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The top three digital currencies to watch this year

The top three digital currencies to watch this year

Posted on: 1/11/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

It’s likely that in 2018 one of the top economics and business stories will continue to be cryptocurrencies. At the end of last year, Bitcoin, the world’s most popular digital currency, cannonballed itself into the business world. The focus on Bitcoin was a result of the extraordinary rise in its value and inclusion on futures markets.

Bitcoin has shown remarkable growth and is certainly something to behold this year, but there are other important digital currencies that are making waves in the digital currency space, too. Today’s Owl checks out the three most important cryptocurrencies to watch this year other than Bitcoin.

The first cryptocurrency to watch this year is Ethereum. Ethereum is a little different than Bitcoin in that it’s a decentralized software platform that enables contracts and applications to be built and run quickly and without fraud, control or interference from a third party. These applications on Ethereum are run on its own currency, ether. We can think of ether, the currency, like a car for moving around on the Ethereum site (roads). Ethereum is sought by mostly web developers looking to develop and run applications inside Ethereum. Ethereum is second after Bitcoin among all cryptocurrencies and currently sits around $US 1,400.

The second digital currency to focus on is Litecoin. Litecoin was among the first cryptocurrencies that followed Bitcoin. Litecoin is like Bitcoin in many ways, but its block generation rate (the rate at which transactions are processed) is faster. Litecoin’s current value sits around $US 250.

The third and final cryptocurrency to watch this year is Ripple. Ripple is a real-time global settlement network that offers instant, certain and low-cost international payments. Launched in 2012, Ripple’s ledger (its form of confirmation) doesn’t need mining (a feature that makes it unlike Bitcoin and most other cryptocurrencies). Since Ripple’s structure doesn't require mining, it reduces the need for computing power and minimizes network delays. Ripple’s value is currently around $US 2.00.

Bitcoin price, graph

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