Bitcoin is exploding as a world leading cryptocurrency. Introduced in 2009 by an anonymous developer using the name Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin works as an anonymous, peer-to-peer, digital currency that avoids big banks and middle men. Using the currency, you receive no transaction fees, and there is no need to use your real name. Bitcoins can be purchased via various Bitcoin exchanges, personal peer-to-peer transfers, or mined using a high powered computer. While fiat currency is that which is declared by a government to be legal tender, Bitcoin avoids government regulation and can be used as tender, or as a worthwhile investment.
Acting as a fork from the Bitcoin-QT client, Litecoin joined the cryptocurrency realm in 2011. As one of the most popular cryptocurrencies, it was founded by a programmer who previously worked for Google. Litecoin has a shorter generation time if mining, has a larger number of maximum coins available compared to Bitcoin, and has a much faster transaction time when compared against Bitcoin. Litecoin transactions are confirmed with an average time of 2.5 minutes, whereas Bitcoin confirms anywhere between 6 and 20 minutes. Litecoins are also much more affordable than Bitcoins. If you’re looking to invest in cryptocurrencies, Litecoin could be an excellent option.
If you consider the market capitalization of Bitcoin and Litecoin combined, you’d reach a figure of roughly$12.7 Billion dollars. The majority of this is thanks to Bitcoin investors. There is a 3rd player who is starting togarner much attention - Peercoin. Similar in many ways to Bitcoin, Peercoin is a more efficient and moresecure version of Bitcoin. Where Bitcoin and Litecoin both have limits surrounding the total number of coinsthat could ever be produced, Peercoin does not. This makes it much more comparable to real-world moneysystems. Peercoin was designed by focusing on the network first and foremost. It was designed for thelong-term, and it’s acting as a fantastic investment opportunity.
Namecoin has certainly built up a name for itself. When Aaron Schwartz and WikiLeaks are endorsing you, people start to pay attention. It’s this type of attention that demonstrates that Namecoin isn’t just another digital currency in the growing list of Bitcoin spin-offs. In existence since 2011, Namecoin has faced some troubles, and is also slightly more difficult to understand. As it’s based off Bitcoin, the de-centralized peer-to-peer approach exists. Its primary reason for existence isn’t to exist as a digital coin. Instead, it’s meant to be a decentralized, cryptographically strong, way of transmitting and storing key and data pairs.
Let’s take a moment to consider a hypothetical situation. Hundreds of thousands of workers within the United States want a change. They see the value of the US dollar dropping. They feel their purchasing power diminishing. So, instead, they opt to go for a more "road less travelled" route.
Virtually everyone who has not been living under a rock has heard a thing or two about Bitcoins, definitely a revolutionary cryptocurrency. It is, no doubt, the biggest, the baddest and the most respected of the peer-to-peer electronic coins in the market today. To demonstrate the magnitude of how huge Bitcoin really is, here is a fact to blow your mind: its market cap is currently in excess of more than 10 billion dollars. Due to this, it has become a major investment vehicle globally; in addition to potentially becoming a universal foreign exchange currency for trading.
Peercoin is the new cryptocurrency alternative to Bitcoin - the first to be based on a combination of the proof-of-work (PoW) and proof-of-stake (PoS) systems. The camps that mine and back cryptocurrencies are fragmented; each camp claiming their coin as the most superior. The question that naturally arises though, is whether this new high tech ideology and financial instrument that is Peercoin and proof-of-stake will replace Bitcoin in the future. It is important for us to look at the situation with an open mind and without letting personal bias getting in the way of our judgment. The fact is, Peercoin was designed to solve many of the problems that Bitcoin seems to have in store for it in the future. Here is a look at Peercoins, its differences with Bitcoins and a speculation of possibilities in the future for the two.
No matter how far Bitcoin progresses, it seems we can’t avoid the pundits in comparing the massive growth of Bitcoins to tulip mania. Tulip mania was an event that occurred in in the early 1600’s. The Dutch started importing tulips. Tulips became more and more of a type of luxury item. Eventually, everyone wanted one. At one point in time, you could have (allegedly) literally traded close to 20 oxen in order to get yourself one of these tulip bulbs. Economists and historians assume (though they also acknowledge that the answer isn’t 100% clear) that this so-called mania drove the prices of tulip bulbs up so high, created a bubble, and then eventually crashed causing many to be bankrupt. Can you see the comparison to Bitcoin? If see a comparison, you likely see the gigantic return on investment that Bitcoin has provided to investors over such a short period of time. You might look at a chart of Bitcoin vs the US dollar and assume that the same sort of event, a Bitcoin mania, is occurring today. There are many difference though which would suggest otherwise.
Namecoin is an open source transfer and decentralized key/value registration system that is based on another decentralized cryptocurrency - Bitcoin. Namecoins allow you to purchase a .bit domain name. You need to purchase the domain with Namecoins, and this on its own provides a large part of its value. The only primary difference between a Namecoin and a Bitcoin is that you can use Namecoins to buy domain names, whereas Bitcoins are just a currency.
What would have in your pocket if you invested only $100 in cryptocurrencies at the beginning of 2013? If you were wise enough to invest in Bitcoin, you would be sitting at just over $5000 profit by the end of 2013. If, on the other hand, you were investing in Litecoin, that $100 investment would be pocketing you $30,000 USD and the end of 2013. Not too bad for an altcoin that the mainstream media is (as usual) slow to pick up on. With all of the attention focused on Bitcoin these days, could Litecoin possibly replace Bitcoin?