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What Is the Next Bitcoin?
Do you ever wish you'd got in on the Bitcoin rush early? You're not alone! Many crypto millionaire wannabes feel like they've missed the boat, but all is not lost! The waves of the cryptocurrency marketplace keep on rolling, with the volatility of the various coins proving that no-one knows what's around the corner. What's trending today could be old news tomorrow, so join us as we take a look at which of the top altcoins have the potential to topple Bitcoin and dominate the marketplace!
What Makes Bitcoin so Great?
To consider which altcoins may be the next big thing, it's worth reflecting on the various aspects of Bitcoin that have made it such a success. Although the cryptocurrency is far from perfect, with several niggles making the coin a bit unpredictable, Bitcoin is still the world's most popular and widely used decentralised digital currency. Let's take a brief look at how Bitcoin reached the dizzying heights of the top of the crypto pile.
Bitcoin was the world's first decentralised digital currency, created back in 2008 by the entity calling itself Satoshi Nakamoto and released in 2009. Using the symbol ₿ and abbreviating to BTC, Bitcoin can be bought via decentralised or centralised exchanges or mined using computers. In contrast to traditional currencies, BTC is not operated by any single organisation or company (e.g. banks), with the emergence of the limited supply of Bitcoin (21 million coins) dependent on mining the general public or any entity with computing capabilities.
Bitcoin operates on blockchain technology, a kind of public ledger that records and verifies all transactions on the network. The crypto in cryptocurrency stems from the invention of cryptography, which allows transactions to be anonymous and virtually unhackable.
BTC is now accepted at an increasing number of sites, including online retailers, casinos, and sports betting sites. Bitcoin is used in official capacities in some parts of the world, with two countries, El Salvador and the Central African Republic, recently adopting the cryptocurrency as legal tender.
There are numerous reasons why Bitcoin has risen to the top of the crypto stack. If any of today's altcoins hope to become industry frontrunners, they'll have to match or exceed these benefits:
- Decentralised: Bitcoin represents a move away from centralised (i.e. corruptible) monetary systems, with many seeing this as the next step in our economic and financial evolution. No single entity controls the supply of Bitcoin, with the cryptocurrency operating on a peer-to-peer basis and mining accessible to anyone with a computer.
- Secure: Transactions on the blockchain are verified by multiple streams, ensuring safe and secure payments.
- Anonymous: Thanks to blockchain technology, transactions do not use or reveal any personally identifiable information at any stage of the process, so your online activity remains completely confidential.
- Capped supply: In contrast to traditional money, whose value can be adjusted by simply controlling its circulating supply (i.e. adding more), Bitcoin's total supply is capped at 21 million coins, so it is not subject to manipulation.
- High value: Bitcoin is currently the highest valued cryptocurrency, with 1 BTC worth over $35,500.
- Fast transaction times: Compared to other online payments, transactions made using Bitcoin are generally instant.
- Low fees: Bitcoin transitions generally cost less to complete, meaning users can enjoy much lower fees than those charged by traditional fiat currency payment methods.
Bitcoin doesn't come without its disadvantages. Altcoins that manage to overcome these drawbacks will certainly stand a good chance of overtaking BTC in terms of popularity:
- Volatility: The value of Bitcoin can fluctuate wildly on a very short time scale in response to sometimes trivial influences, e.g. the opinions of others, making it a risky investment, even despite its longevity.
- Digital only: Though not an issue in the view of many since most of today's transactions are completed on a digital basis, Bitcoin's online-only form could be regarded as a drawback, especially since there are no actual coins to use in offline locations.
- Environmental impact: A recent study by the University of Cambridge revealed that the yearly energy consumption of Bitcoin mining totalled 121 teraWatt hours, which is more than enough to supply large countries such as Argentina.
- Slow uptake: Even though Bitcoin has been around for over a decade, there are still only a limited number of places you can use the crypto coin, with a few countries banning their mining and trading entirely.
Top Bitcoin Alternatives
Of course, Bitcoin isn't the only cryptocurrency on the marketplace, with several altcoins showing a lot of promise to succeed BTC's dominance. Let's look at why these altcoins could be worth keeping an eye on.
Ether was created in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin and crowd-funded to launch in 2015. Using the symbol Ξ and abbreviating to ETH, Ether operates on Ethereum, a decentralised, open-source blockchain much like that of Bitcoin. This network also operates 'smart contracts' and is the most common platform for NFTs.
Ether can be mined in much the same way as Bitcoin, though the currently released upgrade to Ethereum 2.0, involving a transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake for faster transaction times, may reduce the rate of issue of Ether.
Though ETH's value doesn't come close to BTC, it is still the highest of all other cryptocurrencies, with 1 ETH currently worth around $2,086.
- Second only to Bitcoin in market share
- Faster transaction times
- No supply cap, current circulation: ~120.5 million coins
Created by Charlie Lee in 2011, Litecoin is seen as a sibling of Bitcoin in that the original cryptocurrency inspired it. Using the symbol Ł and abbreviating to LTC, Litecoin's unique trait is that instead of utilising just the GPU of computers (as is the case with Bitcoin), both the GPU and CPU are used, resulting in faster transaction confirmation times of just 2.5 minutes per block compared to Bitcoin's 10 minutes.
The drawback of the speed boost is that computers needed to mine Litecoin are more expensive and less accessible to people. Because of its similarities to Bitcoin, Litecoin is seen as the next big contender, especially given its faster transaction times. Litecoin is currently valued at $70 per LTC.
- Almost identical to Bitcoin
- Transaction confirmation is 4x faster than Bitcoin.
- Larger limited supply than Bitcoin at 84 million coins
In contrast to the decentralised nature of most cryptocurrencies, the platform on which XRP coins are based is owned by a private company called Ripple Labs Inc., which also lends its name to the platform. Abbreviated to XRP, Ripple's cryptocurrency finds fans in those who like the idea of cryptocurrencies but want an element of security from regulated centralisation.
Launched in 2012, Ripple is a distributed open-source network of banks and financial institutions that supports fiat currencies and other tokens of monetary value, such as frequent flyer miles and mobile minutes. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, XRP cannot be mined, only bought, with its value comparatively low at $0.43 per 1 XRP.
- Security of centralisation
- Partnered with American Express
- A large limited supply of 100 billion coins
Cardano, another proof-of-stake based blockchain platform (to date the biggest), was created by Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson in 2015 after his disagreement over Vitalik Buterin's wish to keep the platform as a nonprofit entity. After parting ways, Hoskinson began work on Cardano, which was subsequently released in 2017 and its cryptocurrency Ada (abbrev. ADA). Both were named after famous mathematicians Gerolamo Cardano and Ada Lovelace.
The science-based nature of the platform and its coin extend beyond the name, aiming to succeed both Bitcoin and Ether/Ethereum in several key ways: security, scalability, speed and flexibility. Adopting elements of both platforms, Cardano's transactions operate on one layer, while smart contracts and applications run on a second layer. The result is faster, more secure transactions and greatly reduced environmental impact, with estimated annual energy consumption of 6 gigaWatt hours compared to Bitcoin's 120 teraWatt hours.
Although the current value of Cardano is just $0.59 per coin, many speculate that its early success exceeds that of Bitcoin and indicates an excellent investment opportunity.
- Science-based improvements over Bitcoin and Ether/Ethereum
- Faster, more secure transactions
- Max supply cap of 45 billion coins
Also operating on a proof-of-stake basis, Tron, and its cryptocurrency Tronix (TRX), was created by Justin Sun in 2014 and released in 2017. Initially launching as part of the Ethereum platform, Tron branched off to become its blockchain in 2018.
Much of the confidence in TRX stems from the Tron Foundation's partnership with Samsung, particularly in the Chinese cryptocurrency market, despite the country's recent ban on mining and trading. 1 TRX coin is currently worth $0.07.
- 2,000 transactions per second compared to BTC's 6 per second
- No transaction fees
- No supply cap, current supply: 97.7 billion coins
Binance Coin (BNB)
Founded in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao, Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange globally, with one of its two cryptocurrencies, Binance Coin (BNB), developed by the group and accepted as a form of payment for the platform's fees.
Despite the crypto's bumpy start and various allegations of money laundering and tax evasion, BNB holds a sizeable market share of $50 billion, making it the third-largest cryptocurrency in the world, with its value currently sitting at $310 per coin.
- Block creation time of 3 seconds compared to Bitcoin's 10 minutes
- The built-in deflationary mechanism increases the coin's value
- The initial total supply of 200 million burned back to 163 million
Where to Spend Your Altcoins
So what can you do with those young, up-and-coming altcoins while you're waiting for them to (hopefully!) increase in value and finally topple Bitcoin? One popular pastime of crypto fans is bitcoin slot games, which carries two potential benefits: entertainment value and investment opportunity.
Many online casinos accept a wide range of cryptocurrencies, the most popular of which is Bitcoin. Still, altcoins such as Ether, Litecoin, XRP, Tronix, Cardano, and Binance Coin are also accepted.
Many crypto casinos offer the ability to deposit using your favourite crypto wallet, with some even allowing you to play in coins. One of the main benefits of playing at these online crypto casinos is the chance to increase your coin stack, of course. However, many players also appreciate the collection of so-called Provably Fair games, whose outcomes are verified by blockchain technology.
To learn more about where to play online casino games using cryptocurrencies, read our article on Metaverse Casinos.
The world of cryptocurrencies is unpredictable and tumultuous, with predictions of which coin will be the next Bitcoin serving as little more than speculation. However, get those hunches right, and you could be on the crest of the next big crypto wave! For a slightly less stomach-churning way of potentially increasing your cryptocurrency stack, consider playing at crypto casinos and enjoying the added control against volatility and the opportunities to win big that these sites offer.
Looking for more about the next Bitcoin? Read our FAQs.
Which altcoin will be the most valuable?
It's difficult to say which altcoin will rise to topple Bitcoin, if that even happens. The six cryptocurrencies mentioned in the above article all have the potential to do so, but since all digital coins on the market are notoriously volatile, anything could happen!
What casino games can you play with Bitcoin?
As the most popular cryptocurrency currently on the market, Bitcoin is accepted at all crypto casinos. That means you can deposit and play games such as slots, Blackjack, Roulette, Poker, Baccarat, video poker, dice games and many other games using BTC.
Where can you play casino games with cryptocurrencies?
Today's top cryptocurrency casinos accept a wide range of coins in addition to Bitcoin. For our carefully compiled list of the top crypto casinos, check our article on Metaverse Casinos.
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