However, as the number of coins increases, Peercoin gradually shifts over to a proof-of-stake system, which requires much less energy to operate, while remaining secure. While many investors may be tempted by the high value and reputation of other cryptocurrencies, the designers of Peercoin have put much more thought into the future of their currency. By ensuring that the energy requirements of the currency stay manageable over time, Peercoin is a sustainable option for those who are serious about permanently integrating cryptocurrencies into the world economy. It’s worth about $0.40 on the USD and has a market cap of almost ten million. This coin has everything going for it and is a fairly smart bet as far as cryptocurrency goes. As an added bonus to confidence and quality behind the coin Peercoin was developed by Sunny King who is sort of like the Stig of cryptocurrency, anonymous but has the respect of the entire industry.
Not only does this nifty coin sport the name of Steve Job’s other company (ish), it actually uses a really cool and totally different algorithm for producing coins. Just like Peercoin, NXT has a proof-of-stake scheme rather than proof-of-work. Nxt bills itself as a "second-generation" cryptocurrency. What this means is that Nxt – and other currencies like it – are less concerned with functioning as a standalone currency and more concerned with providing a decentralized system for online exchange. Nxt comes equipped with a toolkit for creating custom cryptocurrencies that are then secured and tracked in Nxt's ledger. Because this currency was conceived as an online marketplace rather than strictly a form of money, Nxt itself does not have significant retailer acceptance. Most exchanges of Nxt are transacted by individuals and mediated through the software itself. Nxt has a reasonably high market capitalization, but this is due in large part to the incredibly large amount of Nxt available. It is still priced very low in terms of USD.
Dash (originally known as Darkcoin) is a more secretive version of Bitcoin. Dash offers more anonymity as it works on a decentralized mastercode network that makes transactions almost untraceably. Its core purpose is to act as a kind of electronic cash, providing a level of anonymity hitherto unheard of among cryptocurrencies. Launched in January 2014, Dash experienced an increasing fan following in a short span of time. This cryptocurrency was created and developed by Evan Duffield and can be mined using a CPU or GPU. In March 2015, ‘Darkcoin’ was rebranded to Dash, which stands for Digital Cash and operates under the ticker – DASH. The Desksend system, which obfuscates the source of coins, by collecting and executing several transactions at once, and makes transactions untraceable, means that there is no publicly available ledger as there is with other coins, making it difficult for third parties to analyze your transactions and calculate your holdings. Dash's anonymity is not perfect – it is still possible for an attacker with government-scale resources to break through. However, Dash is still the most privacy-conscious cryptocurrency available today.
A cryptocurrency isn't much use if you can't buy anything with it. That's why it's important to know who accepts a currency before you invest in it. A few cryptocurrencies are widely accepted, even boasting partnerships with major international retailers. Most, however, have more limited acceptance, and some can only be exchanged for other cryptocurrencies. Some coins simply aren't designed to be exchanged for goods and are built for other purposes.
Cryptocurrencies are an exciting new development in the world of finance. No one is quite sure yet where the technology will lead, but the fact remains that these new currencies offer possibilities that traditional cash can't.