Quick dive into 10 cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin you need to know
The popularity of cryptocurrency in Nigeria has soared since 2017 among the millennials. However, when people hear of cryptocurrency, their first thought goes to bitcoin.
That's the way many people outside Nigeria think too, which is no suprise considering bitcoin accounts for more than 50 per cent of the total capitalisation of the cryptocurrency market.
Although in Nigeria, the biggest brands in a homogeneous market oftentimes become the brand name for that industry.
No matter the number of companies with the same product, everyone just has a way of naming things after the first of its kind.
For example, seasoning cubes to an average Nigerian is called “Maggi”, no matter the brand.
You know Indomie right?
Because they're the biggest brand in the market for noodles in Nigeria, it's been used as the generic name for all other brands available in the market.
And we could go on and on with similar stories but now isn't the right time.
What's the point with the Indomie and Maggi tale?
It is to help you understand the relationship between bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general
To clear the misconception of “cryptocurrency" as just bitcoin.
The fact about the Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency market
The cryptocurrency maket in Nigeria is bigger than just bitcoin, though the coin is currently the biggest in the market.
The cryptocurrency market is bigger than bitcoin, though the coin is currently the biggest in the market.
What this post does is give you a fair understanding of other cryptocurrencies in the market, especially the cryptocurrencies in Nigeria.
What are altcoins?
They are simply every other cryptocurrency that was launched after the success of bitcoin. They are also often projected as better substitutes for bitcoin.
The success of bitcoin as a peer-to-peer digital currency paved the way for these other guys. And trust me, there are hundreds of these guys.
However, each has unique differences.
How is a coin valued?
To determine the worth of a digital coin, three things should be put into consideration.
The value of a coin is mostly determined by how the market perceives it. Market means the aggregate of everyone buying or selling the coin.
Some of those things that shape this perception are:
The brand's progress with achieving the milestones on the whitepaper released at launch, and have they successfully launched their minimum viable product (MVP) or the beta version of their software?
The usefulness of a coin also affects its valuation. If the coin has a strong use case, people will feel the need to buy and hold it.
Just like the normal currencies you are used to, like the Naira or dollar, when a currency with high usefulness is scarce, the demand will definitely increase its value.
Quick dive into other 10 cryptocurrencies in Nigeria
Apart from just offering a cryptocurrency, it provides a real-time gross settlement system that supports banks and remittance institutions. The native asset on the platform is XRP.
When you send money on the Ripple network it gets converted into XRP token on one end and then back into the currency of your choice at the other end.
One major advantage Ripple has over Bitcoin as a network is speed. You can buy this cryptocurrency in Nigeria on Guava Exchange.
One major advantage Ripple has over Bitcoin is speed.
The coin, ether, is often touted as bitcoin's main rival.
Ethereum is not just a coin.
Ethereum is a distributed public platform for the decentralised development of apps that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third-party interference. Those kind of applications are called smart contracts.
The asset on the Ethereum platform is called Ether. You can buy and sell ether on Guava Exchange.
Like bitcoin, ether is a digital asset you can hold, buy and sell and make some money. But apart from that, ether is needed to access the decentralized apps on the network.
The Ethereum Wallet is the gateway to decentralized applications on the platform. It allows you to hold and secure ether and other crypto-assets built on Ethereum, as well as write, deploy and use smart contracts.
This has gradually grown into a trusted coin since it was launched in 2011. It's one of the top cryptocurrencies going by total market capitalisation.
Litecoin prides itself on features like faster transaction confirmation times and improved storage efficiency than Bitcoin. There are exchanges like Quidax that provide the opportunity to buy and sell litecoin.
4. Bitcoin Cash
Don't get it twisted, this coin is different from that Bitcoin you know. Though cut from the same cloth, it's managed by different communities.
The Bitcoin Cash community broke out from the original Bitcoin community based on differences in vision. The Bitcoin Cash vision is a peer-to-peer electronic cash for the internet.
The split occurred last year and thereafter the community increased the block size limit on the blockchain to 8 MB from 1 MB.
What that means is ample capacity for transactions that are on the technology; and what it means for you is fast confirmations whenever you buy or sell the coin. Also, there's an added advantage of lower transaction cost.
The coin, BCH, has definitely grown to be accepted just as bitcoin and you can buy and sell the coin on many exchanges in Nigeria.
The Cardano platform has got some similarities to Ethereum explained above. It is also developing a smart contract platform. It says the platform would deliver more advanced features than any protocol previously developed.
However, with its coin, ADA, you can always buy, sell or trade through a digital currency exchange like Coindirect.
6. Stellar XLM
XLM Lumen is the digital asset on the Stellar network.
The network aims to connect people to low-cost financial services around the world so it actually gives out Lumens for free.
But don't get too excited yet...
You still need to buy Lumens to cover base fees for transactions on the network, to create and use sophisticated smart contracts, and for account creation.
It has given away over 8 billion lumens as of January 2018. You can buy this cryptocurrency in Nigeria too.
Tron native token is the Tronix (TRX).
You can buy tron in Nigeria on several cryptocurrency exchanges by exchanging them for other cryptocurrencies like ETH or BTC or with Naira.
Also a slightly new platform. Its aim is to provide decentralised application hosting, smart contract capability - like Ethereum and Cardano - and decentralised storage enterprise solutions that solve the scalability issues of the technology behind currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as eliminating all fees for users.
You can buy this cryptocurrency in Nigeria on Coindirect.
Privacy is a priority with Monero.
Monero, unlike the Bitcoin blockchain, offers high level of anonymity for users and their transactions.
What you get with Bitcoin is an openness with the public key of the sender and recipient of the coins. A party can see how much bitcoins the other party has once she/he has knowledge of the public keys.
Added to the anonymity of traders, Monero transactions are unlinkable and untraceable. Monero uses a unique technology called “ring signatures” to achieve untraceability. The technology shuffles users’ public keys in order to eliminate the possibility to identify a particular user.
Also, it doesn’t record the actual public keys of the sender and recipient whenever a transaction occurs but, rather, creates a one-time address that is, however, not linked to the actual address of either party. That ensures a transaction cannot be linked to either party.
The standard symbol for Monero is XMR.
Transacting with IOTA is completely fee-free.
That's nice, isn't it?
Unlike other coins in the cryptocurrency market that attract some transaction fees.
For example, if you were trading with bitcoin, to get your transaction processed by miners quickly you will have to outbid other users.
But why can IOTA offer a fee-free transaction?
It has a different kind of technology, even though built on a blockchain, IOTA’s distributed ledger is a stream of individual transactions entangled together.
So, IOTA's technology called Tangle is built in a way that for transactions to be entered into the ultimate ledger, one must also act as a relay for at least two other transactions.
Every user is involved in verifying at least a transaction; that way, you don't have to pay transaction fees to a mining conglomerate in order to certify that a transaction has taken place.
Many people are thrilled by the prospects of IOTA and you can also buy and sell this cryptocurrency in Nigeria.
Bitcoin is really at the top of the chain of cryptocurrencies considering trade volume, popularity, and utility.
However, the coins mentioned in this list have great potential, with some already manifesting this, to match the considerable acceptability and popularity of bitcoin.