Bitcoin (BTC) is a consensus network that enables a new payment system and a completely digital currency. Powered by its users, it is a peer to peer payment network that requires no central authority to operate. On October 31st, 2008, an individual or group of individuals operating under the pseudonym "Satoshi Nakamoto" published the Bitcoin Whitepaper and described it as: "a purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash, which would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution."
Ethereum (ETH) is a smart contract platform that enables developers to build decentralized applications (dapps) conceptualized by Vitalik Buterin in 2013. ETH is the native currency for the Ethereum platform and also works as the transaction fees to miners on the Ethereum network.
Ethereum is the pioneer for blockchain based smart contracts. When running on the blockchain a smart contract becomes like a self-operating computer program that automatically executes when specific conditions are met. On the blockchain, smart contracts allow for code to be run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third-party interference. It can facilitate the exchange of money, content, property, shares, or anything of value. The Ethereum network went live on July 30th, 2015 with 72 million Ethereum premined.
Litecoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency created by Charlie Lee. It was created based on the Bitcoin protocol but differs in terms of the hashing algorithm used. Litecoin uses the memory intensive Scrypt proof of work mining algorithm. Scrypt allows consumer-grade hardware such as GPU to mine those coins.
Cardano (ADA) is a decentralized platform that will allow complex programmable transfers of value in a secure and scalable fashion. It is reportedly the first blockchain platform to evolve out of a scientific philosophy and a research-first driven approach, and one of the first to be built in the Haskell programming language. Cardano is developing a smart contract platform which seeks to deliver more advanced features than any protocol previously developed. The development team consists of a large global collective of expert engineers and researchers. The protocol reportedly features a layered blockchain software stack that is flexible, scalable, and is being developed with the most rigorous academic and commercial software standards in the industry. Cardano will use a democratic governance system that allows the project to evolve over time, and fund itself sustainably through a treasury system.
The Stellar network is an open source, distributed, and community owned network used to facilitate cross-asset transfers of value. Stellar aims to help facilitate cross-asset transfer of value at a fraction of a penny while aiming to be an open financial system that gives people of all income levels access to low-cost financial services. Stellar can handle exchanges between fiat-based currencies and between cryptocurrencies. Stellar.org, the organization that supports Stellar, is centralized like XRP and meant to handle cross platform transactions and micro transactions like XRP. However, unlike Ripple, Stellar.org is non-profit and their platform itself is open source and decentralized. Through the use of its intermediary currency Lumens (XLM), a user can send any currency that they own to anyone else in a different currency.
Monero (XMR) is a private, secure, and untraceable cryptocurrency that was launched April 18th, 2014. With Monero, it is said you are in complete control of your funds and privacy no one else can see anyone else's balances or transactions.
Lead by the Seoul-based ICONLOOP (formerly theloop), ICON (ICX) aspires to build a decentralized network that allows different blockchains to transact with one another. The project's goal is to unify the balkanized blockchain ecosystem through its protocol and community-building initiatives. Potential use cases for ICX include transactions involving securities, currencies, loans, intellectual property, and personal authentication.
DigiByte (DGB) is a global blockchain focused on cybersecurity for digital payments since 2014. DGB are digital assets that are mined through a combination of cryptographic algorithms with the intent to minimize mining centralization and maximize difficulty stability while reaching consensus at speeds as fast as 15-second block timings. Focused on securing data and pioneering new innovations, the team behind DigiByte claims to have issued a representation of units which hold value on an immutable ledger and cannot be the subject of counterfeiting or hacking, as any computer or device connected to the network may help to relay transactions.
Created in 2014 under its original name of DogecoinDark, Verge (XVG) is an open-source privacy coin with a team of international developers. Verge uses the anonymity tool Tor and an anonymous network layer I2P to hide specific transactions’ IP addresses and locations. Transaction speed on Verge is estimated to be at 5 seconds due to the use of Simple Payment Verification (SPV). The Core QT wallet has built-in TOR integration and SSL encryption which obfuscates the IP addresses of users. The introduction of the Wraith Protocol upgrade enables users to send and receive payments privately across the Verge blockchain by enabling stealth addressing services. Verge users are reportedly able to switch between private and public ledgers on the Verge blockchain. Verge offers five different Proof-of-Work algorithms for mining - Lyra2rev2, Scrypt, X17, blake2s and myr-groestl.
Source of descriptions https://coinmarketcap.com/