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The Top 5 Digital Assets

September 4, 2019 • 
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1. Bitcoin 2. Ethereum 3. Ripple 4. Bitcoin Cash 5. Litecoin


  1. Bitcoin
  2. Ethereum
  3. Ripple
  4. Bitcoin Cash
  5. Litecoin



Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the King of Digital Assets, our Bitcoin blog post may be found here.


What is Ethereum

Ethereum is a decentralised smart contracts platform. The Ethereum protocol, with its collection of Ethereum tokens and de-centralised computing network allow for the platforms Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).  The EVM executes turing-complete scripts through a global network of computing power to allow the creation of decentralised applications.  The protocol was led by Vitalik Buterins release of its whitepaper in 2013 and its founders include Anthony Di Lorio, Charles Hoskinson, Mihai Alisie, Amir Chetrit, Joseph Lubin, Gavin Wood and Jeffrey Wilke.

In plain english, this means that having and using Ethereum is like having access to a powerful network of computers that are independent to the control of any entity.  The network can execute a super-national, super-government computing application to solve problems of security, privacy, corruption, regulation, finance and governance, amongst many others.

Given its broad scope and impressive mandate, the Ethereum project has attracted a huge number of resources in funds as well as business and non-profit institutions specifically setup to develop the potential of the protocol, the most significant being ConsenSys

Although the idea is in its infancy, it allows revolutionary ways of looking at many aspects of the modern world. Obvious use-cases are in finance, politics, law, governance and privacy in social media however actual adoption remains a more complex and nuanced issue.

Competitor protocols exist in Cardano, Stellar, NEM, Hyperledger Fabric and Algorand. The most recent timeline of Ethereums own programme of improvement is due to end around 2021.


What is Ripple

Ripple is a platform and a cryptocurrency that has been designed to allow cheap and fast transactions worldwide. Ripple attempts to achieve this with its own patented technology, the Ripple protocol consensus algorithm (RPCA). This consensus algorithm of ‘validator nodes’ means that there must be consensus amongst the nodes that a transaction is legitimate. If a node attempts to pass illegitimate transactions, then it is a bad actor node and is penalised in participation.

Compared to other cryptocurrencies, Ripple is more centralised, leading to criticism that it is not a cryptocurrency at all. However, like everything else in this space, there are novel additions to the Ripple platform. What the system actually is, how it compares to other things and whether it not it truly performs the tasks it claims to perform is a hard question to answer in heady conditions.


What is Litecoin

Developed in 2011 by Charles Lee, Litecoin is a cryptocurrency that focuses on the ability to perform transactions efficiently.  Although it is also a proof-of-work protocol, Litecoin uses Scrypt, a different hashing algorithm to Bitcoins NSA designed SHA-256.  The difference in algorithm means that Litecoin transactions are easier to perform, offering faster transaction times at a lower cost to Bitcoin. Although this theoretically makes it more susceptible to security problems it is hard to find instances where this has been an issue.

As a transaction focused crypto-currency, the value of the protocol is seen to be dependent on its use in transactions. Litecoins future will be decided in this marketplace of transactional cryptocurrencies where it is competition with Bitcoin Cash and Ripple as well as Dash, Dogecoin and other transactional cryptocurrencies.


What is Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash is a cryptocurrency protocol focusing on transactions, championed as ‘the real’ Bitcoin by its promoters, who originally included Roger Ver, Jihan Wu, Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre. 

This breakaway group had differences of opinion over the structure of the Bitcoin protocol, wanting to promote scalability for higher transaction speed and lower cost in the way that they perceived the original Bitcoin ideal.  One way of looking at the two assets is to see Bitcoin as retaining higher-level conceptual features and of Bitcoin Cash to focus on application and function of the idea.

These differences have led to Bitcoin Cash having some uptake as a method of transaction and being actively promoted by sites such as https://marcocoino.bitcoin.com/ to advertise locations it may actually be used.

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