Did you know that the timeline or age of a cryptocurrency is measured in relation to when Bitcoin was launched? For instance, the first known cryptocurrency was introduced in 20BBTC, which means it was launched 20 years “before Bitcoin.” That’s how popular Bitcoin is. However, not all cryptocurrencies are as popular or as highly valued by traders. The value of some are a few thousand euros, while others are practically worthless.
Bitcoin, introduced in 2009, is by far the most popular. The volume of Bitcoins traded daily is significantly higher than that of all the other cryptocurrencies put together! In fact, all the other cryptocurrencies have come to be known as “altcoins” (alternative coins), since they are an alternative to Bitcoins.
Due to its wide acceptability, Bitcoin offers the maximum liquidity. Given its high-volume trade, Bitcoin is also the most volatile cryptocurrency. It is this volatility that offers huge profit potential, attracting an increasing number of traders. All eyes are on the BTC / USD and the BTC / EUR rates.
On August 21, 2017, 1 BTC was trading above EUR 3,000 and had breached the USD 3,500 mark. There are more than 16 million BTC in circulation. There’s another cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin Cash, or BCH, which typically trades below a fifth of the BTC / USD or BTC / EUR price.
This cryptocurrency was launched by a decentralised platform, Ethereum, and is currently split between Ether (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC). Although there are more than 94 million ETH in circulation, the value of each coin is a few hundred euros, as compared to a few thousand for Bitcoin. Consequently, despite the higher volumes, the market cap of ETH is close to $30 billion, versus that of Bitcoin of approximately $64 billion.
Ripples, or XRP, was launched in 2012 and has a current market cap of about $7 billion. The platform, which is essentially a real-time settlement and remittance network, has been integrated into a few banks and payment networks, which is why there are more than 38 billion XRP coins in circulation.
This was released in 2011 and is being used extensively for purchasing goods and services. LTC is a relatively cheap cryptocurrency, valued in double digits. It has a market cap of roughly $2 billion and 53 million of them are in circulation.
While cryptocurrencies undoubtably offer significant profit potential, it’s important to remember that not all are created equal. While BTC / USD and BTC / EUR seem the most tempting options, one may consider spreading risk by trading different cryptocurrencies