All bitcoin programs are open to the public. Various virtual currencies (altcoins) are birthed utilizing Bitcoin’s blockchain technology. The term altcoin refers to all virtual currencies other than bitcoins.
Currently, 1384 types of AltCoins are posted on coinmarketcap (https://coinmarketcap.com) as of January 8, 2018. While Altcoin is changing rapidly every day, it is difficult to identify, but the characteristics of altcoins can be summarized as having a stable market value and market cap.
Altcoins are making a difference by improving the performance of bitcoins. However, they are also characterized by being obtainable at a much lower price than Bitcoin due to its low profile. There are many Altcoin stocks not handled at exchanges, so many of them can not be converted into legal tender currencies at this time. Because of the low liquidity and intense price movements, these points should be kept in mind when investing in Altcoins
The representative of AltCoins is Ethereum. There are many people who know the name next to Bitcoin. It is the virtual currency’s name. It issued 72 million ETH at the beginning of 2014, with the current issue number being 96,800,000 ETH. As with Bitcoin, the maximum limit to be issued is not decided, which makes it is easy to distribute, but also causes a risk of inflation due to excess supply.
While Bitcoin only has a record of payment transactions, Ethereum can record various information such as contracts, e-mails, medical records, insurance certificates, etc. within the blockchain along with the transaction record. This is called the “Smart Contract” and Ethereum’s biggest feature.
The meaning of “Smart contract” is not completely defined. It refers to a set of digital conventions that are made to perform by one defining contract. For example, if you check out of a hotel with Smart Rock, the owner will be notified. In addition, cleaning arrangements and replenishment of food items are also automatically arranged with the contractors.
A project to invest in venture companies on the Ethereum platform (The DAO) was hacked, taking one-third of the 3.6 million ETH (at that price of approximately 50 million dollars), while collecting 150 million dollars. The development team implemented new rules that made it impossible to use the stolen ETH. However, contrary to the philosophy of non – centralized authority, the community was divided into Ethereum Classic of the blockchain which continues with the hacking record remaining and Ethereum of the new rule.Both of the basic structures are the same, but Ethereum Classic is more focused on security.
In February 2017 the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) was established in order to share Ethereum’s blockchain technology, the application of smart contracts to the real world. This included many famous companies such as Microsoft, Intel, and JP Morgan. It is reported that President Putin also supports it, and in August 2017 the Ethereum Foundation decided to partner with Vnesheconombank (Russian Development Bank).
Ripple is also a system rather than a virtual currency. The funds of the deposit account of the Ripple network are temporarily exchanged for the XRP currency (the currency used within the Ripple), a certificate of lending and borrowing called IOU (I owe you) is issued and is exchanged for the receiving currency. Currently, international remittance uses code issued by the financial industry standards organization called Swift. However, going through several intermediary banks took much time and had many fees. Once Ripple is put into practical use, you will be able to transfer money instantly online. Central banks and financial institutions around the world have participated in RippleNet and recently became a hot topic at American Express.
The biggest problem of Bitcoin became as the number of people using it increased, the network became heavier and it took longer to trade. In Ripple, approval will be done by voting (over 80% agreement) by a specific approver (validator), not by computerized transaction approval like Bitcoin. This is called Proof of Consensus. This speeds up the transaction dramatically.
If the network of Ripple is connected, remittance is instantly carried out inexpensively through electronic payment services such as Paypal and Apple Pay. Google, Apple, and Microsoft have invested in Ripple, with all international remittances completed online.
While Ripple is targeting major financial institutions and large companies, Stellar is a strong system for small settlements for individuals. It is being developed mainly by Mr. Jed McCreev who is the initial member of Ripple. Processing speed is as fast as 1,000 transactions per second, and settlement is completed within 5 seconds. Transaction fees are also very low, less than 1 cent.
Ripple transactions are approved by 80% agreement as stated earlier (XRP Ledger). Stellar has improved this and has created a mechanism to approve blocks even if 80% agreement is not obtained. Also, since the issuer of the token can choose the node, it is characterized by its high-security capability. In October 2017 the partnership with IBM became a hot topic. They are aiming to construct a payment system to be performed in real time worldwide with KlickEx.
Litecoin was developed by Charlie Lee, former Google engineer, in October 2011.. It aims for a position of silver with Bitcoins as gold. About 75% of the coin holders are said to be Chinese, is very popular in China.
The main feature of Litecoin is that it allows for a Bitcoin to approve one block that would take 10 minutes in just 2½. However, it is said that Bitcoins take 10 minutes for consideration of security aspects, and this point is discussed. As Litecoin will issue up to 84 million coins, four times the maximum number of Bitcoins to be issued (21 million), wider penetration is expected. On the other hand, mining of Litecoin does not require as much power as Bitcoins, so mining can be done relatively easily.
Litecoin also improved the scalability when implementing Segwit, which was a problem with the Bitcoin hard fork. Although it may seem like a good thing, there have been concerns that the fast transaction, large quantity issuance, easy mining, and ability for third parties to manage, the risk of hacking also increases.
NEM, is an abbreviation for New Economy Movement. The project was launched to bring out new economic activities with financial freedom and equality. It is also the foundation of not only regular currency but all other currencies. The biggest feature is an innovative block generation algorithm called Proof of Importance
Bitcoin mining was called Proof of Work and it was only possible for some wealthy people with financial strength and effort. However, there is no further mining because NEM’s issue limit of 8,999,999,999 XEM has already been issued. Instead, NEM employs a mechanism whereby people who actively use the NEM network can earn rewards (XEM).This is called harvesting (harvesting). User transaction fees are distributed to network participants.
Harvesting (distribution of transaction fee) is done about once every minute at NEM. To participate in harvesting you need a balance of at least 10,000 XEM. But that’s not all, a 10% XEM possession of Vested Balance to be added is also required for more than 10,000 XEM. For those who possess 10,000 XEM, 1,000 XEM will be added on the 2nd day, 2,900 XEM will be increased on the 3rd day, and if the Vested Balance exceeds 10,000 XEM, you will be able to participate in the harvesting. The harvesting itself is randomly determined based on the balance, transaction amount, number of transactions, etc. It is judged by the degree of contribution to the NEM network.
Mijin / NEM has been released. It is a platform that can build blockchains only with designated partners. Nodes are linked together and keep track of transactions. Everyone can easily build a blockchain network with high security and speed at a low cost.
Mijin has a feature update catapult implemented. You can design Smart Contacts for Enterprise without writing complicated codes. It also has a “private” blockchain that allows only specific nodes to participate and also has Aggregate Transactions that can handle multiple transactions simultaneously. Catapult will also be implemented in NEM.
As it is later than Bitcoin, Altcoins combines high functionality while attracting lower prices. Many people are looking to Altcoins aiming for soaring prices. However, in recent years, virtual currency fraud has occurred. China is raising efforts to advertise virtual real money currency and collect funds. Mr. Joseph Lubin co-founder of Ehrriam and Mr. Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple said at the CNBC that most of what is going on in the current ICO market is fraud. The Chinese government has run rampant with fraud and has already banned domestic ICO. There are more than a few negative views on Altcoin’s ICO that stand out.