With the establishment and proliferation of digital currencies in the past few years, it is important for investors to know what to buy.

Bitcoin (the original ‘crypto-currency’) is a well-known, and unarguably established digital currency. It’s here to stay.

Several other digital currencies that followed on from Bitcoin – the original ‘copy-cat’ cryptocurrencies – have also become digital currencies or established digital currency platforms. There is an important distinction here. Cryptocurrencies are virtual ‘coins’. Cryptocurrencies like Ethereum are secure digital currencies and software platforms that can be used for various applications using digital currency.

Another distinction is that not all digital currencies are ‘cryptocurrencies’ like Bitcoin.

The non-definite definition of ‘digital currency’:

Digital currency is money that is available in digital form as opposed to in a physical form (i.e. banknotes and coins). Types of digital currency include unregulated cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and other unregulated crypto and other virtual currency types, as well as bank-issued and regulated digital currencies.

That said – when we refer to established digital currencies here – we are concerned here with unregulated cryptocurrencies that can be traded globally. Like Bitcoin.

Besides Bitcoin – established unregulated digital currencies include:

According to Investopedia the 10 ‘most important’, established cryptocurrencies are:

  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Zcash (ZEC)
  • Dash
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Monero (XMR)
  • NEO (NEO)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • EOS (EOS)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH) – an investor and user-friendly spin-off (or ‘fork’) of Bitcoin.

Why is this list of established unregulated digital currencies important? Because of the fact that they are unregulated.

Changes in how these digital currencies work can be made by developers (with no global, government, treasury or central bank oversight). But once these digital currencies have been in circulation for some time, any changes made have to be agreed on by a world-wide network of of developers and invested parties. This makes them less open to corruption and safer bets for investors.