Bitcoin is decentralized digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: managing transactions and issuing money are carried out collectively by the network. The original Bitcoin software by Satoshi Nakamoto was released under the MIT license. Most client software, derived or “from scratch”, also use open source licensing. Here you can find some Bitcoin.
Ethereum is currently the most ambitious blockchain project. It runs its own cryptocurrency, called Ether, but goes beyond being just digital currency. Ethereum is a decentralized platform that allows building smart contracts: decentralized applications (dapps) that run as they coded without any possibility of censorship, downtime, fraud or third parties interference. The applications can move value through Blockchain and represent the ownership of property. The big idea behind Ethereum has attracted millions of users (crypto-enthusiasts, miners, investors) and boosted the market value of Ether coins, making it the most popular cryptocurrency after Bitcoin.
Litecoin is a peer-to-peer Internet currency that enables instant payments to anyone in the world. It is based on the Bitcoin protocol but differs from Bitcoin in that it can be efficiently mined with consumer-grade hardware. Litecoin provides faster transaction confirmations (2.5 minutes on average) and uses a memory-hard, scrypt-based mining proof-of-work algorithm to target the regular computers with GPUs most people already have. The Litecoin network is scheduled to produce 84 million currency units. One of the aims of Litecoin was to provide a mining algorithm that could run at the same time, on the same hardware used to mine Bitcoins. With the rise of specialized ASICs for Bitcoin, Litecoin continues to satisfy these goals. It is unlikely for ASIC mining to be developed for Litecoin until the currency becomes more widely used.
Monero is a new coin using the CryptoNote protocol. It’s based on Bytecoin, which was coded from scratch and is not a descendent of Bitcoin. XMR was launched on April 18, 2014.
Monero is the leading cryptocurrency with a focus on private and censorship-resistant transactions. Most existing cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, have transparent blockchains, meaning that transactions are openly verifiable and traceable by anyone in the world. Furthermore, sending and receiving addresses for these transactions may potentially be linkable to a person’s real-world identity.
Monero transactions are confidential and untraceable. Every Monero transaction, by default, obfuscates sending and receiving addresses as well as transacted amounts. This always-on privacy means that every Monero user’s activity enhances the privacy of all other users, unlike selectively transparent cryptocurrencies (e.g. Zcash).
Monero is fungible. By virtue of obfuscation, Monero cannot become tainted through participation in previous transactions. This means Monero will always be accepted without the risk of censorship.
Zcash is a decentralized privacy-centered currency, allowing users to partly conceal the details of their transactions, such as sending and receiving parties and the amount. It is possible due to innovative technology the developers have come up with, zero-knowledge proving. Zcash is a fork of Bitcoin protocol, thus they share some similarities, such as the total amount of coins to be minted and block reward halvings. Advanced privacy is the main major improvement.
DigitalCash (DASH) uses a new chained hashing algorithm approach, with many new scientific hashing algorithms for the proof-of-work. DASH aims to be the first privacy-centric cryptographic currency with fully encrypted transactions and anonymous block transactions, this feature is called PrivateSend and can be found on the official Dashcore wallet.
PrivateSend mixes your DASH coins with other users who are also using this feature at the time, making your transactions untraceable.
Users can also earn DigitalCash rewards by hosting a master node to help maintain the Blockchain. One must have a balance of at least 1000 DASH in order to host a Dash master node, this collateral is required to avoid 51% attacks on the network.
Bytecoin is a first CryptoNote-based cryptocurrency. A CPU-mined coin, it’s primary advantages are extraordinary transaction untraceability and unlinkability features. BCN is stated to be much more anonymous than Bitcoin and all its existing forks. The developers claim a person’s right to privacy is their primary concern and strictly observe their own privacy. Bytecoin was started on July 4th, 2012.
BCN is based on CryptoNote, an open-source technology for anonymous cryptocurrencies. It utilizes ring signature and one-time addresses for completely anonymous payments. CryptoNote is designed in a way, which makes block chain analysis impossible. CryptoNote is focused on CPU-mining in order to make the special purposes devices useless.
XRP exists natively within the Ripple protocol as a counterparty-free currency, as Bitcoin does on the Blockchain. Because XRP is an asset, as opposed to a redeemable balance, it does not require that users trust any specific financial institution to trade or exchange it.
Ripple’s website describes the open-source protocol as “basic infrastructure technology for interbank transactions – a neutral utility for financial institutions and systems.” The protocol allows banks and non-bank financial services companies to incorporate the Ripple protocol into their own systems, and therefore allow their customers to use the service.
Exhaustive list of cryptocurrencies you can find here