Bitcoin: Here are 7 closest rivals

Bitcoin is on a rampage. From around $1,000 in the beginning of this year, the blockchain-based cryptocurrency is today nearing $20,000-mark. This week also witnessed the launch of the first-ever Bitcoin futures on a US exchange. Chicago-based derivatives exchange Cboe Global Markets launched Bitcoin futures, enabling investors to get exposure to the currency via a regulated exchange.
The boom in Bitcoin value has also helped its rivals surge. Cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple too have soared to records in the past few weeks. Here’s a peek at the 7 closest rivals of Bitcoin.
Ethereum is one of the hottest rivals to Bitcoin. Launched in the year, 2014, it is currently the second-most valuable cryptocurrency. Like Bitcoin, it is also a type of blockchain network. According to Ethereum Project website, Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: Applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference. The Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains differ primarily in purpose and capability. While the Bitcoin blockchain is used to track ownership of the digital currency bitcoin, the Ethereum blockchain can be used to build decentralized applications. The virtual currency associated with Ethereum is called Ether.
Ripple (XRP)
Ripple is reportedly considered as logical successor to Bitcoin according to many industry experts. It was launched in the year 2012 by former Bitcoin developers and is a startup using Blockchain technology that as per its website “connects banks, payment providers, digital asset exchanges and corporates”. It also operates as a payment network called RippleNet. XRP is Ripple’s cryptocurrency. It has been soaring to record high since Bitcoin jumped. Currently, Ripple XRP is up more than 7,000% from its 0.65-cent price at the beginning of this year.
Late last month, American Express introduced instant blockchain-based payments using Ripple. This marked one of the first major uses of Blockchain technology, a shared database of transactions maintained by a network of computers on the internet. Financial firms hope the nascent technology can reduce the cost and complexity of burdensome processes such as securities settlement and international payments.
It currently has a market capitalization of Rs 0.67 lakh crore (approximately).
Litecoin (LTC or XLT)
The digital currency Litecoin too has emerged as a strong rival to Bitcoin, giving tough competition to other cryptocurrency rivals like IOTA and Ripple. Litecoin has surged over 5,700% this year till December 12, whereas Bitcoin has gained 1,550% during the same period.
It is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency created by Charlie Lee, a former Googleemployee and ex-director of engineering at Coinbase. Launched in the year 2011, Litecoin is very similar to Bitcoin in its technical implementation. According to website, “Litecoin is securely stored in a wallet on your computer, tablet, phone or laptop.” The biggest advantages of Litecoin are claimed to be speed and low fees. Litecoin uses Scrypt algorithm, it reportedly demands memory instead of processor resources. Generating new Litecoins is possible through mining as well.
Zcash (ZEC)
Zcash (ZEC) claims to be the first open, permission-less cryptocurrency that can fully protects the privacy of transactions using zero-knowledge cryptography. Like Bitcoin, Zcash to is a blockchain based currency. Launched in October 2016, as per Zcash website, its monetary base too is the same as Bitcoin’s — 21 million Zcash currency units (ZEC) and is mined over time. It is a scarce token just like Bitcoin which can be transferred globally and exchanged to/from other cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies via online exchanges, in-person transactions, etc.
Recently, Zcash became the third digital currency to receive the backing of the Bitcoin Investment Trust and the Ethereum Classic Investment Trust.
In November this year, Internet Archive, the digital library of internet artifacts and webpages, added Zcash as a new cryptocurrency payment option.Announcing the move in a blog post, it said, “At the Internet Archive, we are big fans of the cryptocurrency movement and have been trying to do our part to test and support alternative means of commerce. We’ve been accepting Bitcoin donations since 2012, and starting this week, we are now accepting donations of Bitcoin Cash and Zcash.”
Another Bitcoin rival is Dash, an open source peer-to-peer cryptocurrency. Dash can be used “to make instant, private payments online or in-store using our secure open-source platform hosted by thousands of users around the world.” According to website, Bitcoin’s shortcomings led to the development of cryptocurrency Dash. Its three biggest benefits, as per its website, are said to be: Instant, Private and Security. It claims to send payment confirmations in less than a second. Two, protect users’ financial information by safeguarding their activity history and keeping balances private. Three, transactions are claimed to be confirmed by 200 TerraHash of X11 ASIC computing power and over 4,500 servers hosted around the world.
Another Bitcoin rival, Monero is claimed to be a secure, private, and untraceable cryptocurrency. The open-source cryptocurrency created in April 2014 has been soaring for the past five weeks with prices more than tripling since early November. Monero Research Labs is also said to be working hard to bring down the network’s transaction fees by as much as 80%. Monero developers are said to be implementation Bulletproofs to bring down transaction sizes on the network. In a blog post on its website, Morero said that overall, bulletproofs represent a huge advancement in Monero transactions. “We get massive space savings, better verification times, and lower fees,” added the blog post dated December 7.
IOTA is another emerging bitcoin rival. It has market capitalization of Rs 0.75 lakh crore (approximately). IOTA represents a third generation of blockchain after the development of Bitcoin.

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