Tether is a blockchain-based cryptocurrency whose tokens in circulation are issued by Tether Ltd. and backed by an equivalent amount of traditional fiat currencies which are held in a designated bank account.
Tether tokens trade under the USDT symbol and they are pegged against the US dollar and maintain a 1-to-1 ratio with the US dollar in terms of value. However, there is no guarantee provided by Tether Ltd. for any right of redemption or exchange of Tethers for real money.
Tether Limited states that Tether is not a financial instrument. They further state that owners of Tethers have no contractual rights, other legal claims, or guarantees against losses.
Tether USD Wallets
Bitcoin (BTC) is the first, by market cap and by launch date, decentralized digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer and cryptographic technologies to operate with no central authority: transaction management and money issuance are carried out collectively by the network participants.
Bitcoin was invented by an unknown person or group of people under the pseudonymous of Satoshi Nakamoto and released as open-source software in 2009. Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining.
Transactions are verified by network nodes through the use of cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called blockchain.
Bitcoin network is permission-less: it does not require any ID or registration to start using. Bitcoin transactions are also censorship-resistant: nobody is able to block or freeze a transaction of any amount.
The Bitcoin Lightning Network is a "second layer" payment protocol that operates on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. It enables fast and extremely cheap transactions between participating nodes: a Satoshi (SAT) is the smallest unit of the Bitcoin currency, but Lightning can transact with even smaller units.
Lightning Network was first described in a white paper by Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja in 2015. It features a peer-to-peer system for making micropayments of digital cryptocurrency through a network of bidirectional payment channels without delegating custody of funds.
There are currently three teams collectively carrying out most of the work on the development of the Lightning Network: Blockstream, Lightning Labs and ACINQ. Be careful as the network is still very much in its infancy.
Bitcoin Lightning Wallets
Ethereum (ETH) is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contract (scripting) functionality. It provides a decentralized Turing-complete virtual machine, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which can execute scripts using an international network of public nodes. Ethereum also provides a cryptocurrency token called "ether", which can be transferred between accounts and used to compensate participant nodes for computations performed. "Gas", an internal transaction pricing mechanism, is used to mitigate spam and allocate resources on the network.
Ethereum was proposed in late 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, a cryptocurrency researcher and programmer. Development was funded by an online crowdsale between July and August 2014 and the system went live on 30 July 2015.
Ethereum was the first dApp (i.e. decentralized apps) platform and has served conceptually as a starting point for other blockchain platforms.
BCash (a.k.a. Bitcoin Cash - BCH) is the crypto currency that appeared on August 1st, 2017 as a Bitcoin fork. It is a result of a prolonged disagreement on how to handle Bitcoin scalability (2x and Segwit movements). At the time of the fork anyone owning Bitcoin was also in possession of the same number of Bitcoin Cash units.
The main difference from the Bitcoin blockchain and the Bitcoin Cash blockchain is a bigger block capacity (8 Mb instead of 1 Mb), which affects the maximum on-chain throughput of the network.
EOS.IO is software that introduces a blockchain architecture designed to enable vertical and horizontal scaling of decentralized applications. This is achieved through an operating system-like construct upon which applications can be built.
EOS is making use of the delegated proof of stake (DPOS) to reach consensus. It is launched by the Block.one company and the project’s chief developer is Dan Larimer.
EOS is billed as a competitor to the Ethereum blockchain network but it is still in development, and facing a multiple year development and refinement process.
Stellar is an open-source protocol for exchanging money or tokens using blockchain technology. It connects banks, payments systems and people to facilitate low-cost, cross-asset transfers of value, including payments. Stellar has its native cryptocurrency called lumens, which is denoted by the symbol XLM.
In 2014, Jed McCaleb, founder of Mt.Gox and co-founder of Ripple, launched the network system Stellar. Today the Stellar protocol is supported by a nonprofit, the Stellar Development Foundation (Stellar.org). The Stellar platform itself is open source and decentralized.
Litecoin (LTC) is a fork of Bitcoin codebase. In fact Litecoin is nearly identical to Bitcoin in technical details.
The creator of Litecoin – Charlie Lee, a former employee of Google – took the Bitcoin source code as a basis and created a crypto currency that needs 2.5 minutes to generate a block instead of Bitcoin's 10 minutes block generation time. For this reason, Litecoin transactions are confirmed quicker than in the Bitcoin network.
Litecoin also uses a different mining algorithm which makes ASIC devices more complicated to create, aiming to be more feasibly mined using consumer-grade hardware.
Cardano (ADA) is a smart contract platform, similar to Ethereum, with a focus on security through a layered architecture.
The platform is being constructed in layers, which gives the system the flexibility to be more easily maintained and allow for upgrades by way of soft forks. After the settlement layer that will run Ada is complete, a separate computing layer will be built to handle smart contracts, the digital legal agreements that will underpin future commerce and business.
Cardano will also run decentralised applications, or dapps, services not controlled by any single party but instead operate on a blockchain. The team behind Cardano is creating it with both the end-user and regulators in mind. They’re attempting to find a middle ground that balances the need for regulation with the privacy and decentralization principles at the core of blockchain technology.
Monero (XMR) was originally launched by a Bitcointalk forum user only known as "thankful_for_today" under the name BitMonero. It aims to improve on existing cryptocurrency design by obscuring sender, recipient and amount of every transaction made.
Unlike many cryptocurrencies that are derivatives of Bitcoin, Monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol and possesses significant algorithmic differences relating to blockchain obfuscation. By providing a high level of privacy, Monero is fungible, meaning that every unit of the currency can be substituted by another unit. These units are indistinguishable from one another. This makes Monero different from public-ledger cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, where addresses previously associated with undesired activity can be blacklisted and refused by network members. The "stealth addresses" generated for each transaction make it impossible to discover actual destination by anyone else but the address owner. Finally, the "ring confidential transactions" mechanism hides the transferred amount.
Dash (DASH), formerly known as Darkcoin and XCoin is an open source code cryptocurrency based on Bitcoin software. In addition to the set of functions, Dash offers instant transactions (InstantSend) and anonymous transactions (PrivateSend).
Dash was developed by Evan Duffield, who first offered his work on the anonymity of transactions for Bitcoin, but the Bitcoin community refused to make such changes to the source code. Dash launched in the beginning of 2014 as Xcoin, having received its current name in 2015.
The Dash network has a second level, designed to use Master Node. These nodes provide financial confidentiality (PrivateSend), instant transactions (InstantSend), decentralized management and budget system. Owners of Master Node are rewarded by miners when a new block is found; 45% of the block reward goes to each of them, another 10% is reserved for the budget system.
Dash's decentralized governance and budgeting system makes it a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).
Ethereum Classic is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contract (scripting) functionality. It is the result of the Ethereum fork in two versions: "Ethereum Classic" (ETC) and "Ethereum" (ETH). Prior to the fork, the token had been called Ethereum. After the fork, the new tokens kept the name Ethereum (ETH), and the old tokens were renamed Ethereum Classic (ETC).
Ethereum Classic appeared as a result of disagreement with the Ethereum Foundation regarding The DAO Hard Fork. It united members of the Ethereum community who rejected the hard fork on philosophical grounds. Users that owned ETH before the DAO hard fork (block 1920000) owns an equal amount of ETC after the fork.
Ether Classic Wallets
Zcash (ZEC) is a decentralized open-source cryptocurrency that ensures privacy and selective transparency of transactions. Zcash shielded payments are published on the public blockchain, but the sender, receiver and transfer amount remain confidential.
The founder and CEO of Zcash Company is Zooko Wilcox-O'Hearn. Its founding team includes cryptographer Matthew D. Green from Johns Hopkins University.
The main technical peculiarity of Zcash is the use of the zero-knowledge proof, which allows to confirm transactions without disclosing additional information and makes the use of the crypto currency totally anonymous.
Dogecoin (DOGE) is a cryptocurrency featuring a likeness of the Shiba Inu dog from the "Doge" Internet meme as its logo. Introduced as a "joke currency" on 6 December 2013, Dogecoin quickly developed its own online community and reached a capitalization of US$60 million in January 2014.
While there are few mainstream commercial applications, the currency has gained traction as an Internet tipping system, in which social media users grant Dogecoin tips to other users for providing interesting or noteworthy content.
The Dogecoin network was originally intended to produce 100 billion Dogecoins, but later, it was announced that the Dogecoin network would produce infinite Dogecoins: there is a static amount of 5.256 billion coins generated each year.
Lisk (LSK) is a decentralized application platform, established in early 2016 by Max Kordek and Oliver Beddows. Based on its own Blockchain network and token LSK, Lisk enables developers to create, distribute and manage decentralized Blockchain applications by deploying their own sidechain linked to the Lisk network, including a custom token. Thanks to the flexibility of sidechains, developers can implement and customize their Blockchain applications entirely.
The idea is that every Blockchain App is on its own sidechain, separate from the main blockchain. This should help with scalability issues that many cryptocurrencies were facing. Every sidechain is secured by a group of 101 masternodes elected by the app's owner, and operate using the same Delegated-Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism as the parent Lisk network. The Lisk network forges blocks in 10s intervals.