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Today's Most Popular Digital Currencies

Updated on Oct 06, 2017


Bitcoin was invented by a pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. The platform appeals because it has no transaction fees, no middlemen, and complete anonymity. Transactions are done over an open-source, peer-to-peer blockchain ledger, where all nodes on the network validate and relay the transactions. New bitcoins are created by “mining” which is a process that uses algorithms to solve complex math puzzles. Bitcoin works on proof-of-work (PoW), where it rewards miners for validating transactions.

Bitcoin attracts because it is the earliest cryptocurrency, therefore the most credible. Your money’s not regulated or taxed by the government. Everyone on the platform IS the bank, which means you don't need to pay someone to manage your money, snip it for taxes, ask for interest, or impose government control. Bitcoin, in essence, returns the power of money to you and gives you 100 per cent control over your earnings.

Bitcoin is deflationary: The overall amount of bitcoins is scarce, with bitcoin issuance halting at 21 million bitcoins. This makes bitcoin all the more valuable. Early investors have become hugely wealthy from the coin, some buying mansions, and yachts, planes, or other trillion dollar toys as a result. Originally known as the “money of the Wild West” or Darknet, Bitcoin has become more credible and is used, to date, by thousands of businesses, industries, even hospitals, schools, airports and governments all over the world.

Name of Currency: Satoshi - the smallest unit of the bitcoin currency; one hundred millionth of a single bitcoin (0.00000001 BTC). At the time of writing, a single bitcoin is worth $2526.41.


Vitalik Buterin developed Ethereum in 2013. It is an open-source, peer-to-peer (P2P) blockchain-based ledger used for smart contracts. These are contracts that automatically execute when contract terms are met and are encoded on the ledger. Users use this function for purposes that include investing, voting, fundraising and crowdfunding.

While Bitcoin is encoded in a stack-based language, Ethereum uses Turing Complete Language which makes it faster (12 seconds to Bitcoin’s 10 minutes), simpler, more flexible and powerful, than Bitcoin. Ethereum is, also, Turing-complete, which means it can be implemented in seven programming languages, in contrast to Bitcoin's one. The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is so powerful that dozens of applications, like Gnosis, Aragon,and Filecoin, use its base to build blockchain applications using the Ethereum protocol.

Ethereum is compatible with any wallet, while Bitcoin can only be used with certain wallets.
The most important difference is that while Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are exclusively used for digital currency, Ethereum programs its blockchain ledger for smart contracts, where inbuilt coding automatically implements contract terms.

Ethereum is noted as the platform for DAOs and Dapps. Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) are smart contract-based organizations that can replace regular companies by doing all the things firms do without needing anyone to run them.

Examples: driverless cars and people being employed by robot organizations. Decentralized applications (DApps) are “standalone” applications that don’t need anyone to manage them, and, therefore, cost less to run and use. Examples include P2P marketplaces, micro-payments platforms, reputation programs, and online gambling apps.

Name of Currency: Ether (ETH), intended for investing in the platform and for paying for transaction fees and computational services.
At the time of writing, one ether is worth $296.15 per coin


Litecoin was created in 2011 by former Google employee, Charles Lee. It is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and open-source software project inspired by and almost identical to Bitcoin.
Its advantages include the facts that Litecoin can handle a higher volume of transactions thanks to its faster block generation. The blockchain uses the controversial SegWit (Segregated Witness) to remove signature data to free up space. Litecoin is, also, faster, 2.5 minutes to the Bitcoin 10 minutes). In fact, the cryptocurrency made its mark for sending LTC from Zurich to San Diego in less than one second. Third, Litecoin rewards its miners more currency than Bitcoin, 50 LTC compared to 25 BTC.

In short, LiteCoin is less developed than Bitcoin, but shows more improvements on the technical front. Right now, one Litecoin is worth about $39.97.


Billy Markus introduced open source Doge in 2013. The platform is an open-source (i.e., public/ decentralized) peer-to-peer digital currency that is associated with its cartoon image, the Shiba Inu dog.

Doge attracts its users with advantages that include fast processing (just under a minute), affordability - Doge is 5,000 times cheaper to use than Bitcoin, and scalability, Doge has ten times the transaction capacity of Bitcoin, which helps it carry larger amounts. Doge is the only platform that gives miners unlimited mining capacity. In fact, the amount of Dogecoins you earn depends entirely on how much you create.

The platform differentiates itself by few mainstream commercial applications and is mainly used as an Internet tipping system, where users give Dogecoins to peers for providing interesting or useful content. One Dogecoin is worth about $0.002 and has a market cap of over $289M at the time of writing.


Dash, the “cryptocurrency that your mum could use”, was founded by Evan Duffield in 2015. Originally released as Darkcoin and Xcoin Founder, Dash is the digital currency that any and every layman can use. Bitcoin's problems include that is users need to know basic programming for cyber security. Dash’s user-friendliness makes it one of the most popular digital coins. At the time of writing, one Dash is about $181.07 with a market cap of over $1.3B.

Dash attracts because its user interface looks more like a PayPal or Internet banking site than the complex interfaces of most other cryptocurrency platforms. The blockchain is also more user-friendly in that you send and receive Dash with your regular email accounts rather than with the intimidating 16-digit hashtag of numbers and letters used by competitive cryptocurrency platforms.You can log into an account from any location, using any phone or computer.

One of the greatest differences is that while regular cryptocurrency platforms are operated and funded by its users, Dash funds, regulates and manages its own platform. While this removes public control, it also gives the platform greater credibility. At the time of writing, one Dash is worth $197.25.

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