The Top 10 Most Popular Cryptocurrencies - What are they?

April 02, 2019

Bitcoin (BTC):
The first and largest cryptocurrency in the world, Bitcoin is the epitome of the digital currency world and the concepts it upholds. Bitcoin started 10 years ago when a developer/group of developers using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto released a whitepaper called “Bitcoin: A Peer to Peer electronic cash system.” He/they developed a distributed ledger technology called blockchain which could be used to make pseudonymous payments to anyone around the world without interacting with the central banks or other financial entities.

Bitcoin has since been forked several times- including popular coins like Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, but the enigma of the original BTC remains. New BTCs are produced in the network through a process called mining which also verified transactions on the network. Each block takes 10 minutes to produce. Bitcoin has faced some scaling issues, but the lightning network solves many such problems with ease.

Ethereum (ETH):
The second-generation of blockchains began with Ethereum which follows the same Proof of Work (PoW) model as Bitcoin. However, what works for Ethereum is that it comes with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) which allows creating decentralized applications and smart contracts on the network. This creates infinitely more use cases for the blockchain apart from payments processing. Users can create smart contracts to make payments, agreements and more.
Vitalik Buterin is the co-founder of Ethereum, but the blockchain’s management is done by the Ethereum Foundation, a Swiss-based non-profit. Ethereum is Turing complete, and the cryptocurrency of the platform is called Ether. It also allows users to launch their own crypto projects based on the platform- called ERC20 tokens. Most of the world’s ICOs are conducted using these tokens. Ethereum will soon launch its highly anticipated Constantinople update.

Ripple (XRP):
The XRP token is popular with banking institutions because it enables cross-border transactions. In fact, XRP is threatening to oust SWIFT, an international money transfer service that has existed since 1973. XRP currently goes for $0.31 and has a market cap of $13 billion.

XRP is the native currency of the Ripple blockchain network, operated by a San Francisco based startup. The company, Ripple, provides several blockchain based products that could be used by banks and other financial institutions to make their existing systems faster and more cost-efficient. In one of the solutions, called xRapid, XRP is used as a bridge asset while making quick cross border payments between different payment corridors.

Over the years, Ripple has numerous high profile partnerships with banks and financial institutions across the globe and has a strong presence in the remittances markets in Asia and the Middle East. It has also been marred in controversy as the company holds about 60% of the total XRP in existence. The startup is still valued at over $20 billion.

Litecoin (LTC):
Litecoin comes at number four with a market cap of $3 billion. The coin, which currently goes for $60, gained traction in the crypto community after featuring in a UFC boxing event. It is also acceptable in a renowned online kickboxing store. The developers of Litecoin label it as a more fungible, secure and scalable alternative to Bitcoin.

One of Bitcoin’s main alternatives, Litecoin has made it to the Top-10 cryptocurrencies by market cap: it has reached a $1.45 bln capitalization and now is the 9th coin on the list. LTC has the average block mining time of 2.5 minutes against Bitcoin’s 10 minutes. Besides, it’s one of the big four on Coinbase.
Litecoin vs Bitcoin – main differences:
While Bitcoin requires 95% of miners to signal that they support SegWit for activation, Litecoin requires only 75%. The lowering of the consensus threshold makes it easier for Litecoin to attract active investors. At the moment, Litecoin costs $26.15 — it’s been through ups and downs, but the cryptocurrency community believes in its potential.

Tron (TRX):
Why consider TRX? TRON recently acquired BitTorrent, which allows for developing safe decentralized torrenting methods in the future. For example, such innovations can help us to distribute files across a network and re-assemble them for user downloading.

Another one of TRON’s advantage is that it’s one of a few ERC20 tokens that have made it to MainNet. Although TRON’s growth isn’t as rapid as Ethereum’s, it has 300,000 accounts so far. At the moment, 1 TRX is worth $0.013, so it’s a good investment for traders with a shoestring budget.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH):
Since it split from the Bitcoin network, BCH has performed reasonably well. The cryptocurrency has a value of $158 and a market cap of $2 billion. It is usually accepted in outlets where Bitcoins payments are eligible.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) began as a fork of the Bitcoin Core (BTC) blockchain, claiming to follow the peer-to-peer electronic cash system that Nakamoto envisioned. Bitcoin Cash separated from Bitcoin at block 478558. It was intended to be a fast, reliable and stable payment system that could enable merchants and users interact on the blockchain quickly and easily.
The Bitcoin Cash we know today is a fork of a fork. Due to some contentions in the BCH community regarding block height, the forked chain went through another segregation, giving rise to BCHABC and BCHSV at the end of 2018. Bitcoin Cash ABC is the brainchild of Roger Ver and Jihan Wu, who is working with several other developers to create a seamless payments network characterized by low fee and larger adoption.

Binance Coin (BNB):
From January, BNB has undergone a rapid rise, with it's market cap value growing from $700 million to $2 billion. The coin is primarily used to fund transactions done on the Binance crypto exchange. The coin is equally as popular outside the exchange, as Justin Sun recently called BNB the heir to Bitcoin.

EOS (EOS):
The EOS blockchain intends to be a blockchain-based operating system that will be utilized to support decentralized applications on an industrial scale. EOS caught the attention of the world with its year-long ICO that raised over $4.1 billion for the project. It began as an ERC20 token on the Ethereum blockchain.

EOS has several important concepts and features that should be highlighted. First, the network wants to get rid of network fees completely. Secondly, it can handle millions of users at once. Another important feature of the blockchain is that it uses a Delegated Proof of Stake (DPOS) system for transaction verification, taking it one step ahead of the traditional PoW and PoS systems.

Stellar (XLM):
Like XRP, Stellar was built for international payments. XLM is valued at $0.11 and has a market cap of $2 billion. The crypto was found in partnership with McCaleb, a co-founder of Ripple’s XRP.

Tether (USDT):
Tether is recognized for being the first stablecoin in the crypto space. In the past, some have accused the developers of USDT of using the coin to increase the value of Bitcoin in 2017. Still, a substantial number of crypto investors use Tether because it is immune to the volatility that typifies digital assets. It is rumored that USDT will soon move to the Tron network.

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