Cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual assets that are encrypted using cryptography. Cryptography is the application of encryption technology to secure and verify transactions in a ledger. Digital assets are designed to function as a decentralized medium of exchange.
Cryptocurrencies are decentralized as opposed to the centralized fiat currencies that operate under regulations of central banks. On the contrary, governments are looking for various ways on how the digital currencies can be regulated. For example, South Korean recently banned anonymous trading in cryptocurrencies requiring traders to register with their real identities while cryptocurrency exchanges carry out KYC and AML procedures as required by law. Decentralization, on the other hand, is achieved through the blockchain which is a public transaction database that functions as a peer-to-peer distributed ledger.
Since the inception of blockchain technology which spearheaded the birth of cryptocurrencies starting with Bitcoin (BTC) in 2009. There are over 1,600 cryptos some of which function as tokens of value but not as currencies per say. This article will explore 2 major cryptocurrencies after Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
Ripple refers to both the digital currency (XRP) and the remittance network. In addition to that, it is a real-time gross settlement network (RTGS) otherwise known as the Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP). The open source internet protocol allows currency exchange using the ledger cryptocurrency referred to as XRP. According to its website, it the fastest digital asset that is scalable resulting in the world’s first real-time payment processing network. Ripple Labs. Inc. is not crypto but a company that develops solutions that can be utilized by banks and other payment processing institutions to achieve on-demand cross-border payments. At the time of writing, XRP is trading at $0.322. Ripple is the third largest crypto by market capitalization.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
August 2017, saw the creation of a new digital asset referred to as Bitcoin Cash following a hard fork on Bitcoin Core (BTC). This came after a lengthy debate on the scalability of Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash has recently increased the block size which resulted in faster and more transactions processed. The network is also preparing for another upgrade that will go live on November 15, 2018.
Bitcoin ABC, Bitcoin Cash team of developers is working hard to ensure that all the parties on the network have a great experience. From developers, miners and miners; all are being considered as new upgrades are rolled out. Bitcoin Cash is also working on increasing mass adoption and hopes that the asset can be used in everyday life.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin Cash is exchanging at $523. It is the fourth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
In conclusion, cryptocurrencies are the 21st-century unicorn. They have transformed the way data is stored, the operations financial sector (minor adoptions) and brought up an entire industry with a market capitalization of over $200 billion in less than a decade. The revolution of digital assets cannot be exhausted in less than 600 words. It is almost like the birth of the internet all over again but this time the products are diverse.