Do you know how many cryptocurrencies actually exist?
Sure, you’ve heard of bitcoin. Maybe you’ve heard of ethereum and possible litecoin, but what about Ripple, Dash and IOTA?
The reality is the number of cryptocurrencies is expanding almost as fast as the Fed balance sheet in a recession.
The top 20 largest cryptocurrencies are:
Although bitcoin is the largest cryptocurrency with a market cap that is in the tens of billions of U.S. dollars, Ethereum has rapidly caught up as a toe-to-toe contender for the crown of best cryptocurrency.
There is good reason for the massive gains seen in ethereum. Ethereum co-Founder Vitalik Buterin describes the cryptocurrency as a decentralized mining network and software development platform rolled into one.
Basically, ethereum facilitates the creation of new cryptocurrencies as well as other programs that share a single blockchain.
Buterin argued as early as 2013 that bitcoin needed a scripting language which could be used to develop applications. He failed to get others on board and so he built a new platform with a more general scripting language, Ethereum.
Ethereum has gone on to be so successful that an Enterprise Ethereum Alliance has formed.
The idea behind the collaborative alliance is to connect Fortune 500 companies, startups, academics and technology vendors so they can learn from each other and build upon the only smart contract supporting blockchain in the real world, which is Ethereum.
The goal is to define enterprise grade software capable of handling complex applications at rapid speed.
Buterin has said that Ethereum will match Visa in scale in a few years. He cites examples that Uber can support 12 rides per second, bitcoin process just under 3 transactions per second while Ethereum is already processing 5 per second.
He describes Ethereum as a secure base layer on which other applications can be built.
So what companies form the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance? It’s not just Mom and Pop shops but rather a who’s who of enterprise goliaths?
- British Petroleum
- Credit Suisse
- CME Group
- Thomson Reuters
- BNY Mellon
And a long list of other companies you know well. So, when you hear J.P. Morgan CEO, Jamie Dimon, say bitcoin will end up as a burst bubble, well he might be right but Ethereum may be the fast follower in the footsteps of bitcoin that bursts out and makes a big splash for the long term as the foundation on which transactions are conducted.
So far, you cannot purchase cryptocurrencies at traditional brokers like TD Ameritrade, thinkorswim or tastyworks. However, you can purchase cryptocurrencies at Coinbase.com and another startup in Europe called Luno raised a bunch of money to allow you to easily buy, store and learn about bitcoin, and the likelihood is other cryptocurrencies will be added over time.
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