As things stand right now, cryptocurrencies are gaining more popularity, despite some people still claiming they are just a scam in one way or another. The fact is, that the technology behind them – the blockchain – will be something that we can safely expect to be used a lot in the future. Started in 2009 with the creation of Bitcoin as an open-source software, the idea was to create a decentralized system that’s not governed by a central bank or single administrator. Bitcoin runs on a blockchain, which works as a big open ledger that gets its transaction confirmations from its users all around the world. These users that help confirm transactions are called miners, and will then receive an amount of Bitcoin as a reward (though these have largely turned to mining farms as of recent).

Bitcoin paved the way for many other cryptocurrencies to be born, along with their very own blockchains, some of which have been gaining worldwide attention for their breathtaking technology. Here are some of the best ones that we think have played, and will likely continue to play a big role in our world for years (perhaps even decades) to come:

  1. Litecoin (2011)

As the adoption of Bitcoin grows, the transaction time increases too. It wasn’t until 2011 that Charlie Lee, a former Google employee, thought to solve this problem. He released it via Github, an open-source client, on October 7th, 2011.

What makes Litecoin unique?

While it was actually a fork of Bitcoin Core, Litecoin uses a different hashing algorithm that enables it to process more transactions in a block than Bitcoin can. Litecoin also has a block processing time every 2.5 minutes, which is faster than Bitcoin’s 10 minutes.

Like that wasn’t enough, Litecoin still continues to develop. In March alone, they released the latest version of Litecoin Core, which now enables more flexible transfers to different wallet formats, plus giving a 5% increase in the speed of synchronization and block validation. This means people will have more freedom and speed when performing transactions using Litecoin!

2. NEM (2015)

What started as just a talk on an online Bitcoin forum turned out to be one of the best breakthroughs ever in the world of cryptocurrency. NEM is one among the top 20 cryptocurrencies with the biggest market cap (as per  April 3rd’s data from https://coinmarketcap.com/).

What makes NEM unique?

Two reasons: a messaging feature and multisignature transactions. While both Bitcoin and Litecoin don’t have the privilege for users to send a message on their transactions, NEM allows its users to write a short memo. The message itself can also be encrypted, resulting in secure communication.

NEM also implements multisignature technology on its platform.

A multisignature account that runs on NEM’s blockchain is safe – if someone loses their wallet due to a hack, the money inside cannot be easily spent unless another wallet signs it. You will need to set this up yourself though.

3. Ethereum (2015)

When one talks about Bitcoin, one cannot deny its biggest competitor out there: Ethereum. Ethereum is a computing platform based on a public blockchain that operates smart contracts. Proposed in late 2013, it was released in July 30, 2015, and greatly enhanced the concept of the blockchain.

What makes Ethereum unique?

Instead of just decentralizing payments, Ethereum has been decentralizing applications. People can build new apps on the Ethereum’s blockchain, including ones that involve their very own cryptocurrencies. Think of it as a computer, a very big one (instead of simply a distributed ledger that Bitcoin is based on), that’s shared by millions of people around the world, on which they build their apps. It is the very first shared global computer and its creations have paved the way for other interesting blockchain & cryptocurrency-based projects to come.

4. Special mention: THETA (2017)

Started in Q2 of the year 2017, THETA is actually still in the form of an ERC-20 token. However, we do think it’s worth mentioning because it has such a great idea: decentralizing videos.

What makes THETA unique?

Think of a decentralized Youtube, that allows the cutting out of middlemen. Advertisers could use THETA tokens to directly reward content creators and streamers. This creates a more efficient and more democratic video community. At the same time, viewers could also be rewarded by viewing content.

THETA has so much potential to revolutionize the video world that even Steve Chen, Youtube’s co-founder, is listed in their board of advisors.

You know a product is going to be something big when it gets the support of its “competitor” – in this case, Youtube and its co-founder. Soon, we will all be able to enjoy a decentralized network of videos, a whole new era of entertainment with high quality video streaming (since the power would be from a peer-to-peer bandwidth sharing system). Simply put, THETA is the future of online videos.

With all the new technologies being developed in the world of cryptocurrencies, we think it is safe to say that we are indeed not at the end of digital currencies yet. While various experts have predicted that Bitcoin and friends will crash (they have done that several times by the way), we are looking forward, hopefully, to the day when they are adopted by at least 50% of merchants all around the world, and is used just as readily and regularly as the internet is used these days.

Let’s embrace this wonderful development of technology. You can be involved by buying yourself some cryptocurrencies. Just don’t forget to store them in a wallet if you don’t want to lose them – like our multi-asset, advanced, & secure Blockchains.my (BCMY) digital wallet app. It provides advanced security features such as biometric facial recognition and multiple log-in steps. It also has a p2p chat option, and a merchant function, which includes a cryptocurrency-accepting merchant map. In-wallet trading and live price viewing will also be sure to help any cryptocurrency fans out there.

Disclaimer: this is not a trading/portfolio advice. We take no responsibility of any loss/damage resulting from your actions based on this article. We are here only to help by providing some useful information for you, which may or may not be entirely accurate. This article is for informational and entertainment purposes only.


References:

https://www.mercatus.org/system/files/Brito_BitcoinPrimer.pdf

https://www.wired.com/2013/08/litecoin/

https://litecoin-foundation.org/2018/03/litecoin-development-updates-march-2018/

https://www.newsbtc.com/press-releases/nem-blockchain-platform-doubles-rewards-supernode-program/

https://blog.nem.io/how-to-use-multi-signature-accounts/

https://www.etherchain.org/account/0x5abfec25f74cd88437631a7731906932776356f9