5 lesser-known cryptocurrencies you should definitely know about

When you hear the word “cryptocurrency,” you probably think of Bitcoin — and with good reason. Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency in the world. But if you’re looking to dive into the world of digital finance, here are some important cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin that are worth your consideration.

1 Litecoin

Originally created to be a faster version of Bitcoin, Litecoin is the cryptocurrency with the fourth largest share of the market. But this digital currency is growing at a breakneck pace. In 2017, the price of Litecoin increased by more than 7,000 percent. Litecoin costs about $250 per coin, making it much cheaper than bitcoin.

2 Ethereum

Ethereum has the third largest market share of any cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. But unlike other digital currencies, Ethereum is a software platform and a programming language, meaning programmers can use it to create new apps. The cryptocurrency run through Ethereum is technically called Ether, and it can be sold, bought, or traded like other digital currencies.

3 Zcash

Zcash bills itself as a more secure cryptocurrency. According to the Zcash website, “Zcash builds on the existing work from the Bitcoin core team to enable privacy preserving transaction data.” The currency launched in 2016, so it’s definitely a cryptocurrency to keep your eye on.

4 Dash

Formerly called Darkcoin, Dash was created in 2014, and its value increased by 8,000 percent in 2017. Like Bitcoin, Dash tokens can be transferred to prepaid debit cards in order to be spent. Three stores currently accept Dash directly as a form of payment. Unlike Bitcoin, Dash’s website states that the currency can be sent instantaneously.

5 Ripple

Ripple became the second biggest cryptocurrency today, January 2nd, overtaking Ethereum for the title. And with a price of $2.34 per each coin (called XRP), it’s one of the most affordable ways to invest in the digital marketplace. This currency sets itself apart with its link to banks and other pre-existing financial institutions. About 100 banks use Ripple’s payment systems, including Bank of America and U.S. Bank.

With hundreds of cryptocurrencies on the market, the world of digital money is a complex and often confusing one. But it’s worth knowing what’s available — especially with the recent Bitcoin pricing crash and rumors of a Bitcoin bubble. Still, despite the promising look of cryptocurrencies, we think it’s perfectly fine to keep using cash.

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