Top 5 Biggest Cryptocurrencies
Since its launch in 2009, Bitcoin has been reshaping the financial world as one of the first cryptocurrencies. Digital payment wasn’t a brand new concept at the time, but spending with BTC was a transactional evolution. Following this success, myriads of other crypto sprouted in competition, adding more enticing options to the cashless markets.
As digital currencies continue to weave their way into the traditions of consumerism, more and more companies are surrendering to the trend. We can now use cryptocurrencies for anything from online shopping to trading and even gambling.
However, it can be overwhelming when deciding which type of digital coin to invest in. This article will cover the five biggest cryptocurrencies that are currently dominating the market.
Originally created as a platform for handling international payments, the Ripple network has facilitated millions of global transactions. It was launched in 2012 by Ripple Labs Inc to expedite money transfers all over the world.
Ripple is a lot more than a digital currency. It’s revolutionised the way we issue payments and send money. The coin used on this network is called XRP. While you can generate most cryptocurrencies through the process of mining, Ripple came to the market fully stocked. At its creation, there was already 100 billion XPR, with more than half of which belonging to Ripple Labs.
The Ripple coin is beneficial to the money markets in many ways. International transfers have been an issue for millions of users, one that persists to this day. Traditional institutions like banks are notorious for their delays, extended processes and red tape.
Another downside is the fees. Cross-border payments can get quite expensive, especially through banks. A 40% transaction fee on as low as $200 is not uncommon. Using XRP on the Ripple network can significantly reduce these costs and frequent hassles.
Ripple coin had managed to hit an all-time high of $3.65/ £2.84 in 2018 before plummeting unexpectedly. Its value has since been climbing, and now hovers at around $0.023/ £0.017.
While cryptocurrency was designed for anonymity, the transactions involved are highly public. The invention of blockchain allows users to keep records of all their sales and purchases. These transactions are also verified and managed on a decentralised network.
Monero was designed with the same philosophy, but its creators took a slightly different approach. With privacy in mind, Monero uses cryptography to mask the addresses of all parties involved in a transaction. You’re basically invisible. Well, not quite. People can still know that a payment has taken place, just not by who, to who, or how much.
Corporations can use Monero to pay suppliers without revealing the content of their transactions. Users can keep their money hidden under government radar. Some purchases of sensitive materials could also utilise the extra layer of security provided by Monero.
What’s more, Monero is an open-source platform. Over 500 developers have contributed to making the system better. The updates are regular, and mining services are also available. XMR has reached as high as $105/ £81 and is currently somewhere around $93/ £72.
The growing popularity of digital currency brought about the need for blockchain technology. Essentially, it works as a decentralised network that verifies and stores every transaction. EOS, or otherwise known as the ‘Smart Contract’ platform, is built to eliminate fees and expedite transactions. It also claims to conduct millions of these per second.
One common problem with the current blockchain systems is the limited availability. When transactions are filling up space faster than the platform can distribute, things slow down. EOS deals with this issue by offering a whole new infrastructure design with unique mechanisms.
The EOS tokens allow owners to gain access to the ESO.IO network resources. EOS.IO is sort of like the motherboard where everything happens, similar to Ripple and XRP. Holding EOS tokens also lets you rent out bandwidth to other users if you’re not using or spending them.
There are an estimated 936 million EOS tokens circulating the market, with each one fluctuating at around $2.58/ £2.00.
Commonly known as Ether, Ethereum is the second most powerful cryptocurrency in the market. Driven by the same purpose of decentralising payments and private transactions, Ethereum offers a wide range of services. Over the years, the platform has evolved into much more than a digital exchange lobby.
Anyone with a computer and internet access can start using Ethereum without revealing any personal information. This alone makes using traditional banking services seem unattractive and clunky. You can send and receive money directly without an intermediary, and the process is fast and secure.
The currency is also unregulated by any form of government, so there’s no hindrance in your transactions. What gives Ether an edge over most crypto is its high security and the fact that more and more companies are starting to use it every day.
ETH is currently sitting with a $338/£263 price tag, which is likely to increase.
Here it is, the one and only, Bitcoin, or the biggest cryptocurrency in history. The fact that it’s over 30 times in value as the next coin in line is frightening. After a chaotic wave of fluctuations, BTC has arrived at $10,700/ £8,329.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the first digital crypto is the most heavily invested coin. Bitcoin has maintained the top position for as long as it’s existed. However, it’s also known to be one of the most volatile. The sudden crash in 2018 put a historical dent in worldwide investments. While it’s mostly stable now, economists are still somewhat unsure how long it may remain this way.
Major corporations, such as Microsoft, are adapting to the use of Bitcoin. The entertainment industry is also catching on. You can now purchase gaming goods or play at online casinos with BTC.
Bitcoin has a current trading volume of over $4 billion/ £3.1 billion.
The Bottom Line
The crypto market is booming. Nowadays, you’ll find various types of digital currencies available to buy, sell, trade and use. However, not all of them are created equally, and some are more prominent than others.
The top five cryptocurrencies dominating the market at the moment include Ripple (XRP), Monero (XMR), EOS (EOSIO), Ethereum (ETH) and of course, Bitcoin (BTC).
Each type has its own unique features and value. Now that you know a little more, you can see why cryptocurrencies are slowly becoming the new norm.