The most famous cryptocurrency in the world is Bitcoin, which costs around $22,700 per coin as of mid-February 2023. Because most people can’t afford this, they look to the second-most-popular crypto: Ethereum.
This currency costs just a fraction of Bitcoin, so it’s easier to get into. However, at over $1,640 per coin, it’s still pretty pricey, especially if you’re a beginner.
Not to worry, as there are many low-cost alternatives to Ethereum. Here are seven you should know about.
1. Binance Smart Chain (BSC)
BSC was developed by Binance Exchange, which is one of the largest crypto exchanges in existence. The good news is, despite BSC being from such a prominent company, the prices are extremely low. At the time of writing, one coin costs $0.0023.
This cryptocurrency runs parallel to Ethereum with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). Its purpose is to give you fast and low-cost transactions through decentralized applications (dApps). So if you’re interested in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space, then this is an ideal alternative for you.
The main advantage of using BSC is that the transactions are not just fast, but also cheap. BSC can process up to 100 transactions per second!
BSC has low gas fees too, making it more accessible to those interested in crypto. Plus, it attracts more developers, meaning improvements on BSC will be constant.
2. Polygon (MATIC)
Polygon was formerly known as Matic Network. The pros at stakepolygon.com suggest staking this crypto if you want to go beyond trading, as one coin is worth $1.28. This isn’t a bad price at all, and you can go far with staking Polygon.
This currency is a Layer 2 scaling solution for Ethereum. Like with BSC, Polygon’s aim is faster and cheaper transactions for dApps. To make a long story short, this crypto uses a sidechain, which bumps speeds up and lowers costs when compared to the main chain.
This crypto uses the EVM for its smart contracts and uses a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, which is why you can stake Polygon. A benefit of this is it has better security.
3. TRON (TRX)
TRON is a decentralized blockchain platform, and its purpose suits its name: the goal is to have a free digital content entertainment system for the world. Currently, one coin costs $0.065.
This cryptocurrency uses a delegated proof of stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism, which is a type of PoS system. TRON stakers delegate their coins to validators, so they don’t have to perform the consensus function themselves. As a result, transaction speeds are much faster; they take only a few seconds to complete.
The best feature of TRON is that it’s highly scalable. This is thanks to sharding, which is a technique that divides the network into smaller units. That way, each can process transactions efficiently on their own.
Also, TRON has a large and active group of developers. You can count on them to keep pushing out new improvements.
4. NEAR Protocol (NEAR)
Another decentralized platform, NEAR Protocol has low costs and fast transactions too. The cost of one coin is around $2.50.
What makes NEAR Protocol unique is its own consensus mechanism called “Nightshade.” This should make it interesting to people who want to go off the beaten path from Bitcoin investing. It can complete transactions in seconds.
NEAR Protocol attracts many developers since its ecosystem is developer-friendly. This means you’ll see lots of building and deploying of dApps here.
Like TRON, this crypto also uses sharding. So as expected, it’s highly scalable.
More importantly, NEAR Protocol has airtight security. This is because it uses cryptography and other security measures to ward off cyberattacks. As a result, its network is stable.
5. Cardano (ADA)
Cardano is a decentralized blockchain platform. Its aim is to have a secure and sustainable infrastructure that lets dApps and smart contracts flourish. As of writing, one coin is worth $0.3836.
The fact that it uses a PoS system for transactions makes them more secure and energy-efficient. There’s added security due to its extensive testing and verification. As with NEAR Protocol, Cardano uses cryptography and other advanced security measures.
What’s cool is that Cardano has its own programming language: Plutus. This attracts curious developers, especially since Plutus makes it easier to write smart contracts and dApps.
This crypto is another highly scalable one, but this is thanks to a layered architecture instead of sharding.
6. Harmony (ONE)
Like its brethren on this list, Harmony is a decentralized blockchain platform that has the goal of fast and secure transactions. The price of one coin is currently $0.027150.
Its use of PoS systems makes Harmony more environmentally friendly and allows it to process transactions in seconds.
This crypto has its own programming language too. It’s called “Chainweb” and again, makes the developers’ jobs much easier.
As for security, Harmony uses not only PoS but also cryptography and Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT). Together, this ensures stability and better security.
7. Solana (SOL)
Solana is a decentralized blockchain platform created to accommodate dApps. Solana is one of the higher-priced alternatives, but it’s still very affordable at $22.88 per coin, especially when compared to Ethereum.
Its unique consensus algorithm is called “Tower BFT,” which is the perfect combination of PoS and BFT. As a result, Solana can process up to 65,000 transactions per second. As you might’ve guessed, this makes it one of the fastest blockchain platforms around.
In addition, Solana has its own programming language called SolanaScript. Crypto uses sharding and parallel processing to give its users fast and efficient transactions.
Try These Low-Cost Alternatives to Ethereum
One coin of Ether may be too expensive for you to afford, but you still want to get into crypto. Since there are thousands of them, it can be difficult to determine which are worth your time.
However, you now have a great list of low-cost options. Start with these, see how you feel, and then when you make a profit, you can finally start investing in Ethereum if you want to!
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