Articulate February 2018

A New World of Money


Written By: Lauren Smith

In a world of digitalization, cryptocurrency provides a secure, virtual way for online transactions. Cryptocurrency, launched with Bitcoin in 2009, is a decentralized currency meaning that there is no central entity such as a government or bank residing over the currency. Because of this, users operate as a consensus network where all members operate under rules agreed upon and accepted by all. Alternatively, advanced encryption capabilities has led to increases in money laundering and tax evasion. Despite cultivating an active market, Cryptocurrency is unreliable and suffers from slow transaction rates, which many say will improve with time. As of December 2017, the industry was worth more than $370 billion. Here are the 7 types of cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin (BTC) was launched in 2009.

  • Bitcoin has an estimated market value of over $3.4 billion.
  • Its system stores cumulative data of all transactions ever conducted.
  • Bitcoin is currency used in 96 countries, and boasts over 400,000 subscribers.
  • The dominant cryptocurrency in the industry.

Litecoin (LTC) was launched in 2011.

  • It was created as one of the first alternativ
  • The currency brand was founded by Charlie Lee, a former
  • Google engineer.
  • Litecoin is fast, and turns over transaction confirmation rates in one fourth of the time of Bitcoin.
  • It has an estimated market cap of $10.1 billion.

Ethereum was launched in 2015.

  • It currently holds a market value of 41.4 billion.
  • It is revered as the second most profitable in the industry, after Bitcoin.
  • Ethereum has designed to enable Smart Contracts and Distributed Applications, known as DApps, to run without downtime or interference from third parties.

Zcash was launched in 2016.

  • It is considered the most secure type of cryptocurrency.
  • The Zcash blockchain went live on October 28, 2016 and is currently hovering around $226.
  • The market share of Zcash is nearly $2 million.
  • Where Zcash differs from its competitors that that investors own a large bulk of the company. As of 2016, investors owned 16.4 percent of Zcash.

Dash launched in January 2014.

  • Dash predicates itself on anonymity. It works with a decentralized mastercode that renders code nearly untraceable.
  • In March of 2015 the company was rebranded from Darkcoin to Dash.
  • Dash’s market value is nearly $5 billion.

Ripple was launched in 2012.

  • Ripple offers an affordable Segway for international payments and transaction.
  • It was a market capitalization value of $1.26 billion.
  • As of 2017, it is the only cryptocurrency that does not require mining.

Monero was launched in April 2014.

  • The cryptocurrency is completely donation based and community driven.
  • The market cap for Monero is nearly $4 billion.

Monero uses “Ring Signatures.” This is a privacy technique that provides numerous signatures within code, some of which are false. The real trader cannot be identified through the code.

Advanced encryption capabilities has led to increases in money laundering and tax evasion.

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Lauren Smith is a journalism senior at the University of Florida with a keen eye for politics. Intrigued by history, she watches History Channel and aspires to write historical fiction. In her spare time, she enjoys blazing nature trails with her Labrador, Sophie.

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