Bitcoin Alternatives: 10 Cryptocurrencies You Should Know

Posted by Harshad

Bitcoin Alternatives: 10 Cryptocurrencies You Should Know

Bitcoin Alternatives: 10 Cryptocurrencies You Should Know

Posted: 25 Dec 2013 07:01 AM PST

Bitcoin might be the name on everyone’s lips right now, but did you know that Bitcoin is merely the tip of the cryptocurrency iceberg? For those not in the know, cryptocurrencies are basically decentralized and anonymous (or, at least, pseudonymous) peer-to-peer digital currencies that implement cryptography as a central security feature. Cryptocurrency coins are "mined" with computers by solving complex mathematical equations called "hashes".

(Image Source: Reckoner)

The success of Bitcoin has led to the development of many alternative cryptocurrencies, often called "altcoins". Most of these altcoins offer their own take on the Bitcoin protocol, and are interesting in their own right. It helps, too, that most of these are still cheap and much easier to buy or mine.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that any of these altcoins will ever be as successful or as valuable as Bitcoin, but if you’ve been kicking yourself for missing the Bitcoin boat, you could do worse than check out one (or more) of these 10 altcoins we are featuring in this post.

1. Litecoin

Introduced: October 2011
Price/unit: $13.78
Total Supply: 24,055,992 LTC
Total Value: $331.5 million

The most common way to describe Litecoin is that it’s the silver to Bitcoin’s gold. Litecoin, like most altcoins, is based on the Bitcoin protocol, but it’s designed to make sure that mining is much cheaper and more democratic than Bitcoin.

One of the ways Litecoin achieves this is by using a different cryptography protocol, scrypt, that can be decoded effectively using consumer-grade GPUs.


2. Peercoin

Introduced: August 2012
Price/unit: $2.09
Total Supply: 20,931,643 PPC
Total Value: $43.6 million

Peercoin is based on Bitcoin, but uses a different method to verify mined coins. Instead of solely relying on the proof-of-work (POW) system, which requires miners to solve hashes, Peercoin will eventually implement a proof-of-stake (POS) system.

The POS system basically means that the more coins you have, the higher your chances of mining more coins. Peercoin does not have a fixed upper limit of coins, and is thus an inflationary currency.


3. Namecoin

Introduced: April 2011
Price/unit: $2.69
Total Supply: 7,514,992 NMC
Total Value: $20.2 million

Namecoin was not designed as a currency; instead, Namecoin’s main purpose is to control an alternative Domain Name System (DNS) for the .bit domain.

By existing outside of the control of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which governs the DNS for all other domains, .bit domains can escape censorship.


4. QuarkCoin

Introduced: July 2013
Price/unit: $0.069
Total Supply: 246,484,913 QRK
Total Value: $16.9 million

QuarkCoin is definitely the altcoin for the security-conscious out there. QuarkCoin implements nine rounds of hashing, choosing from six different hashing methods.

Most cryptocurrencies only use one hash, and so QuarkCoin as an inherent security advantage in this regard over other cryptocurrencies. QuarkCoin uses CPU mining, and like Peercoin, does not have a hard cap on the number of total QRK.


5. primecoin

Introduced: July 2013
Price/unit: $1.63
Total Supply: 3,624,698 XPM
Total Value: $5.9 million

The main difference between Primecoin and most altcoins is that the mining doesn’t involve solving hashes. Instead, Primecoin mining involves finding Cunningham chains, which are certain large sequences of prime numbers.

These numbers are said to be more mathematically valuable than the hashes that are usually decoded in cryptocurrency mining, and are used in anything from number theory to public key cryptography.


6. Novacoin

Introduced: February 2013
Price/unit: $9.61
Total Supply: 523,071 NVC
Total Value: $5 million

Novacoin is a fork of Peercoin, and thus shares Peercoin’s hybrid POW/POS system. However, Novacoin takes a leaf out of Litecoin’s book and uses scrypt hashing for its POW system.

It also has a higher POS difficulty than Peercoin. Another interesting thing to note is that Novacoin has a maximum total supply of 2 billion NVC, although it is unlikely to ever reach this cap.


7. Feathercoin

Introduced: April 2013
Price/unit: $0.19
Total Supply: 26,645,550 FTC
Total Value: $4.9 million

Feathercoin is a direct derivative of Litecoin. It is overall very similar to Litecoin, but it has a number of differences that set it apart from its immediate predecessor. Feathercoin adjusts its mining difficulty more often than Litecoin.

Feathercoin also implements Advanced Checkpointing. Advanced Checkpointing is a security measure designed to protect Feathercoin against 51% attacks, which are often used maliciously to reverse cryptocurrency transactions.


8. Zetacoin

Introduced: August 2013
Price/unit: $0.018
Total Supply: 158,756,403 ZET
Total Value: $2.9 million

Zetacoin is another Bitcoin-derived altcoin, but it stakes its claim in two different ways. Firstly, it has a much quicker block rate than Bitcoin, which means that its transaction rate is 20 times that of Bitcoin. This quick transaction rate is matched by quick difficulty readjustment.

Zetacoin is an inflationary cryptocurrency.


9. Digitalcoin

Introduced: May 2013
Price/unit: $0.15
Total Supply: 11,524,550 DGC
Total Value: $1.7 million

Digitalcoin is a Litecoin derivative that is meant to keep its value and be more stable than most cryptocurrencies. It does this by being optimized for performance and by retargeting quickly to the mining environment. In addition, Digitalcoin’s block rewards reduce at a far slower rate than other cryptocurrencies.

There are also a decent number of vendors that accept Digitalcoin, which is more than can be said about some other altcoins.


10. Stablecoin

Introduced: June 2013
Price/unit: $0.045
Total Supply: 8,751,555 SBC
Total Value: $389k

One interesting feature about Stablecoin is that has a built-in coin mixing service. This service ensures that Stablecoin transactions are encrypted and untraceable. This is to ensure that Stablecoin will not be vulnerable to attempts to regulate it and its transactions.

In addition, Stablecoin is actively taking steps to promote itself globally, and has even set up a Chinese-language website to promote Stablecoin in China.

Introduced Price/unit Total Supply Total Value
Bitcoins January 2009 $691.96 12,151,025 BTC $8,889.7 million
Litecoin October 2011 $13.78 24,055,992 LTC $331.5 million
Peercoin August 2012 $2.09 20,931,643 PPC $43.6 million
Namecoin April 2011 $2.69 7,514,992 NMC $20.2 million
QuarkCoin July 2013 $0.069 246,484,913 QRK $16.9 million
Primecoin July 2013 $1.63 3,624,698 XPM $5.9 million
Novacoin February 2013 $9.61 523,071 NVC $5 million
Feathercoin April 2013 $0.19 26,645,550 FTC $4.9 million
Zetacoin August 2013 $0.018 158,756,403 ZET $2.9 million
Digitalcoin May 2013 $0.15 11,524,550 DGC $1.7 million
Stablecoin June 2013 $0.045 8,751,555 SBC $389k

Note: All the figures are sourced from Crypto-Currency Market Capitalizations and are accurate at the time of writing.


15 Extraordinary Stylus Designs for Designers and Artists

Posted: 25 Dec 2013 05:01 AM PST

Thanks to the rapid growth of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, our handwriting is now a complete disaster. We have gotten used to typing instead of writing in our work, study, correspondence, social networking and the rest.

If you like to do all this from your mobile devices you would know that typing on such a small keyboard can be a pain. The answer to that is having a stylus for your smartphone or tablet. It lets you type, draw, or play games using stylus with ease, keeps the screen clean of fingerprints, and lets you use the smartphone in winter with the gloves on.

Instead of the boring, generic style of the stylus, we have here for you 15 extraordinary stylus designs that will make you rethink what stylus to get this holiday season.

Stylus: Protection and Precision by Sonia. Who says a stylus has to be pen-like? This stylus is integrated into a phone cover so you won’t have to rummage around in your bag for it or forget to take it a long with you. [est $29.99]

Upwrite by TheStoneCutter. The Upwrite works both as a stylus and a kickstand for your phone. When you finish your work, just attach it to the same keyring where you hold your house keys. [$28]

Silver Just-Mobile AluPen. It looks like an ordinary albeit oversized pencil but works great with touchscreen devices. It's available in blue, green, gold, pink, and red. And it's a perfect gift for a graphic designer or artist. [$15.86]

Adonit Jot Pro Stylus by Acerone. This aluminium and steel stylus has a dampened touch that reduces the tapping sound a stylus makes on your touchscreen. Available in different colors, you can match it with the style of your mobile device easily. [$30]

Cipher: Make Your Mark by Neil MacAloney. A concept stylus in the form of credit card, Cipherhas specific coating to allow it to gently glide across your touchscreen device. It is also easy to bring on the go. [est $10]

The Phone + Book by KB Design. This stylus is half stylus, half pencil giving you the best to both worlds. Sketch on both paper and on your iPhone with this setup. [$15]

Architect Stylus by Pedro Gomes. Its size is perfect to slide into a back jeans pocket or your front jacket. And it has a hole on the top you can use to attach it to your keychain or pendant.

Finger Stylus Ring by raluca. A thimble for your smartphone, TxtRng is made of high-grade silicone and can fit properly onto any finger size. If you prefer to do things with your fingers then this is the styus to get. [$12]

Pencil Stylus by FiftyThree. It mimics the pencil, has tapered sides for better grip and comfort, and you can draw on one end and erase it with the other. The wooden texture adds a bit of elegance to the design. [$49.95]

Pencil Touch Screen Stylus by SuckUK. I stand corrected. THIS design mimics the pencil for real. It's available in three funky color schemes: blue and red, black and white, and black and yellow. [£7.50]

iStrike stylus. Here’s a "hot" tablet accessory to get. Who would have thought that one day, you will be able to "write" with a matchstick. [$12.79]

Chopstakes by IPEVO. Game with a friend with Chopstakes. Great for those who love to play games on the iPad.

Paintbrush Stylus for Touchscreens by Nomadbrush. If you like drawing on your iPad with a paintbrush, then grab a paintbrush stylus from this collection. [$29.99 - $35]

Bamboo Stylus Mini by Wacom. This mini stylus from Wacom has a brass body, light., can be attached to the headphone jack for easy portability (and so you won’t lose it) and has a replaceable rubber nip. [$14.95]

MouthStick Stylus. Designed to be controlled with the mouth, MouthStick is created for people with limited physical abilities. [$29.99]


18 Cool Tilt-Shift Wallpapers [Wallpaper Wednesday]

Posted: 25 Dec 2013 02:01 AM PST

Tilt-shift is an interesting type of photography that makes use of rotation and movement of the lens plane to make things look like miniatures. Just playing around with the depth of field can create stunning miniature photos like the one below.

Cool Tilt-Shift Wallpapers

For our Wallpaper Wednesday this week, we have put together a collection of 18 cool tilt-shift wallpapers. Oh by the way, Merry Christmas guys!

Tilt-Shift Yacht. Available in various sizes.

Yacht Tilt-Shift

Tilt-Shift Waterfall. Available in various sizes.

Waterfalls Tilt-Shift

Alley in the Forest. Available in various sizes.

Alley In The Forest

Tilt-Shift Village. Available in 1920×1080.

Village Tilt-Shift

Tilt-Shift Veracruz. Available in 2560×1600.

Veracruz Tilt-Shift

Tilt-Shift Tokyo. Available in various sizes.

Tokyo Tilt-Shift

Tilt-Shift Train. Available in various sizes.

Tilt-Shift Train

Tilt-Shift Meadow. Available in 1920×1080.

Tilt-Shift Meadow

Tilt-Shift Island. Available in various sizes.

Tilt-Shift Island

Tilt-Shift Cityscape. Available in various sizes.

Tilt-Shift Cityscape

Serpentine Road. Available in various sizes.

Serpentine Road

Real Models (Port). Available in 1920×1200.

Real Models Port

Port Town. Available in 1920×1080.

Port Town

New York City Miniature. Available in various sizes.

New York city Miniature

Mountain Houses. Available in various sizes.

Mountain Houses

Michigan State University Stadium. Available in 1920×1200.

Michigan State University Stadium

Mcway Falls. Available in 1920×1080.

Mcway Falls

Football Game. Available in various sizes.

Football Game



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