Story by: DAVID HAMILTON
A lot has changed in the cryptomarket since Satoshi Nakamoto first released his revolutionary Bitcoin white paper nine years ago. Today, Bitcoin is not alone in the crypto space. There are currently over four thousand altcoins available to investors. This growing variety can make it difficult to distinguish what is the best Bitcoin alternative.
Altcoins – The Best Bitcoin Alternative to Fill The Void
Bitcoin serves many purposes, and before you can determine the best Bitcoin alternative, you will need to decide what features you desire most in your cryptocurrency. Bitcoin was originally designed as a form of electronic cash. Unfortunately, blockchain congestion has increased Bitcoin transaction times and fees.
The added costs have limited Bitcoin’s ability to function as electronic cash in its current state. These scalability issues have forced Bitcoin into a store of value scenario for the time being. Lightning Networkdevelopers are hoping to alleviate Bitcoin’s blockchain congestion through the use of an off-chain protocol, but the project is still in its Beta testing stage.
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As the development of the Lightning Network continues, many are looking to Bitcoin alternatives to fill the void. Let’s take a moment to examine some of the other major players in the cryptomarket, and see what unique features they provide users.
A growing number of analysts predict Ethereum will surpass Bitcoin one day regarding market capitalization. Roger Ver aka Bitcoin Jesus is among this growing number of crypto professionals predicting the change. Ethereum entered the market in 2015 as the first cryptocurrency to offer smart contracts.
Smart contracts are self-initiated protocols that live on the blockchain. Smart contracts are standard among cryptocurrencies today, but this wasn’t always the case. Ethereum was the first second-generation cryptocurrency due to their introduction of smart contract capabilities.
Ethereum can largely be credited for the current boom in Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) as well. The altcoin’s ERC-20 token protocol is, by far, the most widely used token creation platform in the crypto space. Ironically, ERC-20 designers intended the protocol for intercompany use, but after recognizing the strong public demand for such a protocol, Ethereum executives decided to make it public.
All of these factors led to Ethereum’s rise in the cryptomarket and its current position as one of the best bitcoin alternatives.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) entered the market on August 1, 2017. Bitcoin Cash was the first Bitcoin hard fork to occur. The cryptocurrency is similar to Bitcoin in many aspects, with the main difference being that BCH had an 8MB block size compared to Bitcoin’s 1MB blocks. The coins block size was increased again in May of this year to 32MB.
Bitcoin Cash is one of the most widely accepted cryptocurrencies by vendors. The altcoin has managed to stay in the top 5 cryptocurrencies regarding market capitalization since it first entered the market. Some of the most influential crypto professionals advocate for this altcoin, with many believing BCH is truly fulfilling Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision of “an electronic peer-to-peer cash system.”
Not everyone in the crypto community agrees with this perspective. BCH and Bitcoin supporters have often battled on message boards and social media platforms. Despite the controversial beginnings of this cryptocurrency, Bitcoin Cash managed to stay on top of the cryptomarket. Today, many crypto investors see BCH as one of the best Bitcoin alternatives available.
EOS entered the market after hosting a year-long ICO that successfully raised over four billion USD. Unlike Bitcoin, EOS tokens do not perform a function. Instead, the EOS platform functions as an operating system that enables the development, execution, and hosting of commercial-scale decentralized apps (dApps).
Blockone is the development team behind EOS. The project’s founder, Dan Larimer, is also the co-founder of Steemit and Bitshares. Developers hold their EOS tokens to be eligible to utilize the resources of the EOS platform including increased scalability, usability, and flexibility when compared to previously designed cryptos such as Ethereum.
EOS uses a Proof-of-Stake mining system which is more environmentally friendly than the Proof-of-Work protocol used by Bitcoin. Proof-of-stake coins do not require intensive computing power. Many believe Proof-of-Stake coins to be the future of the cryptomarket. Instead of actively mining for the coins, coin holders get rewarded for staking (keeping) their crypto in their wallet. It’s these cutting-edge advancements that have made EOS one of the best Bitcoin alternatives on the market.
Stellar Lumens (XLM) entered the market on July 31, 2014. Stellar is an open-sourced decentralized cryptocurrency that focuses on creating an open global financial network. Stellar is particularly well-suited to accommodate the billion dollar remittance industry. Also, Stellar incorporates the use of credit anchors to seamlessly facilitate fund exchanges without having to wait for third party approval. A similar system is used by PayPal to speed up their fund transfers.
The Stellar development team, headed by Jed McCaleb and Joyce Kim, continues to make inroads in the cryptomarket. Both of these individuals are well-known in the crypto community, and they have used their experience to create a unique Bitcoin alternative. Before Stellar’s official release, the team created a website called “Secret Bitcoin Project” to find interested parties willing to test Stellar’s capabilities.
Stellar continues to see growing adoption. Already, some nonprofit organizations such as the Praekelt Foundation have signed on to the project. Currently, Stellar has strategic partnerships with firms from the Philippines, India, and West Africa. Last year, Stellar expanded their strategic partnerships to include IBMand KlickEX. All of these factors have made Stellar Lumens an attractive Bitcoin alternative to consider.
The Best Bitcoin Alternatives Are Here
The cryptomarket continues to produce new and ever more innovative concepts. These altcoins are pushing the boundaries of the crypto community and ushering in a new era of decentralization. Soon, you may see a day where one of these Bitcoin alternatives pushes Bitcoin out of the top spot. For now, you should keep your eyes on these projects as they are sure to see continued development in the coming months.
Original story: https://coincentral.com/the-best-bitcoin-alternatives-4-altcoins-on-the-rise/by