What is the next Bitcoin? This is the question on the lips of many cryptocurrency enthusiasts.
Even as cryptocurrency continues to gain traction, there are still numerous prospective buyers who are skeptical about taking the leap.
Cryptocurrency, simply defined, is virtual or digital money that takes the form of tokens or intangible coins.
Though some cryptocurrencies have ventured into the physical world with crypto credit cards and other adoptions, the vast majority remain entirely intangible.
The government cannot manipulate and take charge of cryptocurrency operations. However, as they have grown more popular, this foundational feature of the industry has been increasingly questioned.
Currently, Bitcoin is undoubtedly the biggest cryptocurrency on the planet, but many others are touted to be the next big thing.
Why Are Cryptocurrencies Important?
As the decentralized platforms that they are, blockchain-centred cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin allow people to engage in peer-to-peer transactions or enter into contracts. In either case, there is no need for a trusted third-party middle such as a bank, monetary authority, court, or judge.
This certainly has the potential to shake up the existing financial order and democratize financial dealings the next few years. The size of the cryptocurrency ecosystem has grown remarkably in the past ten years, with new innovations and a collective market capitalization of over $1.75 trillion.
Other Famous Cryptocurrencies?
There are literally thousands of cryptocurrencies apart from Bitcoin, so it would take us forever to go over them. Besides, not all of them are generating the momentum needed to take them seriously. So, here are some of the ones to watch coming for Bitcoin’s crown:
1. Ethereum (ETH)
This increasingly popular cryptocurrency is most definitely a strong contender. It is a decentralized blockchain that uses Ether as its native currency.
The Ethereum blockchain is used to facilitate smart contracts and it also provides a platform for creating and running other crypto coins. Buying Ethereum is quite easy and convenient.
Even though high gas fees continue to plague Ethereum projects, it has retained the top spot in the world of smart contracts.
Ethereum was first introduced by Vitalik Buterin way back in 2013. It has an impressive market cap of over $315 billion.
2. Binance Coin (BNB)
The fairly popular Binance coin was launched in 2017 and is the token issued by Binance, one of the planet’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges.
It is a stable coin and was initially built on the Ethereum blockchain, but it currently works on the Binance Chain. The Binance network continues to get bigger and there’s a good chance that BNB will skyrocket as the cryptocurrency market expands.
Binance Coin has a market cap of $63 billion.
3. Solana (SOL)
Solana is currently one of the fastest blockchains in the world. Many are trying to jump on the train as early as possible. It can support more than 50,000 transactions per second. It is arguably Ethereum’s main competitor right now and a valid contender for the next big thing.
Just like ETH, its ecosystem is used to kickstart various digital projects and decentralized apps in the DeFi, NFT, and Web3 world. Unlike ETH, transaction fees on Solana are very low.
The Solana platform was founded in 2017 by Anatoly Yakovenko. It currently has a market cap of $28 billion.
4. Cardano (ADA)
You could consider the possibility of buying Cardano. It utilizes the Ouroboros peer-reviewed blockchain protocol to facilitate secure payments and protect privacy. When you hear ADA, just know it’s Cardano-related.
With “proof-of-stake”, Cardano verifies transactions on the blockchain which saves more time when compared to the “proof-of-work” used by Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Cardano was founded by Charles Hoskinson in 2015. It has a market cap of $28 billion.
5. Ripple (XRP)
The platform, which is known for processing international transactions efficiently, is also created a native token known as XRP and it is based on an open-source blockchain known as the XRP Ledger.
XRP transactions are completed super-fast (about 3-5 seconds) compared to Bitcoin which takes several minutes. It also uses little energy.
XRP was first launched in 2012, and it has a market cap of $35 billion.
Why are There so Many Cryptocurrencies?:
The vast majority of cryptocurrencies everywhere are derived in from Bitcoin, which uses open-source code and a censorship-resistant architecture.
This simply means that anybody can copy and modify the code, create their own new coin, and take it to the next level. Pretty cool, right? This also means that anybody is free to join its network or carry out transactions in it.
Why is Bitcoin Still the Most Important Cryptocurrency?
Despite thousands of competitors that have sprung up, Bitcoin, which is the original cryptocurrency, remains the dominant player in terms of usage and economic value.
Each Bitcoin coin was worth roughly $44,000 as of February 2022, with a market capitalization of more than $830 billion.
It doesn’t seem like it’s slowing down any time soon, so expect it to be around the next few years and beyond.
How Do I Buy Cryptocurrencies?
It’s pretty easy and efficient. Just follow these steps:
1. Open an Account With a Cryptocurrency Exchange or Broker
You are going to have to open a trading account, just like you would for stock trading. You can choose to go through a cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase, Binance and Gemini, which match buyers with sellers, or choose a broker like Robinhood and SoFi, which carry out the trades for you.
Exchanges typically have low fees, but they feature more complex interfaces. Brokers feature much simpler interfaces with little complications but might charge higher fees and offer a limited number of coins.
2. Fund Your Account
Before you can get straight to trading cryptocurrencies, you’ll need a way to pay for your purchases, such as a linked bank account, a wire transfer or a debit or credit card payment. So, make sure your account is funded.
3. Place Your Cryptocurrency Order
What’s next? Decide on the cryptocurrency you want to buy, select it, and indicate how many coins you want to purchase. To get fractional shares of cryptocurrency, specify a dollar amount instead of the number of coins.
These steps should help you navigate the process of buying Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies of interest.
Some widely used cryptocurrency exchanges you can use for buying and selling include:
- Wealthsimple Crypto
Here is more comprehensive coverage of top Canadian crypto exchanges you can use for your day-to-day transactions.
How Safe Are Cryptocurrencies?
Yes, transactions carried out with cryptocurrencies are safe, since their systems generally strive to protect assets.
Bitcoin, for example, goes the extra mile to make sure hackers are kept at bay. The risks are more tied to the way investors store the keys of their cryptocurrencies, which does not have any direct relation to the type of transactions carried out on the blockchain.
So, keep your keys safe and you should be okay. In the event of unusual activity around your crypto assets, the next thing you should do is reach out to the customer service of your crypto exchange.
Review of Competing Cryptocurrencies
1. Ethereum (ETH)
- They have very visible and socially engaging leadership
- The potent functionality of the Ethereum Blockchain
- Ethereum has clarity in terms of regulatory obligation
- Ethereum is backed by notable venture capitalists such as Naval Ravikant and Union Square Ventures
- Delay in shifting to proof of stake consensus protocol
The fact that Ethereum supports elements such as blockchain smart contracts, dApps and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) makes it a very functional blockchain to go for. Additionally, it has made a mark in the world of ICO tokens by introducing the ERC-20 standard tokens.
On the downside, Ethereum’s shift to PoS Consensus Protocol has been in the works for a while now and the crypto community has been looking forward to it. The delay in the process is affecting the speed and reputation of the network.
2. Binance Coin (BNB)
- Binance Coin is one of the most extensively traded tokens.
- The value of coins is increasing constantly, mainly because Binance redeems 20% of the tokens every quarter
- BNB Coin is not limited only to Binance Exchange, as it can also be traded on other cryptocurrency exchanges.
- It is very reliable as it was created by the largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance.
- About 80% of tokens are owned by Binance Exchange.
- Binance is often a target for cyber attacks.
With the Binance coin, you don’t have to pay transaction fees if you’re using the Binance platform. Rather than paying a fee of $1 for every $1,000 in trades, you can just use Binance coins to cover the fees. This makes Binance coins extremely useful and valuable to traders on the Binance exchange.
How is this possible, you ask? Well, Binance will rebate trading fees for those wishing to use the Binance coin when trading for the first five years.
There is a sliding scale, so in the first year, you can get a 50% rebate on your fees by using Binance coins.
Because it is such a prominent company, Binance exchange is often a target for cybercrime, which often puts Binance Coins at risk.
3. Solana (SOL)
- Solana is known for its high transaction speed
- Ease of verification is also a selling point of theirs
- It uses proof of history to improve overall efficiency
- Its operations are environmentally friendly
- Solana has a relatively smaller community of users than its competitors
- Its blockchain has a history of having instabilities
- It has relatively fewer projects going on
Undoubtedly, one of the biggest selling points of Solana is its transaction speed. Solana may be regarded as the best potential Ethereum and Binance Coin rival among altcoins, largely because of its speed.
Solana can support tens of thousands of transactions per second compared to only about 13 transactions for coins like Ethereum, which currently operates on a proof-of-work model that requires miners to complete complex calculations to make transactions valid. Solana’s proof-of-history, or PoH, and proof-of-stake, or PoS, models verify transactions based on coin ownership.
Solana’s environmentally friendly operations have been a big plus for its reputation. The computing power needed for mining Bitcoin and verifying transactions via its PoW model currently generates about 60 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, giving Bitcoin roughly the same carbon footprint as the whole country of Greece. Bitcoin’s carbon footprint is also why Tesla owner Elon Musk decided to no longer accept Bitcoin as a means of payment.
4. Cardano (ADA)
- Open-source code
- A team with high credibility
- Double layered character
- Energy-saving consensus protocol
- Centralization concerns
- Security vulnerability
The developers of Cardano made the decision to have an open-source code to make sure a lot of members of the crypto and blockchain community can get benefits from it.
The objective of this network is to make sure that cryptocurrencies across networks and platforms can interact with one another effectively. It is also to make blockchain technology a collaborative affair.
While there are several consensus protocols out there, the developers of Cardano chose to go with the PoS or Proof Of Stake variety to make sure it’s energy-efficient.
Even though the proof of stake protocol that Cardano’s platform uses does make coin mining easier, it also raises concerns about centralization by allowing only a few validators to decide on which block gets validated.
5. Ripple (XRP)
- Near-zero transaction fee
- Super-fast transaction speed
- Global partnerships
- Robust customer support
- Centralized ecosystem
- Tailor-made for large corporations
Ripple connects banks, payment providers and digital asset exchanges via RippleNet to provide one frictionless experience to send money globally. When it comes to international payments, it lets banks carry them out instantly, with transparency and at considerable costs.
Banks and payment providers can use the digital asset XRP to further reduce their costs and access new markets. XRP is the fastest and most scalable digital asset today.
One of Ripple’s downsides is that large corporations who use it are at an advantage in comparison to individuals.
The world of cryptocurrencies is a volatile one. It’s hard to pinpoint who will be the next Bitcoin, but there are certainly contenders for that title (some of which have been discussed in this article).
Ethereum and Binance Coin are hot on Bitcoin’s heels. Perhaps, Solana, Cardano, and Ripple will enjoy remarkable surges in the coming years. All in all, keep an eye on these coins for the most part.
The best thing one can do for one’s cryptocurrency wellbeing is to stay informed and keep track of the latest developments in the ecosystem.
What is the Next Bitcoin FAQs:
Who controls cryptocurrencies?
It is important to note that the developers of cryptocurrencies can set specific parameters such as guidelines for buying or selling cryptocurrency. No one in particular controls crypto.
What are cryptocurrency wallets?
Crypto wallets are simply platforms for the secure storage of digital assets like Bitcoin. Users can hold a wallet through an exchange account or a custody wallet and even from outside the exchange. In fact, cryptocurrency wallets help in storing the private keys to your cryptocurrency on the blockchain.
What is blockchain?
Blockchain technology is essentially a transparent, publicly accessible, trustless, and secure ledger. It helps to secure the transfer of the ownership of units of value by using proof of work consensus and public-key encryption methods.
It leverages decentralized consensus for maintaining the network. This ultimately means it excludes intermediaries such as the government, banks, or corporations from the process.