Apart from Bitcoin and Ethereum which were clearly the pioneers, there are a few others that are studied with interest and are quite popular around the world.
In this lesson, we will take a look at few of them.
Considered the silver of digital money, Litecoin is a peer to peer digital currency that enables instant, near-zero cost payments to anyone in the world.
When compared to Bitcoin, Litecoin is around 2.5 times faster when it comes to processing a transaction.
When it comes to mining algorithm, Litecoin uses Scrypt instead of SHA-256 which is used by Bitcoin.
If you remember from our previous lessons, SHA-256 is processor intensive. With time CPUs have been replaced with GPUs. For mining expensive hardware like ASICs are used now which makes mining feasible. Not every one have the resources to buy such expensive hardware.
Litecoin founder wanted mining to be possible on every device and hence scrypt came into the picture. Scrypt is memory intensive and less efficient for ASICs, making it more accessible to everyone.
Dash is another altcoin (cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin are called altcoins) that aims to provide a more private and faster network for transactions.
Dash was created to address to problems with the Bitcoin blockchain – lack of total privacy and low speed of transactions.
How Dash Works
Dash works through a two-tier network called masternode network.
The first tier contains nodes. Miners use these nodes to verify transactions on the Dash network and create new coins.
The second network contains masternodes. Masternodes are full nodes that contain the entire blockchain and enforce the rules of the network. The Masternode is responsible for two important features of Dash
- PrivateSend – Enables anonymous transactions. A PrivateSend transaction is packaged with other anonymous payments, making it difficult to understand where their origin and destination are.
- InstantSend – Through this feature, transactions are confirmed in a second or less by paying a premium or higher processing fees to the masternodes.
Low Fees and Higher Speed
Dash has a lower transaction fee and higher transaction confirmation speed. This enables the digital currency to be used for point of sales like buying a can of cold drinks or a cup of coffee, grocery shopping, and so on.
Ripple and XRP
Ripple is an American technology company that established the Ripple Payment Protocol.
XRP is the digital currency that uses cryptography over the Ripple Payment Protocol. The sole aim is to revolutionize cross-border payments so that payments can be made from any currency in one country to another currency in another country, thus replacing systems like WesternUnion and SWIFT.
XRP Ledger is the blockchain network on which XRP is used. The consensus protocol used in Ripple is Proof of Correctness.
Let’s consider an example. Suppose India’s State Bank of India (SBI) wants to send Rupees 70 lacs (or 1 million dollar) to the Bank of America in the USA. Normally it would require the Indian bank to convert the same the Rupee to Dollar, pay processing fees, battle exchange rates and slow transaction times.
However with Ripple, the same transaction can be done without converting the currency from Rupee to Dollar. The transaction happens in XRP. It does not need to battle exchange rates and pay a low processing fees. The entire transaction happens almost instantly (in a few seconds) with the network able to process 1500 transactions per second.
The network provides 3 products that can be used by financial institutions like banks.
Enables the organization to interoperate between different ledgers and networks by considering and taking care of the compliance, risk and privacy mandated for each bank. However, it does not involve the use of XRP.
Provides access to real-time liquidity. Ensures cost reduction and real time payments by using the XRP platform
Payment interfact to ensure easiness of use of xCurrent and xRapid. xVia allows payment tracking and invoice generation.
Hyperledger is an open-source, global collaboration hosted by The Linux Foundation with an aim to innovate and advance cross-advance blockchain technologies.
The others include organizations and leaders from the various industry verticals like finance, banking, technology, manufacturing, supply chain, IOT, etc.
Hyperledger’s goals include –
- Creating open source distributed ledger frameworks and code bases for enterprises
- Implement technical and business governance to provide community driven support
- Build blockchain-related technical communities to design use cases, POCs, etc.
- Public education on blockchain
Frameworks and Tools
These are just few blockchain based products and platforms that are most widely known and accepted around the world.