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Cryptocurrency Uncovered – Part Two

Last week we took a look at the growing trend for cryptocurrencies and gave an explanation of what cryptocurrencies are and how they work.  We promised that this week we’d take a closer look at some of the more popular and successful cryptocurrencies on today’s market, a vital issue now as there are already more than 1,300 cryptocurrencies with a total market cap of around $150 billion in circulation, so here we go!

BITCOIN – Released back in 2009, this was the first decentralised ledger currency and is the most well-known on the market with the highest market capitalisation.  Bitcoin was invented by an unknown person or group of people and released as open-source software.  Currently, Bitcoin is the only digital currency that is widely accepted and used in real-world transactions.  Starting with a price of just $0.30 per Bitcoin in 2011, the Bitcoin has had a volatile journey so far but is currently worth $8,949 at time of publishing! 

ETHEREUM – Proposed in late 2013, Ethereum is a decentralised platform for apps that run exactly as programmed without chance of fraud, censorship or third party interference.  The market cap of Ethereum is more than $29 billion with a current price of approximately $300 (from just $8 at the beginning of last year).  Although Ethereum suffers to an extent from being overshadowed by Bitcoin, that could change soon.  Thirty of the big banks, tech giants and other organisations (including J.P. Morgan Chase, Microsoft and Intel) are uniting to create business-ready versions of the software behind Ethereum in order to challenge other blockchain ventures.

ALTCOINS – Also known as “alternative coins”, these alternative currencies were launched in the wake of Bitcoin’s success.  Altcoins promote themselves as better substitutes.  Altcoins include a list of alternative currencies which is constant flux, but include:

  • Ethereum
  • Ripple
  • Litecoin
  • Dash:  Digital + Cash
  • NEM
  • Ethereum Classic
  • Monero
  • Zcash
  • Decred (Decentralised Credit)
  • PIVX (Private Instant Verified Transactions)

Cryptocurrency is a growing trend which is on its way to being recognised globally and increasingly incorporated into day to day transactions. 

So what’s the secret when it comes to Bitcoin, why has it proven such a popular digital currency?  Just take a look at the following reasons:

  • Bitcoin is more accessible with more merchants, more exchanges and software/hardware support systems available.
  • It has the advantage of leading the way as a first mover.  It has a large user base, loyalists and entrepreneurs creating companies around it.
  • It has the largest developer ecosystem with more software and more implementations.
  • Security is proven far more than it’s more recent counterparts with usage by most metrics exceeding that of altcoins, it has a large lead as a store of value.

What’s not in doubt is that cryptocurrencies are on the rise and we’re likely to see them getting more popular and being used more in the next few years.  Rest assured, that we at Access Credit Management have our finger on the financial pulse and will be bringing you more news and information on cryptocurrencies in the coming months.