This article details notable cryptocurrencies and market capitalizations of cryptocurrencies as of August 27, 2020 The number of cryptocurrencies available over the internet as of 19 August 2018 is over 1600 and growing. A new cryptocurrency can be created at any time. Below are some notable cryptocurrencies: Release Currency Symbol Founder(s) Programming language of implementation Cryptocurrency blockchain (PoS, PoW, or other) Notes 2009 BTC, XBT, ₿ SHA-256d The first and most widely used decentralized ledger currency, with the highest market capitalization.
Not based on bitcoin. NXT BCNext(pseudonym) SHA-256d Specifically designed as a flexible platform to build applications and financial services around its protocol.
AUR Baldur Odinsson(pseudonym) Created as an alternative currency for Iceland, intended to replace the Icelandic króna.
DASH Evan Duffield &Kyle Hagan PoW & Proof of Service A bitcoin-based currency featuring instant transactions, decentralized governance and budgeting, and private transactions.
The names were changed in 2017 to NEO and GAS.
- MZC BTC Oyate Initiative SHA-256d The underlying software is derived from that of another cryptocurrency, ZetaCoin.
- XMR Monero Core Team Privacy-centric coin using the CryptoNote protocol with improvements for scalability and decentralization.
- XEM UtopianFuture (pseudonym) POI The first hybrid public/private blockchain solution built from scratch, and first to use the Proof of Importance algorithm using EigenTrust ++ reputation system.
- Ether or “Ethereum” ETH C++, Go Supports Turing-complete smart contracts.
- ETC An alternative version of Ethereum whose blockchain does not include the DAO Hard-fork. Supports Turing-complete smart contracts.
- Nano Colin LeMahieu Decentralized, feeless, open-source, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency. First to use a Block Lattice structure.
- USDT Jan Ludovicus van der Velde Tether claims to be backed by USD at a 1 to 1 ratio.
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2016 ZEC The first open, permissionless financial system employing zero-knowledge security. 2017 BCH SHA-256d Hard fork from Bitcoin, Increased Block size from 1mb to 8mb 2017 EOS Web Assembly, Rust, C, C++ delegated PoS Feeless Smart contract platform for decentralized applications and decentralized autonomous corporations with a block time of 500 ms.
Via Masternodes containing 1000 DASH held as collateral for “Proof of Service”. Through an automated voting mechanism, one Masternode is selected per block and receives 45% of mining rewards. Cryptocurrencies: A Brief Thematic Review. Economics of Networks Journal. Social Science Research Network (SSRN). Date accessed August 28, 2017. Dixon, Lance (December 24, 2013).
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“Tether Hired Former FBI Director’s Law Firm to Vet Finances”.
Bitcoin has not just been a trendsetter, ushering in a wave of cryptocurrencies built on a decentralized peer-to-peer network, it’s become the de facto standard for cryptocurrencies, inspiring an ever-growing legion of followers and spinoffs. A cryptocurrency, broadly defined, is virtual or digital money which takes the form of tokens or “coins.” Beyond that, the field of cryptocurrencies has expanded dramatically since bitcoin was launched over a decade ago, and the next great digital token may be released tomorrow, for all anyone in the crypto community knows. Bitcoin continues to lead the pack of cryptocurrencies, in terms of market capitalization, user base, and popularity. Virtual currencies such as Ethereum and XRP, which are being used more for enterprise solutions, have also become popular. Some altcoins are being endorsed for superior or advanced features vis-à-vis bitcoins.
A cryptocurrency, broadly defined, is virtual or digital money which takes the form of tokens or “coins.” While some cryptocurrencies have ventured into the physical world with credit cards or other projects, the large majority remain entirely intangible. The “crypto” in cryptocurrencies refers to complicated cryptography which allows for the creation and processing of digital currencies and their transactions across decentralized systems.
Cryptocurrencies are almost always designed to be free from government manipulation and control, although as they have grown more popular this foundational aspect of the industry has come under fire. The currencies modeled after bitcoin are collectively called altcoins and have often tried to present themselves as modified or improved versions of bitcoin.
Below, we’ll examine some of the most important digital currencies other than bitcoin. First, though, a caveat: it is impossible for a list like this to be entirely comprehensive. One reason for this is the fact that there are more than 2,000 cryptocurrencies in existence as of January 2020, and many of those tokens and coins enjoy immense popularity among a dedicated (if small, in some cases) community of backers and investors.
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While bitcoin is widely seen as a pioneer in the world of cryptocurrencies, analysts adopt many approaches for evaluating tokens other than BTC. It’s common, for instance, for analysts to attribute a great deal of importance to the ranking of coins relative to one another in terms of market cap.
The first bitcoin alternative on our list, Ethereum is a decentralized software platform that enables Smart Contracts and Decentralized Applications (DApps) to be built and run without any downtime, fraud, control, or interference from a third party. The applications on Ethereum are run on its platform-specific cryptographic token, ether. Ether is like a vehicle for moving around on the Ethereum platform and is sought by mostly developers looking to develop and run applications inside Ethereum, or now by investors looking to make purchases of other digital currencies using ether.
As of January 2020, ether’s market cap is roughly 1/10 the size of bitcoin’s. During 2014, Ethereum launched a pre-sale for ether which received an overwhelming response; this helped to usher in the age of the initial coin offering (ICO). According to Ethereum, it can be used to “codify, decentralize, secure and trade just about anything.” Following the attack on the DAO in 2016, Ethereum was split into Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC).
Ethereum (ETH) had a market cap of $15.6 billion and a per-token value of $142.54. Ripple is a real-time global settlement network that offers instant, certain and low-cost international payments. Launched in 2012, Ripple “enables banks to settle cross-border payments in real-time, with end-to-end transparency, and at lower costs.” Ripple’s consensus ledger (its method of conformation) is unique in that it doesn’t require mining.
In this way, Ripple sets itself apart from bitcoin and many other altcoins. Since Ripple’s structure doesn’t require mining, it reduces the usage of computing power and minimizes network latency. So far, Ripple has seen success with its current business model; it remains one of the most enticing digital currencies among traditional financial institutions looking for ways to revolutionize cross-border payments.
As of Jan. 8, 2020, Ripple had a market cap of $9.2 billion and a per-token value of $0.21. Litecoin, launched in 2011, was among the first cryptocurrencies to follow in the footsteps of bitcoin and has often been referred to as “silver to bitcoin’s gold.” It was created by Charlie Lee, an MIT graduate and former Google engineer.
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Although Litecoin is like bitcoin in many ways, it has a faster block generation rate and hence offers a faster transaction confirmation time. Other than developers, there are a growing number of merchants who accept Litecoin. As of Jan. 8, 2020, Litecoin had a market cap of $3.0 billion and a per-token value of $46.92, making it the sixth-largest cryptocurrency in the world.