Demystifying the crypto space: From a platform perspective, only 4 cryptocurrencies exist
As you may have probably noticed, cryptocurrencies have been causing quite an uproar all over the world. Over the past year, cryptocurrencies—and its many jargons—have been dominating news, social media platforms, and yes, even dinnertime conversations.
Despite the buzz, there’s no denying that there’s still some confusion as to what some of these terms mean, so here at CoinGeek.com, we’re breaking down the cryptocurrency space for everyone.
Crypto space explained for the rest of us
Forget all the nonsense coins and look at the cryptocurrency space from a platform perspective. Essentially, there are only four cryptocurrencies in existence, and these are the four with the largest market capitalization: Bitcoin (also called Bitcoin Cash and BCH); Segwit (also inaccurately called Bitcoin and BTC); Ethereum; and Ripple.
Bitcoin BCH can do everything all the other platforms can do and more. The only coin that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto white paper, Bitcoin BCH has the best scaling and security features. It reverted to the unadulterated form of the blockchain to stay as true to Satoshi’s vision: replace-by-fee was removed, the signatures are preserved, transactions are kept irreversible, fees are kept low, and the block size is increased to accommodate more users and keep transaction processes fast.
Ethereum is basically smart contracts, a feature that will be rolled out on Bitcoin BCH later this year. Not only does it not scale and does not work as a cryptocurrency, Ethereum also has numerous security issues—from IoT malwares to “accidental” kill commands and eclipse attacks, as well as vulnerable smart contracts. In fact, Ethereum devs have been pleading for a hard fork so they can recover funds in special cases such as hacks, exploits, and loss of funds due to bugs in smart contracts.
Like Ethereum, Ripple is also not a cryptocurrency but a blockchain that is designed to replace SWIFT (incidentally, Bitcoin BCH can do this, too).
Finally, we have SegWit, otherwise known as Bitcoin BTC. Despite inheriting the name “BTC” largely due to history, SegWit is no longer Bitcoin. It forked off of Bitcoin to SegWit technology, and, in doing so, removed many of its original abilities, including shutting off its Bitcoin powers in order to try to transfer value to side chains and away from miners. To put it simply, BTC is no longer a cryptocurrency as it does not scale and is expensive to transact in. Sidechains do not work and many current tech thought leaders believe it is impossible to get it to work.
All the rest of the “coins” are on the Ethereum platform and add nothing new so are all essentially worthless.