Cryptocurrency which is a digital currency uses an encryption technology called as cryptography to generate the money and to verify the transactions. The transactions are added to the public ledger which is also called as Transaction Block Chain where the new coins are created through a process called as mining.
The first decentralized digital cryptocurrency can actually be traced back to the bit gold and this is not to be confused with Bitgold, the bit gold was worked by Nick Szabo between the years 1998 to 2005 but was never implemented.
Although bit gold is considered as the first precursor to bitcoin, the cryptocurrency pioneer David Chaum’s company named DigiCash which was founded in 1989 and attempted to innovate the digital currency, Wei Dai’s b-money which is a conceptual system that which is published in 1998 where Satoshi cites it in his Bitcoin white paper, and the e-gold which is a centralized digital currency that started in 1996 are all the notable early mentions.
With that history being noted, the modern digital currency starts in 2008 when Satoshi Nakamoto who is an anonymous person or a group released their paper which detailed on what would become the Bitcoin.
Bitcoin has become the first decentralized digital coin in 2008 which is the year when it was created and it then went into public in 2009.
Till date, Bitcoin is the most commonly known and also used cryptocurrency. Meanwhile, the other coins which include Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC), and more are also the notable mentions.
With the given popularity of Bitcoin as well as its history, the term “altcoin” is considered and used to describe the alternative cryptocurrencies to the bitcoin, especially the ones with small market caps.
As of January 2015, there were around 500 different types of cryptocurrencies or the altcoins which are available for trade in the online markets. But, only 10 of them had the market capitalizations of over $10 million.
And as of September 2017, there were around 1,100 cryptocurrencies and the total market capitalization of all the altcoins reached an all-time high surpassing of $60 billion. Then, by December 2017, the total market cap has reached a $600 billion which is a multiple of 10 in just two months.
In other words to put, the future is although uncertain but the cryptocurrency seems to be more than just being a fad. Today the cryptocurrency is shaping up to be the growing market irrespective of the pros and cons and is likely here for the long haul.
Checkout the below infographic on 33 cryptocurrencies described in four words or less, this infographic was developed by Mrbtc.org.