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Since 2009 when Satoshi Nakomoto—or a person or persons going by that name, at least—created Bitcoin, cryptocurrency steadily grew more and more popular.
What started as a joke in 2013 by Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, intended to poke fun at the growth of altcoins became one of the top cryptocurrencies on the market in 2021. Dogecoin was named after a doge internet meme of a Shiba Inu dog, and, despite its satirical origins, the cryptocurrency had some practicality due to its large supply, as it has no cap, unlike other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
Bitcoin, the crypto that started it all. Created as an alternative to the existing functional system by a person or group under the alias Satoshi Nakotomo, the digital money supply appeals to many because it's not controlled by any bank or government.Having been around since 2009, it's no surprise that Bitcoin has consistently been at the top of the cryptocurrency stock market charts.
Vitalik Buterin created Ethereum, which officially went live in 2015. He proposed using Bitcoin's design to create a decentralized software platform supporting the programming of language and the building and publishing of applications to be run without downtime, fraud, or interference from third parties. The goal was to create decentralized financial products that are readily accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world.
Sergey Nazarov and Steve Ellis created Chainlink in 2017 to enable smart contracts to connect to data outside the cryptocurrency platform. As a decentralized network allowing a connection that blockchains cannot achieve in a secure manner, Chainlink opened up more use possibilities for its system. For example, if a smart contract is trying to replicate bonds, Chainlink incentivizes data providers (oracles) to grant access to market price data.
In 2011 Charlie Lee, a former Google engineer and MIT graduate created Litecoin. In many ways, Litecoin is like Bitcoin, hence its nickname as the silver to Bitcoin's gold, but it has the advantage of a faster block generation rate, which translates to a faster transaction confirmation time of 2.5 minutes versus 10 minutes on Bitcoin.
Bitcoin Cash is essentially a spinoff of Bitcoin, the world's oldest and most widely traded cryptocurrency. Its creation was a result of disagreements between developers and miners over making changes to Bitcoin's original code to increase the size of blocks. The bigger the block, the more transactions it can hold, and hence the faster the transaction speed. Eventually, one group of businesses and developers launched the software that created Bitcoin Cash, effectively splitting it from the original Bitcoin.
Anyone familiar with trading is well aware of the volatility of the market. For cryptocurrencies, this volatility is often frequent and dramatic, leading to major losses or gains. Tether was created in 2014 to eliminate this issue of volatility by pegging its market value to the price of the US dollar. Since then, Tether's support has extended to three other stablecoins, namely the Chinese Yuan (CNHT), Euro (EURT), and XAUT, backed by 1 oz. of gold.
Before it became a stand-alone cryptocurrency, Binance Coin was hosted on Ethereum as an ERC-20 token. In 2017, the Binance decentralized exchange (DEX) went online and it became a platform similar to Ethereum, albeit with extra features.
XRP was launched in 2013 to complement traditional payment methods. It uses a more open infrastructure to move money around the globe without the involvement of third parties. Thanks to the fast processing time of approximately three to five seconds and low transaction fees, it's able to compete with the SWIFT system currently used by banks and other major financial institutions.
Cardano is not only a cryptocurrency, but a platform for decentralized apps, as well. In fact, Jeremy Wood and Charles Hoskinson, who developed the platform, worked on the Ethereum ecosystem before that. Following its release in 2017, Cardano stood out as its network allowed settlement of payments and transactions, plus deployment of smart contracts.
But cryptocurrency giants like Bitcoin and Ethereum are high in value...