Bitcoin is a digital currency that was created in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto. It’s not controlled by any central bank or government agency, making it decentralized. There is no centralized authority that issues new bitcoins; it’s completely free-market based. Bitcoins are generated via a cryptographic algorithm and are traded electronically between users worldwide over the Internet.
Ethereum is a distributed computing platform that runs smart contracts and decentralizes control over data storage. It uses blockchain technology to facilitate transactions without the need of intermediaries such as banks.
Ripple is a company that provides real time gross settlement (RTGS) services across borders using its own cryptocurrency, XRP. Its open payment protocol enables payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.
Litecoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that enables instant payments to anyone in the world. It employs scrypt as its hashing algorithm, just like bitcoin. However, unlike bitcoin, it does not limit the total number of coins that can be produced.
Dash is a privacy centric cryptocurrency that focuses on user anonymity. It is similar to bitcoin in many ways and even implements some of the same core features. It is considered a competitor to Monero.
Stellar lumens is a cryptocurrency that aims to provide low fees and high volumes of international money transfers. It’s different than traditional cryptocurrencies because it doesn’t use proof-of-work mining. Instead, it uses proof-of-stake consensus where each account holds XLM tokens.
IOTA is a distributed ledger that is focused on providing secure and fast transactions at minimal costs. It’s unique approach to scaling provides a way to transfer value without relying on third parties.