Which cryptocurrencies belong to the top ten

These are the 10 largest cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies brought investors sensational increases in value in 2017. More and more people are getting out of the traditional monetary system with inflationary FIAT currencies (US $, Euro, etc.) and are turning to deflationary crypto currencies.

The result: In the meantime, more than 700 billion US dollars have been invested in cryptocurrencies worldwide, and there are currently almost 1,400 different cryptocurrencies in which investors can invest. An overview of the top 10 largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization (as of January 2018):

10. IOTA, market capitalization: US $ 10.9 billion

Unlike Bitcoin, IOTA is not based on a blockchain, but on a tangle. In this system there are no miners who confirm transactions. This task is done by other users. Each participant must confirm two previous transaction actions in order to be able to send transactions themselves.

The project is still in a kind of beta stage, many challenges are still to be faced by the founding team around David Sønstebø, Sergey Ivancheglo, Dr. Serguei Popov and Dominik Schiener solve. But if the implementation is successful, not only free transactions are possible with the help of the Tangle, this network is also infinitely scalable.

9. Tron, market cap: $ 12.9 billion

Tron is a Chinese project that aims to bring blockchain solutions to the entertainment industry. Using Tron's content protocol, users should be able to publish and save content on the blockchain free of charge and in a decentralized form.

The official currency (token) on the Tron Blockchain is the Tronix (currency abbreviation: TRX). Each Tronix token is associated with so-called Tron Power (TP), a type of voting rights. The existing Peiwo app with over 10 million users will be the first Tron-compatible entertainment app on the Tron blockchain.

8. Stellar, market cap: $ 13.0 billion

After the cooperation with IBM and KlickEx, the crypto currency Stellar Lumens (abbreviation: XLM) went up significantly. Stellar is a spin-off of the successful crypto currency Ripple and is considered a cost-effective alternative to leading crypto currencies such as Bitcoin when it comes to fast transfers due to its decentralized design, fast processing (1,000 transactions per second) and low transaction costs.

7. Litecoin, market capitalization: US $ 13.7 billion

While Bitcoin is already considered digital gold, many investors and crypto experts see Litecoin as "silver" among cryptocurrencies. The Litecoin project launched by former Google employee Charlie Lee was one of the first forks from Bitcoin, whereby Litecoin (abbreviation: LTC) did not take over the past of the Bitcoin blockchain, but started from scratch.

The differences to Bitcoin are correspondingly large. Litecoin is four times as fast as Bitcoin (block time: 2.5 minutes), there are four times the amount of coins (84 million) and Litecoin relies on the script algorithm when it comes to mining.

6. NEM, market capitalization: US $ 15.0 billion

New Economy Movement (NEM) is a Java-based blockchain project that uses the cryptocurrency XEM. Unlike many other projects, NEM relies on the Proof of Importance (PoI) mechanism, which makes the importance of individual accounts more important.

NEM offers both a public blockchain (Public NEM Chain) and a private chain for companies (Mijin). More than 300 companies worldwide are already using the private Mijin blockchain from NEM. In addition, NEM offers special functions for banks through its Catapult update, which means that despite blockchain accounts are frozen, money refunds and transaction checks are possible.

5. Cardano, market cap: $ 26.6 billion

The Cardano blockchain with the cryptocurrency ADA is considered a third generation blockchain. Using a scientific approach, the team around the two ex-Ethereum executives Charles Hoskinson and Jeremy Wood tries to solve the problems of today's blockchains (security, scaling, etc.).

Specifically, Cardano tries to do this through a Delegated Proof of Stake protocol called Ouroboros, Smart contract functions, Haskell's own programming language and the appropriate network protocol (RINA) to be achieved.

4. Bitcoin Cash, market capitalization: $ 41.7 billion

Bitcoin Cash emerged from the scaling debate around Bitcoin as a spin-off of the world's largest cryptocurrency in August 2017. The makers behind Bitcoin Cash want to offer an alternative due to the high transaction costs and lengthy confirmation times of Bitcoin. The developers behind the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) mainly use larger blocks (8 megabytes).

3. Ethereum, market capitalization: $ 101 billion

Ethereum (abbreviation: ETH) belongs to the second generation of blockchains and was for a long time the second largest crypto currency behind Bitcoin. The specialty of Ethereum is the operation of decentralized applications (Dapps) and the executability of intelligent contracts (Smart Contracts) on the blockchain.

This means: Developers can set up smart contracts on Ethereum that are automatically executed as soon as certain events occur (if-then sequence). Today Ethereum is mainly used as an ICO platform.

2. Ripple, market cap: $ 128 billion

Unlike many other open source projects, the crypto currency Ripple (XRP) is backed by a private company: Ripple Labs. The San Francisco-based Ripple Labs is now considered the world's most valuable start-up with a market capitalization of over US $ 120 billion.

Ripple is selling blockchain technology to banks so that they can become more competitive and process cross-border payments in real time in the future. Ripple's customers already include more than 100 banks worldwide. The crypto currencies Ripple (XRP) serves as a kind of bridge currency between different paper money currencies.

1. Bitcoin, market capitalization: $ 277 billion

The concept of Bitcoin goes back to 2008, in 2009 the first Bitcoins changed hands. The Bitcoin is considered to be the first application of the blockchain. Bitcoin should enable cross-border payments at the lowest possible fees. Today, Bitcoin functions more as digital gold and as a store of value due to high transaction costs.

With the Lightning Network, the developers behind the Bitcoin want to finally solve the scaling problems and increasingly shift transactions away from the blockchain (off-chain solution), which should make transactions cheaper and faster.

Crypto millionaires: The 10 biggest beneficiaries of the crypto boom The soaring of cryptocurrencies brings early investors billions. These are the 10 richest. > read more

© Verlag für die Deutsche Wirtschaft AG, all rights reserved