The most common cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin and Ethereum, but beyond these two, thousands of other cryptocurrencies exist. Digital currencies are typically grouped by their market capitalization; their value is usually a reflection of the appetite and interest of investors.
We have collated the top ten cryptocurrencies on the market for your consumption. They include:
1. Bitcoin (BTC)
Bitcoin, created in 2009 by the unknown Satoshi Nakomoto, is the first blockchain to hit the cryptocurrency market. Since its creation, it’s gone on to attract millions of investors and has remained the largest digital currency by market capitalization.
Cryptocurrency is very scarce, with only 21 million Bitcoin mining being done. With its proof-of-work blockchain, Bitcoin has become the standard for other digital currencies that create decentralized mechanisms.
2. Ethereum (ETH)
Created in 2014 by English computer scientist Gavin Wood and Russian-Canadian programmer Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum is one of the largest cryptocurrencies. It is developed on the Ethereum blockchain, a system that runs smart contracts.
While Bitcoin investors view the cryptocurrency as a store of value, Ethereum derives its value by enabling smart contracts in decentralized apps. As you know, most decentralized finance “DeFi” are built on Ethereum. Ethereum, unlike Bitcoin, is unconstrained, but while the number of ethers minted isn’t decided yet, it is typically determined by the cryptocurrency community members. Already, its network is set to move from a proof-of-work system to a proof-of-stake system soon.
3. Litecoin (LTC)
Litecoin is another well known cryptocurrency. It was founded by ex-Google and Coinbase engineer Charlie Lee in 2011. Litecoin was developed to be faster than Bitcoin; for every 2.5 minutes, new blocks of Litecoin are created, while Bitcoin produces new blocks every 10 minutes, making Litecoin four times faster than Bitcoin.
Also, Litecoin mines a maximum of 84 million tokens, which is four times larger than Bitcoin’s. Like Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency runs a proof-of-work consensus model, but uses various hashing algorithms, making it easier for individuals to buy Litecoin. While Litecoin price often fluctuates, the same is true for other cryptocurrencies.
4. Stellar (XLM)
Stellar was created by Jed McCaleb in 2014. The digital currency has lumen as its native currency and is an open-source blockchain. Stellar’s mission is to enable affordable transactions in undeveloped places. The blockchain, rather than go with the standard mining operation for validating transactions, decided to go with the “federated byzantine agreement” algorithm.
5. Binance Coin (BNB)
Binance Coin is a subsidiary of Binance, a top global exchange for purchase and sales of cryptocurrency, and was founded by its CEO Changpeng Zhao. The idea behind BNB’s creation is to aid transactions within the Binance network by allowing users to access products and services (like Binance decentralized exchange) and pay trading fees.
However, the BNB token has expanded beyond its scope, attracting day traders and other investors. The cryptocurrency operates a proof-of-stake consensus model. Also, BNB users get to enjoy lower trading fees on Binance than users paying with other digital currencies.
6. Cardano (ADA)
Cardano was created by Ethereum’s co-founder Charles Hoskison in 2015. The ADA is protected by Ouroboros, a proof-of-stake model that operates both permissionless and permissioned blockchains. The project is handled and supervised by the Cardano Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Switzerland. The foundation carries out research and experiments and has written well over 90 articles on blockchain technology, but most of its works talk about Cardano technology.
7. Dogecoin (DOGE)
Dogecoin was only intended as a comic meme on the growth of altcoins but has since evolved to be a digital currency of its own.
Created in 2013, Dogecoin has a huge, unconstrained supply, meaning the coin is subject to inflation. The cryptocurrency became a sensation in 2021, with Tesla CEO and billionaire Elon Musk, NBA’s founder Mark Cuban and other notable personalities throwing their weight behind the unpopular digital currency.
8. XRP (XRP)
XRP is the official cryptocurrency of the Ripple payment network. The cryptocurrency was created for online payment, and it boasts of being quicker and more efficient than other payment platforms. XRP only allows 100 billion tokens to be minted, making its supply finite.
XRP and Ripple enable third-party development for various uses of XRP. Also, the RippleNet payment platform is patronized by top payment providers and banks, including American Express and Bank of America.
9. Chainlink (LINK)
This is a decentralized oracle network that connects smart contracts (such as those on Ethereum-operated blockchains) with off-chain informational sources such as APIs and data providers.
LINK (Chainlink’s token) encourages investors and contract providers to use data by giving incentives. While Chainlink does not have its blockchain, its protocols can operate on several blockchains simultaneously.
10. Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Bitcoin Cash is an alternative to Bitcoin and was launched in 2017. It features bigger block sizes for enhanced scalability and transactions. The digital currency has the same 21 million token limit and deploys the same proof-of-work consensus model as Bitcoin.