Battle of the Blockchains: Rival Cryptocurrencies and Who Comes Out on Top

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1. Bitcoin vs. Litecoin

Litecoin was intended to have all of the same functionalities of Bitcoin while improving on its shortcomings.But how well does Litecoin actually follow through on its ambitions?

There are a couple of key contrasts between the 2 cryptographic forms of money. With regards to the gold/silver similarity, there is a considerably littler supply of Bitcoin (21 million) than Litecoin (84 million). Litecoin, a hard fork of Bitcoin, was intentionally made this way to keep prices down. Thus, while Bitcoin is currently valued primarily as an investment asset, Litecoin may achieve its goal of being used for small purchases a lot sooner – so Litecoin has practicality in its favor.

Second, Bitcoin is notorious for being slow and currently suffers from scalability problems. When it comes to processing transactions, Litecoin is a lot faster and more versatile – it takes Litecoin users 2.5 – 3 minutes to generate a block, while it takes 10 minutes with Bitcoin.

When it comes to mining algorithms, Bitcoin uses the SHA-256 algorithm, which is highly complex and has led to the development of prohibitively expensive mining hardware such as ASICs, effectively putting Bitcoin mining out of the reach of the little guy. Litecoin, on the other hand, uses the much simpler Scrypt algorithm, making mining far more accessible to the average users.

However, when it comes to a coin with political clout and first mover’s advantage, Bitcoin is still the name most people recognize and flock to. Plus, Charlie Lee selling all his LTC towards the end of December 2017 was a blow the Litecoin community is still recovering from.

2. NEO vs. Ethereum

Here is the another, with NEO often being referred to as “China’s Ethereum” and Ethereum.

After Bitcoin, Ethereum is the most highly valued and recognizable name in the crypto world. It came early in the game, launching in 2015, and made waves by offering users the capacity to write their own smart contracts on top of their open-source blockchain. Like Bitcoin, it suffers from scalability problems, but slowness and it’s older technology have not stopped Ethereum from becoming the second most in-demand cryptocurrency.

While relatively NEO, launched in December 2016, its price has risen steadily, and in a little, over a year it has already accrued a robust ecosystem of apps and partnerships within the fintech industry. And it certainly mirrors Ethereum in many ways: they’re both decentralized platforms that run apps and smart contracts. They both host ICOs and have their own native token.

Ethereum might be the obvious giant – their market cap (at the time of writing) is US$65 billion to NEO’s US$5 billion. About each ICO is based on the ERC-20 token stage, and “Vitalik Buterin” is as incredible a name as “Satoshi Nakamoto.” However, NEO has huge potential that hints at all it having the capacity to destroy Ethereum.

The main difference – NEO’s technology is faster, more secure, and overall superior to Ethereum’s. It can process 10,000 transactions per second, while Ethereum can only process 15. NEO supports different programming languages – C+ and Java, and eventually Python and Go – and uses the more energy-efficient Proof-of-Stake (PoS) validation to Ethereum’s Proof-of-Work (PoW). And, while Ethereum seeks to dominate the dapp market, NEO to be the platform of the smart economy.

A smart economy is an economy based entirely on smart contracts, which will involve all physical assets and user identities represented digitally. To work legitimately, this will require strict character check, and NEO has support from Chinese state-backed banks to make this happen. This is tremendous regarding the future advancement of NEO; getting on the great side of the Chinese government, who are famous crypto-skeptics, implies NEO will have pretty much sole access to the Chinese market.

It is difficult to say who gonna win this race.

3. Monero vs. Dash

Unlike Bitcoin, which is traceable and merely pseudo-anonymous, true privacy coins are untraceable and completely anonymous. The market has a long list of privacy coins, some more reputable than others, but at the top of the list in terms of traceability and fungibility are Monero and Dash.

Dash, to begin with, is a fork of Bitcoin – so it has much of the same function, but with an eye to pick up where Bitcoin left off in terms of privacy, security, and usability. Unlike Bitcoin, whose network is maintained by miners, Dash has a multi-faceted masternode network.

This allows for InstantSend and PrivateSend transactions, which are impossible to be traced by third parties, the PrivateSend function is something users can opt into, rather than private transactions being the default. While privacy is an important feature of Dash, its primary concern is to create a digital currency that people can use easily to make everyday purchases. Monero, on the other hand, is a fork of Bytecoin, and from a different family tree altogether. It’s fungible, untraceable, and completely anonymous. And Monero is not holding back when it comes to cutting-edge privacy features.

Monero runs on the CryptoNote protocol, which makes transactions truly untraceable, as opposed to Bitcoin and its forks, where all transactions and metadata are kept on a public ledger for anyone to look up. Monero ensures complete anonymity using stealth addresses, in which sender and receiver addresses plus an amount of currency sent are cryptographically scrambled to anyone except the two parties involved. Monero also uses ring signature technology, in which funds sent are randomly selected from a group signing pool, making it difficult to decipher who actually sent the transaction.

There isn’t really a contest when it comes to these two coins. While both coins serve their purpose for making transactions, with robust communities and placings in the top 50 cryptocurrencies by market cap, Monero goes all the way in terms of the privacy and anonymity that Dash only dabbles in.

As a fork of Bytecoin, which is itself a fork of the CryptoNote protocol, Monero’s very existence is devoted to honing its privacy features until they’re the very best they can be. So, in the sphere of privacy coins, at least, Monero beats Dash.

4. IOTA vs. ByteBall

In the biz, the term “blockchain” is often used synonymously with “cryptocurrency,” but that is not necessarily the case. In a move away from blockchain, we’re starting to see cryptocurrencies built on a different technology. But, in IOTA and ByteBall, both are built on Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG), a distributed ledger without blocks.

IOTA and ByteBall were both launched in 2016 (July and December, respectively) but they have a few key differences. Such as IOTA runs on DAG technology known as the Tangle, which allows users making transactions to confirm previous transactions in lieu of a transaction fee. ByteBall, on the other hand, charges a transaction fee of 1 BYTE per Byte of data.

But their fundamental difference lies in their scope: ByteBall interests itself in peer-to-peer smart contracts, providing a platform for peer-to-peer insurance or prediction markets (gambling, essentially). ByteBall has also taken a big step towards making cryptocurrency transactions more user-friendly, by offering a feature on their wallet where users can send crypto to an actual email address instead of a long, cryptic alphanumeric address.

IOTA, on the other hand, deals with the Internet of Things (IoT), the exponentially increasing network of interconnectivity between humans and smart devices. IOTA is developing an IoT marketplace, a network of secure, efficient data exchange for the large companies working in the industry – and their zero transaction fees make them a pretty valuable partner

IOTA is still very much in the raw form. With ambitious capabilities in the works such as hardware-as-a-service and data-as-a-service. ByteBall has the edge, just for its sound technology and features and IOTA doesn’t even offer smart contracts yet.

5. Lisk vs. Ark

Here we have another pair of parent blockchain (Lisk) and hard fork (Ark). Both platforms have the end goal of bringing about mass adoption of blockchain technology, but they set about doing that in different ways: Lisk by applications, and Ark by SmartBridges.

Lisk, being the original blockchain, has something of a head start on Ark. They already have a few impressive partnerships under their belt, including one with Microsoft Azure. Essentially, Lisk seeks to act as the conduit between companies and blockchain technology, providing an accessible blockchain written in JavaScript as opposed to more esoteric coding languages.

This, in fact, was the driving concept behind Lisk, and it achieves it with a two-punch approach: it offers businesses the main blockchain as well as various sidechains to run dapps. Their ICO at the beginning of 2016 was the 7th most successful in blockchain history, raking in US$5.8 million for a total of 100 million Lisk tokens. Lisk also has a few other winning factors in its corner, including being registered in a crypto-friendly country (Switzerland) and a stellar team, boasting Senior Advisors who previously worked on the Ethereum team.

Ark, on the other hand, has the ambition of creating a web to connect all cryptocurrencies, ultimately building a vast ecosystem of different blockchain platforms. Essentially, Ark’s SmartBridge technology acts as an inter-blockchain translator: once a particular blockchain connects a piece of its code to the Ark system, it is automatically connected to the SmartBridge and can then interact with all the other blockchains on the system.

For example, assuming both of these blockchains are SmartBridge compatible, directions sent over the Monero blockchain could trigger a smart contract on Ethereum. By enabling different cryptocurrencies to act cooperatively, Ark effectively amplifies each of their capacities, as well as the audiences they reach.

While both platforms have innovative technology and sound framework, we give Ark an edge here because of its capacity for linking different blockchains, and for providing the infrastructure for blockchain platforms to work cooperatively. It is Ark, more than any of the other cryptocurrencies mentioned above, that provides credence to the idea that the blockchain revolution truly is more than the sum of its parts, and that blockchains have a lot more to offer in communication with each other than acting alone.

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