Many. More than 800, of which 691 are listed here, with their most relevant information and access to their websites, if any.
Are you surprised? Maybe you just assimilated the existence of bitcoin, the mother of all of them, and you wonder how useful it is that there are so many.
In this blog I will delve into these mysteries, I will have a little patience.
At the beginning there is a basic reason for the existence of so many cryptocurrencies; The need for human beings to investigate and disseminate our creativity. Yes, cryptocurrencies are based on mathematical algorithms and it can be a pleasure, for very diverse reasons, to create one.
This does not mean that all are useful and, much less, that they have some social relevance. In fact, a part of them are abandoned in time by their creators or even fail to generate a great interest in the fan community of cryptocurrencies. Sometimes, they are even created with the hope of enriching their creators.
Anyway, the very concept of cryptocurrency is very interesting. A possible exchange value whose creation is governed by mathematics and not by the interests of governments and central banks.
Bitcoin showed that it is possible that finances are closer to people than to financial entities themselves.
Each new cryptocurrency presents variants related to the code and operation of bitcoin. Sometimes, their particularities make them extremely interesting and different.
These differences can be in the type of cryptographic function used for its creation or extraction: SHA-256, Scrypt, Scrypt-n, etc. Or in the way in which transactions are verified (POW, POS). Also the volume of coins, the increasing difficulty to undermine them, the final volume if it exists which would give the characteristics of being an inflationary or deflationary currency. The truth is that, as can be seen by its abundance, the possible characteristics are very varied, which also includes its purpose or intention of use.
What makes a new cryptocurrency interesting is, fundamentally, the fact of providing some novelty or remarkable feature over others. Of course, secondly, the intention with which it was created and the ecosystem of users, applications and means that accept it, as well as its incorporation into the exchange systems.
The first cryptocurrency, created in 2009, was the bitcoin and it is also the one that has achieved the greatest expansion in record time for a new medium of exchange. Then there were others who contributed, in fact, some novelties and differences:
– Litecoin (2011): based on another cryptographic function (Scrypt)
– Namecoin (2011): which contributed to the decentralization of the DNS for less traceability and, consequently, anonymity.
– Peercoin (2012): as a hybrid POW / POS system.
– Dogecoin (2013): which started as a joke and has become a successful cryptocurrency.
And so we could continue to this day, when the issue has exploded into a huge wealth of cryptocurrencies.
As you will see in the first link of this article, there are currently 53 cryptocurrencies that exceed one million dollars of capitalization, but these figures increase rapidly and then there are others with good skills to quickly enter that list. The differences with bitcoin are still great in this regard. Bitcoin has moved more than 6,000 million dollars. But the most curious thing is that the second in the list, although quite far from bitcoin, is a fairly recent creation: Ethereum (ETH) with approximately 900 million dollars shaken. And it is not surprising, since this cryptocurrency has all the characteristics to produce a revolution in the way we understand the use of the Internet. Naturally, I will dedicate enough articles.
Is there a place for all cryptocurrencies?
You may think that there is no space in the world for so many cryptocurrencies but it is not entirely true. Many of them can be important for certain communities, as well as other variants of social currencies.
In addition, if a cryptocurrency offers attractive characteristics, there are people who obtain them trusting that at some point they will have a higher exchange value against other cryptocurrencies or fiduciary money. That is, you can speculate with cryptocurrencies exactly as with stocks, bonds and other financial products.
But also, mixed with all the above, there are fans. The cryptocurrencies are beautiful and there are people who like to collect them to know and experiment with them.