Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Since the success of bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies have emerged. In 2014, these were the big contenders in the cryptocurrency world – PeerCoin aka PPCoin, Litecoin, Freicoin, and Dogecoin.
At the end of 2017, these are the top five contenders, according to one source.
1. Litecoin (LTC). Launched 2011.
2. Ethereum (ETH). Launched 2015.
3. Zcash (ZEC). Launched 2016.
4. Dash (used to be Darkcoin). Launched 2014.
5. Ripple (XRP). Launched 2012.
Looking at what these currencies are worth in November 2017, these are the current prices in US dollars:
Litecoin – $69.31
Ethereum – $346.04
Zcash – $297.68
Dash – $453.65
Ripple – 23 cents
Peercoin – $1.62
Freicoin – 0.005 cents
Dogecoin – 0.001 cents
There are other ways to rank cryptocurrencies. The point of this article to show how many altcoins are out there. An altcoin is an alternative to bitcoin. It depends on which source you turn to for your information.
There is something important that you need to understand about cryptocurrency. No one really knows where they are headed and everyone has an opinion. In 2014, Cryptsy was considered a good guide to cryptocurrency. It was an exchange that seemed to be on the way to the top.
The fate of Cryptsy is a good lesson in the way cryptocurrency works. The currency itself can be foolproof. Wikipedia describes Crypsy as an internet startup that focused on being a bitcoin exchange, that also serviced at least 90 other cryptocurrencies. It opened up on May 20, 2013. Its mandate was to provide a safe environment for trading cryptocurrencies.
It was very popular. But there were problems with the exchange itself. Before the end of 2013, a security hole was discovered and Crypto Coins News reported that a user had been able to withdraw currency that was not his. He reported it and Crypto Coins News had a big headline advising Cryptsy users to withdraw their coins as fast as they could.
Some did and some didn’t. There were some rocky times during its first year but people who believed in Cryptsy kept their cryptocurrency there. In 2016, it was revealed that in July 2014, Cryptsy had been hacked and millions of dollars worth of bitcoin and litecoin had been removed from the system.
The owner, Paul “Big Vern” Vernon, did not tell the clients of Cryptsy about this. Early in 2016, Cryptsy was shut down. Those who had wallets on Cryptsy were unable to access their currencies. There is a class action lawsuit against Cryptsy and its CEO, Big Vern.
When you see an altcoin, it is a good idea to take a look at its history. Some of them have strange histories. Dogecoin was created by Jackson Palmer in 2013 as a joke. It is named for Doge, a popular meme from that year. Doge was a Shiba Inu and was featured in memes with colored text. People invested anyway. Its market value reached $400 million, even though it was a joke.