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Virtual Currency

Beyond Bitcoins: 3 Cryptocurrencies You Should Know About

While believers are vying for the technology, precautionists are warning against the bubble.
Beyond Bitcoins: 3 Cryptocurrencies You Should Know About
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3 min read

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Bitcoin's price has been the hottest debate in  the global fintech market, with believers vying for the technology and precautionists warning against the bubble. And while Bitcoin has been the most successful virtual currency to hit the market, its not the only one. Like Bitcoin an array of cryptocurrencies that vary in price compared to the US Dollar and can be readily traded into Euros, Pounds, and other international currencies have surfaced. 

Let's check out three of the most popular cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin that have made headlines, this year. 

Ethereum

In its simplest form, is an open software platform based on blockchain technology and  allows developers to build and deploy decentralised applications, unlike Bitcoin, which primarily focuses on the trading of currency. It has picked up widely mainly due to the steep rise in price of Bitcoins and the desire for investors to experiment with other with virtual currencies. Just like Bitcoin, Ethereum is not under anyone's direct control, so it operates in a free market moevemtn and mostly outside national laws. 

Litecoin

Very similar to Bitcoin, but boasts of a much faster moving market, thanks to a significantly shorter transaction time. Additionally, Litecoin traders get a two-minute rate while Bitcoin transactions take around 100.There are currently 84 million Litecoins in circulation compared with Bitcoin’s 21 million, indicating its lower denomination and shorter-term trading pull. 

Ripple

Unlike Bitcoin and Litecoin, this is a pre-mined currency used for settlements. There is a real-time, on-demand liquidity attached to the currency useful for  global payments. Ripple allows users to transact without losing any conversion cost.

 It is currently available in 12 countries around the world and primarily used for trading, although it can also function as a bridge asset for international payments.

Risks

Like Bitcoin, these cryptocurrencies have several risks attached to them, the most prominent being the non-acceptance by most governments around the world. Although a blanket ban does not exist but countries like China and even India have expressed the need to regulate such alternative currencies. 

Apart from this security hazards attached to virtual currencies is worrisome. There have been more than 40 known thefts and seizures of bitcoins, incurring losses of more than $1 million in most cases. Even banks and financial instituions have not been overtly bullish on the currency and thinks its just an artificial rise. 

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is among the few who shares this view and said recently that he believes Bitcoin and other digital currencies are a fraud and “eventually it will be closed.”

Let's just hope for the best and keep in mind that cryptocurrencies may be way ahead of time, just like music taping and Internet, which seemed threatening at the time they came about. 

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