Looking for a Bitcoin alternative? We've rounded up five of the most popular Bitcoin competitors, with the list including everything from Ethereum to Litecoin, and Monero to Zcash. Each has their strengths and weaknesses, so read on to find out if one is the Bitcoin replacement (or rather, co-existent), you're looking for.
Best Bitcoin Alternatives
There are several Bitcoin alternatives, including:
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Monero (XMR)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Zcash (ZEC)
1. Ethereum (ETH)
Let's start with Ethereum, the second-largest Cryptocurrency by market share. There's a lot more to it than that, though; it's the foundation of a decentralized software platform that enables Smart Contracts and Distributed Applications be developed and maintained without any downtime, fraud, control or interference from a third party — making it a worthwhile investment for those looking for an appreciating token.
That's because software built on Ethereum runs on its platform-specific Cryptographic token — Ether — of which there is a limited amount available. It doesn't look like Ethereum will be at the forefront of digital payments, like Bitcoin is poised to be, but that's not to mean it won't reach the same level of popularity. Developers are scrambling to acquire as much as possible, and as a result, its value is surging.
2. Ripple (XRP)
Ripple is believed by many to represent the future of international payments, letting banks settle cross-border payments in real-time, with end-to-end transparency, and a lower cost — resulting in faster, more affordable (goodbye, $10 surcharge) overseas transactions for the average Joe. For that reason, it's already being tested by some of the world's leading financial institutions, and that's causing its value to climb.
Related: How To Mine Bitcoin
3. Litecoin (LTC)
Referred to as the "silver to Bitcoin's gold," Litecoin is one of the most prominent Cryptocurrencies to follow in Bitcoin's footsteps. Naturally, there isn't a whole lot of difference between them, save from the fact Litecoin has a faster block generation rate and therefore can confirm transactions and at a much faster rate — and that's the main advantage it offers over Bitcoin. It's far from as popular, though.
4. Monero (XMR)
Monero is without a shadow of a doubt the most secure Cryptocurrency on the market right now, using a special technique called Ring Signatures to ensure that all transactions are completely untraceable. That's led to it being developing something of an unsavory reputation, having been linked to criminal operations around the world. But, despite that, it's a Bitcoin competitor that could be worth acquiring.
Related: How To Mine Handshake
5. Zcash (ZEC)
Last, but not least, we have Zcash — a Cryptocurrency that's modeled on Bitcoin, introducing several advancements in the privacy department, with the main differentiating feature being that although all transactions are recorded on published on a Blockchain, which is the case with Bitcoin, revealing details, like the Public Key belonging to both the sender and the recipient, are kept private with Zcash.