Cryptocurrencies are the future. You’ve probably heard of Bitcoin. This was the first working cryptocurrency. It is the largest, most used in existence today. Bitcoin isn’t the only cryptocurrency out there though. There are many others in existence. Some are just clones, others add new, interesting features such as privacy. Anything other than Bitcoin is called an altcoin.
Bitcoin is huge. Back when it was originally created in 2009, each coin was worth only the tiniest fraction of a penny. As of today (April 5, 2020) bitcoin is worth $6,787 per coin. At its highest it was worth just shy of $20,000. Those who bought in early were extremely lucky. It used to be possible to mint your own coins using only a laptop. This could be done fairly easily. After the difficulty increased, people needed more and more powerful hardware for mining. Since they have a much higher number of cores GPUs are far more efficient for mining than regular CPUs. People eventually started using PCs with multiple GPUs to mine Bitcoin. People would fill rooms with these PCs each fitted with around 6 GPUs each. Today, GPUs are no longer sufficient. People have moved on to even more powerful hardware, ASICS. Dedicated mining hardware has been created and is now required to be competitive. This has been the case for years now. Companies fill entire rooms with very expensive, dedicated crypto mining hardware.
It was created by an anonymous individual. None one knows for sure who this person really is. It was created for several different reasons. Bitcoin is a decentralized currency that isn’t controlled by a single person. There is a finite amount that can be created. This means that nobody can decide to just print more. Because of this, it has been called “digital gold”. Another feature is that it is inexpensive to transfer. Instead of being charged ridiculous fees to send money to another person, it can be done for almost free. You also don’t need permission to send or own currency. It puts people in control of their own money. It is not really anonymous but some other cryptocurrencies are.
Ethereum has been called the Bitcoin killer. It is a very popular coin. One of the reasons that it was created was to allow people to do more with the blockchain. The designers wanted people to be able to use the blockchain for all sorts of things such as create smart contracts. It is meant to do much more than just act as a currency.
Why are there so many cryptocurrencies?
Quite a few cryptocurrencies exist. You may find yourself asking, “Why are there so many cryptocurrencies?”. One reason for this is that they are easy to create. It may have taken a bit for Bitcoin to be created but now that it exists people can easily clone it. Besides being easy to clone there is a big incentive to create new currencies because they can potentially be a great way to make a lot of money. Some are just clones while others have new functionality. That is another reason people create new cryptocurrencies. They see an area that could be improved or a feature that should exist and the implement this functionality.
List of Cryptocurrencies
There are hundereds ( or more ) of cryptocurrencies. Here are a few of the more notable ones.
- Bitcoin Cash
- Ethereum Classic
- Cryptocurrency on Wikipedia
- List of Cryptocurrencies on Wikipedia
- Bitcoin on Wikipedia
- Altcoin Description
- Altcoin on Investopedia
- Ethereum Official Site