As of the creation of this website, over 1,300 digital currencies have been created. Many have been created as jokes, or for specialized small communities to exchange as tokens (such as communities that all play a particular video game). There have been several very noteworthy currencies that have gone far beyond their small initial support communities to become serious investment vehicles. Among these currencies are:
Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency.
Litecoin, a fork of Bitcoin with quicker transaction times
Ethereum, a digital contracts platform
Dash, a currency with almost instant transaction times
Monero, a currency with an encrypted blockchain which makes all transactions private
Bitcoin Cash, a currency based on Bitcoin with larger blocks to accommodate larger transaction volume
Dogecoin, the original joke with some of the best crowdfunding efforts imaginable
Ripple, a ledger system primarilysupported by banks andother financial institutions and used for interbank transactions.
For a brief introduction to each coin, please continue here.
As a result of the proliferation of cryptocurrency worldwide, a number of digital currency trading platforms, or exchanges, have been created to convert digital currencies one into another as well as to convert digital currencies into fiat currencies.
The selection of an exchange should be considered carefully. Make certain that you join an exchange that is established in your own country. Failure to do so may result in your own government filing charges against you for offshoring money and/or attempting to circumvent your country's tax laws.
If you are a US resident, equally important is to find an exchange which is registered with your state government and is allowed to do business in your state. Some states such as New York have done pretty much everything they can to make doing any kind of cryptocurrency business in their state unpalatable (all in the name of protecting the consumer, ironically). Failure to ensure that the exchange you select is registered to conduct business in your state may lead to similar tax avoidance criminal charges filed by your state government.
Understanding the trading pairs that your exchange allows is also very significant. If you want to trade lesser known coins, then ensuring the exchange you select supports them is equally critical.
For a brief introduction to some of the more popular exchanges, please continue here.
Doing your own research and achieving a basic understanding of the technology underlying digital currencies is absolutely critical to being able to invest wisely and achieve your own financial goals. To this end, we provide a short comparison of the most popular digital currencies and trading platforms.