Bitcoin is by far the oldest and most popular cryptocurrency in existence. However, in recent years it has had to deal with some pretty stiff competition from dozens of alternative cryptocurrencies that have sprung up to get a piece of the action and possibly knock it off the top spot.
What’s more, the world’s most prominent cryptocurrency has also been the subject of controversy over the last year. Doubts are now being raised about some of its key attributes such as the level of anonymity it lends to its users.
With all that now being an integral part of the discussion, traders are becoming increasingly interested in alternative cryptocurrencies that may serve their interests considerably better than Bitcoin.
To surpass Bitcoin in any way is a tall order and if there is a cryptocurrency that has been claimed to do exactly that, it ought to be given a proper looking.
Unfortunately, we will not be going through every single potential alternative to Bitcoin. Instead, we will be looking at just 4 of them.
1. Ethereum (ETH)
Ethereum’s place in relation to Bitcoin is not surprising. It is a lot like Bitcoin in some key ways. It is an open source, decentralized platform that is based on a blockchain and is traded via a token called ‘Ether.’
Its other key function, however, is that it is permissible to the development of smart contracts as well as distributed applications without any interference from outside.
What’s more, Ethereum is still a young contender in the cryptocurrency arena and is already showcasing exponential growth. With a market cap in excess of $31 billion, it is second only to Bitcoin.
It is, therefore, the most popular choice after Bitcoin for traders looking to trade cryptocurrencies.
2. Dogecoin (Doge)
If you are not a fan of trading cryptocurrencies, you will at least be interested in how they came into existence at all. And many of the world’s most prominent cryptocurrencies do contain rather interesting origin stories.
For instance, we still do not know exactly who came up with Bitcoin, the most lucrative cryptocurrency. But the origin story with Dogecoin is even stranger. Dogecoin was first launched back in December of 2013, it came across really as a kind of joke.
It was for all intents and purposes, a combo of Bitcoin and ‘Doge’ (a viral meme on the internet that had a multi-colored text in broken English accompanied by a picture of Shiba Inu).
That is about as amusing as origin stories get for cryptocurrencies. Now though, people take Dogecoin a lot more seriously.
Of all the cryptocurrencies that are not Bitcoin, Litecoin is the one that is seen as having the most similarities. This is a peer-to-peer network that allows payments to be made immediately and at a very low cost.
Litecoin is fully decentralized. It is all about numbers and algorithms when it comes to securing its network and giving traders sufficient control and mobility over their funds.
4. Dash (DASH)
For those traders who are looking for an alternative to Bitcoin but nothing too different, Dash is a good choice to go with. Like Bitcoin, it is open source and a peer-to-peer platform that actually claims to be an improvement over Bitcoin in certain areas.
It focuses on enabling users to execute transactions almost instantly without a dependency on some centralized authority with its ‘InstantSend’ feature.
It also has a ‘PrivateSend’ feature that secures the privacy of traders by executing multiple transactions at the same time, thereby obscuring the original source of the coins being traded and to whom they are being sent.
Dash also uses a different and lesser-known algorithm to Bitcoin, called ‘X11’, that makes it compatible with less powerful computers, affording more and more people the opportunity to mine it.
What’s more, Dash’s algorithm is highly efficient with its energy consumption, using at least 30% less than other well-known algorithms like Scrypt.
However, it is still very much an underdog in the crypto arena. But any wise trader will regard its capabilities quite seriously.
There are many more cryptocurrencies out there that you might prefer to Bitcoin. However, these are the ones I believe to hold the most potential.