Cryptocurrency, a global phenomenon that got traction all around the world in the past few years. So, we thought to do an in-depth research on this interesting concept. Grab some deeper insights on the hot and trending topic of “Cryptocurrency” or “Digital currency”. We are also sharing an exclusive list of Top 10 Cryptocurrency to invest in, one of the best list to enhance your knowledge on Cryptocurrency. Please note that this list ranks the currencies by their market cap and should not be taken as an investment advice !!
Looking back, we got to know that the first and the most important cryptocurrency was “Bitcoin” that emerged in the year 2009. You undoubtedly have heard of “Bitcoin”. Right !
A digital currency whose prices are driven by the increase in mainstream adoption and rising awareness amongst the general public. Moreover, the demand and supply are the crucial factors that impact the prices of this digital currency.
Of course, the fluctuating prices (towards a higher side) of “Bitcoins” has attracted potential investors in different types of cryptocurrency across the globe.
Cryptocurrency: The Highs and Lows
It has been a while since the cryptocurrency fever has dried out, but its impact on markets and the world is ever lasting, mainly because of the idea it represented. For the first time since maybe the copper and iron ages on earth, there was this system of currency with complete autonomy and no control, providing a necessary personification to the idea of wealth, you are in control of how you spend your money, and people took to it.
Crypto has become one of the largest accepted forms of currency that knows no boundaries. However, few countries haven’t accepted the use of this virtual currency so far. Like the future of cryptocurrency in India is very uncertain, it may get a green signal with some restrictions or you can visualize a re-ban on its usage and trading.
Now, let’s get into the robust world of virtual currency and learn more about it.
What is Cryptocurrency? Meaning
As per Wikipedia: “A cryptocurrency (or crypto currency) is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions, to control the creation of additional units, and to verify the transfer of assets.”
In simple words, Cryptocurrency is a form of digital money or a decentralized digital currency, as it is said. It seems to be a fast and convenient means of payment world-wide. The ever growing demand and rising interest of people in cryptocurrency is letting its prices touch new heights.
Cryptocurrency is digital currency that uses block-chain and cryptography for operation of a decentralized currency.
That was format service, you know, formal definition, lets get to breaking stuff down.
Anyway, let’s understand block-chain first.
Also read details on Fiat Money: Meaning, Examples & Overview of Fiat Currency
What is Blockchain?
See a block is basically pieces of information. In the case of cryptocurrency, it has three parts:
- The sender,
- the receiver,
- and the amount of coins sent.
Now a block-chain is basically chains of such blocks, which again have three parts:
- Hash: A unique string of letters and numbers for identification of that block, sort of like a unique serial number.
- Information: The previously mentioned three parts.
- Hash of the previous block: This is what results in creation of block-chain.
Decentralized currency is one that doesn’t have a single body regulating how much to print and when. Like think of RBI. Polar opposite of that.
Now forget for a second that cryptocurrency is a currency.
See basically how a decentralized block-chain works is that all the participants, the miners, have information of all the blocks. And with occurring transaction everyone updates their block-chain, and whoever does it first, their network signals all the other people’s network to update the block. Think of it as a ledger shared on Google Docs by all the miners. Simple, right? Okay I get it.
Crypto Explained: With A Simple Example
Think of it this way. A second grade teacher gives everyone in class a math problem to solve. Whoever does it first gets chocolate. That chocolate is what cryptocurrency actually is, an incentive to solve the problem.
Say a kid solves it, and shows it to the teacher, his proof of work, the teacher takes a little time to check it. This is also what happens each time someone updates the ledger. Here’s where it gets tricky. After the teacher says the problem is correctly solved, every kid’s notebook (their chain of block) get updated with that solved problem (the block) and then the teacher gives them a new problem (a new transaction creating a new block) and the process is repeated over and over again.
But the kid doesn’t eat the chocolate. He knows economics in second grade and understands that anything of value, i.e. anything that people want, can be used as a currency, an exchange of value if you will, and gives the chocolate to his crush who then in turn agrees to spend the lunch break with him, and the two kids hop off to a sunny meadow with Morgan Freeman doing a monologue about young love.
Anyway, that’s how the incentive of mining cryptocurrency becomes a currency, also including the fact that it is not traceable, completely secure and solves the problem of double spending by back checking of all the blocks with each transaction, increasing its demand.
That’s all it is, cryptocurrency is just math teacher giving out problems and chocolates and Morgan Freeman in monologue. You might be prompted to say how materialistic that little girl is, impressed just by chocolate, but this is second grade, lower your standards.
Cryptocurrency: More Details to Follow
Cryptocurrency, since its boom about half a decade ago, has also become one of the major avenues of investments.
Remember, the year 2017 when BITCOIN seemed to be the emerging winner amongst various cryptocurrencies. Its record breaking streak continued, analysts and investors being stunned by the soaring prices of this digital currency. However, the wide fluctuations in the daily prices of Bitcoin, its roller-coaster price ride over the past few years diverted investors to other popular cryptocurrencies as well.
Followed by bitcoin, numerous other cryptos gaining traction are: Ethereum, Ripple, Stellar and Litecoin, to name a few.
So, let’s discuss the Best Cryptocurrencies in the World that are presently attracting investors and traders at a large scale.
Best Cryptocurrency in The World: Top 10 List
The cryptocurrencies have been ranked on the basis of market capitalization. The details in this blog are on “as is basis”. Cryptocurrency prices are subject to wide price fluctuations and may vary even after a short interval of time.
Image Source: CoinMarketCap
Now, lets study them one by one…
Who hasn’t heard of this digital decentralized currency “Bitcoin”? Bitcoin is the most recognized and the topmost in the list of Top 10 cryptocurrency in the world. Bitcoin is a world-wide digital currency based on the peer to peer technology system wherein transactions are recorded in public distributed ledger referred as block chain. Bitcoins can be traded for goods and services provided the vendors accept bitcoin payments.
Bitcoin, referred to as digital gold, has been around for years now and has shown its concrete stance to stand over the time and its status as an investment of value. It showed tremendous growth between 2012 and 2016. Remember, Bitcoin prices have been shooting up significantly and reached above $11000 per coin in November 2017 and it crossed the $14000 mark in the first week of December. In the May 2020, the developers are to increase from 12.5 to 6.25 BTC every ten minutes for miners.
You can buy bitcoin with debit or credit card instantly. You can store bitcoins in Bitcoin wallets. However, Bitcoins can be used anonymously which is the major point of concern for different countries. This is why Governments of few countries are putting restrictions on the usage and trading of bitcoins. While some have already legalised this innovative mode of digital payment system.
The next addition to the list is Ethereum which is a decentralized platform for applications running exactly as being programmed. This is built to run smart contracts and based on a custom build blockchain. There are Ethereum wallets to hold and secure ether, deploy and use smart contracts.
All this technical jargon seems too much for a common man to understand. So, let us just simplify it a bit…
Ethereum is an open software platform based on blockchain technology that focuses on running the programming code of any decentralised application (also called as Dapps). Ethereum’s rise has also been meteoric in the year 2017 and it had grown almost 48x from 10 USD to 480 USD in the year 2017 itself. Ethereum presents itself more like a platform than a currency and with the rise of Dapps, ethereum can emerge to be a really good investment in future.
Ethereum is more institutional, in the sense that it is based on contracts used by many projects for the digitalization of transactions and currency. This has caused an increase in demand for the currency’s block chain, in turn there is a predicted increase in value by the community. However, this also depends on upcoming fork updates and quick implementation of the Proof-of-Stake algorithm.
Tether is a stable coin, which basically means that its value is not exactly dependent on the demand and supply function of the coin. The primary goal is to avoid huge fluctuations so the coin has transnational value, like fiat currencies. Tether operates on Omni Protocol, which happens to be huge platform used to anchor a number of different cryptocurrencies, through bitcoin block-chain.
Ripple (XRP) is one of the currencies with one of the most wide-spread applications. Ripple can be used for transactions, or for currency exchanges, both at very low cost commission, at 0.00001$. Ripple does not use block-chain unlike its peers, but uses its own patented technology Ripple Protocol Consensus Algorithm, which basically works similarly except for few functional changes. Ripple is supported by various banks like Axis Bank, Yes Bank, Union Credit to name a few.
5. Bitcoin Cash
Bitcoin Cash is one of the most popular hardforks of the Bitcoin Core. Its the fork that supports Segwit2x i.e higher block sizes. It started with all the investors getting the same amount of BCH as BTC. It had humble beginnings but the month of November saw the price of BCH skyrocket to as much as 1800 USD i.e. almost 6x the initial listing price. Its rise had even helped it overtake ETH in terms of market cap.
6. Bitcoin SV
Bitcoin SV probably has one of the most interesting foundational stories. Led by Craig White, the idea behind Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision is to restore bitcoin to what it was intended to be, a decentralized peer to peer network based currency, from which both bitcoin and bitcoin cash have swayed away. It is similar to Bitcoin in terms of consensus mechanism. The main selling point is that BSV’s block size is almost 4 times that of Bitcoin, giving the network a higher throughput.
This is a peer-review cryptocurrency developed by PhD scholars and scientists alike, and a lot of people are of the opinion that this is the next big thing. A big contributing factor is in the fact that this is Generation 3 of cryptocurrency, in which they have avoided the mistakes of its predecessors. Cardano Foundation, a Switzerland based non-profit and IOHK, a leading cryptocurrency company are the ones that stand behind the coin.
Litecoin’s biggest selling point, its proportionately limited supply 84 million coins and a block reward of 25 LTC, which falls at the higher end of block rewards in cryptos. The mean time to mine a block is also less at two minutes, much quicker than other cryptos.
9. Crypto.com Coin
Crypto.com is one of the companies that is trying to cryptocurrency mainstream through its payment systems. It has reward card that is VISA backed, so that is both utility and security. Previously known as Monaco, Crypto.com offers two coins, MCO and CRO.
ChainLink uses something called smart contracts, which are basically agreements with details pre-specified, on block chain, that have a continuous loop of evaluating information and executing contracts. The source. i.e. the link between data and real world are called Oracles. Chainlink is also one of the most popular currencies among investors, because of its completely secured and decentralized nature.
You may also like: Cryptocurrency in India: What’s the Scope?
Best Crypto List: Few More to Add
Here’s an added bonus, some other popular cryptocurrencies to keep an eye on:
1. MakerDAO (MKR, DAI)
Built on a similar network like Ethereum, MakerDAO has been around for two years and is already one of the leaders in decentralized stablecoins management systems. Decentralized credit system issues the DAI token, whose value is in turn backed by the USD. The holders of the MKR receive interest on such credits.
2. Basic Attention Token (BAT)
The BAT has been one of the most popular currencies since 2018. It is basically a utility token, used to tip virtually anyone from content creators to anyone you find helpful throughout internet.
3. Binance Coin (BNB)
Binance is a utility coin which has a concrete business history as well as an experienced team. It has grown in volume despite volatility in the past two years.
4. Tron (TRX)
Tron, a BitTorrent supported coin, is one of the few ERC-20 tokens that have reached the main netTRON has over 300,000 accounts, a currency showing solid growth and reliability as an investment. It also reminds you of a cool movie so that’s a plus point.
5. Ripple (XRP)
Ripple is at third place in terms of market capitalisation, after Bitcoin and Ethereum. Ripple offers financial settlement services to banks, allowing them to make transactions directly and instantly across the country.
6. Tezos (XTZ)
Tezos, a French project, has begun to emerge as a significant player in the crypto space. This project’s main focus is on the rigour and security of its programming mode as well as on a method that improves the protocol coded within.
7. Cosmos (ATOM)
The main aim that this project intends to solve is a frequent problem among digital assets i.e. the difficulty of securely exchanging tokens of different blockchains with simplicity of UI, which happens to be one of the biggest problems in the space. However, Cosmos is still in adolescence in terms of market testing and in still at a experimental stage.
Cryptocurrency: The Bottom Line
While Bitcoin still seems to be the most famous cryptocurrency out of the whole lot. The potential investors are keeping an eye on the wide price fluctuations in other trending virtual currencies as well.
Remember, one needs to be cautious while investing in risky assets no matter how high the profits tend to seem.
The Governments of various countries are also stepping up to regulate the cryptocurrency market transactions. Few have approved and legalised its use while others are still thinking to take certain actions in this regard in the near future. While there are some who have also advised investors to stay away from this speculative bubble.
However, this Crypto wind is already blowing with full force at a global level, disrupting the financial space to a larger extent. We can only wait and watch for its acceptability or non-acceptability and related consequences ahead: “A beginning of a new digital age” or “A bubble likely to burst” a query that is still not answered.
For every one piece of information a lay person understands about crypto, there 10 new things developing. Thorough research is advisable before jumping in.
Risk Warning : “Cryptocurrency” is inherently risky asset. We are not endorsing any of the above names. Please do your own due diligence on the cryptocurrencies mentioned as well as the exchange/trading site you want to trade on before entering the trade. This blog is for information purpose only and can’t be constituted as a professional advice in any regard. Fintrakk.com or any of its representatives are not responsible for any losses occurring due to investment in cryptocurrency!!
Did you enjoy our post on the Best Cryptocurrency in the World? This was our collection of the Top 10 cryptocurrencies with an added bunch of other digital currencies. What scope and future do you see for Cryptocurrency in this changing virtual world? Is it an advancement in the digital era that shall make things simpler? or Is it just like another bubble that shall have its own implications? Looking forward to hear your valuable opinions.