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A Fast Look at the Top 20 Cryptocurrencies

February 26, 2018


Nobody really knows whether or not an emerging digital token will be adopted by the diverse cryptocurrency community. Of around 1,500 tokens listed on CoinMarketCap, there are a few dozen whose market capitalization – their perceived total value - currently ranks at $1 billion USD or more.


Here is a fast look at the top twenty, noting each one's platform name, token name, ticker symbol, approximate market cap in USD, followed by a brief description.


1. Bitcoin | bitcoin | BTC | $150+ billion
Peer-to-peer cash system based on “Proof of Work” (PoW) secured “blockchain”, a far superior foundational technology compared to all previous attempts at creating a digital currency.


2. Ethereum | ether | ETH | $80+ billion
“Proof of Stake” (PoS) transaction verification blockchain is more efficient than Bitcoin's PoW. Also runs distributed apps for self-executing “smart” contracts.


3. Ripple | ripple | XRP | $30+ billion
Use of "iterative" consensus instead of blockchain enables faster but less secure transactions. Drawing interest from large banks.


4. Bitcoin Cash | bitcoin cash | BCH | $20+ billion
Bitcoin fork with massive market cap growth due to simultaneous support from both the biggest mining company and biggest mining chip manufacturer.


5. Litecoin | litecoin | LTC | $10+ billion
Bitcoin fork with faster mining algorithm.


6. Cardano | Ada | ADA | $8 billion
"Ouroboros" PoS algorithm and highly fault tolerant programming language enables any Ada coin holder to become a "slot leader", verify transactions, and then add to the blockchain. Runs smart contracts, decentralized applications, side chains, multi-party computation, and metadata.


7. NEO (previously “Antshares”) | neo | NEO | $7 billion
The “Chinese Ethereum” is embraced by both Chinese regulators and businesses. Like Ethereum, also runs distributed apps for smart contracts.


8. Stellar | lumen | XLM | $7 billion
Like Ripple, use of "iterative" consensus instead of blockchain enables faster but less secure transactions, and also drawing interest from large banks.


9. EOS | eosio | EOS | $5 billion
“Delegated Proof of Stake” (DPoS) where users give voting rights to others to speed transaction verification. Separate public and private blockchains.


10. IOTA | iota | MIOTA | $4 billion
Part of the Internet of Things (IoT). Each sender must do a relatively small proof of work so that increasing transaction volume actually speeds up the network. With no dedicated miners, the network is more decentralized and secure because every user is a “node”.


11. Dash | dash | DASH | $4 billion
Faster two-tier private version of Bitcoin where miners write transactions to the blockchain, while “masternodes” relay transactions through the network.


12. Monero | monero | XMR | $3 billion
Untraceable transactions using algorithm that mixes coins at the protocol level. Highly fungible.


13. Ethereum Classic | classic ether | ETC | $3 billion
Original version of Ethereum; with the new “Ethereum” being a fork of this original. The split happened because this original version of Ethereum was hacked.


14. NEM | xem | XEM | $3 billion
“Proof of Importance” (PoI) algorithm requires users to prove they are 'important' to the currency's ecosystem by spending coins before they can "harvest" new ones. Less hoarding of coins.


15. VeChain | vechain (rebranding as "vechain thor" or "vet") | VEN (rebranding as VET) | $2 billion
Tracks products through supply chains to prevent counterfeiting.


16. TRON | tron | TRX | $2 billion
Payment, storage, and credit sharing for texts, pictures, videos, games, and live broadcasts.


17. Tether | tether | USDT | $2 billion
Anchored to the U.S. dollar to reduce volatility. When the overall cryptocurrency market drops, some traders take money from other cryptocurrencies and store it in tether. When the market shows signs of recovery, the tethers are converted back.


18. Lisk | lisk | LSK | $2 billion
“Modular blockchain” uses delegated-proof-of-stake (DPoS) blockchain algorithm based on the voting weight of users in the network.


19. Bitcoin Gold | bitcoin gold | BTG | $2 billion
Bitcoin fork aimed at re-enabling decentralizing mining using CPUs instead of GPUs and ASIC chips.


20. Qtum | qtum | QTUM | $2 billion
Flexible platform designed to be used for token creation, supply chain management, and smart contracts.



By: BGN Editorial Staff

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