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7 Best Bitcoin Alternatives To Invest In

Concerned about bitcoin’s future? Looking for alternatives to invest in? We have you covered with this list of 7 cryptocurrencies similar to bitcoin. The criteria for a cryptocurrency being similar to bitcoin is that it must be a transaction assistant.

Here you’ll find everything you need to know about 7 promising, upcoming cryptos that are in a related space to bitcoin. Let’s get started!

1. Bitcoin Cash

As a hard fork of bitcoin, bitcoin cash is about as close to bitcoin as you can get. The primary differences are issues regarding ability to scale and security. Bitcoin cash has less security than bitcoin. However it also scales better. This may change in the future however, as bitcoin can be adjusted to better scale.

Bitcoin cash has a stated goal of getting transaction times down to 2 minutes and 30 seconds. This is in grim comparison to bitcoin’s transaction time, which can be several hours.

Will bitcoin cash manage to differentiate itself enough for it to last long term against bitcoin? Early indicators say yes. Bitcoin cash has been embraced by Coinbase, one of the largest and most reputable cryptocurrency exchanges. Coinbase doesn’t accept many cryptocurrencies, so this is a very strong start. The future looks promising for this cryptocurrency, but time will tell if a pure variant of bitcoin can last long term.

2. Litecoin

Litecoin aims to be the “silver to bitcoin’s gold”. The total litecoin supply is about four times the size of bitcoin’s. This means that litecoin is cheaper than bitcoin. Litecoin, like bitcoin cash, features faster transaction times than bitcoin.

Another key difference between bitcoin and litecoin is that litecoin runs on a different mining algorithm. The mining algorithm is more friendly to small miners. It can be mined using GPUs, easily obtainable by solo miners. This is in comparison to other cryptocurrencies like bitcoin which need ASICs for you to mine and generate coins. ASICs are specialized mining hardware that can only mine cryptocurrency.

It’s important to note that in time litecoin will have ASICs as well, so this is only a temporary advantage. Overall the lasting differentiator between litecoin and bitcoin will be the faster transaction time.

Litecoin was also created by a former Google engineer who now works for Coinbase. This is ideal because it means the coin has strong ties to one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges.

Litecoin is also available on Coinbase, which is a strong indicator that it has a bright future ahead of it.

3. NEM

NEM is an innovative cryptocurrency focused on customization. NEM allows you to customize your public token address. You can change it from something unreadable and impossible to memorize like 0x000a43a002bcde (fake, don’t worry) to mybusiness:address1. This is a very clever feature, but I do wonder if something as simple as a new naming convention can be enough to propel a cryptocurrency.

Like the others, it addresses scalability and transaction time better than bitcoin. Really though, is that much of a differentiation when all your competition are doing it?

Don’t get me wrong, the naming convention is very cool. I don’t understand why this is something other cryptos couldn’t implement very easily though.

There is one other key differentiator, that it can seamlessly transfer between public and private blockchains. I’m not clear on how big of a deal this is though – most use cases I think of for bitcoin / tokens involve simply transferring from one address to another.

Overall I’m a bit skeptical of NEM since one of its largest selling points is simply that you can change an address name. But who knows maybe some of the other underlying technology it contains will shine through in time!

4. Stellar

At first, Stellar sounds like the other cyptocurrencies on this list. It focuses on transaction speed and being an alternative payment method.

However, Stellar is extremely impressive because its transactions take under five seconds. This is exponentially better than most other cryptos on this list and puts Stellar in a league of its own.

In addition to this, Stellar doesn’t just promise lower transaction fees, it’s successfully implemented it. In a partnership with a large bank, Stellar successfully decreased the bank’s transaction costs by 40% by using the Stellar network. In fact, Stellar has some of the lowest transaction fees of any cryptocurrency.

Stellar is the 6th largest coin by market cap, showing a lot of promise. I could definitely see it on Coinbase at some point.

Markets Stellar aims at revolutionizing include equity, mobile payments and PayPal.

If Stellar successfully offers faster transactions at cheaper prices, I don’t see why it won’t be embraced. I am very optimistic about this token.

5. IOTA

IOTA stands for the Internet of Things Application. It’s unique because it focuses on payments for mobile solutions. The premise of IOTA is that mobile payments will grow and grow, so the needs for a good mobile transaction system will grow as well. This is certainly something I agree with.

Something I’m more dubious about is IOTA’s claim that it can deliver transactions without any fees. If true, that would rocket IOTA to one of the top spots in crypto very quickly. However I feel that you shouldn’t claim something like this without actually doing it first. It feels too much like you’re trying to hype the technology of your coin without actually proving it on a large scale.

I have very mixed feelings about this coin. Investing in it seems like playing the lottery. If its promises turn out to be true, it absolutely could be extraordinarily valuable. It’s focusing on a space that has been exploding in growth for over a decade. The big question is does it really have the technology to deliver what it claims it can. Only time will tell, and I’m always wary about companies that make huge promises with no proof.

6. Dash

Dash is a cryptocurrency that features instantaneous, anonymous transactions. You can send cryptocurrency to someone instantly, which greatly surpasses a lot of the other tokens on this list.

Additionally dash (full name digital cash) can’t be tracked by third parties. I’m skeptical this is a good thing because it will likely have regulatory impact on dash. Large firms will likely be reluctant to invest in dash in the future if it doesn’t gain regulatory approval. And I’m not sure dash will be high on regulator’s list of cryptos to approve if one of its main features is anonymity.

Dash also features low fees. Overall this cryptocurrency looks promising, however I would be concerned about regulation due to its anonymity. If regulators don’t look upon dash favorably, it will struggle in the future.

Finally, not many notable vendors accept dash at present – a problem if you’re advertising yourself as a globally recognized alternative to cash. I went through dash’s list of vendors and didn’t see a single recognizable name.

7. Ripple

Ripple is focused on servicing bank’s transactions. It will enhance the speed of the transactions whilst lowering the cost. I debated whether to include this on the list as one of bitcoin’s core tenets is to be against banking. At the end of the day though ripple’s goals and function are very similar to bitcoin. Even if they’re targeting a market bitcoin is looking to disrupt.

Some of ripple’s features include the ability to settle cross-border payments in realtime and handle 1,500 transactions per second. This is in comparison to bitcoin’s 3-6 transactions per second. It’s safe to regard ripple as the “bank friendly bitcoin”. There are technical reasons that ripple is different from bitcoin, but functionally they aspire to similar goals. They’re just in different market sectors. One of the other differences of ripple is that it can be used to exchange the value of a wide variety of commodities, from gold to airline miles.

Overall ripple sounds like a very safe choice for a long term investment. It’s regulation friendly (it’s associated with banks after all) and provides some key values banks could really use. So long as you’re not rabidly anti-bank like some members of the cryptocurrency community ripple is a good investment if you get in at the right time.

Which Would I invest In?

Out of the cryptocurrencies on this list, I would recommend investing in Stellar, IOTA and Ripple. Each of these stands poised to dominate their respective markets and have tons of proven potential. In addition each of these has successfully implemented at least part of what they set out to do already.

If cryptocurrency explodes in growth again, it’s likely these three will ride the wave.

To the moon bitcoin bros!

About the Author Will Salisbury

Will Salisbury is the co-founder of Blockchain Decrypted and full-time cryptocurrency trader. He also hosts the Blockchain Decrypted podcast, and when he's not talking or writing about blockchain technology and cryptos, he likes to play games and relax in his home state of Michigan.