There are now more than 7,000 other cryptocurrencies, mostly created by hobbyists and enthusiasts, that follow the same general format as Bitcoin. There are also altcoins that use different algorithms to validate blocks, or in some cases, different identities to claim them as their own. These altcoins are not marked with a bitcoin (.bin) extension, but instead have their own unique extension.

Altcoins

There are more than 9,000 currencies in use in the world, representing more than 90% of global reserves, according to several news websites. Most of these currencies are not actively used, but instead are kept in cold storage, mostly on servers owned by a very select few individuals and organizations.

Altcoins have become extremely popular in recent years, largely because they are cheaper, and they innovate for example for more efficient coins’ production and distribution. They are also the least energy-intrusive of all cryptocurrencies since they use very little electricity to mint and validate blocks. Altcoins, however, also have one drawback: they require users to set aside some coins as security for the addresses they use to buy altcoins.

When it comes to altcoins for investing, Ethereum, Litecoin, Cardano offer the best prospects for long-term financial stability. However, altcoins might also serve other purposes. For example, Mobilio rewards car drivers for actively not distracting themselves while driving. Insurance companies might use that information in the future to reduce fees for well behaving drivers.

Mobilio

Mobilio started out as part of the larger altcoin movement, but eventually caught on with the public and quickly climbed the cryptocurrency ladder. Contrary to speculative cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, its main purpose is to reward people for driving in a distraction-free manner, eventually leading to an overall decrease of car accidents, and to higher efficiency in insurance contracting. It’s based on a decentralised network built on top of existing blockchains. It is currently possible to be traded against Ethereum.

Ethereum

The biggest cryptocurrency by market cap, Ethereum, experienced many price fluctuations and its price rose and fell significantly. However, its value has grown steadily ever since, reaching $480 billion in May 2021. Currently (August 2021), its value is still well below its 2021 peak in May.

Compared to its main competitor, Bitcoin, it is still in its early stages, but its already being linked with many millions of dollars in investments. One report notes that 30% of crypto investors would put their money in Bitcoin over Ethereum, and another survey shows that nearly half the population would put their money in Bitcoin over Ethereum.

One risk that comes with investing in Bitcoin is that it isn’t entirely anonymous. A report from the University of Cambridge notes that Blockchain often can’t be used to track the real-world financial transactions of anyone with a Bitcoin wallet. This can make it difficult and costly to track transactions back to the originator, but it can also make it nearly impossible to identify the source of the funds.

If you are trader looking to make a quick buck with Bitcoin, Ethereum is probably the cryptocurrency you’ll want to invest in. Its highly network-available, has a high market capitalization, and isn’t nearly as new as some would have you believe. Ethereum isn’t nearly as popular as Bitcoin is, but it’s still being used by investors and purveyors of crypto products all over the place.

If you are looking for a secure, low-cost investment, Ethereum might be the cryptocurrency for you. It’s in the top ten among cryptos with the highest market capitalization, and it’s in the top ten among cryptos with the lowest.

However, be careful: Ethereum isn’t without its issues. We saw several large fluctuations, and the wallet lost up to over half its value within just hours and days. This makes Ethereum slightly less safe than Bitcoin, but not nearly as secure as theses coins might seem.