Cryptocurrency has taken the financial world by storm.
The question of their survival, which enveloped this fintech invention in the beginning, has now been replaced by the question of the extent of its evolution. Industry skeptics have raised concerns over the new currency’s power to upend the financial landscape as we know it with its extreme volatility, decentralization, and potential for money laundering.
Even though many companies ‘banned’ the use of the digital currency, its rapid growth and mass adoption by leading global firms (notably, Facebook, JPMorgan, Microsoft, Shopify, and Tesla) led to its rise in today’s fiscal society.
But which cryptocurrencies are dominating the market? We put together a list of the top cryptocurrencies by current market capitalization.
Please note that due to constantly changing market cap, values at time of publication may be different than those reflected on our Markets Insider live dashboard.
Top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap
Bitcoin ($156.52 Billion)
Bitcoin became the first cryptocurrency after launching in 2009, and has since remained at the forefront of the market. Bitcoin essentially removed the “middleman” who controlled currency and replaced it with advanced blockchain technology. About three-fourths of all Bitcoin has already been mined – meaning its value should become more predictable moving forward.
Ethereum ($17.50 Billion)
Launching much later than top dog, Bitcoin, Ethereum joined the cryptocurrency market in 2015. While Bitcoin offers peer-to-peer digital currency, Ethereum offers smart-contract applications (a user can set specific conditions to trigger a transaction). Ethereum has a wide range of use cases that are attractive to consumers looking to do more than financial transactions.
Ripple’s XRP ($9.80 Billion)
Ripple is a cryptocurrency that was never actually intended to be a cash alternative and is mostly used by corporate institutions rather than individuals. Sending Ripple coins from one wallet to another only takes a few seconds; however, it’s a much more centralized process compared to competitors, since Ripple Labs controls the supply of XRP.
Bitcoin Cash ($5.76 Billion)
Bitcoin Cash, sometimes known as Bcash, is a Bitcoin spinoff developed by Bitcoin miners and developers in 2017. Essentially, there was a split in the Bitcoin blockchain, where one cryptocurrency remained as the original Bitcoin and the other emerged as Bitcoin Cash. Bitcoin Cash has cheaper transfer fees than Bitcoin and faster transfer times – which is why it has been popular among investors.
Bitcoin SV ($5.51 Billion)
Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (Bitcoin SV) is one of the newest players in the crypto market, and up until recently has ridden the coattails of competitor Bitcoin Cash. Bitcoin SV emerged from a split in the blockchain of Bitcoin Cash, as BSV developers wanted to restore the original Bitcoin protocol rather than continue under the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. The key difference between Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV is block size limits. Bitcoin Cash increased the block size limit to 32 MB, and Bitcoin SV quadrupled that limit to 128 MB.
Tether ($4.11 Billion)
Tether differs from Bitcoin in that it’s a stablecoin – meaning that it is backed by a reserve assert and designed to offer price stability worth $1. It launched in 2014 to facilitate the use of fiat currencies (Canadian Dollar, Indian Rupee, European Union Euro) in digitally, and is the first blockchain-enabled platform to facilitate the digital use of traditional currencies.
Litecoin ($3.57 Billion)
In 2011 a hard fork caused Bitcoin to split in two: creating Bitcoin and Litecoin. Key factors that differentiate Litecoin from Bitcoin are transaction speed and block reward per block. Litecoin’s transaction time is about four times faster than Bitcoin’s, and has 25 block rewards per block compared to Bitcoin’s 12.5.
EOS ($3.42 Billion)
EOS launched in 2017, and while other cryptocurrencies are designed for peer-to-peer transactions, the EOS coins are designed to be used within the EOS ecosystem – similar to the Ethereum platform. The EOS.IO smart contract platform is designed to conduct millions of transactions per second with no feeds, and is ideal for developers looking to build their own apps or smart contracts.
Binance Coin ($2.62 Billion)
Binance is a global cryptocurrency exchange service for more than 100 cryptocurrencies, meaning it is designed to connect buyers with sellers for trading. As of 2019, it partnered with Israeli payment processor Simplex to enable Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple’s XRP purchases with debit and credit cards. Binance also provides users free deposits and withdrawals.
Monero ($1.12 Billion)
Though Monero has a much slower mining process than competitor Bitcoin, its algorithm doesn’t differ much from ordinary computers, which allows it to reach a larger user base. One of the key points bringing Monero to the list of top cryptocurrencies is that its security and privacy capabilities make transactions confidential and untraceable; Monero uses cryptography to both protect sending and receiving addresses, as well as transacted amounts.
Want to learn more?
Cryptocurrency is a growing mega-trend, which is being recognized worldwide, adopted by major corporations, and woven into everyday transactions. Bitcoin, above all, has the fintech ecosystem and the resources to compete, whereas its counterparts are still trying to stay on top and fight other cryptocurrencies in the market space.
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