While Bitcoin is still king in the cryptocurrency world, there are a number of others on the rise that smaller-scale investors may want to consider. Here are just 5 alternatives to Bitcoin.
We’ve written quite a bit about Bitcoin—and so has everyone else—so today we’ll take a different approach and talk about some other cryptocurrencies.
If you just follow the media, you might assume that Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency worth investing in. It’s not.
There are thousands of cryptocurrencies that exist—and some may be safer to invest in than Bitcoin (others, definitely not). Before we dive in, we want to clearly note: cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and we don’t recommend them over other forms of investments. That said, we do want you to be as informed as possible, in case you do have the appetite for this kind of high-risk investment.
Let’s take a look at some alternatives to Bitcoin.
Perhaps the second most famous form of cryptocurrency, Ether has many of the same properties as Bitcoin. However, there are some significant differences.
First, let’s take a look at some basics of Ether.
Ether are tokens that run through the Ethereum network. The network operates through “smart contracts” written in computer code that are uploaded to the blockchain that other cryptocurrencies operate through.
This is an open-source network managed by users, much like Bitcoin. Users can buy and sell Ether and use it buy products on sites that accept it.
Ether currently doesn’t sell as high as Bitcoin, with its price currently under $1,000—but it’s reached the thousands in the past.
Ether’s price is $921.38.
Why invest in Ether (or not)?
Cryptocurrencies are on the rise, and Ether is one of the safer options to invest in. It’s in the top ten regarding price and stability. You can also use it at more places than you may think—and within the next few years, the number of places that accept cryptocurrencies is expected to grow.
As always, though, invest with caution. Ether isn’t without it’s issues. In 2017—dubbed the year of the cryptocurrency—Ether experienced many large fluctuations, and the wallet Parity was frozen for a time due to potential security threats.
Many people like the idea of cryptocurrencies but fear that their money isn’t safe in an unregulated online world. Ripple aims to offer some of that safety (although, they’ve had some serious problems recently).
Ripple is actually the name of the company that manages interactions and payments of the currency XRP. Instead of using a public blockchain like Ether and Bitcoin, Ripple “works with a network of nodes that are actually participating banks and financial institutions.”
Unlike most other cryptocurrencies, Ripple doesn’t need to be “mined”. It was originally issued by the founders of Ripple. This is simultaneously one of Ripple’s best and worst features. After all, many people like the idea of cryptocurrencies because they don’t involve big banks or investors.
But, the biggest drawback perhaps is its cheap price in comparison with other cryptocurrencies. Currently Ripple is priced at $1.13.
Why invest in Ripple (or not)?
Ripple has a partnership with American Express—which made many believe it would be a solid investment as it was backed by a solid company. But this is also where Ripple is likely to meet its downfall.
There’s some discussion that Ripple will eventually fall to more large banks and corporations—which is a good security measure, but doesn’t offer any real difference from our current financial system.