compared to Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is a hard fork of the cryptocurrency bitcoin. The fork occurred on August 1, 2017.
On July 20, 2017, Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 91, aka Segregated Witness, activated.
Some members of the bitcoin community felt that adopting BIP 91 without increasing the block-size limit would simply delay confronting the bitcoin scalability problem and that it favoured people who wanted to treat bitcoin as a digital investment rather than as a transactional currency.
The plan to do a hard fork was first announced by Bitmain, and subsequently, developers took interest in the project. The project was originally referred to as UAHF: A contingency plan against UASF (BIP148) by Bitmain on their corporate blog, which the ASIC bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer would launch if BIP 148 (a User Activated Soft Fork) succeeded. The Bitcoin Cash name was originally proposed by Chinese mining pool ViaBTC.
The first implementation of the Bitcoin Cash protocol called Bitcoin ABC was revealed by Amaury “Deadal Nix” Séchet at the Future of Bitcoin conference in Arnhem, Netherlands. The Bitcoin Cash hard fork was announced to take place on August 1, 2017.
Upon launch, Bitcoin Cash inherited the transaction history of the bitcoin currency on that date, but all later transactions were separate. Block 478558 was the last common block and thus the first Bitcoin Cash block was 478559. Bitcoin Cash cryptocurrency wallet started to reject BTC block and BTC transactions since 13:20 UTC, August 1, 2017, because it used a timer to initiate a fork. It implements a block size increase to 8 MB. One exchange started Bitcoin Cash futures trading at 0.5 BTC on July 23; the futures dropped to 0.1 BTC by July 30. Market cap appeared since 23:15 UTC, August 1, 2017.