There’s no getting over the Bitcoin madness and with the recent news, it’s not soon to end. Between the news that Bitcoin’s value is holding above $1000 and Bank of America’s embrace of the digital currency, some of us are kicking ourselves for not investing earlier. But what if it wasn’t too late?
Enter the world of cryptocurrency, where all the online currencies of the world battle to increase their value and legitimacy, of which Bitcoin is the top dog right now. By the way, digital currencies are called cryptocurrencies because they use principles of cryptography to generate units, basically solving hard math problems for online money- plus it sounds cool. Bitcoin isn’t the only digital currency; there are actually dozens of alternatives, or altcoins, many started this year, that seek to grow as large as Bitcoin. Here is the list of the next top five alternative currencies that could make you rich one day.
Launched in 2011, Litecoin is basically like Bitcoin except that you can mine for Litecoins using consumer-grade computers to solve those “math problems”. Transactions with Litecoins are four times faster than Bitcoin transactions and because they are scheduled to allow more coins in the market than Bitcoins, Litecoins may have a safer future. One Litecoin is currently worth around $40 according Crypto-Trade, an online currency trading platform, making it the solid No. 2 of digital currencies behind Bitcoin.
With the third largest market cap of the crypto-currencies, Peercoin is known as the sustainable and environmentally friendly altcoin, if you can imagine that, because mining for Peercoins takes less power for computing than Bitcoins or Litecoins. Unlike Bitcoin though, there can theoretically be an infinite amount of Peercoins that can be mined. One Peercoin currently goes for around $6 according to CoinMarketCap.
Namecoin is just like Bitcoin in that only 21 million Namecoins will be produced for circulation, making it scarce and valuable. Namecoin is also a platform that allows for the creation of uncensored internet domains, basically creating it’s own internet, something not so great for governments but good for Silk Road-type folk. Holding with the fourth highest market cap, one Namecoin currently goes for around $10.
According to an article on Heavy, Protoshares are the next altcoin worth mentioning after Namecoin. Protoshares represent shares in future Invictus Innovation Incorporated’s cryptocurrencies and digital creations, to which the company is reported to have a firm understanding and grasp of cryptocurrency platforms. So you are basically getting future shares of their company, but everything else about Protoshares is wildly confusing except for the part that it isn’t another copy of Bitcoin like the above cryptos. One Protoshare is currently worth about $28 according to CoinMarketCap.
Ripple is worth a mention here not only because it is very different from the other altcoins that have basically stemmed off Bitcoin, but because big names have also taken notice. While explaining exactly what it is would be confusing to say the least, this alternative currency has attracted millions in venture capital from firms like Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed Venture, and The Bitcoin Opportunity Fund, according to an article on Motherboard. Detailed as an exchange platform that complements other virtual and fiat currencies, one Ripple unit is currently worth about 5 cents with a market cap at just over 5.5 trillion dollars. Get it while it’s hot!