Of the top 5 cryptocurrencies, it is fair to say that Ethereum has had the most turbulent time. Heralded as the Bitcoin beater on its arrival to the market, it looked like the sky was the limit for Ethereum. Then things began to falter and the once stable wheels began to wobble.
Last year, the currency was in a fight for survival and was trying to rally against a resurgent XRP. Its long-held number two spot was under real threat, and worse still, the gap between the remaining chasing pack and Ethereum was narrowing with each passing day.
Although the Ether price has recovered now, whether the coin will be the second-to-the-king for long remains to be seen. But if you’re looking for an attractive prospect to diversify beyond Ethereum, here is the list of its main contenders.
It hasn’t always shone, but has always offered a viable alternative to the big three cryptocurrencies.
It has also been going for a very long time as it was first released in 2011. Technically, Litecoin was a fork (one of the first) on the Bitcoin blockchain and it is no surprise that it operates in almost the same way as Bitcoin.
It tends to do as well or as badly as Bitcoin. The price of Litecoin is almost always linked to the fortunes of its bigger brother. Currently though, Litecoin is far cheaper to buy than Bitcoin or Ethereum. That doesn’t mean it is as cheap as chips, Litecoin holds a fair amount of value per coin and normally operates around $100 per LTC.
If you’re looking for a friendly cryptocurrency to use, trade or invest in, then Litecoin offers this and a great deal more. Like Bitcoin, its usage is being implemented in the real world too, so it might be a matter of time before you’re shopping with Litecoin.
If Litecoin is the same as Bitcoin, Stellar Lumen represents something completely different, although the Stellar Foundation have made use of the Bitcoin brand and even dubbed the Stellar prototype “Secret Bitcoin Project”. After getting a lot of funding from security tech company Stripe, the cat was out of the bag and Stellar was released.
Since then it has plodded along, gathering traction in spurts and its functionality has been lauded as its major strength in the market. Essentially, Stellar Lumen facilitates payments across borders even if the payment is across two currencies. This means it has gained a lot of traffic in the African market and has a large user base.
Today the coin enjoys a relatively comfortable place in the top 10 cryptocurrencies although it holds promise to break into the top 5.
For traders and investors, Stellar Lumen offers a very attractive coin price and market share with positive projections from its fans and developers. So far, Stellar Lumens are mostly present at non-fiat exchanges, but there are a few platforms that will allow you to buy it for fiat money. One such platform is CEX.IO. Here, you will be able to buy XLM using both euro and dollar. So you will have no problem trading Stellar Lumens at the exchange. Another clear advantage of CEX is that it supports multiple payment options for it — credit cards (both Visa and MasterCard), as well as wire transfers.
Many altcoins are Bitcoin forks. Dash is in the same boat except it has travelled in a very different direction to most Bitcoin forks. Bitcoin is notoriously slow for processing transactions which has led to many coins being created to offer a faster payment solution, but still use Bitcoin’s blockchain technology.
Dash goes one step further and not only provides faster transaction times, but also the transactions that are very difficult to trace. It is one of the cryptocurrencies along with ZCash that aims to provide anonymous transactions. This system is great for users who wish to hide their identities or conduct business in complete privacy, but it has also raised a lot of red flags with regulators and law enforcement agencies.
Dash operates around four times faster than Bitcoin. But despite its ‘speedy’ name, it isn’t the fastest coin on the market. What it does offer new users is an accessible buying price and the potential for plenty of growth. This makes it a viable and well-respected altcoin.
There may be trying times ahead, with transparency of transactions likely to be scrutinized a lot more closely, but this intense focus extends across much of the cryptocurrency market at the moment.
To Sum It Up
Hopefully you have enjoyed looking at the other options to Ethereum, and there are many altcoins that sit lower down the food chain that offer real opportunities. Be careful when selecting cryptocurrencies that seem to promise something too good to be true, especially if they are very new to the market. Sometimes, it is best to let these coins ‘marinade’ a bit and see how they develop before taking the plunge and backing them.
Remember to always stay safe and protect your cryptocurrency investment.
This is a paid for article by Mary Ann Callahan from Cex.io