Ever since it made its appearance in 2010, Bitcoin has been the de facto standard of cryptocurrencies, leading people to make the erroneous assumption that it is the only type of cryptocurrency.
This article will help to correct that misnomer by listing eight other major cryptocurrencies apart from Bitcoin.
1. Litecoin (LTC)
Launched in 2011, Litecoin was part of the first set of cryptocurrencies after Bitcoin. Unlike Bitcoin, it has a quicker block generation rate resulting in faster confirmation of transactions.
2. Ripple (XRP)
Launched in 2012, Ripple is a global settlement network that provides financial institutions with access for conducting immediate payments across borders, with lower costs and guaranteed transparency. Unlike Bitcoin and other altcoins, Ripple does not require mining.
3. Monero (XMR)
This secure, private, and untraceable open-source cryptocurrency launched in 2014. It focuses strongly on decentralization and scalability while promoting complete privacy.
4. Dash (DASH)
Dash (popularly called darkcoin) launched in 2014. Dash is a more secretive version of Bitcoin providing more anonymity than even Zcash. Transactions carried out with this cryptocurrency are done on a decentralized master code network that makes it almost impossible to trace.
NEO (initially called AntShares) launched in 2014. It is the largest cryptocurrency to have been created in China and is popularly called the “Chinese Ethereum,” because it also makes use of smart contracts.
6. Zcash (ZEC)
The decentralized and open-source cryptocurrency launched towards the end of 2016. It is referred to as a more secure version of Bitcoin as it offers extra security and privacy for all transactions by employing the use of advanced cryptographic techniques.
7. Ethereum (ETH)
The decentralized software platform launched in 2015. It allows smart contracts and distributed applications (DApps) to be created and run without interference from external parties. In 2016, Ethereum split into Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC) following the attack on DAO.
8. Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Started in 2017 as a result of a split from Bitcoin, the Bitcoin Cash sets itself apart by having a larger block size which helps in speeding up transaction times. It is regarded as one of the most successful hard forks to come from the original Bitcoin.
Although Bitcoin continues to be at the forefront of cryptocurrencies regarding market capitalization and popularity, other virtual currencies such as Dash and Ethereum, Stellar and PKT, are also becoming increasingly popular and might lead the pack in days to come.