Will the currency ever be digitized 100?

Price increase of 36,000 percent: These crypto currencies outperform Bitcoin

After a bad start to the New Year - the first price loss on New Year's Day since 2015 - Bitcoin is back on the road to success. On Wednesday morning, the most important cryptocurrency was trading over 13 percent up at $ 15,400, according to Coinmarketcap, which averages numerous exchanges. That leaves room for improvement, as retrospect shows.

In 2017, the Bitcoin had an almost fantastic fireworks display. It started on January 1st at a rate of $ 998. By December 17, 2017, the price had climbed to a record high of $ 20,000. Even if you add in the subsequent slippage, you still get a price increase of around 1,300 percent.

If the plans of central banks to issue their own crypto currencies become more concrete and the Bitcoin arrives even more strongly on the world stock exchanges through new financial products, then the price fireworks could only really start. Analysts at Saxo-Bank believe a Bitcoin price of $ 60,000 in 2018 is possible.

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What many investors around the Bitcoin hype have missed: A number of digital currencies have developed even better than the crypto key currency. A virtual coin has even increased in value by an unbelievable 36,000 percent and made many investors rich from the very beginning. The following overview shows the top seven of the crypto empire that beat Bitcoin in 2017.

Price increase in 2017: almost 2,800 percent

Cardano is a fairly young cryptocurrency that was founded in 2015. According to the company, the aim is to research and solve all previous problems of existing crypto currencies on a strictly scientific basis. Technologically, Cardano, like Bitcoin, is based on the blockchain, which is to be improved through intelligent contracts and simple global scalability.

The project is sponsored by the Cardano Foundation, based in Zug, Switzerland, the center of the European “Crypto Valley”. With the in-house cryptocurrency called ADA, the global transfer of values ​​should be possible quickly and securely. Cardano is still under construction.

Price increase in 2017: over 5,000 percent

Litecoin was founded in 2011 by Charlie Lee, a graduate of the US elite university MIT in Boston, by taking the computer code of Bitcoin as a basis and changing it. "The idea was that Litecoin should be a complement to Bitcoin," Lee explained at an industry conference in March 2017. Litecoin is thus something like Bitcoin's little brother: Completing a transaction is faster, uses less energy, and the coins Even after the significant increase, they still cost less than a Bitcoin. There will also be more litecoins than bitcoins.

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Lee, a former Google engineer who moved to the Coinbase crypto exchange in 2013, programmed the system so that a total of 84 million Litecoins can be mined - four times as many as there will be Bitcoins. If Bitcoin is digital gold, Litecoin is supposed to be digital silver. "Bitcoins can be used to move millions of dollars into buying houses and cars," said Lee. “Litecoin, on the other hand, is for everything that is cheaper.” The founder recently hit the headlines because of the sale of his Litecoin holdings.

Price increase in 2017: almost 9,200 percent

In a nutshell, one could say: Bitcoin is about money payments. Ethereum is about creating a whole new corporate world. Hard Bitcoin fans dream of a world without banks and central banks. Tough Ethereum fans dream of a world without company bosses. Like Bitcoin, Ethereum is based on blockchain technology, but the system can do more.

In 2013, the then 19-year-old Vitalik Buterin, who was born in Russia and grew up in Toronto, had the idea of ​​adding an algorithm to the blockchain that would make it relatively easy to program automatic processes, such as payments that start automatically under certain conditions so-called smart contracts. The refrigerator could use these to do its own shopping or the self-driving car could communicate with the toll station.

Because he could not win the Bitcoin community over to the proposal, Buterin decided to develop his own project. Together with three partners, he founded Ethereum the following year. The long-term goal is the creation of decentralized autonomous organizations, so-called DAO, self-managing crypto companies, whose owners have a direct say in management via the Ethereum blockchain. From the beginning, Buterin wanted Ethereum to remain an open project. Organizationally, he put it in a foundation in the Swiss canton of Zug.

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Ethereum has long been considered the more innovative Bitcoin, many other applications are now running on the Ethereum blockchain. Founder Buterin is critical of the fireworks display of digital currencies and recently threatened to withdraw if the speculators alone should determine the future of the project.

4th to 1st place: Of dark and elite coins

Price increase in 2017: almost 9,300 percent

Dash (for "Digital Cash") is a Bitcoin clone, the main purpose of which becomes clear when you know the original name of the project: Dash was launched in 2014 under the name XCoin or Darkcoin. The aim was to build a crypto currency that should primarily serve data protection and thus the privacy of its users. These often conduct unregulated, sometimes illegal, business with Dash.

In contrast to Bitcoin, Dash's transaction information is not public. This is made possible by a transfer system called PrivateSend (formerly Darksend). This mixes up individual transfers with those of other parties and thus disguises them.

Price increase in 2017: over 14,400 percent

Stellar is a transaction network based on the open source concept. It was founded in 2014 by Jed McCaleb, the founder of the US file-sharing platform eDonkey, whose users exchange films, music and other files - not always legally - peer-to-peer, i.e. directly and without an intermediary exchange. Stellar is based on the modified protocol of the competitor Ripple.

The network is based on the following idea: Instead of making transfers between accounts, as is the case with a Bitcoin transaction, the ownership rights to an account can simply be transferred. According to observers, Stellar is therefore less similar to a classic cryptocurrency, but more to a system for the transaction of digital promissory notes (so-called virtual IOUs). The necessary consensus is established very quickly in the network, typically within two to four seconds, which distinguishes Stellar from the increasingly overloaded and slow Bitcoin network. A number of nonprofits and companies already work with Stellar, especially in emerging markets.

Price increase in 2017: over 29,800 percent

NEM was founded in 2015 and, like Bitcoin, is based on blockchain technology. Technically, the cryptocurrency differs significantly from most of its competitors in one important respect.

Bitcoin and many other virtual coins rely on the proof-of-work method (POW) to maintain the blockchain database: In this method, the producers, the so-called miners, solve complicated arithmetic tasks. If they find a solution, they are allowed to add new transactions to the blockchain database and are rewarded with new coins. NEM, on the other hand, is based on the proof of importance method (POI). This assumes that the participants with the largest stocks of virtual coins have the greatest interest in the regular functioning of the NEM system. You will therefore be entrusted with maintaining the database. A reputation system that looks at past actions should ensure the good repute of those involved.

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The NEM software is considered to be particularly efficient in the crypto area, but by preferring the largest participants it moves significantly away from the originally egalitarian blockchain vision. It is used in a commercial blockchain called Mijin, which is being tested by banks and corporations, mostly in Japan.

Price increase in 2017: around 36,000 percent

Unlike Bitcoin, Ripple is a cryptocurrency that works with banks all over the world. Santander, Unicredit, UBS and Frankfurter Reisebank were among the partners; in total, Ripple has over 100 customers from the financial industry. The Ripple blockchain simplifies international money transfers. The system is fast and stable, Ripple can process 1500 transactions per second. For comparison: the Bitcoin system only manages seven. With the Visa credit card company, it is around 3700 per second. In addition, as announced, Ripple carried out a comprehensive technical update in December to ensure the availability of the digital currency.

The reason for the rapid price increase at the end of 2017 is the announcement by banks in Japan and South Korea that they will test Ripple by the end of January. After that, if everything goes according to plan, they want to use the technology to transfer funds. According to a report by the Japanese business newspaper "Nikkei", the financial institutions expect to reduce their costs by up to 30 percent with Ripple.

"In an environment in which there is a lot of hype, Ripple is an actor who delivers real progress," said Ripple boss Brad Garlinghouse to the US stock exchange broadcaster CNBC. The San Francisco start-up, founded in 2012, counts among its financiers the renowned venture capitalists Andreessen Horowitz and Google Ventures. The stock exchange operator CME Group and the venture arm of the Spanish bank Santander are also among the investors.

What Ripple wants to create to crypto fans from the very beginning: to make blockchain technology serviceable to the traditional financial industry. At least speculators seem to be convinced by the plan: With a price increase of around 36,000 percent in 2017, Ripple leaves the ancestor Bitcoin far behind.