The Main Cryptocurrencies
This is the world’s most widely recognised cryptocurrency. Bitcoin was created back in 2009 by a group/person going under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto. The virtual currency employs the use of blockchain. This is a public ledger that records Bitcoin transactions without the need for intermediaries. Bitcoin has been praised for its use as an international currency but also has been criticized for its volatility. However, this has offered traders an opportunity to gain profit by speculating on these big price movements. Volatility may bring opportunities, but it also increases risk, and many traders have lost money trading Bitcoin.
Ether is a relatively new cryptocurrency which runs on the Ethereum digital platform. The digital currency only went live in 2015 after being funded through an online crowdfunding campaign. Initially, when the currency debuted, 72 million coins had been ‘premined’; this now accounts for around 70% of the total currency circulating in 2018. Ethereum allows people to send and receive credits via an open network, operating similarly to Bitcoin. The currency is used predominantly as a smart contract instead of a conventional form of payment. Ethereum runs as an open software platform utilizing blockchain technology, the blockchain is where records of transactions are stored and these are stationed on computers from all around the world. This is essential in making it decentralized.
Litecoin, dubbed as an ‘altcoin’ was designed to be a replica of Bitcoin with some moderate changes. It was to excel in certain areas such as the ability to be used for smaller transactions, as well as being easier to use daily, making it more accessible. Litecoin made its blocks process up to four times faster than Bitcoin. However, it required more sophisticated technology to mine. Litecoin is one of the most traded cryptocurrencies but in terms of market cap, much smaller than Bitcoin. It isn’t currently used by mainstream corporations as a form of payment but it has the potential to be widely embraced in the future.
ATFX has started offering more cryptocurrency CFDs to its customers, allowing investors to capitalize on the significant volatility in the crypto markets. Traders and investors can now trade CFDs of many leading cryptos, including Binance Coin, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, Chainlink, Dogecoin, Polkadot, Stellar Lumens and Uniswap.
Binance Coin (BNB) CFD
Binance is regarded as the world’s largest crypto trading platform based on the average traded volume. The platform was founded in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao, a software developer whose previous experience included developing high-frequency trading software. Initially, the company was headquartered in China but relocated its HQ to Japan before the Chinese government prematurely banned cryptocurrency trading in September 2017. The platform has held on to its title as the largest crypto trading exchange in the world since January 2018 despite stiff competition from other platforms such as Coinbase. In addition, ATFX clients can now trade Binance Coin CFDs based on the Binance Chain network.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) CFD
Bitcoin Cash is an altcoin created in July 2017 by Bitcoin developers led by Roger Ver to facilitate faster transactions than the original Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency is described as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system that allows people to transact much faster than Bitcoin. Furthermore, the network offers low fees and allows users to send money globally for pennies using a proven payments system. Bitcoin Cash trades for US$324, unlike its parent crypto Bitcoin, which was trading at US$43,760 at writing. Still, Bitcoin cash can provide many trading opportunities to retail investors who do not have the funds to trade Bitcoin.
Cardano (ADA) CFD
Cardano is a digital coin founded in 2015 by Ethereum’s co-founder Charles Hoskinson. It is a digital coin used to send and receive cash at a minimal fee or store value. Cardano’s native token is ADA. The crypto runs on a Proof-of-Stake blockchain that is considered a better alternative to Proof-of-Work protocols. In addition, it is based on mathematical and scientific principles designed by experts in the engineering and cryptography fields.
Cardano network allows users to build smart contracts, enabling them to create decentralized protocols and applications.
Chainlink (LINK) CFD
Chainlink is a blockchain-oracle decentralized network built on Ethereum. The network was created to facilitate the transfer of tamper-proof data from external sources to smart contracts. Chainlink’s nodes validate, fetch and deliver data from different sources onto blockchains to perform smart contracts. The platform was created in 2017 by Steve Ellis and Sergey Nazarov and was intended to act as a bridge between the blockchain and off-chain worlds. Chainlink’s smart contracts network was launched in 2019. Chainlink has positioned itself as the go-to decentralized oracle network, as it is the most extensive tokenized oracle by market valuation.
Dogecoin (DOGE) CFD
Dogecoin is a peer to peer open source crypto with a fun and friendly brand image. DOGE aims to be an accessible introduction to cryptocurrencies. Jackson Palmer and Billy Marker created DOGE in 2013 to mock Bitcoin. DOGE might have an unusual origin story, but it has risen to become one of the biggest cryptocurrencies, 5th by market capitalization at writing. The main features of Dogecoin are that it uses a scrypt algorithm, has a limited supply and has low prices. Dogecoin is based on Litecoin, and it uses the same proof of work technology. Dogecoin has gained popularity from Ellon Musk’s public tweets that attracted many investors.
Polkadot (DOT) CFD
Polkadot is a unique blockchain platform (protocol) that facilitates data exchange between blockchains, making them interoperable. The platform was adapted in 2016 by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood and raised 485,331 ether (worth about $145 million) in October 2017 via an ICO. Polkadot released 10 million DOT tokens into circulation during the ICO, with about 58.2% of the coins owned by investors. Polkadot has established itself as a critical part of the global crypto ecosystem by allowing users to send data and assets between different blockchains such as Ethereum and Bitcoin. The protocol has a primary chain known as “relay” and many other secondary chains created by users known as “parachains”.
Stellar Lumen (XLM) CFD
Stellar is a decentralized payments network that facilitates the sending and receiving of digital currencies into fiat currencies. Stellar is also known as Stellar Lumens and was founded in 2014 by Jed McCaleb, the founder of Mt. Gox and Joyce Kim, a former lawyer. The crypto payments network has established itself as a leading cross-border and cross-asset payments system that primarily facilitates crypto to fiat transactions. Stellar users can send cryptos such as Bitcoin to other users who can withdraw the crypto’s in fiat currency with the platform automatically making the Forex conversion. Stellar champions low costs and for its users with a primary focus on the unbanked populations in less developed countries.
Uniswap (UNI) CFD
Uniswap is a decentralized exchange (DEX) that allows users to buy and sell cryptos without involving a third party. It was the first such exchange built on the Ethereum blockchain and has continued to dominate the industry despite the emergence of other DEXs. Uniswap was launched in November 2018 and pioneered the Automated Market Maker (AMM) operating model. The AMM model allows users to deposit Ethereum tokens onto Uniswap’s “liquidity pools”, after which algorithms set market prices based on the current supply and demand. Uniswap currently hosts hundreds of tokens and offers many tradable pairs to crypto investors. The platform is on track to become fully decentralized after launching the UNI token and returning control to the community.