Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and worldwide payment system. It is the first decentralized digital currency, as the system works without a central bank or single administrator. The network is peer-to-peer and transactions take place between users directly, without an intermediary. These transactions are verified by network nodes through the use of cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain. Bitcoin was invented by an unknown person or group of people under the name Satoshi Nakamoto and released as open-source software in 2009.
Bitcoin Cash (BCC)/BCH is a hard forked version of the original Bitcoin. It is similar to bitcoin with regards to its protocol; Proof of Work SHA-256 hashing, 21,000,000 supply, same block times and reward system. However, two main differences are the block size limits, as of August 2017 Bitcoin has a 1MB block size limit whereas (BCC)/BCH proposes 8MB blocks. Also, (BCC)/BCH will adjust the difficulty every 6 blocks as opposed to 2016 blocks as with Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash is a proposal from the via BTC mining pool and the Bitmain mining group to carry out a UAHF (User Activated Hard Fork) on August 1st 12:20 pm UTC. They rejected the agreed consensus (aka BIP-91 or SegWit2x) and have decided to fork the original Bitcoin blockchain and create this new version called “Bitcoin Cash”. Bitcoin Cash can be claimed by BTC owners who have their private keys or store their Bitcoins on a service that will split (BCC)/BCH for the customer.
Bitcoin Gold is a community-led project to create an experimental hard fork of Bitcoin to a new proof-of-work algorithm. The purpose of doing this is to make Bitcoin mining decentralized again. Satoshi Nakamoto’s idealistic vision of “one CPU one vote” has been superseded by a reality dominated by a very small number of entities, some of whom have engaged in abusive practices against individual miners and the Bitcoin network as a whole. Bitcoin Gold provides an opportunity for countless new people around the world to participate in the mining process with widely-available consumer hardware that is manufactured and distributed by reputable mainstream corporations. A more decentralized, democratic mining infrastructure is more resilient and more in line with Satoshi’s original vision. We want Bitcoin to be a shared and independent currency. We don’t want any fat cat to drive our monetary architecture. That’s why Bitcoin Gold was born, in order to bring Bitcoin mining back to the “people”. The Bitcoin Gold organization works to support the Bitcoin Gold cryptocurrency in particular, and the cryptocurrency space in general. Current and future operations are funded by a crypto Endowment held in multi-sig time-locked wallets. Bitcoin Gold, BTG, is a cryptocurrency that began in 2017 as a fork of the Bitcoin blockchain. Because Bitcoin Gold began as a fork, it contains the full transaction history of the Bitcoin blockchain up until the fork date, including the exact balances of Bitcoins held in wallets around the world. Any wallet address holding a Bitcoin balance immediately before the the fork held an equivalent balance of Bitcoin Gold immediately after the fork. The original Bitcoin blockchain and the new Bitcoin Gold blockchain both continue onward independently after the fork, unaffected and unimpeded by each other. As a result of this process, a new cryptocurrency was born.
Cardano is a decentralized public blockchain and cryptocurrency project and is a fully open source project. Cardano is developing a smart contract platform which seeks to deliver more advanced features than any protocol previously developed. It is the first blockchain platform to evolve out of a scientific philosophy and a research-first driven approach. The development team consists of a large global collective of expert engineers and researchers. This is the first blockchain project to be developed from a scientific philosophy, and the only one to be designed and built by a global team of leading academics and engineers. It is essential that the technology is secure, flexible and scalable for use by many millions of users. Consequently, considerable thought and care from some of the leading experts in their fields has been devoted to the project and informed design decisions. The scientific rigor applied to mission-critical systems such as aerospace and banking has been brought to the field of cryptocurrencies, with a high assurance implementation.
Dash is an open source peer-to-peer cryptocurrency with a strong focus on the payments industry. Dash offers a form of money that is anonymous, portable, inexpensive and fast. It can be spent securely both online and in person with only minimal transaction fees. Based on the Bitcoin project, Dash aims to be the most user-friendly and scalable payments system in the world. In addition to Bitcoin’s feature set, Dash currently also includes a second-layer network of masternodes to facilitate instant transactions (InstantSend), private transactions (PrivateSend) and governance functions to create a self-governing and self-funding network capable of paying individuals and businesses for work that adds value to Dash. This decentralized governance and budgeting system makes it one of the first ever successful decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO).
Qtum is an open source Blockchain project that is developed by the Singapore-based Qtum Foundation. Qtum is a hybrid blockchain application platform. Qtum’s core technology combines a fork of bitcoin core, an Account Abstraction Layer allowing for multiple Virtual Machines including the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and Proof-of-Stake consensus aimed at tackling industry use cases. We believe this will allow Smart Contracts and Decentralized Applications to run on a familiar foundation while offering a robust environment for developers. The underlying technology uses an “Account Abstract Layer”, which acts as a bridge between the EVM and the Unspent Transaction Output model of Bitcoin Core. There will be Oracles and Datafeed functionality, allowing developers to create Smart Contracts built around trusted sources of information.
EOS.IO is software that introduces a blockchain architecture designed to enable vertical and horizontal scaling of decentralized applications (the “EOS.IO Software”). This is achieved through an operating system-like construct upon which applications can be built. The software provides accounts, authentication, databases, asynchronous communication and the scheduling of applications across multiple CPU cores and/or clusters. The resulting technology is a blockchain architecture that has the potential to scale to millions of transactions per second, eliminates user fees and allows for quick and easy deployment of decentralized applications.
Ethereum is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform and operating system featuring smart contract (scripting) functionality. It supports a modified version of Nakamoto consensus via transaction based state transitions. Ether is a cryptocurrency whose blockchain is generated by the Ethereum platform. Ether can be transferred between accounts and used to compensate participant mining nodes for computations performed. Ethereum provides a decentralized Turing-complete virtual machine, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which can execute scripts using an international network of public nodes. “Gas”, an internal transaction pricing mechanism, is used to mitigate spam and allocate resources on the network.
Ethereum Classic is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contract (scripting) functionality. It provides a decentralized Turing-complete virtual machine, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which can execute scripts using an international network of public nodes. Ethereum Classic also provides a value token called “classic ether”, which can be transferred between participants, stored in a cryptocurrency wallet and is used to compensate participant nodes for computations performed. The classic ether token is traded on cryptocurrency exchanges under the ticker symbol ETC. Gas, an internal transaction pricing mechanism, is used to prevent spam on the network and allocate resources proportionally to the incentive offered by the request. The Ethereum platform has been forked into two versions: “Ethereum Classic” (ETC) and “Ethereum” (ETH). Prior to the fork, the token had been called Ethereum. After the fork, the new tokens kept the name Ethereum (ETH), and the old tokens were renamed Ethereum Classic (ETC). Ethereum Classic appeared as a result of a disagreement with the Ethereum Foundation regarding The DAO Hard Fork. It united members of the Ethereum community who rejected the hard fork on philosophical grounds. Users that owned ETH before the DAO hard fork (block 1920000) own an equal amount of ETC after the fork. Ethereum Classic passed a technical hard fork to adjust the internal prices for various opcodes of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) on October 25, 2016, similar to the hard fork committed by Ethereum a week previously. The purpose of the hard fork was a more rational distribution of payments for resource-intensive calculations, which led to the elimination of the favorable conditions for attacks that were previously conducted on ETH and ETC. A hard fork held at the beginning of 2017 successfully delayed the “bomb complexity” that was added to the Ethereum code in September 2015 with a view of exponentially increasing the complexity of mining and the process of calculation of new network units. In late 2017, a hard fork occurred which changed the monetary policy with unlimited emissions to a system similar to Bitcoin.
IOTA is an open-source distributed ledger protocol that goes ‘beyond blockchain’ through its core invention of the blockless ‘Tangle’. The IOTA Tangle is a quantum-proof Directed Acyclic Graph, with no fees on transactions & no fixed limit on how many transactions can be confirmed per second in the network. Instead, throughput grows in conjunction with activity in the network; the more activity, the faster the network. Unlike blockchain architecture, IOTA has no separation between users and validators; rather, validation is an intrinsic property of using the ledger, thus avoiding centralization. IOTA is initially focused on serving as the backbone of the emerging Internet-of-Things (IoT).
Litecoin (LTC) is one of the oldest cryptocurrencies in existence after Bitcoin, having launched in October 2011. It was developed by Charlie Lee, who remains involved with the coin to this day. Litecoin is a codebase fork of Bitcoin which means it doesn’t share any history or connection to the Bitcoin genesis block. As a fork, it has many similar characteristics to Bitcoin, but has opted for shorter block generations times of around 2.5 minutes. This allows transactions to be added to the blockchain sooner. Because of the decreased block generation time, it quadrupled its base supply to 84 million to compensate for the inflation rate. Currently, Litecoin has lower transaction fees than Bitcoin and can be used as a digital currency on the web to pay for goods and services and to play at crypto casinos. The value of Litecoin has grown significantly, and the currency’s market cap now exceeds $4 billion. Part of Litecoin’s surge in popularity in 2017 has been attributed to the currency being able to adopt and test a number of new features before Bitcoin, such as Segregated Witness and the Lightning Network, technology which allows the network to process more transactions.
Monero (XMR) is an open-source cryptocurrency created in April 2014 that focuses on privacy and decentralization that runs on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and FreeBSD. Monero uses a public ledger to record transactions while new units are created through a process called mining. Monero aims to improve on existing cryptocurrency design by obscuring sender, recipient and amount of every transaction made as well as making the mining process more egalitarian.
NEO is a non-profit community-based blockchain project that utilizes blockchain technology and digital identity to digitize assets, to automate the management of digital assets using smart contracts, and to realize a “smart economy” with a distributed network. NEO was founded in 2014 and was real-time open source on GitHub in June 2015. Since its inception, the NEO team has experienced the upsurge and boom of the blockchain industry and the frenzy and cooling of the digital money market. We believe technology drives progress and together we can create the future. Motivated by this, NEO has been created to shift our traditional economy into the new era of the “Smart Economy”.
Designed in 2012, Ripple (Symbol: XRP) is a blockchain system uses real-time gross settlement system to transfer and exchange money. The coin has the Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP) or Ripple protocol designed on a scattered open-source Internet protocol, consensus ledger, and XRP coin. Ripple attempt to promote safe, immediate and nearly free global monetary transactions with every size. Ripple helps tokens represent real money, digital currency, commodity or any other intrinsic value items like the number of phone minutes. Ripple is relied on a shared, public ledger employing a consensus process that allows payments, exchanges, and remittance in an allocated process. Ripple ensures its consensus framework against rival Stellar Network in 2014. At the moment Ripple becomes the third-largest digital crypto market, just behind Bitcoin and Ethereum. Some organizations like Santander, UniCredit employ Ripple Protocol. More and more banks and payment networks have adopted Protocol as a new foundation technology. According to the bank, the allocated ledgers performed in Ripple platform have lots of advantages such as price and security of digital currencies like Bitcoin.
Stellar is an open-source, distributed payments infrastructure. It is a leapfrog technology that connects people, payment systems, and banks with a focus on the developing world. It lets you facilitate multi-currency and asset transactions quickly, reliably, and for a fraction of a penny by using a crypto-asset called Lumens (XLM) as a bridge. Stellar’s basic operation is similar to that of most decentralized payment technologies. It runs a network of decentralized servers with a distributed ledger that is updated every 2 to 5 seconds among all nodes. The most prominent distinguishing factor between Stellar and bitcoin is its consensus protocol. Stellar’s consensus protocol does not rely on the entire miner network to approve transactions. Instead, it uses the Federated Byzantine Agreement (FBA) algorithm, which enables faster processing of transactions. This is because it uses quorum slices (or a portion of the network) to approve and validate a transaction. Each node in the Stellar network chooses another set of “trustworthy” nodes. Once a transaction is approved by all nodes within this set, then it is considered approved. The shortened process has made Stellar’s network extremely fast and it is said to process as many as 1,000 network operations per second.
USDT is a cryptocurrency asset issued on the Bitcoin blockchain via the Omni Layer Protocol. Each USDT unit is backed by a U.S Dollar held in the reserves of the Tether Limited and can be redeemed through the Tether Platform. USDT can be transferred, stored, spent, just like bitcoins or any other cryptocurrency. USDT and other Tether currencies were created to facilitate the transfer of national currencies, to provide users with a stable alternative to Bitcoin and to provide an alternative for exchange and wallet audits which are currently unreliable. USDT provides an alternative to Proof of Solvency methods by introducing a Proof of Reserves Process. In the Tether Proof of Reserves system, the amount of USDT in circulations can be easily checked on the Bitcoin blockchain via the tools provided at Omnichest.info, while the corresponding total amount of USD held reserves is proved by publishing the bank balance and undergoing periodic audits by professionals.
TRON is an ambitious project dedicated to building the infrastructure for a truly decentralized Internet. The Tron Protocol, one of the largest blockchain based operating systems in the world, offers scalable, high-availability and high-throughput support that underlies all the decentralized applications in the TRON ecosystem. TRON enables large-scale development and engagement. With over ten thousand transactions per second, high concurrency, low latency and massive data transmission, TRON is ideal for building decentralized entertainment applications. Free features and incentive systems allow developers to create premium app experiences for users. TRON Protocol and the TVM allow anyone to develop DAPPs for themselves or their communities, with smart contracts making decentralized crowdfunding and token issuance easier than ever. Tron DAPP projects already include Peiwo, Obike, Uplive, game.com, Kitty live and Mico, with 100M+ active users from more than 100 countries and regions around the world.
ZCash is a privacy driven cryptocurrency. It uses the Equihash as an algorithm, which is an asymmetric memory-hard Proof of Work algorithm based on the generalized birthday problem. It relies on high RAM requirements to bottleneck the generation of proofs and making ASIC development unfeasible. ZCash uses zero-knowledge Succinct Non-interactive Arguments of Knowledge (zk-SNARKs) to ensure that all information (sender, receiver, amount) is encrypted, without the possibility of double-spending. The only information that is revealed regarding transactions is the time in which they take place.