In 2014 bitcoin rose in value to be worth several hundred dollars after being worth virtually nothing at its launch in 2009 and for some time afterward. At around the same time or earlier other cryptocurrencies were issued for various purposes.
As of now, there are more than 1,000 different cryptocurrencies. Their purposes vary. Some were for the porn industry, such as sexcoin, some for hip hop lovers, but others had more serious aims such as ethereum and litecoin.
A recent article in the Verge looks at two of the less serious coins as well as two of the more serious.
Dogecoin was originally launched in December 2013 “as a combination of an internet meme, bitcoin, and satirical joke”. Early on a hacker was able to steal millions of the coins from the Dogewallet designed for safe keeping of the coins.
Dogecoin survived however and was able through donations to replace the loss. Dogecoin has been involved in charitable operations through the Dogecoin Foundation including building a water well in Kenya.
Dogecoin is an inflationary coin unlike bitcoin that has a limited number to be mined. The price of dogecoin near the time of its launch was $0.0018. Recently the price was 0.008338 less than a cent still. The theft of millions was not that much in US dollars.
The logo of the coin has an image of a Shiba Inu Japanese dog shown in the appended photo.
By mid-2015 dogecoin had 100 billion coins in circulation. As of December 2017 dogecoin reached a capitalization of $1 billion. Quite an achievement for a joke coin.
Dogecoin has developed a tipping system that can be used to reward people on the internet for notable media content.
In the appended video on Dogecoin the fellow says trillions when it should be just billions. Many of the comments are helpful.
This was a short-lived fun coin for the hip hop community that lasted only seven months during 2014.
The logo of the coin has a likeness of the hip hop artist Kanye West. Kanye West sued the developers and won a copyright infringement lawsuit. Although the original developers gave up, some tried to keep the coin alive by rechristening it Coinye but the effort did not succeed and now no one mines or trades the coin.
Developers claimed that it’s price at one time rose as high as $1,000 per coin. It appears defunct now and is not trading.
For quite some time, ethereum was the second largest cryptocoin by market cap with bitcoin being the largest. However, the Ripple coin may now be the second largest.
The block-chain-based cloud computing platform was created by Russian-Canadian programmer Vitalik Buterin. Some investors see ethereum as using technology that will be an alternative to huge tech companies such as Facebook in the future. The system went live in July of 2015. The system is described in a Wikipedia entry.
In 2016 a fork created ethereum plus the original blockchain coin called Ethereum Classic. Its recent price is around $27.
Etherium was subject to a third of their funds being stolen last year but has since recovered. It has spawned a number of block-based ventures including a game Cryptokitties. It is involved in the Russian Central Bank’s attempt to create digital rubles.
On the day of its launch, Ether the Ethereum coin was priced at $2.645. Recently it is trading at $762.72
Litecoin was founded back in 2011 by Charlie Lee a former Google and Coinbase employee. He used bitcoin as a model but used a different algorithm for solving problems to validate transactions and in mining operations.
Bitcoin also has more coins and has a quicker transaction time than bitcoin. Litecoin is discussed in a recent Digital Journal article. Litecoin also has a lower transaction cost than bitcoin.
Lee has warned about the risks of buying cryptocurrencies including his own litecoin.
Lee recently divested himself of his litecoins citing a possible conflict of interest since he tweeted about litecoin prices often. He sold out when the price of litecoin was high and before a subsequent drop. Lee’s move was not interpreted kindly by some who accused him of insider trading. Others thought he was divesting to invest in bitcoin cash. Lee has denied that he has any connections with the Coinbase Bitcoin Cash insider trading allegations.
In the first month after it was launched, litecoin was worth $3.376. Recently, it was trading at $249.94.