Top Cryptocurrency Primer Guide in Bite Sized Notes

Let’s continue to deepen our knowledge base with all things Crypto……….

The Moscow Times

I’m a crypto enthusiast. Maybe you are too. This may be useful to you. This information is curated from elsewhere and is meant to be educational for the layperson. It is in no way a final authority, but rather, a quick introductory guide for the crypto curious.

The short history of cryptocurrencies is rich, dynamic, controversial and exponential with the crypto singularity that took place in late 2017 and an ecosystem of ever increasing altcoins, utility tokens, new protocols, ambitious projects, novel use cases, and smart contract platforms.

1. Bitcoin (BTC)


Bitcoin         | BTC   | Digital gold
  • The original crypto­currency
  • Bitcoin is the largest and most popular blockchain network
  • Growing demand has stressed Bitcoin’s network
  • Guzzles electricity owing to its consensus protocol, proof of work, designed to make mining labor-intensive.
  • Bitcoin’s development is led by Bitcoin Core developer Wladimir J. van der Laan, who took over the role on April 8, 2014.

MARKET CAP: $124.7 Bn.

2. Ethereum (ETH)


Ethereum        | ETH   | Programmable contracts and money
  • A built-in programming language lets developers write computer programs, called smart contracts.
  • Most initial coin offerings (ICOs) so far have been based on Ethereum smart contracts.
  • First released to the world in July 2015 by then 21-year-old Vitalik Buterin.

MARKET CAP: $56.1 Bn.

3. Ripple (XRP)


Ripple          | XRP   | Enterprise payment settlement network
  • Ripple says its crypto-token, called XRP, can be a “bridge currency”
  • Financial institutions use to settle cross-border payments faster and more cheaply than they do now
  • It uses a novel consensus protocol that allows for much faster transactions than Bitcoin and Ethereum.
  • Ripple, a privately owned company, has so much control over the system, purists say XRP isn’t decentralized enough.
  • Ripple is led by CEO Brad Garlinghouse.

MARKET CAP: $23.7 Bn.

4. Bitcoin cash (BCH)


Bitcoin Cash    | BCH   | Bitcoin clone
  • The product of a “hard fork” of Bitcoin, tweaked Bitcoin’s software to handle larger transaction volumes.
  • Critics say Bitcoin Cash is too centralized — a handful of miners create most of the coins.
  • Bitcoin Cash has multiple independent teams of developers.
  • You can explore the reddit and official webpage.
  • Bitcoin Cash was created on August 1, 2017 after a “hard fork” of the Bitcoin blockchain.

MARKET CAP: $16.8 Bn

5. Litecoin (LTC)


Litecoin        | LTC   | Faster Bitcoin
  • Litecoin is an “alt-coin” — nearly a clone of Bitcoin, but with a few alterations.
  • It processes transactions four times faster, and its mining process is designed to remain open to hobbyists.
  • Though faster than Bitcoin, Litecoin is still too slow and energy-hungry to be an ideal payment method.
  • It was initially launched in 2011 when its founder, Charlie Lee, was still working for Google.

MARKET CAP: $6.6 Bn.

6. Cardano (ADA)


Cardano         | ADA   | Layered currency and contracts
  • Cardano’s creators say the system, which is still only a platform for trading and transferring its token, puts an emphasis on privacy and regulatory compliance.
  • It uses a proof-of-stake consensus protocol and thus gobbles up less energy
  • Will host smart contracts.
  • Despite big claims from the developers, there’s still very little information on Cardano.
  • It was originally released under the name Input Output Hong Kong by Charles Hoskinson and Jeremy Wood, a few of the early team members of Ethereum, and later rebranded into Cardano.


7. Neo (NEO)


NEO             | NEO   | Chinese-market Ethereum
  • China’s biggest crypto­currency, NEO is a smart-contract platform with goals similar to Ethereum’s
  • Uses a consensus protocol called delegated Byzantine fault tolerance, which NEO’s creators say allows for 10,000 transactions per second, compared with Ethereum’s 15.
  • NEO is highly centralized, and it’s not clear that this will ever change.
  • NEO (formally Antshares) hopes to digitize many types of assets which were formerly kept in more traditional means, and therefore make it possible to use them in smart contracts.
  • NEO was founded by Da Hongfei.

MARKET CAP: $3.3 Bn.

8. Stellar Lumens (XLM)


Stellar Lumens  | XLM   | Digital IOUs
  • Stellar, whose ledger is a hard fork of Ripple’s
  • Run by non-profit
  • It also plans to compete with Ethereum as a platform for initial coin offerings.
  • Stellar Lumens also seeks to use blockchain to make very fast international payments with small fees. The network can handle thousands of transactions a second with only a 3–5 second confirmation time.
  • The Stellar Lumens team is led by Jed McCaleb.

MARKET CAP: $5.1 Bn.

9. Eos (EOS)


EOS             | EOS   | Decentralized applications on WebAssembly
  • EOS tokens exist and are currently traded on Ethereum, though the smart-contract platform itself, billed as yet another Ethereum killer, has yet to launch.
  • Like Cardano, it will use a proof-of-stake protocol instead of proof of work, theoretically making transactions faster and more efficient.
  • EOS was created by Dan Larrimer.

MARKET CAP: $10.8 Bn.

10. TRON (TRX)

TRON            | TRX   | In-app-purchases
  • TRON’s vision believes that the internet has deviated from its original intention of allowing people to freely create content and post as they please.
  • The project is led by founder Justin Sun, with an HQ in Beijing.
  • TRON is attempting to take the internet back from monopoly companies by constructing a free content entertainment system.
  • TRON aims to enable users to freely store, publish and own data, giving them the power to decide where and how to share.

MARKET CAP: $4.6 Bn.

11. Monero (XMR)


Monero          | XMR   | Private digital cash
  • Monero uses ring signatures, a type of digital signature that lets any member of a group perform a transaction without revealing which one of them it was.
  • It’s a way to let users transact privately, and its mining process is designed to be “egalitarian.”
  • Monero solved “anonymity” by implementing cryptonic hashing of receiving addresses, therefore separating the coin from the address it is going to.
  • Monero’s features have made it a preferred coin among cybercriminals, and it has helped fuel the rise of “cryptojacking”.
  • As such, Monero is a digital currency designed to be used as a completely anonymous payment system.

MARKET CAP: $2.6 Bn.

12. Dash (DASH)


Dash            | DASH  | Privacy-focused Bitcoin clone
  • Another so-called privacy coin like Monero, Dash is inspired by Bitcoin but has features that speed up payment processing.
  • Centralization problem: too many coins were distributed when it was first released, concentrating the wealth and giving a small group disproportionate power in decisions over the currency’s future.
  • DASH’s “instant send” is thought by some to be a possibility for brick-and-mortar retailers to use as a form of payment.
  • DASH is led by former financial services professional Evan Duffield.
  • You can learn more about them via official website and reddit page.

MARKET CAP: $2.5 Bn.

13. Iota (MIOTA)


IOTA            | MIOTA | Internet-of-things payments
  • IOTA’s system does not use a blockchain, instead employing a shared ledger based on a mathematical structure called a directed acyclic graph
  • It aims to be a currency used by internet-of-things devices to buy, sell, and trade data, whether the transaction partners are other devices or customers like technology companies.
  • Critics say IOTA is too centralized, and numerous cryptography researchers have questioned the system’s overall security.
  • When issuing a transaction in IOTA, you validate 2 previous transactions. This means you no longer outsource validation to miners which requires wasteful amounts of computing power and usually a large stake of coins.
  • With IOTA, the more active a ledger is, the more validation there is. In other words, the more people who use it, the faster it gets.
  • Since you don’t have to subsidize miners, so there are no fees on transactions.

MARKET CAP: $4.0 Bn.

14. NEM (XEM)


NEM             | XEM   | Batteries-included digital assets
  • NEM (New Economy Movement) is the world’s first proof-of-importance (POI) enterprise based on blockchain technology.
  • NEM’s goal is for companies to use their “smart asset system” to implement customizable blockchains.
  • NEM’s use cases are therefore believed to be voting, crowdfunding, stock ownership, keeping secure records, loyalty rewards point programs, mobile payments and escrow services, among others.
  • NEM launched on March 31, 2015.

MARKET CAP: $2.2 Bn.

15. VeChain (VEN)

Founded in 2015 in Singapore.

VeChain         | VEN   | Supply chain item IDs
  • VeChain’s mission statement is to build “a trustfree and distributed business ecosystem based on the Blockchain technology self-circulated and expanding”.
  • VeChain is targeting real-world problem solving such as eliminating counterfeiting in the fashion and luxury industry, food safety tracking systems, digitizing maintenance in the car industry and many other global supply chain processes.
  • To discover more on VeChain, please refer to their reddit and website.

MARKET CAP: $1.8 Bn.

16. Waves (WAVES)

Waves           | WAVES | Decentralized exchange and crowdfunding
  • “Your blockchain token in one minute” was Waves’ original slogan.
  • Waves is the first blockchain platform which has made it very easy for someone without coding experience to make their own blockchain token!
  • Waves launched its own decentralized exchange which allows you to exchange newly-created tokens with existing tokens and fiat currencies.
  • The founder and CEO of Waves is Sasha Ivanov.

MARKET CAP: $423.6 Million


March, 2017

Qtum            | QTUM  | Ethereum contracts on Bitcoin
  • QTUM (pronounced Quantum) is an open-source value transfer platform which focuses on mobile decentralized apps or Dapps
  • QTUM is meant to be used as both a value transfer protocol, like Bitcoin, and a smart contract platform, like Ethereum.
  • It is the world’s first proof-of-stake smart contracts platform.
  • They have a number of technical innovations which some consider to make it superior to Ethereum, and they are focusing on mobile applications.

MARKET CAP: $1.1 Bn.

18. Binance Coin (BNB)

Binance Coin    | BNB   | Pay Binance exchange fees
  • Binance Coin is the coin used to facilitate operations on the Binance platform, a cryptocurrency exchange that is capable of processing 1.4 million orders per second.
  • The name “Binance” is derived from the combination of the terms “binary” and “finance”, referring to the integration of digital technology and finance.
  • The BNB coin is used to pay exchange fees, withdrawal fees, listing fees, and all other possible transaction expenses on the Binance platform.
  • In order to incentivize new users to do their cryptocurrency trading on Binance, the team is offering discounts when BNB is used to pay fees. The discount will be 50% in the first year, 25% in the second, 12.5% in the third, and 6.25% in the fourth year before the discount ends.
  • Binance was primarily marketed to Chinese cryptocurrency investors at first, but they also have English, Korean, Japanese, French, Spanish, and Russian versions of the platform.

MARKET CAP: $1.4 Bn.


MIT Tech Review:



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About Howard Mahere

I'm a Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency enthusiast !
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