AltCoins you must know

a map with cryptocurrency symbols

Before we begin, here's some background and terminology.
The word Altcoin means any cryptocurrency that is not Bitcoin (Bitcoin alternative). Currently there are hundreds of Altcoins out there with the hope of becoming the next great deal.
Most altcoins are simply a copy (fork) of the original Bitcoin code with some modifications such as distribution method, hashing algorithms and maximum number of coins.
Some Altcoins are by far more advanced then Bitcoin and have taken the Bolckchain technology to the next level.
Here are the most trending ones:


Ethereum(ETH)

Launched in 2015 and created by Vitalik Buterin Ethereum (Ether) is much more then another blockchain application.
Before Ether was created, blockchain applications were designed to perform a limited set of operation.
With the introduction of Ether there was a major shift in blockchain application capabilities. Ether and its Ethereum Virtual Machine provide the ability to write an application based on the Ethereum network regardless of the programming language and thus making it a decentralized application.
Currently Ethereum is third to Bitcoin in price and holds an overall market cap of over 8 billion dollars.

Ripple(XRP)

Introduced in 2012, Ripple is a distributed open source real-time gross settlement system (RTGS).
Ripple enables users to perform secure and free global transactions in realtime. In 2015 Ripple has announced the support of integrations with banks all over the world and since then, more and more banks and payment networks adapt Ripple as a cross-border payment mechanism.
Currently Ripple’s market cap is over 13 billion dollars.

Litecoin(LTC)

Released in 2011 by former google employee Charlie Lee, Litecoin is actually a copy (fork) of the original Bitcoin project with a few modifications/improvements. Litecoin differs from Bitcoin by improvements such as decreased block generation time, hashing algorithm and increased maximum number of coins.
Litecoin’s market cap today is over 1 billion dollars.

Dash(DASH)

Released in 2014 and very much like Bitcoin, Dash is another type of digital cache.
Dash attempts to make cryptocurrency simple and accessible for regular users by improving its transaction time and security.
Dash introduced two mechanisms called InstantSend and PrivateSend that enable users for securely transfer and receive funds worldwide much faster than Bitcoin.
Currently Dash’s market cap is over 600 million dollars.