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Bitcoin (BTC) is a decentralized cryptocurrency originally described in a 2008 whitepaper by a person, or group of people, using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. It was launched soon after, in January 2009. Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer online currency, meaning that all transactions happen directly between equal, independent network participants, without the need for any intermediary to permit or facilitate them. Bitcoin was created, according to Nakamoto’s own words, to allow “online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.” Some concepts for a similar type of a decentralized electronic currency precede BTC, but Bitcoin holds the distinction of being the first-ever cryptocurrency to come into actual use. - CoinMarketCap
Litecoin (LTC) is a cryptocurrency that was designed to provide fast, secure and low-cost payments by leveraging the unique properties of blockchain technology. The cryptocurrency was created based on the Bitcoin (BTC) protocol, but it differs in terms of the hashing algorithm used, hard cap, block transaction times and a few other factors. Litecoin has a block time of just 2.5 minutes and extremely low transaction fees, making it suitable for micro-transactions and point-of-sale payments. Litecoin was released via an open-source client on GitHub on Oct. 7, 2011, and the Litecoin Network went live five days later on Oct. 13, 2011. Since then, it has exploded in both usage and acceptance among merchants and has counted among the top ten cryptocurrencies by market capitalization for most of its existence. The cryptocurrency was created by Charlie Lee, a former Google employee, who intended Litecoin to be a "lite version of Bitcoin," in that it features many of the same properties as Bitcoin—albeit lighter in weight. - CoinMarketCap
Bitcoin Cash is a peer-to-peer electronic cash system that aims to become sound global money with fast payments, micro fees, privacy, and high transaction capacity (big blocks). In the same way that physical money, such as a dollar bill, is handed directly to the person being paid, Bitcoin Cash payments are sent directly from one person to another. As a permissionless, decentralized cryptocurrency, Bitcoin Cash requires no trusted third parties and no central bank. Unlike traditional fiat money, Bitcoin Cash does not depend on monetary middlemen such as banks and payment processors. Transactions cannot be censored by governments or other centralized corporations. Similarly, funds cannot be seized or frozen — because financial third parties have no control over the Bitcoin Cash network. - CoinMarketCap
Dash is an open-source blockchain and cryptocurrency focused on offering a fast, cheap global payments network that is decentralized in nature. According to the project's white paper, Dash seeks to improve upon Bitcoin (BTC) by providing stronger privacy and faster transactions. Dash, whose name comes from "digital cash," was launched in January 2014 as a fork of Litecoin (LTC). Since going live, Dash has grown to include features such as a two-tier network with incentivized nodes, including "masternodes," and decentralized project governance; InstantSend, which allows for instantly settled payments; ChainLocks, which makes the Dash blockchain instantly immutable; and PrivateSend, which offers additional optional privacy for transactions. - CoinMarketCap
Dogecoin (DOGE) is based on the popular "doge" Internet meme and features a Shiba Inu on its logo. The open-source digital currency was created by Billy Markus from Portland, Oregon and Jackson Palmer from Sydney, Australia, and was forked from Litecoin in December 2013. Dogecoin's creators envisaged it as a fun, light-hearted cryptocurrency that would have greater appeal beyond the core Bitcoin audience, since it was based on a dog meme. Tesla CEO Elon Musk posted several tweets on social media that Dogecoin is his favorite coin. - CoinMarketCap