Not many years back only a few cryptocurrencies existed. Today, newer cryptocurrencies are being developed and launched. Users have more choices, and there is greater vibrancy and speculation in the market. Here are top 5 cryptocurrencies that have proved their usefulness in 2017 and are expected to do well this year.
Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency and is used worldwide as a payment system. It is a decentralised, blockchain-based, open source platform. Bitcoin network uses peer-to-peer transactions without thirty-party involvement. Transactions do not require permission and are borderless. The person transacting Bitcoins does not need an ID, which provides anonymity to its users. Instead, Bitcoin addresses are used to identify and record transactions. Since Bitcoin has the cap of 21 million so there cannot be more 21 million bitcoins in circulation at any point.
Microsoft along with numerous other companies accepts Bitcoin as digital currency. According to the Cambridge University, there are between 2.9 million and 5.8 million users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using Bitcoin. Bitcoins are in no way tied to the real world though all transactions on the blockchain are public. The system offers secure storage of bitcoins to users. Bitcoin reigns the cryptocurrency market with giants like Microsoft integrating it into their software.
Ethereum is the second most popular cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. In 2017, Microsoft announced the release of its Ethereum-based Confidential Consortium (Coco) framework that will allow large corporations operate on the Ethereum Blockchain. Ethereum is an open-source, blockchain-based distributed computing platform that uses smart contracts. Similar to Bitcoin in many ways, Ethereum currency can be used as virtual money and also underpin any kind of imaginable computer application. Ethereum can do more than Bitcoin and is more decentralised. It uses a more sophisticated mining system that doesn’t allow more powerful computer chips to dominate. Like Bitcoin, Ethereum also hides the identity of the user since it identifies people through their cryptographic address.
Ether or ETH is the cryptocurrency used by people using the Ethereum network. The value of ether is determined in the market where people buy and sell ether for real money. Millions of ether cryptocurrency is in circulation. As yet, there has not been set a limit on the number of coins. Ethereum aims to be the platform for DApps (decentralised applications), and they have succeeded in their goal as of now.
NEO is a blockchain-based platform and cryptocurrency that uses smart contracts. It is similar to Ethereum in many ways, but the goal of Ethereum and NEO are different. NEO has generalised blockchains that utilises blockchain technology and digital identity to digitise assets, automate management of digital assets and create a smart economy. On the other hand, Ethereum focuses on creating a more globally accessible, freer and more trustworthy Internet by giving greater control and options to developers in developing applications.
NEO cryptocurrencies are not backed by a physical asset, which made some see them as risky. To solve this problem, NEO backed their cryptocurrency with tangible fiat currency. That gave the security needed for people to safely use the cryptocurrency.
NEM is a cryptocurrency platform based on blockchain that uses peer-to-peer transactions. NEM is written in Java, but is being rewritten in C++ to offer greater scalability and performance. NEM and Mijin, a Japanese private blockchain are collaborating on this venture. NEM introduced new features to blockchain, including multisignature accounts, proof-of-importance, encrypted messaging and an Eigentrust++ reputation system. Focusing on wide distribution, NEM has become one of the top cryptocurrencies of today.
OmiseGo is a public, ethereum-based technology that has been built on Omise, a popular payment management platform. It is created to build peer-to-peer value exchange to allow payments across different organisations, jurisdictions, fiat and decentralised currencies powered by ethereum blockchain. Transactions can be made without third-party involvement. A person can simply download the OmiseGo wallet to connect to their decentralised exchange for currency conversion and making payments. OmiseGo is actively traded as a currency pair and cryptocurrency pair on international exchanges in countries including the United States, China, Korea, UK, Australia and Thailand.
The parent company of OmiseGO, Omise is a successful online payment platform that has an impressive base in Asia. The company has made contributions in many blockchain projects such as Hydrachain, Tendermint and Raiden. OMG cryptocurrency had made it to the list of top cryptocurrencies in 2017. How it will fare this year is anybody’s guess.