18. Currency Cryptos
The most important Currency Cryptos are BTC, BCH, DASH, LTC, XMR, and ZEC.
Currency Cryptos are those that can be used to buy and sell stuff (physical or virtual) or which can quickly be converted to "cash". These cryptos usually have a higher Volume / Market Capitalization Ratio ratio (VMR) as compared to other cryptos.
According to me, the most important Currency Cryptos for 2022 are:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Dash (DASH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Monero (XMR)
- ZCash (ZEC)
Note: Fiat-pegged stablecoins, e.g. Tether (USDT), are also used as currencies but have been excluded from this list.
1. Bitcoin (BTC)
Bitcoin was invented to be a purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash that would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.
The first Bitcoin real-world transaction took place on 22nd May 2010 and involved 10,000 bitcoins being exchanged for a $25 pizza. On 7 September 2021, El Salvador became the world’s first country to recognize Bitcoin as a legal tender. Today, Bitcoin is accepted by many businesses across the world.
Bitcoin transactions are considered pseudo-anonymous since the Bitcoin blockchain is transparent - anyone who knows your address can view details of all the transactions you have ever made. The lightning network, which is a second layer for Bitcoin, increases the privacy of Bitcoin transactions.
2. Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
In July 2017, Bitcoin (BTC) miners representing more than 80% of the Bitcoin computing power voted to incorporate the SegWit2x (segregated witness) technology to improve Bitcoin.
Many miners and developers, who did not want SegWit2x to be introduced, initiated a hard fork and created a new currency - Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
BCH has its own blockchain and processes transactions faster and cheaper than BTC.
3. Dash (DASH)
Dash (digital cash) is one of the earliest cryptocurrencies (born in 2014) and is a fork of Litecoin (LTC). It was created to be an "improved version of Bitcoin" by providing stronger privacy and faster transactions.
Some of the unique features of Dash are:
- Masternodes - these improve the availability & efficiency of the network. They also handle governance, secure storage of user data, and instant & private transactions.
- InstantSend - which enables instant payments.
- ChainLocks - which make the blockchain instantly immutable.
- PrivateSend - which enables additional optional privacy for transactions.
4. Litecoin (LTC)
Litecoin (LTC), also called Bitcoin's younger brother, is a popular medium of exchange as it enables fast, secure, and low-cost payments. It is accepted by thousands of merchants worldwide.
Litecoin is a fork of the Bitcoin Core source code and is also referred to as "Bitcoin lite".
5. Monero (XMR)
Monero (XMR) enables private and anonymous transactions and is one of the most widely used darknet currencies in the world. It obscures senders and recipients. It is rumored that one of the co-inventors of XMR was Bitcoin-inventor Satoshi Nakamoto.
Unlike Bitcoin, XMR is completely fungible. By default, Monero obscures details about senders, recipients, and the amount being transferred. Stealth addresses are created for every single transaction and are only used once.
6. ZCash (ZEC)
Zcash is a "privacy coin" and by default, its transactions do not reveal the sending & receiving addresses or the amount being sent. Optionally, this data can be revealed for auditing or regulatory compliance.
Zcash uses the zk-SNARK zero-knowledge proof technology. This enables allows nodes to verify transactions without revealing any sensitive information about the transactions.