A Complete Introduction to Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies: (Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Cardano, Polkadot, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar, Tether, Monero, Dogecoin and More…) (Finance)
The cryptocurrency industry is booming. In fact, in 2017 alone, it saw a $600 billion market cap and a whopping $50 billion in daily trading volume. This has lead to the introduction of many new cryptocurrencies that are taking advantage of blockchain technology and decentralized networks.
What is blockchain? It’s a public online ledger that everyone can see and add information to. Transactions between two people or institutions happen via “blocks” which are added to the “chain.”
Blockchain-based currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero, and Tether have all become popular recently due to their decentralization. But there are other blockchains out there such as Cardano (ADA), Stellar Lumens (XLM) and more that you may want to explore.
Find out everything you need to know about all these digital currencies here!
Introduction to blockchain and cryptocurrencies
Blockchain is a digital ledger of transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions, but anything of value. With the rise in popularity of cryptocurrencies, blockchain has achieved a significant level of visibility and importance globally.
The cryptocurrency industry grew from $20 billion in market cap at the beginning of 2017 to over $600 billion by November 1st. The total market cap has exceeded $1 trillion as of December 1st, with a whopping $50 billion daily trading volume. These statistics have been driven by an increased interest in blockchain-based currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero, and Tether.
In this article we will explore these currencies and others such as Cardano (ADA), Stellar Lumens (XLM) and more to get you up to speed on everything related to cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin and other currencies
Bitcoin is the most popular of all cryptocurrencies, but it’s not the only one. There are many others that you might want to explore such as Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero, and Tether. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to be introduced back in 2009. It served as a decentralized digital currency that could be used without any central authority or banks.
Ethereum was introduced in 2015, and it has the second largest market cap among all cryptocurrencies today. Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum offers something called “smart contracts.” These contracts allow people to exchange money amongst each other without involving a third party like a bank or government institution.
Ethereum and other currencies
There are many different types of cryptocurrencies that you may not know about. One such cryptocurrency is Ethereum (ETH). Ethereum was the first blockchain-based currency to be introduced and it is currently the second most valuable coin in the world.
Ethereum has a lot of potential, and has been called “the new internet.” This cryptocurrency is built for more than just trading, such as building decentralized applications (Dapps) and even running smart contracts. It’s considered to be a “world computer” because it can run any type of application on the blockchain without any centralized server.
Additionally, there are other blockchains out there such as Cardano (ADA), Stellar Lumens (XLM) and more that you may want to explore.
Ripple and other currencies
A lot of people are wondering about Ripple right now. Is it a cryptocurrency? Well, it’s complicated. The company does not use the blockchain like Bitcoin and Ethereum do. But it does use its own centralized ledger that has some similarities to blockchain technology.
Other cryptocurrencies out there include Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Cardano (ADA) and Monero (XMR).
Litecoin is one of the oldest cryptocurrencies on the market today. It was created in 2011 by Charlie Lee, an MIT graduate and former Google engineer. It’s based on Bitcoin’s script with some important changes to code which makes transactions faster and cheaper than traditional Bitcoin transactions.
Cardano is similar to Ethereum in many ways, but it is also different in others. Like Ethereum, Cardano runs smart contracts and decentralized applications for people who want them without any interference from third parties or middlemen. However, unlike Ethereum, this blockchain uses “Ouroboros”, a proof-of-stake algorithm that requires less energy than proof-of-work algorithms like Bitcoin’s SHA256.
Monero is considered one of the most privacy-focused coins on the market because it obscures all information regarding sender, receiver, and amount transacted by using ring signatures which mix up transaction amounts making them impossible to track through blockchain analysis techniques like clustering or graphics processing unit mining power detection methods.
Bitcoin Cash and other currencies
Bitcoin Cash is a cryptocurrency that came about as a result of a hard fork from the original Bitcoin blockchain. It remains one of the most popular cryptocurrencies on the market today.
The first thing you’ll want to know about Bitcoin Cash is that it has a bigger block size limit than Bitcoin, which means it can process more transactions per second and potentially be less expensive.
In addition to Bitcoin Cash, there are many other cryptocurrencies on the market including Monero (XMR), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Tether (USDT) and more.
Some of these currencies have different purposes than others. For example, Stellar Lumens (XLM) is known for its fast transaction speeds and low transaction fees, while Ethereum is known for its smart contracts and use in token projects.
Ethereum has become especially popular recently due to its relatively low transaction fees and quick processing times. In fact, the platform was able to process over 1 million transactions in just 24 hours!
If you’re interested in learning more about these digital currencies, then this post has everything you need!
Stellar and other currencies
One of the more popular blockchain currencies is Stellar Lumens. Stellar was established by Jed McCaleb, a crypto pioneer and the founder of Ripple. It’s a company that believes in “building a global financial system where money moves as fast as information.”
Stellar is a platform for building financial products. It’s using its own protocol to allow multi-currency transactions and to make cross border transfers easier. Through Stellar, you can transfer any currency and it gets converted into their native XLM token — making everything cheaper and faster than traditional methods.
Another popular cryptocurrency is Cardano (ADA). Cardano was built from scratch in order to be “home to all cryptocurrencies.” Its goal is to create “the best possible” digital currency: scalable, sustainable, and secure.
Tether and other cryptocurrencies
Blockchain-based currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero and Tether have all become popular recently due to their decentralization. But there are other blockchains out there such as Cardano (ADA), Stellar Lumens (XLM) and more that you may want to explore.
One of the most popular cryptocurrencies is Tether. It’s a cryptocurrency that is backed by the United States dollar. One Tether equals one USD and it can be bought or sold on various exchanges for other cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies.
Tether was created in 2014 by two people using the names Reeve Collins and Philip Potter. It was originally called Realcoin but was later changed to avoid confusion with a previous digital currency called “RealCoin.”
Tether converts cash into tokens or digital currency allowing customers to transfer money across borders quickly and without fees. The token can then be used just like any other cryptocurrency.
Monero is a cryptocurrency that has been around since 2014 and it’s based on the CryptoNote protocol. One of the main features of Monero is its anonymity and untraceability. For example, when sending funds, there won’t be any metadata attached to the transaction such as the receiver’s address or the amount sent.
There also isn’t any public information about who owns any Monero since there’s no public ledger like with Bitcoin. This is all thanks to Monero’s ring signatures which allow for true anonymity by generating a one-time address for every transaction from a group of several different keys. The sender needs only one key from the group to sign off on a transaction while everyone in the group remains anonymous.
It’s also worth noting that Monero’s blockchain blocks are larger than bitcoin blocks because it has a higher block size limit to accommodate a higher volume of transactions per block.
Dogecoin is a type of cryptocurrency that was created in 2013 by programmer Billy Markus and based on the popular “doge” internet meme. It features a Shiba Inu dog from the “Doge” Internet meme as its logo.
The Dogecoin community adopted the currency because it was based on Litecoin, which is well known for being easy to mine and having low transaction fees. Initially, there were 100 billion coins in circulation, but after much controversy about how quickly new coins were being introduced into the system, a hardfork was introduced in 2015 to limit future mining to a static 20 billion coins.
Dogecoins are currently worth $0.0012 USD each.