Cryptocurrencies tend to annoy stock market investors and at the same time it has crowned new millionaires. Bitcoin has not just become a trendsetter, it is also the de facto norm for cryptocurrencies, attracting an ever-growing legion of supporters and spin-offs. While this fundamental aspect is more common in the industry, cryptocurrencies are nearly always built to be free of state coercion and control.

Below are some of the leading digital currencies challenging bitcoin that we will look at. First, however, a warning: it can not be a fully comprehensive list. This is because more than 2000 cryptocurrencies exist as of January 2020. Many of these tokens and coins are popular with a devoted (and often small) group of supporters and investors.

#1 Ethereum (ETH)

The first Bitcoin alternative on our list, Ethereum is an innovative computing framework, which allows the creation and deployment of intelligent contracts and decentralized applications (DApps) without third-party downtime, theft, control or intervention. Ethereum applications are operating on the cryptographic token ether, which is unique to the network.

Ether is like a conduit for the Ethereum blockchain and is often sought after by developers looking for applications within Ethereum or by investors who wish to buy other digital currencies using ether. Ether is the second most valuable digital currency by market cap after bitcoin. It was released in 2015, but it still has a considerable gap behind the reigning cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Ether’s market value is nearly 1/10 of Bitcoin’s size as of January 2020.

Ripple (XRP)

Ripple is an immediate, secure and low cost, global settlement network that acts in real-time. Launched in 2012, Ripple’s Consensus Line (the method of conformation) is exceptional because Ripple does not need mining. This allows banks to make purchases across-the-board on a low-cost basis at maximum transparency.

However, all XRP tokens had been pre-mined before to launch, i.e. no XRP had yet been “made,” but only introduction and removal of the XRP from the market for supply, in compliance with Network Guidelines. Ripple thus distinguishes itself from bitcoin and many others. As mining is not essential to the structure of Ripple, device capacity is reduced and network latency is minimized.

Litecoin (LTC)

Launched in 2011, Litecoin was one of the first cryptocurrencies in the world to follow Bitcoin’s footsteps and also named “silver to Gold of Bitcoin.” Charlie Lee, an MIT graduate, and a former Google engineer created it. Litecoin is made up of an open-source worldwide payment network that is not regulated by a central body.

While Litecoin is in several respects similar to bitcoin, it has a faster rate of block generation and thus provides a faster time to validate transactions.

Tether (USDT)

Tether was one of the first and most common groups of stable coins, cryptocurrencies which seek to bind their market value to a currency or to which their volatility. Owing to the regular cycles of drastic instability in most digital currencies, like major currencies including bitcoin, Tether and other stable coins attempt to smooth out price fluctuations to draw cautionary people elsewhere.

Started in 2014, Tether describes itself as an active Fiat currency blockchain network for digital use. This crypto-currency essentially allows individuals to use a blockchain network and related technology to function in conventional currencies, reducing the often associated uncertainty and complexity of digital currency. On Jan. 8, 2020, Tether, with a total market cap of $4.6 billion and a token of $1.00.1, became the fourth largest cryptocurrency by market cash.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

It is an early and the most popular hard fork for the original bitcoin and is an important part of the development of altcoin cash (BCH). There is a fork in the cryptocurrency environment as a result of debates and disputes between developers and miners. The decentralization of the digital currency involves a general agreement that fundamental adjustments must be made to the code underlying the token or coin at hand, which depends on the specific cryptocurrency.

If the different sides cannot find a consensus, the digital currency is often split with the original staying true to the original code, with a new version of the previous coin that starts with modifications to the code of the original edition. As a result of one of these divisions, BCH started its existence in August 2017.

The debate that led to BCH was linked to the scalability of the Bitcoin network, whereby the dimensions of the blocks are limited by a stringent limit: one megabyte (MB). With the expectation that larger blocks would make for more fast transaction times, BCH increases the block size between one MB and 8 MB.

Libra (Libra)

Rumors that Facebook, Inc. (FB), a social media company, is creating its own cryptocurrency were being spread until mid-2018. Due to the amazing global scope of Facebook and the potential for huge trading across its network, the world of cryptocurrencies had long speculated that the king of social media might launch his digital token. On June 18, 2019, when Facebook published Libra’s white paper, reports were formally reported.

The provisional token launch date is later in 2020 as Facebook has agreed to sort regulatory hurdles before it is launched. The new division, the Calibra financial services company, will be partially controlled by Libra. When Libra begins, it will definitely receive considerable attention from people within (and outside) the crypto-monetary sector.