Bitcoin has undeniably been the poster child of cryptocurrency. However, since its inception in 2009, a plethora of other cryptocurrencies, or alt coins as they are commonly known, have emerged. Each of these alt coins has its unique selling proposition, and some have made impressive strides in technical innovation and market valuation. In this light, we delve into seven noteworthy alt coins that are making waves in the crypto scene.
1. The Potential Powerhouse: Ethereum (ETH)
Ethereum is widely renowned as the first alt coin to break away from Bitcoin’s shadow. It introduced the world to the concept of smart contracts, code snippets that power decentralized applications (dApps). Ethereum’s native token, Ether, has consistently outshone Bitcoin’s performance over the last three years.
1.1. Ethereum’s Unique Selling Point
Ethereum’s blockchain infrastructure is home to a myriad of dApps, spanning diverse sectors such as gaming, gambling, finance, and even the trendy non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The Ethereum network’s transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake has positioned it as a greener alternative to Bitcoin.
2. The Financial Network Renegade: Ripple (XRP)
Ripple aims at revolutionizing the way financial transactions occur globally. It positions itself as a digital financial network that is more secure, cheaper, and faster than the conventional SWIFT system.
2.1. Ripple’s Controversy and Victory
Ripple’s native currency, XRP, was embroiled in controversy when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission questioned its legality. However, Ripple emerged victorious when a judge ruled that XRP is not a security.
3. The New Entrant: Solana (SOL)
Solana, despite being launched as recently as March 2020, has quickly climbed the ladder to become one of the top 10 alt coins globally. Much like Ethereum, Solana also supports dApps and NFTs.
3.1. Solana’s Unique Verification Process
Solana uses a unique combination of proof-of-history (PoH) and proof-of-stake (PoS) for transaction verification, making it faster and more cost-effective than Ethereum. However, Solana’s network has faced several outages, casting a shadow over its reliability.
4. The Customizable Blockchain: Polkadot (DOT)
Polkadot is a brainchild of Ethereum co-founder, Gavin Wood. It stands out for its unique feature of parachains – user-created blockchains that can be tailored while maintaining the security of the main chain.
4.1. Polkadot’s Consensus Model
Polkadot uses a nominated PoS consensus model. Transactions are validated by validators, who are backed by nominators who stake their own tokens as a show of trust.
5. The Pop Culture Phenomenon: Dogecoin (DOGE)
Dogecoin has become an alt coin sensation, thanks to its Shiba Inu mascot and endorsements from high-profile personalities like Elon Musk and Mark Cuban. Despite being created as a Bitcoin parody, Dogecoin’s popularity has skyrocketed.
6. The Breakaway Alt Coin: Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Bitcoin Cash was born out of a hard fork from Bitcoin in 2017. It aimed to reduce transaction fees and enhance Bitcoin’s scalability, making it a more viable payment method.
6.1. Bitcoin Cash’s Recent Boost
Bitcoin Cash received a significant boost when EDX Markets announced that BCH would be one of the four cryptocurrencies available on their exchange. Its price has since increased by around 150%.
7. The DeFi Wonder: Compound (COMP)
Compound is an ERC-20 token that governs the Compound protocol, a decentralized finance project. It allows users to lend or borrow ETH tokens at fluctuating interest rates.
7.1. Compound’s Supply and Demand
Compound lenders earn COMP tokens at an interest rate determined by market liquidity. There is a fixed supply of 10 million total COMP tokens.
While alt coins remain a high-risk investment, their potential for high rewards makes them an intriguing proposition for investors. Whether you’re looking for technical innovation, market performance, or just a fun meme coin, there’s likely an alt coin out there to meet your needs. Always remember to do your research and invest responsibly.