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Cryptocurrency, or digital currency, is an invention of the Internet. Basically, someone thought, “Hey, what if we can create a system where money is not limited by geography, like the Internet?” And lo, now we have more than 3000 cryptocurrencies circling.
Not all cryptocurrencies are the same. Some have incredible underlying blockchain technology behind their creation. Some were created ‘just because’, or as a joke. Some were part of an elaborate pyramid scheme. Some are quite useless to maintain as they are perceived as useless. any cryptocurrency is only as valuable as the value assigned to it by a mass audience.
Like any other asset (think stocks or property), your price can go up and down quickly, making them highly volatile and risky investments. Here are the best cryptocurrencies and what they are known for.
Note: The ranking was taken from CoinGecko, a website that ranks cryptocurrencies by developer activity, community, and liquidity. All figures are accurate as of mid-January.
The original cryptocurrency and the one that started it all, Bitcoin was created and launched by Satoshi Nakamoto, an anonymous figure. Bitcoin has the largest market capitalization to date at around $ 10 billion, dwarfing all other cryptocurrencies on this list, combined.
For most people, an introduction to cryptocurrencies is an introduction to Bitcoin. Because Bitcoin has such a great reputation, all other cryptocurrencies are called ‘altcoins’ – altcoins because they are alternatives to Bitcoin.
Known for: be the first, the easiest to get and the greatest acceptance
Ether is the cryptocurrency of Ethereum, a decentralized platform that can run ‘smart contacts’ peer-to-peer. As of January and as a result of an attack on The DAO, Ethereum was divided into 2: Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC).
Developed by Vitalik Buterin and launched in mid-2015 after a successful crowdsale, this platform was marketed as the “Next Generation Cryptocurrency and Decentralized Application Platform” and it has a market capitalization of $ 1.1 billion.
Smart peer-to-peer contracts They are what Ethereum is known for, in addition to cryptocurrency. It allows people to code and enact contracts without third parties. For example, this guide explains how you can set up a smart contract for a conference, where organizers can sell tickets, set a maximum number of attendees, and automatically provide refunds.
Known for: smart contract, first alternative to Bitcoin, Vitalik Buterin
Litecoin was launched in January by former Google employee Charles Lee as an alternative to Bitcoin. Overall, Litecoin is similar (and familiar) – it can be mined, used as currency, and transacted for goods and services.
It has a market capitalization of approximately $ 180 million, a far cry from its highest peak of $ 1.2 billion.
Known for: alternative to Bitcoin, more similar to Bitcoin
Bitcoin is frequently mislabeled as an ‘anonymous’ currency (it is not). Monero, on the other hand, is a cryptocurrency that focuses on privacy – using ring signature technology, Monero is ‘secure, private and untraceable’.
In fourth place with $ 138 million in market capitalization, Monero is primarily used by people who wish to remain incognito In the net.
Known for: be a privacy-centric cryptocurrency
Next on the list, Ripple, is actually a real-time gross settlement, currency exchange, and remittance network system. The cryptocurrency is called waves. Launched and with a current market capitalization of $ 243 million, the Ripple system has been integrated into some banks and payment networks to reduce costs.
Known for: strong focus on the banking market, real-time settlement
Dogecoin was originally created as a ‘joke coin’ but has since gained a huge following. Modeled after the dog in ‘doge’ memes, cryptocurrency (launched in January by programmer Billy Markus) is now prevalent used to tip users on forums.
It is also frequently sent as donations in fundraising efforts; for example, the Doge4Water fundraising campaign raised thousands of dollars. Dogecoin is now valued at around $ 25 million USD.
Known for: ‘joke coin’, used for tips and donations
Dash (short for ‘digital cash’) is a cryptocurrency with a strong focus on both privacy (using anonymization technology) and velocity (of transaction). It was renamed Darkcoin as an attempt to stop being associated with the ‘dark web’.
It ranks eighth on the list, has a market capitalization of $ 77 million, and is currently implementing Dash Evolution, an attempt to make cryptocurrency easier to use. You can spend Dash at merchants that accept it (listed here).
Known for: be anonymous and fast
MaidSafeCoin (also known as Safecoin) is the cryptocurrency for the SAFE network (secure access for all), which is a security-centric data platform. By calling themselves a ‘crowd-sourced internet’, you can provide space on your computer in exchange for coins.
Several decentralized applications now use the SAFE network to store data securely. MaidSafeCoin’s market capitalization is approximately $ 39 million.
Known for: be a security-centric data platform
As such, this coin has practical application value and can be used to create many types of ‘dapps’, including social media platform, e-commerce store, and many others. It currently has a market capitalization of around $ 25 million.
Known for– useful for programmers to create their own ‘dapps’, the first to use sidechains
10. Storjcoin X
Storj launched Storjcoin X in January. In essence, Storj a decentralized, open source and encrypted cloud data storage that uses Storjcoin tokens for get access and use on the Storj network. Market capitalization as of mid-September is $ 8 million.
Known for: decentralized cloud storage
Outside of this list, there are also newer cryptocurrencies that incorporate other types of advantages. There are also other cryptocurrencies that sometimes go in and out of this list, such as SiaCoin Y Counterpart. Only time will tell if these coins will remain in the best or be dethroned by others.
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