Bitcoin is currently the gold standard in the world of peer-to-peer virtual currencies, but do you know that it is not the only cryptocurrency? Cryptocurrencies are a decentralized system where currency is not issued, but mined with powerful computers by solving blocks of math equations called “hashes”. These peer-to-peer virtual currencies have a central security that makes use of cryptography. If Bitcoin is just a tip of the iceberg, then what other cryptocurrencies are around? Here are # other noteworthy cryptocurrencies, or Altcoins, that you can check out.
Litecoin is the second most valuable cryptocurrency, just standing next to Bitcoin in value and popularity. Litecoin has a similar protocol but its main difference is it was designed to make mining more democratic and cheaper by implementing a scrypt, or a cryptography protocol that can be solved using common GPUs that anyone can purchase.
This cryptocurrency was launched in December 2013 and features an image of a Shibu Inus, which is a breed of a Japanese dog designed by Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus. Dogecoin has a broad base of the Bitcoin protocol but has added a few tricks on its own. It uses a scrypt technology as a scheme for work-proof, and has a block time of a minute. There is no limit in producing Dogecoins and there are no plans to cap it.
Darkcoin is the more sinister version of Bitcoin. If you think Bitcoin is already secretive and seems anonymous as compared to standard money, Darkcoin provides an even secure transaction by working on a decentralized mastercode that makes it almost untraceable. It was launched early January of 2014 and has been gaining a steady stream of followers since. Darkcoin was created by Evan Duffield and you may use either a GPU or a CPU to mine them.
Freicoin is unique in that it has a built in demurrage fee with a distinct philosophical framework. Demurrage is the term for the cost of holding a commodity, like gold, for a prolonged period of time. Why should a free virtual currency have such fees? The answer is that it spurs a quick exchange by investing or spending Freicoin, and that should drive total GDP. The Freicoin system generates a block every 10 minutes and the total coins number about 100 million.
Quarkcoin jumps into the cryptocurrency bandwagon and touts itself as the “elementary currency”. Mining this altcoin should be faster, more secure and easier than alternative cryptocurrencies in the market. Quarkcoin is also thought to have the fastest hash or block to mine- recorded to only take 55 seconds for a transaction. It also has the prestigious title of being the most mined, as around 550 thousand blocks are reported to have been made in little over six months.
Primecoin was founded by Sunny King and has a proof of work that is based on prime numbers. This sets it aside from the usual method of hash solving. Cunningham chains, which are huge prime number sequences, are the target and they are said to be more valuable than hashes decoded in mining. These mathematical currencies can be used in a wide variety of applications, from public key cryptography to number theory.