Cryptocurrencies Beyond Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the most valuable and well-known of all cryptocurrencies. It has always been a trendsetter and has brought about a wave of cryptocurrency options that are built on a decentralized, peer-to-peer network. But if you are considering investing in cryptocurrencies, you may be wondering which crypto options beyond Bitcoin are worth investing in. While Bitcoin might be in the news more often, here are some alternative options that are definitely not going unnoticed.

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Ether (ETH)

Ether, the token of the Ethereum network, is the first alternative to Bitcoin on most investors’ lists. Ethereum is a decentralized software platform enables Smart Contracts and Decentralized Applications (DApps) to be built and run without the risk of downtime, control, fraud, or interference from third parties. Ethereum’s goal is to create a suit of decentralized financial products that anybody can have free access to around the world regardless of who they are. As of January 2021, Ether had a per-token value of $1,218.59 and a market cap of $138.3bn.

Litecoin (LTC)

Launched in 2011, Litecoin was one of the first cryptocurrencies to be introduced after Bitcoin, and has sometimes been referred to as the ‘silver to Bitcoin’s gold’. It is based on an open-source global payment network that is not controlled by a central authority. It possesses many similarities with Bitcoin; however, trading Litecoin differs with faster block generation rates leading to faster transaction times overall. Today, there are a growing number of developers and merchants that accept Litecoin, and in January of this year, Litecoin was the sixth-largest cryptocurrency worldwide with a per-token value of $153.88 and a market cap of $10.1bn.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

Bitcoin Cash is an important altcoin since it is one of the earliest and the most successful hard forks of Bitcoin. As a background, a fork will take place as a result of debates and disagreements between the developers and miners in the cryptocurrency world. Because digital currencies are decentralized, wholesale changes to the code that underlies the coin or token at hand need to be made due to general consensus. In some cases, the digital currency will be split when an agreement cannot be reached, with a new chain beginning as an alternative version of the prior coin. As a result of one of these splits, Bitcoin Cash was formed in August 2017. BCH increased the block size from 1MB to 8MB, allowing it to hold more transactions and speed up transaction time. It had a per-token market value of $513.45 in January 2021.

Stellar (XLM)

This open blockchain network was designed to connect financial institutions for the purpose of large transactions, providing enterprise solutions. Large transactions between investment firms and banks that would usually take up to several days and cost a large sum can now be done using this network immediately and at little to no cost to those making the transaction. Although it’s an enterprise blockchain designed for business transactions, Stellar is an open blockchain that can be used by anybody, and allows any currencies to be easily transacted across borders. As of January 2021, Stellar Lumens had a market capitalization of $6.1bn.

While Bitcoin might be the cryptocurrency that gets the most airtime, if you are considering investing in digital currencies, these other options are worth considering.

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Is It More Expensive to Rent Than Buy?

Are you currently renting a home or apartment? If so, you may have questioned a few times as to whether or not buying a home is the cheaper option. While in the long run, buying a house is most likely the least expensive option, this doesn’t mean that renting doesn’t have its perks.

Upfront Costs

When moving into an apartment you are typically asked to provide a security deposit that matches your monthly rent and your first and possibly last month’s rent. While this can be costly, the price does not measure up to upfront costs when purchasing a home.

Depending on where you live, if you rent you may be looking at about $5,000 on upfront costs. However, when purchasing a home you will be looking at upfront costs that include your down payment, closing costs, inspection fees, and a few other expenses that can definitely add up to more than $5,000.

Monthly Costs

On the contrary, your monthly costs or mortgage can be more favorable when owning your own home. Keep in mind that when renting, your landlord is typically charging you the cost of the mortgage plus some because they have to make money too. So right away, you are more likely to spend more money monthly on renting a home rather than if you owned it yourself.

Another thing to keep in mind when determining if renting or buying a home is the right choice for you is the cost of utilities. Utility fees can vary, but when renting, it’s not uncommon to see a few, if not all, utilities included in your monthly rental fee.


When it comes to maintaining a property, fees can certainly add up. You may run into a leaking roof that requires repair, a malfunctioning AC unit, and more. The bright side of renting is that when any problems occur, you won’t have to pay for them to be fixed. In contrast, when owning your own home, these expenses will be yours to handle and pay for.

Miscellaneous Costs

Fees such as property taxes, home insurance, and more are some additional expenses that come into play when purchasing a home. When renting a home or apartment, it is still wise to have renter’s insurance however, it is typically a nominal fee compared to homeowner’s insurance.

If you no longer believe renting is the best option for you, check out this house payment calculator to determine what price range you can afford when searching for a home to purchase.

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Why Comparing Credit Cards Ensures the Best Deal

Canadians are increasingly shifting their spending habits to a digital world. While the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this evolution, it was happening before the crisis. More people now value contactless payment and ecommerce purchases, and it looks like this is a permanent shift.

For Canadians making a switch to digital transactions, the good old-fashioned credit card is both a safe and familiar payment choice. Credit cards allow customers to explore a new era of contactless finances without compromising on traditional purchases. It’s possible to use a credit card to pay for products and services online or at a brick and mortar store.

That said, the credit card market is relatively complicated simply because there is so much choice. Dozens, if not hundreds, of credit cards are available in Canada, and no two are equal. Firstly, there are different types of credit card, such as rewards cards and balance transfer cards. Secondly, banks and financial institutions have different deals available.

Amid the economic turmoil millions are facing because of COVID-19 and lockdowns, understanding which financial solutions are best has become more important than ever. This is especially true in the saturated credit card market, which is why shopping around for credit cards is the best choice.

Choose the Right Type of Credit Card

As RATESDOTCA points out, using an online comparison tool can help customers find the best credit cards in Canada.  More importantly, comparison sites are becoming popular because they help consumers find the right credit card for their specific needs.

When comparing credit cards online, there are some things customers must consider:

Different Types of Credit Card

There are three different types of credit card available in Canada. Which you choose will depend on your individual needs:

  • Bank-issued Credit Cards: The most common credit card in Canada is one issued by a bank or other financial institution. As the most versatile solution, these credit cards can be used for all kinds of purchases and come with various perks. Depending on the card you choose, there are different annual fees, rewards programs, rebates, travel insurance, low interest offers, and other perks available.
  • Store Cards: As the name suggests, these credit cards are tied to a retail outlet or service provider. Customers use these cards exclusively at the carrier’s stores, although they usually have high interest rates for late balance payments. One of the benefits of this type of credit card is access to store discounts and reward programs.
  • Travel/Entertainment (charge) Cards: Because they have unlimited credit limits, these cards must be paid off in full through each payment cycle. That means cardholders are required to pay off their balance each month. Charge cards are known for carrying high annual fees and high interest penalties for late payments.

What Is the Credit Card For?

Whether you’re adding to a collection or getting your first credit card, it’s important to assess why you want a card. Your reasons should play a major role in deciding what type of credit card to compare and apply for. Common reasons to get a credit card include:

  • Building credit: Many first time borrowers use a credit card as a first step to building a robust credit score ahead of larger purchases such as a loan or mortgage. Cards with a low APR or no annual fees are useful for credit builders.
  • Frequent traveler: Credit cards are handy for travelers because they are an accepted payment in most parts of the world. Some cards offer specific travel-related perks, such as travel rewards, air miles, or hotel deals.
  • Balance transfers: Some people move funds between accounts or credit cards to make payments more efficient. For this purpose, a card with 0% balance transfers (or no-fee balance transfers) is a good choice.

Comparing Credit Cards Makes Sense

Many Canadians make the mistake of choosing the first credit card they are offered. Maybe its from their bank and they assume as an existing customer the bank will offer a good deal. Sometimes it’s just a matter of not knowing there are better offers available. The only way to find the best credit card deal is to compare cards.

While that sounds like a frustrating and time consuming prospect, especially if you’re not sure what to look for, comparing credit cards is easy. Thanks to online comparison sites, you can check a selection of credit cards based on your personal needs. It’s easy to check cards by type, lender, and bonuses.

Comparing credit cards ensures you get the best credit card to meet your needs, with the best perks included.


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