Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and worldwide payment system. It is the first decentralized digital currency, as the system works without a central bank or single administrator. The network is peer-to-peer and transactions take place between users directly through the use of cryptography, without an intermediary. These transactions are verified by network nodes and recorded in an immutable public distributed ledger called a blockchain. Bitcoin was invented by an unknown person or group of people under the name Satoshi Nakamoto and released as open-source software in 2009.
Ethereum is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contract (scripting) functionality. It provides a decentralized Turing-complete virtual machine, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which can execute scripts using an international network of public nodes. Ethereum also provides a cryptocurrency token called “ether”, which can be transferred between accounts and used to compensate participant nodes for computations performed. “Gas”, an internal transaction pricing mechanism, is used to mitigate spam and allocate resources on the network.
Ethereum was proposed in late 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, a cryptocurrency researcher and programmer. Development was funded by an online crowdsale between July and August 2014. The system went live on 30 July 2015, with 11.9 million coins “premined” for the crowdsale.This accounts for approximately 13 percent of the total circulating supply.
In 2016, as a result of the collapse of The DAO project, Ethereum was forked into two separate blockchains – the new forked version became Ethereum (ETH), and the original continued as Ethereum Classic (ETC).
Litecoin (LTC or Ł) is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and open source software project released under the MIT/X11 license. Creation and transfer of coins is based on an open source cryptographic protocol and is not managed by any central authority. While inspired by, and in most regards technically nearly identical to Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin has some minor technical differences compared to Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies. Litecoin also has almost zero payment cost.
Litecoin was released via an open-source client on GitHub on October 7, 2011 by Charlie Lee, a former Google employee. The Litecoin network went live on October 13, 2011. It was a fork of the Bitcoin Core client, differing primarily by having a decreased block generation time (2.5 minutes), increased maximum number of coins, different hashing algorithm (scrypt, instead of SHA-256), and a slightly modified GUI.
Dogecoin (/ˈdoʊʒkɔɪn/ DOHZH-koyn, code: DOGE, symbol: Ð and D) is a cryptocurrency featuring a likeness of the Shiba Inu dog from the “Doge” Internet meme as its logo. Introduced as a “joke currency” on 6 December 2013, Dogecoin quickly developed its own online community and reached a capitalization of US$60 million in January 2014; as of December 2017, it has a capitalization of US$308 million.
Compared with other cryptocurrencies, Dogecoin had a fast initial coin production schedule: 100 billion coins were in circulation by mid-2015, with an additional 5.256 billion coins every year thereafter. As of 30 June 2015, the 100 billionth Dogecoin had been mined. While there are few mainstream commercial applications, the currency has gained traction as an Internet tipping system, in which social media users grant Dogecoin tips to other users for providing interesting or noteworthy content.
Dogecoin was created by programmer Billy Markus from Portland, Oregon, who hoped to create a fun cryptocurrency that could reach a broader demographic than bitcoin.
Ripple is a real-time gross settlement system (RTGS), currency exchange and remittance network by Ripple. Also called the Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP) or Ripple protocol, it is built upon a distributed open source Internet protocol, consensus ledger and native cryptocurrency called XRP (ripples). Released in 2012, Ripple purports to enable “secure, instant and nearly free global financial transactions of any size with no chargebacks.” It supports tokens representing fiat currency, cryptocurrency, commodity or any other unit of value such as frequent flier miles or mobile minutes.
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