Most people already know about the origins of Bitcoin and how, in 2008, the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto published a white paper proposing a whole new kind of currency. A currency that was truly decentralised with no ties to any government or financial institution which would herald a whole new concept in the ways that transactions could be carried out quickly, securely and anonymously.

A decade later, Bitcoin has a market capitalisation of an estimated $191 billion and has become the generic definition, particularly for those not really immersed in the crypto-world, of a cryptocurrency. The last 12 months have seen more and more people wanting not only to find out more about the cryptocurrency phenomenon but also to start acquiring them for themselves.

One only has to look at the huge acceleration in the number of blockchain wallet users worldwide that has risen from around 3.5 million in early 2015 to 21 million by the end of 2017 and which still continues to rise. Then there’s the market price of Bitcoin, which peaked at $20,000 in 2017 and is now hovering about $6,000.

But Bitcoin is far from the only game in town and new cryptocurrencies seem to be popping up on a virtually weekly basis many, no doubt, hoping to simply jump on the bandwagon and make a quick profit for their originators. Naturally, not all cryptocurrencies are simply intended to be get-rich-quick schemes with very little else behind them and a number of other clear leaders have emerged.

Ethereum, for example, currently has a market capitalisation of around $116 billion and many see it as the platform on which a far wider range of applications can be built than the essentially financial ones of Bitcoin. It’s the brainchild of Vitalik Bitarin, who published his own white paper in 2013 positing the idea that a new scripting language should be developed that also allowed for applications to also be created. Read more from…

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