After the launch of bitcoin in August 2017 by its anonymous owner, Satoshi Nakmoto, thousands of altcoins have been developed by other entrepreneurs. These altcoins are designed to improve bitcoins’ blockchain technology.
The Bitcoin blockchain, as we know, has problem of slow transactions. If you have used bitcoin as your network in a transaction, you must have experienced your transaction taking up to 1 hour. In fact, some cryptocurrency transactions on the Bitcoin network can even take up to a day.
Apart from its slow transactions, transacting on the Bitcion network is very expensive. Currently, transacting on the bitcoin network is at a flat fee of 0.0002BTC, which is more than $3. This fee is way higher than what is obtainable on the blockchain of Bitcoin alternatives.
However, it is worth pointing out that no Bitcoin alternative has been able to replace Bitcoin’s place in history. Being the most popular and the first cryptocurrency in existence, Bitcoin has earned a market capitalization way higher than other altcoins. In fact, the market cap of ETH( the second biggest coin by market cap) is not even up to half of bitcoins.
Having said that, this list of top bitcoin alternatives will be centered on coins with faster transaction networks, cheaper fees, higher market capitalization and lower per unit prices.
So without further ado, let’s dive in.
What are Bitcoin alternatives?
Bitcoin alternatives are cryptocurrency projects developed to modify the bitcoin Blockchain technology. They are also known as alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins). Some of these altcoins have been able to solve the issues of slow transactions, cost transactions, and user transaction identity, which are the major shortfalls of bitcoin.
Top 6 Bitcoin Alternatives.
1. Ethereum (ETH)
Ethereum’s blockchain enables the creation and running of decentralized applications and smart contracts with no downtime or penetration. The main goal of Ethereum is to create a financial system that is available to anybody, anywhere in the world. This is to help those in some countries without access to their centralized economies to be able to save their money or transact.
These decentralized applications run in ether, which is Ethereum’s cryptographic token. This ether is mostly sought after by developers looking to develop on the Ethereum network or investors to cover their gas fees as they buy other cryptocurrencies.
In terms of speed, ETH has a very fast block time. On average, the block time of ETH is 13 s, making the network able to achieve fast transactions.
What’s more? Ethereum is the second largest digital currency after Bitcoin by market capitalization. As of August 28th, 2022, Ethereum has a market capitalization of $179,891,579,681 and a per unit price of $1,474.55.
2. Bitcoin Cash(BCH).
The second top Bitcoin alternative on our list is Bitcoin Cash. This cryptocurrency has almost the same name as Bitcoin because it was developed from Bitcoin through a process called “hard fork.” A hard fork is a change to the network protocol of Bitcoin to improve its transaction speed.
The anonymous creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi, pioneered that any user who is not comfortable with the Bitcoin network protocol can create a fork from the original Bitcoin protocol on the decentralization principle.
Bitcoin Cash was hard forked from Bitcoin by a group of Bitcoin miners and computer scientists in August 2017.
Bitcoin Cash has the same features as Bitcoin, with the exception of faster transaction speeds, which was the primary goal of the group that created it. They could achieve this by increasing the block size of Bitcoin Cash to 32MB, which is way higher than Bitcoin’s 1MB block size.
Though the market price of Bitcoin cash has not gotten anywhere near that of Bitcoin, it has experienced rapid growth over recent years. As of the time of writing, Bitcoin cash has a per unit price of $117.92 and a market cap of $2,272,636,498.24.
3. Tether (USDT)
The “US dollar tether” (also known as USDT) is another popular bitcoin alternative with amazing circulation. It is one of the most popular stable-coins. It is designed to track the value of the US dollar.
The goal behind USDT and other stable coins is to have a decentralized currency without much volatility, as obtained in bitcoin and other altcoins.
Because the price of USDT is pegged to the US dollar, it is very easy for users to convert it to US dollars and transfer their money to their banks. In fact, most of the time, other cryptocurrencies are first converted to USDT before they are sold to fiat currency.
Moreover, USDT is the third biggest bitcoin alternative by market capitalization. As of August 28, 2022, USDT has a market capitalization of $67,554,787,617 and a per unit price of $1.0.
Litcoin is another Bitcoin alternative with a very fast transaction speed. Litcoin’s blockchain could achieve a block confirmation time of 2.5 minutes, which is significantly faster than Bitcoin’s blockchain confirmation time of 10 minutes.
Moreover, Litecoin has a very high supply cap. Unlike Bitcoin, which has a total supply cap of 21 million, Litecoin has a supply cap of up to 84 million.
Since its launch in 2011, Litecoin has always been promoted as a digital silver substitute. This is due to their underlying similarities with Bitcoin, which is considered digital gold.
Litcoin has gained traction since its launch in 2011 and has maintained its position in the top 20 bitcoin alternatives by market capitalization. As of August 28, 2022, Litecoin has a market capitalization of $3,814,627,409 and a per unit price of $53.69, so if you are looking for a Bitcoin alternative with an affordable price, then Litecoin is one option for you.
Monero is another Bitcoin alternative known for solving the issue of blockchain transaction privacy. Transactions for Bitcoin and other altcoins are processed on a public ledger, which allows developers to see the real-life identity of any user who performed such a transaction. Monero, however, was able to solve this issue by providing a shielded transaction, so any investor that chooses to hide their identity while transacting in cryptocurrency can choose it.
In spite of different attacks to break its shielded transactions by hackers, Monero has maintained its stance of protecting the privacy of users who transact the coin.
In terms of market capitalization, Monero has a very good score. In the past, Monero was in the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap, though it later fell from this position. Currently, Monero has a market cap of $2,649,090,776 and a per unit price of $145.82, making it the 28th biggest coin by market cap as of August 28th, 2022.
Binance Coin(BNB) is another Bitcoin alternative owned by Binance, a renowned cryptocurrency exchange. The Binance Coin was initially deployed as an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain before the company built its own blockchain. BNB was moved from the Ethereum blockchain to the Binance smart chain after the company launched its own blockchain (the Binance smart chain) in 2019.
Currently, BNB is the native cryptocurrency used for covering gas fees associated with trading on the Binance exchange. Those who use BNB as a payment method on the Binance exchange usually get a discount on their gas fees.
By market capitalization, BNB is the 4th biggest Bitcoin alternative as of date. As of August 28, 2022, Binance coin has a market capitalization of $44,815,262,952 and a per token price of $278.21.
It is almost impossible for any cryptocurrency to get anywhere near Bitcoin in terms of market capitalization and overall strength. In fact, to date, Bitcoin is considered the digital gold standard. Most of the Bitcoin alternatives that we listed here are those developed to improve Bitcoin’s network.
Though Bitcoin has proven strong over time, it has some shortfalls in transaction speed, transaction cost, affordability, and user privacy in transactions. So, if you are looking to avoid any of the above shortfalls, then one of these bitcoin alternatives that we listed should be an option for you.