When it comes to the value, Bitcoin remains gold. Litecoin is still used by many, but there are currencies that could be a better match for cryptographical silver. Ethereum, for example.
There are so many excellent cryptocurrencies that it wouldn’t be fair to propose just one as an alternative to paper money (paper money has different currencies, so does cryptocurrency). So, I’ll sort them by their popularity and explain their advantages.
Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency and has by far the highest adoption rate. At the moment, you can buy almost anything with Bitcoin, which makes it a good alternative to classical currencies. Bitcoin’s anonymity has been compromised during the years, so try to stay away from illegal stuff.
Ethereum can be considered as cryptographical silver due to its smart contracts. Smart contracts allow developers to build apps using Ethereum as a fuel which is the reason for its popularity. You may not be able to buy a boat with Ether, but everything digital is at your disposal. Strong community is the reason for fast-paced adoption rate of Ethereum.
Ripple is a cryptocurrency which is made to ensure cheap financial transactions in every way possible. It can be considered replacement for fiat currency (quite literally), as it supports “tokens representing fiat currency, cryptocurrency, commodity or any other unit of value such as frequent flier miles or mobile minutes.” Banks use it a lot, and consequently individuals too.
4. Monero, Dash, Zcash, Shadow Coin…
These coins have something in common – they are the champions in providing anonymity to the users. In the era of Big Brother, where everything is tracked by the government, many people have learned to appreciate their privacy. This type of coins is traded in high volumes on all exchanges and the adoption rates are so high that within a few years we might be able pay for our groceries with them.
Steem is also a nice alternative to classical currencies, as it’s generated through user’s contribution to the SteemIt social network. Every like, comment and piece of content posted is awarded. As the network gains popularity, the cryptocurrency adoption rates grow. Who knows, maybe one day it could be a nice alternative to mainstream social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
There are many great alternatives to the fiat currencies, but only time will tell which one(s) is/are going to prevail. Hope this answers your question.