Bitcoin (BTC)

With the largest variety of markets and the biggest value - having reached a peak of over 160 billion USD - Bitcoin is here to stay. As with any new invention, there can be improvements or flaws in the initial model however the community and a team of dedicated developers are pushing to overcome any obstacle they come across. It is also the most traded cryptocurrency and one of the main entry points for all the other cryptocurrencies

Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference. In the Ethereum protocol and blockchain there is a price for each operation. The general idea is, in order to have things transferred or executed by the network, you have to consume or burn Gas. The cryptocurrency is called Ether and is used to pay for computation time and for transaction fees.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

Bitcoin Cash is a hard forked version of the original Bitcoin. Its protocol is similar to Bitcoin, with two main differences. As of August 2017, Bitcoin Cash uses 8 MB blocks whereas Bitcoin has a 1 MB block-size limit. Bitcoin Cash also adjusts difficulty every 6 blocks rather than every 2016 blocks as Bitcoin does.

Litecoin (LTC)

Litecoin provides faster transaction confirmations (2.5 minutes on average) and uses a memory-hard, scrypt-based mining proof-of-work algorithm to target the regular computers and GPUs most people already have - which are its main difference compared to Bitcoin. The Litecoin network is scheduled to produce 84 million currency units with a halving in reward every four years just like bitcoin. The coin was created by a Google employee, Charles Lee. Litecoin is in second spot to Bitcoin and has spawned numerous clones - however it has a solid base of support and dedicated development team.

Ripple (XRP)

Ripple positions itself as a complement to, rather than a competitor with, Bitcoin - the site has a page dedicated to Ripple for bitcoiners. Ripple is a distributed network which means transactions occur immediately across the network - and as it is peer to peer - the network is resilient to systemic risk. Ripples aren't mined - unlike bitcoin and its peers - but each transaction destroys a small amount of XRP which adds a deflationary measure into the system. There are 100 billion XRP at present.

Monero (XMR)

Monero (XMR) is a cryptonight algorithm based alternative crypto currency. The coin is based on Proof of Work and has a block reward that varies smoothly. The difficulty retargets every block with a sixty second block target. Monero uses a Ring Signature system to protect your privacy, allowing users to make untraceable transactions.