This page is a cryptocurrency glossary covering all major cryptocurrency projects with short summarized overviews.
Please let us know in the comments, if a coin is missing or if there are any mistakes or updates necessary. We are updating the glossary continuously.
Bitcoin is considered the first cryptocurrency. No one really knows by whom it was invented except that the group or individual was call Satoshi Nakamoto.
The digital currency was first brought into circulation in 2008 by a developer named Satoshi Nakamoto. Shortly before, heavy charges had been filed against the banks of Occupy Wall Street. Traditional banking has been accused of deceiving customers, misusing their money, manipulating the system and charging too much for their service. Bitcoin was therefore popularized by its proponents as an alternative means of payment to this system. The pioneers of the new currency wanted to fight corruption by putting the customer at the center. The new currency is supposed to eliminate the middle man and to create a completely decentralized system with no fees, in which banks are no longer necessary for the storage and movement of money. The transactions should also be made more transparent.
Another advantage of Bitcoin is that the currency can be stored offline on the respective owner’s local hardware. On the other hand, online storage carries certain risks as the currency can be stolen more easily. A physical version of the digital currency in the form of paper or coin money does not exist.
The idea for the development of Ethereum hails from Vitalik Buterin, who launched it in 2015 as an open software platform. The platform is used to create decentralized apps (dapps) that, unlike traditional apps, no longer require a middle man. These Dapps can be payment methods, security programs or even voting systems and much more. Ethereum is thus not a cryptocurrency, but a digital platform that like Bitcoin is not controlled by central authorities such as banks or governments. The digital currency used for payment on this platform is Ether. If you take a look at the Ethereum price, then the displayed prices actually refer to the price of Ether. Nevertheless, the term “cryptocurrency” is used regularly for Ethereum.
Since its inception, Ethereum has won the title as the second largest “cryptocurrency”, which has already spawned numerous rivals for Bitcoin in the form of Dapps.
Ripple is based on an idea by Ryan Fugger from 2004. It was released on the market in 2012 by the company Ripple Labs (formerly OpenCoin) based in San Francisco. Ripple is actually an open source platform and also a cryptocurrency (XRP), which is used as its currency. The platform is designed to provide users with a fast, affordable and reliable global payment network for cross-border money transfer. The network’s asset is the cryptocurrency XRP, which has established itself as one of the top cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.
To ensure fast and cheap transactions, Ripple uses a different consensus algorithm and data structure than Bitcoin. However, it does not want to compete with Bitcoin. By allowing the payment network to seamlessly transfer any currency, whether fiat or crypto, it will provide Bitcoin users with more options to bridge the gap between crypto and traditional finance.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Bitcoin Cash (Ticker: BCH) is a hard fork from the original Bitcoin (BTC) protocol. The hard fork happened on the 1st of August in 2017 and all Bitcoin holders at the time of the fork received and equivalent amount of Bitcoin Cash. BCH was created due to differences in the approach to improve transaction times within the Bitcoin network. Bitcoin Cash supports argue that the 1mb block limit for BTC is not enough and that the new 8mb block size will greatly improve the scalability of the chain. The main driving force behind Bitcoin Cash is Roger Ver.
EOS is in many regards similar to Ethereum. Its main focus is developing a platform for decentralized application (dApps). The EOS community sees the cryptocurrency as “Ethereum Killer”, as it makes dApp development and deployment as easy as possible. One of the main differences between Ethereum and EOS is that EOS uses a delegated proof-of-stake (POS) system to process transactions which improves transaction times in comparison to ETH’s and BTC’s POW (proof-of-work) protocol.
Litecoin was created on October 7, 2011 by Charlee Lee, a former Google employee, as the first Altcoin. The new cryptocurrency is supposed complement Bitcoin and basically become what silver is to gold. The goal was not to compete with Bitcoin, but rather represent a complementary payment alternative. To do this, Charlee Lee modified Bitcoin’s code and protocol to pave the way for the far-reaching adoption of the new technology. The main benefits the currency offers users are better storage efficiency and 4x faster transaction times than Bitcoin. Using a new algorithm also causes the coin to needs more hard drive storage space, making it difficult to run mining pools.
Binance Coin (BNB)
Binance Coin is the utility token issued by the Binance exchange. BNB is currently used as native token on the exchange to trade, to lower transaction fees for trade orders and to participate in ICOs offered in Binance’s Lauchpad Platform. The newest announced feature is the launch of a decentralized exchange based on BNB.
Tether was created as the first stablecoin backed by real world assets. It allows traders to convert FIAT USD into cryptocurrency USDT that can be traded on many popular exchanges like Binance, Bitfinex, Poloniex, etc. Tether was launched in May 2014 and has since seen a steady growth in acceptance. In the past there has been controversy around whether Tether is 1:1 backed with USD, as Tether Limited (the company behind Tether) has failed to prove their holdings through an external audit of their reserves.
Stellar was developed as decentralized payment platform aimed at connecting banks, payment systems and users to move assets quickly. Stellar’s currently largest partner is IBM and XLM is positioning itself as competitor to Ripple’s XRP. The goal is facilitating the transfer of money between different entities making it as easy and cheap as sending an email. Stellar was initially released on the 31st of July in 2014 and is led by Jed McCaleb (Founder of Mt. Gox and co-founder of Ripple) and received about 3 million US-Dollar in seed funding from Stripe.
Cardano is the first cryptocurrency with a scientific approach. Its goal is to solve all current problems experienced by other cryptocurrencies through peer-reviewed academic research. This is an approach that is entirely unique in the crypto community and has therefore received a lot of attention and support. Cardano was created by Charles Hoskinson back in 2015 and currently there are three business entities working on the project. The first is the non-profit Cardano Foundation which is based in Switzerland, the second is the Japanese business Emurgo overseeing the commercial and investor parts of the project and the third is IOHK, which is working on the technical realization of the project. A major grievance of the community and many Cardano supporters with the project is its lack of marketing and communication.