The origins –1998
The concept of cryptocurrency is a concept that already existed long before the creation of Bitcoin. The company, DigiCash Inc., founded in 1989 by David Chaum, was established with the aim of creating the first virtual currency used worldwide. DigiCash was a virtual currency business. She created an anonymous payment protocol based on cryptography. Nevertheless Digicash has failed in its plan to massively adopt its cryptocurrency.
In the early years of its existence, cryptocurrencies have gradually gained the attention of the media and the public. Since 2011, interest has increased rapidly, especially during the rapid rise in the price of Bitcoin in April 2013. From 2014, a second generation of cryptocurrencies appeared, such as Monero, Ethereum and Nxt with new features such as addresses. stealth, smart contracts, the use of side block chains or those backed by physical assets such as gold.
1st, 2nd and 3rd generation cryptocurrencies
The first generation is represented by Bitcoin (2009). Firmly established, initiator of the media and public craze for cryptocurrencies, it suffers from regularly pointed out shortcomings, such as its slowness, its relatively small block size, in particular.
A second generation (2011) presents either minor improvements or technological innovations allowing new functions. The archetype of this second generation is Ethereum (which is derived from the Bitcoin source code), which makes use of smart contracts.
The third generation (since 2017): seeing new limitations, notably in capacity, security and governance, new cryptocurrencies have emerged, such as EOS.IO, Cardano, (ADA), AION, ICON (ICX) and Raiden Network (RDN), for the best known. EOS.IO is itself derived from Ethereum. They bring innovations, but, in August 2018, none has gained the upper hand over the others.