3 alternatives to bitcoins

Picture from coindesk

Though the world may be going gaga about bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, in Nigeria, its price is beyond the reach of the average investor. One bitcoin is about N1.1 million. 0.1 bitcoin is a N100,000 still quite expensive. There however several lesser known but equally valuable coins.

They are known as alternative coins or altcoins. Though one still has to purchase bitcoin to buy, the lower prices mean one can buy a higher quantity, as well as benefit from a significant upside.

Ether

While used inter-changeably, there is a slight difference between ethereum and ether. Ethereum is the network, while ether is the currency on which is used to carry out transactions on the network. Ether is the second most valuable cryptocurrency after bitcoin.

Ethereum’s strength lies in its having a faster transaction time than bitcoin, as well as being the most common platform used by other cryptocurrencies. Most Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are paid for with either bitcoin or ethereum, thus leaving it at the risk of wide swings in price. Ether currently goes for about $250 a coin.

Litecoin

Litecoin is the 3rd biggest cryptocurrency in terms of trade volumes. Litecoin is also faster and more efficient than bitcoin. For investors who prefer to hold than trade, litecoin is also fairly stable in terms of price volatility. Litecoin founder Charles Lee resigned from Coinbase this year to face the project fully. Litecoin currently trades at $45.

NEO

Formerly known as antshares, Neo is China’s answer to ethereum. Neo has a faster transaction compared to ethereum with 1000 transactions mined per second and plans to make it even faster. China plays a key role in cryptocurrency markets due to its large population size and the presence of several Chinese exchanges. Movements in the Chinese markets, have a deep effect on the larger crypto market. The Chinese also tend to prefer their versions of popular services. Popular ride sharing app Uber, had to merge with the Chinese version Didi when it couldn’t cope with the competition. Taobao. China’s version of Amazon is bigger and faster. Neo currently trades at $18.

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