The word altcoin describes every cryptocurrency that is not bitcoin. Altcoins are referred to as bitcoin alternatives because, at least to some extent, most altcoins aim to either replace or improve upon at least one bitcoin component. There are hundreds of altcoins (CoinMarketCap lists over 700 at the time this guide was written), and more appear each month. Most altcoins are little more than bitcoin clones, changing only minor characteristics such as its transactions speed, distribution method, or hashing algorithm. Most of these coins do not survive for very long. In this post, however, you will be introduced to seven altcoins you should be aware of as they have the potential to turn into major global cryptocurrencies.
Ethereum is a blockchain-based platform that lets anyone build and use decentralized applications that run on blockchain technology. Unlike the Bitcoin protocol, Ethereum was designed to be adaptable and flexible. It is easy to create new applications on the Ethereum platform, and with the Homestead release, it is now safe for anyone to use those applications. Rather than give users a set of pre-defined operations (e.g. bitcoin transactions), Ethereum allows users to create their own operations of any complexity they wish as it is a programmable blockchain in the form of so-called “smart contracts”. In this way, it serves as a platform for many different types of decentralized blockchain applications. Ethereum’s cryptocurrency is called ether (ETH).
SteemIt is a social media platform where users get paid to post information online. It is powered by blockchain technology and rewards users that upload articles, images, commentary, and blogs while paying users for sourcing and up-voting popular content. The earlier a person up-votes a post that becomes popular, the more they are rewarded. Users are paid half in “Steem Power,” a vesting currency that supercharges voting power, and half with Steem Dollars (SBD), which can be exchanged for USD. SteemIt, therefore, creates a great opportunity for African writers to monetize their content.
Sia is a totally new approach to cloud storage platforms where you put data into cloud and still retain control. The token used in the smart contracts to pay the host is what is called the siacoin. Both the host and the renter put siacons into the contract once the file is created. The only time the host gets siacoins is if they have the data at the expiry of the contract. If you decide to put up your data on cloud, it is usually one company that will have control of all your data such as Dropbox. In the case of Sia, you are still able to have control over your own data. When you upload a file to Sia, it is encrypted and then uploaded to many hosts, of which none of these hosts can manipulate your data, tamper with your privacy, or hinder you from accessing your data at any given time. The smart contract protects renters by ensuring that no payment is made to the host until the renter’s data is stored.
Monero (XMR) is an open source secure, private and untraceable cryptocurrency created in April 2014. Unlike many cryptocurrencies that are derivatives of bitcoin, monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol and possesses significant algorithmic differences relating to blockchain infrastructure. With Monero, you are your own anonymous bank. Only you control and are responsible for your funds, and your accounts and transactions are kept private from prying eyes. Monero has become a very popular currency used in the dark web in the last 12 months.
H.E.A.T. Ledger is an acronym for Heuristically Enhanced Asynchronous Transactions Ledger. It is completely a new way of structuring cryptocurrency and a peer-to-peer decentralized asset ledger. It is optimized for speed and architected in enterprise friendly Java for custom private chains, HEAT slices the currently used blockchain database technology to modular components and provides flexible scalable server-side technology for corporate needs of any size.
The ledger is built on Java and based on NXT, HEAT is capable of handling over 1000 transactions per second while supporting “unlimited scaling.” A press release for the project stated that 20 second or lower blocks generation times, combined with both Proof of Stake and Proof of Work, are what make HEAT so fast.
Dash (which stands for ‘digital cash’) is an open source and privacy-centric digital currency that offers instant transactions. It allows you to keep your finances private as you make transactions without having to wait for your transaction to complete. The other advantage is that the transaction fees are much lower than banks or credit cards and are often even free. Payments are received instantly by the other party thanks to InstantX and the cryptocurrency uses a decentralized network, so no centralized third party to trust. Advanced encryption and a 2-tier network are implemented for complete security and it allows you t send money to anywhere in the world.
Particl Launches Decentralised Marketplace With Zero Commission Fees
Privacy-focused cryptocurrency project Particl has launched a decentralised marketplace with zero commission fees. The new e-commerce platform is leveraging blockchain technology to compete with the likes of Amazon and OpenBazaar.
Privacy and Zero Commission Fees
The new decentralised marketplace respects user privacy and does not require personal information from its users. The platform only requires a shipping address. Moreover, the decentralised nature of the Particl marketplace ensures that no commissions are added to sales as is the case on Amazon.
According to an article on Big Commerce, fees for sellers can be as much as 45 percent of a product’s cost on Amazon. Particl’s zero-free model, therefore, enables sellers to significantly increase their revenue and lower their prices to stay ahead of the competition while still making a profit.
“Using a combination of P2P and blockchain technologies, Particl Open Marketplace can provide a verifiable private shopping experience that ensures no user data can be created or collected by any party other than the one you are transacting with. The Particl protocol also brings the cost of buying and selling online to the bare minimum as no central entity can charge fees,” said Particl’s Project Marketing and Strategy Manager Paul Schmitzer.
How Particl’s Decentralised Marketplace Works
Particl is uniquely approaching fraud and trade insurance through the use of a double deposit escrow system without intermediaries and with zero fees. This system is based on MAD game theory where two parties deposit PART coins as collateral into a smart contract. Once the transaction between them is complete, the coins are released back to the parties and no fees are charged. This system allows users to be in control of their transactions and to eliminate fraud.
Since the marketplace is decentralised, the protocol generates all listing fees and redistributes them to the global network of users.
Particl is made up of three components: an untraceable multi-purpose privacy coin, a private decentralised marketplace where users can shop with cryptocurrencies, and a platform where developers can build decentralised applications.
Particl allows a wide range of cryptocurrencies and uses atomic swaps and third-party integrations to convert these coins to PART during transactions. The company will soon add more payment options to its marketplace.
In 2018, Bitcoin Africa talked to Particl’s spokesperson Desi-Rae about the project. Read the full interview here.
South Africans Can Now Buy Ether (ETH) Using Rand on Luno
Global cryptocurrency exchange Luno has now enabled crypto traders in South Africa to buy ether using rand on its platform.
Trading on Luno
Luno offers users an easy and safe place to buy bitcoin and ether and to learn about cryptocurrencies. The exchange has more than 2.7 million customers across 40 countries.
Luno also has a dedicated Ethereum series on its learning platform to help users make informed investment decisions.
Commenting on the new launch, Luno’s General Manager in Africa, Marius Reitz, said: “The direct Ethereum/Rand pair will make it quicker, simpler, and cheaper for customers to interact with and use Ethereum on the exchange. We are working on a number of enhancements to our platform and this pairing has been introduced in response to demand from our customers. Previously, customers could buy Ethereum through our instant buy option but having this ability directly on the exchange makes it faster and cheaper for traders.”
According to Reitz, Luno makes sure that every coin listed in its exchange has undergone due diligence. “There are over 2000 cryptocurrencies. However, many of these are scams, so customers need to trust that the exchange they use has verified the track records of cryptocurrencies available on their platforms. Luno limits the currencies on offer to those on which we have completed extensive research and due diligence and we are satisfied with their credibility in terms of security and adoption. Luno will be adding additional cryptocurrencies to its platform later this year,” he explained.
“Individuals in these markets cannot afford to, and should no longer need to, pay high exchange rates, accept national currency devaluation or lose out when they simply transfer money. Access to a more inclusive financial system will enable people everywhere to think of new and better ways of exchanging value and technology allows this,” Reitz elaborated.
Luno plans to upgrade its platform, expand its team, and open new offices in expectation of the next surge in the value of cryptoassets.
Emerging Markets More Likely to Adopt Cryptocurrencies from Global Brands, Luno Study Says
A new study by digital asset exchange Luno indicates that emerging markets are more likely to adopt cryptocurrencies from global brands. This finding was collected from a survey called the ‘Future of Money’ carried out between May 17, 2019, and June 7, 2019. The survey interviewed over 7000 respondents from Nigeria, South Africa, the United Kingdom, France, Indonesia, Italy, and Malaysia.
Emerging Markets, the Future of Money and Libra
According to the ‘Future of Money’ survey, the early adopters of cryptocurrencies are likely to come from emerging markets. The findings, therefore, show a close connection between emerging markets and the future of money confirming the view that those with “less appear to take greater financial risks.”
These results come at a time when Facebook recently announced that it will introduce Libra, a new digital currency in 2020. The aim of Libra is to help people make financial transactions online, especially in emerging markets where banks are not servicing the population as well as they should be.
Luno’s CEO Marcus Swanepoel said: “As some of the world’s largest tech giants announce they are launching cryptocurrency coins, we believe developing markets will be the lead adopters. Our research shows that in these markets people are more financially savvy because they have to be, which means that they need and understand the benefits the new coins can offer.”
To further show why the future of money could have a greater impact on emerging markets, data from the survey indicated that 33 percent of people in Indonesia are more likely to remain within a set budget compared to 0 percent in the UK.
Additionally, the number of people that establish a monthly budget is 80 percent in Malaysia, 65 percent in Nigeria, 73 percent in South Africa, 74 percent in Indonesia, and 54 percent in the UK. Asked why money is crucial to them, the respondents said it was to secure their families’ well-being (60 percent) and to pay for education. This answer was given by 25 percent of the respondents from Nigeria compared to 8 percent in the UK.
Luno is a global cryptocurrency company headquartered in London and with offices in South Africa.
Crypto adoption will probably take place at the grassroots level than at the institutional level, Swanepoel observed. He based this argument on the findings that most people from emerging markets will probably seek financial advice from family, friends, and colleagues than from government organisations.
“It is very clear that if money is not simply a ‘nice to have’ and is vital for your future, then you spend more time understanding it, managing it, preserving it and to an extent being creative with how you maximise the use of it. Therefore, if a cryptocurrency can provide a secure and cheaper means of exchanging value better than the existing system, it will be used. This is why we believe that as new cryptocurrencies linked to global brands are introduced, they will find an important audience in emerging markets,” Swanepoel added.
Luno’s study paints a clear picture of what the future of money could look like. However, certain factors such as Internet connectivity could inhibit the fast adoption of crypto in developing markets.
Bet With Bitcoin
Places in Africa Where You Can Find a Bitcoin ATM
EcoHack Africa 2018 Aims to Build Blockchain-Based Green Economy Platform for Africa
Bitcoin Loophole – Another Crypto Scam to Avoid
5 Ways to Earn Free Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Top 5 Best Bitcoin Apps That Enable You To Earn Cryptocurrency
Quidax to use Ripple’s XRapid Product to Revolutionise Remittance and Payments
What is Particl and Why Should You Know About It? – An Interview with “Crypto Ramble”
The Top 5 African Countries That Are Embracing Bitcoin
7 African Blockchain Startups to Watch in 2019
Blockchain Game Gods Unchained Launches Beta Version
Press Releases12 months ago
Humaniq Doubles Number of Nations Where it Brings Global Unbanked Better Options
Altcoins1 year ago
Humaniq Global Challenge Winners Go To Kenya
Altcoins1 year ago
Humaniq Brings Financial Inclusion to Five More Countries in Africa
Press Releases1 year ago
Humaniq wants YOU for Hack.Summit (Blockchain)
Bitcoin2 years ago
Meet Africa’s Youngest Blockchain Entrepreneur: Token Media’s Elisha Owusu Akyaw
Bitcoin8 months ago
Places in Africa Where You Can Find a Bitcoin ATM
Bitcoin2 years ago
Kenyans Are Among Highest Bitcoin Holders Per Capita According to Citi Report
Altcoins2 years ago
5 Ways to Earn Passive Income with Cryptocurrencies