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As bitcoin share in total the market cap hit the anti-record, crypto holders and even bitcoin fans realise that a very important question is now on the table: is there any cryptocurrency that can actually replace BTC as a godfather of crypto family?

bitcoin’s long lasting drop, combined with falling number of transactions, striked almost every market player lately. Couple weeks ago the overall amount of bitcoin transactions fell down to 150,000, and such low activity replicated numbers of March 2016.

There are competitors slated to rival it, and we may well see some rather close collisions from some of the cryptocurrencies before 2018 draws to a close. So, probably, one the following three coins, bitcoin’s strongest competitors, is going to make an offer that we won’t be able to refuse.

Ethereum

Having always been number two, Ethereum is often said to be one the projects that will definitely survive the potential burst of a crypto bubble. But number two on the market cap list means 43% of the BTC, and by the end of 2017 ETH showed an amazingly high price rise, or even a jump — almost 9000% up.

The daily number of transactions within Ethereum blockchain is more than 600,000, which is more than three times the bitcoin activity.

Unlike bitcoin community, which still for some reason doesn’t have any official leader - let’s just say Satoshi Nakamoto so far remains more a myth than a real person - Ethereum community is headed by young, yet very well know crypto celebrity Vitalik Buterin. The community is big and growing, and these guys are active and serious. Apart from hundreds of launched and successfully completed ICOs, Ethereum developers created so many decentralized apps already operating, such as exchanges, games and protocols.

And score one more for Ethereum, because dozens of non-crypto companies already trusted Vitalik and joined Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA). Finance and tech organizations, such as Microsoft, Cisco and UBS, have combined forces in order to promote technologies and startups based on Ethereum blockchain.

Bitcoin Cash

Well, technically bitcoin Cash is a fork, but did this fact stopped it from occupying 4th place by market cap? Nope.

Born in August 2017, as a fork of bitcoin blockchain Bitcoin Cash initially and immediately got to the whole base of BTC users. BCH grew 750% higher since then, and now earned 11.5% of the BTC market cap.

Bitcoin Cash clearly shadows bitcoin, as it even requires the very same mining equipment as the tzar of crypto. Currently hashrate of Bitcoin Cash blockchain is about 10% of the bitcoin hashrate, but this gauge has been growing since the launch of BCH. Interestingly, the hashrate fluctuations can reach 20% per day, which indicates active switching by miners between two networks.

Bitcoin Cash community not only steals bitcoin mining powers, but also pulls a lot of media on its side. Ever looked through Bitcoin.com or bitcoin Twitter account? Well, it’s not about BTC, but about its first general and rival.

Even the National Institute of Standards and Technology under the US Department of Commerce once claimed BCH being the “original” bitcoin while bitcoin itself is a “fork”.

As for personalities, Bitcoin Cash has of the biggest investors of the whole blockchain industry, the infamous Roger Ver among its devotees and lobbyists. The genius entrepreneur and multimillionaire supports Bitcoin Cash with all his heart, money, enthusiasm and influence. He promotes his favorite cryptocurrency all around the world and invests in such key projects as BitPay and Blockchain.info. Who knows who may soon join him in order to beat BTC?

Litecoin

Litecoin is not THAT light, as it sits on 5th place by market cap, has 6.5% of the market cap of the bitcoin itself and showed appreciation of value by 5000% over 2017. What makes it lighter is the number of transactions per 24h, which is still  just 5 times less than the activity of bitcoin blockchain.

Founded in 2011, Litecoin managed to earn everyone’s attention. There are 1,6 million unique LTC addresses out there!

Moreover, Litecoin community leader Charlie Lee is almost as celebrated as Vitalik Buterin. Even his Twitter account shares his fame and has 736,000 followers.

Also, because of Litecoin and bitcoin API being compatible, Litecoin is easily integrated in apps supporting bitcoin blockchain. Payment confirmation is faster, and fees are not as high as in other blockchains, and this definitely made Litecoin the most convenient cryptocurrency used for small purchases. So far Litecoin is the first one to beat bitcoin fees!

All in all, bitcoin still sits very high, but the industry and infrastructure development may one day cause an altcoin vendetta, and there at least three candidates to get to the throne first.

Author: Vladimir Smerkis, co-founder and managing partner of Tokenbox, a platform for creating and managing tokenized funds, that unites professional portfolio managers, crypto traders and investors within one ecosystem.