We take a look at six of the most prominent and promising cryptocurrencies on the market, and assess why they're so popular along with looking at their recent value.
Daniel Coll, October 19th, 2020
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As cryptocurrency rapidly gains credibility and trust, many are turning their attention to what is currently on offer in the marketplace. We've chosen the following currencies for their prominence in the cryptocurrency space, their investment potential, or the fact they have unique features and mechanisms. There are hundreds of ICO (cryptocurrencies) out there, but based on current market trends and user adoption, we believe the following six are worth watching.
There is no denying that Bitcoin is the world’s biggest cryptocurrency. Commanding a whopping 60% share of the total crypto market, it’s certainly the daddy. Bitcoin is a solid investment if you’re new to the world of cryptocurrencies. Its initial volatility seems to have evened out somewhat and being taken seriously by major financial players has definitely helped.
Bitcoin tends to dominate the value of other coins too, so any fluctuations in its value will have a ripple effect with the other coins we’ll go on the mention - a testament to its status. As a tried-and-tested cryptocurrency with a solid infrastructure, Bitcoin offers a relatively safe bet for investors. However, many out there still pin hopes on a surge in value that was expected before the price crashed in early 2018.
Bitcoin’s highest value to date was 19,892 USD at the end of 2017. Last year (2019) it hit a high of 13,793 USD per coin and a low of 3,444 USD; such a swing might still be too erratic for some investors.
Ethereum has long been heralded as the up-and-coming alternative to Bitcoin, but time flies, and having been launched in 2015 it’s now relatively old compared to others. Market cap puts it in second place though, and adoption by service providers and investors alike has seen it emerge as a strong contender to potentially knock Bitcoin off the top spot.
Ethereum is built differently to Bitcoin and most other cryptocurrencies. Decentralisation is the key for Ethereum, running through decentralised apps on the blockchain. This association with the blockchain allows for some awesome security features. Ethereum’s smart contracts and decentralised governance foster stability and have encouraged one of the highest levels or developer participation within the cryptocurrency world.
Etherium’s highest value to date was 1,396 USD per coin. Last year (2019) Etherium hit a high of 350 USD per coin and a low of 103 USD per coin.
As the name suggests, the premise behind Litecoin is that it was to be a lighter, faster and more agile version of Bitcoin. Joining the party fairly early, in 2011, Litecoin tweaked Bitcoin’s core code to make the processes involved up to four times faster than Bitcoin. Litecoin’s block times are 2.5 mins to Bitcoin’s 10 and its limit is 84 million tokens, as opposed to Bitcoin’s limit of 21 million.
The history of Litecoin has been a little rocky in places, with its creator Charlie Lee offloading his share of the holdings causing a degree of nervousness around the currency. Even so, encouraging adoption by those offering online goods and services has bolstered the value and confidence in Litecoin, seeing it remain a major player in the cryptocurrency space.
The highest value of Litecoin to date was 410 USD per coin. Last year (2019) the value rose to 143 USD per coin and dropped to 24 USD per coin.
Ripple the company and Ripple’s XRP digital token are essentially two different entities, and the company has made a concerted effort to expose this. Based in Switzerland, the financial services company that created XRP tokens to assist with its cross-border payments services has found itself at the centre of the token’s popularity storm.
Hailed as the third most popular cryptocurrency due to its application within the financial sector, rather than grassroots popularity, Ripple’s XRP is issued by the company, so there is no need to mine the currency.
Ripple and their cryptocurrency have provided real-time, end-to-end solutions regarding international payments for banks and financial institutions worldwide. This success, coupled with the savings banks make by adopting it, has resulted in the currency itself rapidly gaining in popularity.
Controversial cryptocurrency veteran Dan Larimer launched EOS in 2018, one of the newer currencies currently being taken seriously by merchants and service providers alike. Like Ripple, EOS has no mining mechanism. Developers get rewarded in EOS tokens for the completion of blocks, the more blocks they generate the more tokens they receive.
The currency has a delegated proof of stake structure, a shift away from the typical consensus methods found across most other currencies. The rules surrounding EOS’s governance system are incredibly complex, adding to its perceived security, but nearly spelling the end to the currency in the early stages.
The highest value EOS has seen since launch is 23 USD. It currently sits around the 3.20 USD mark and has had investors excited for a while now, who see potential for a resurgence in value within the next few years
Built around an ecosystem that is hard to avoid online, what started out as the Monaco brand has now been swallowed up into the Crypto.com brand. It is this brand that you often see advertised across social media, offering an entire suite of crypto-based products. Visa cards, mobile wallets, crypto portfolio-building services and cashback offers or discounts with major brands such as Netflix, Spotify and Airbnb have catapulted the MCO token into the key position of cryptocurrency ambassador and evangelist. They are the first to admit their goal of being behind the transition of the masses to crypto.
It is the range of products available that make this currency a viable option. Being able to make payments online and in stores is paramount in normalising the use of crypto for the average person. Those holding some of the other major cryptocurrencies here can exchange these for MCO in a matter of minutes and buy their morning coffee in Starbucks. Crypto.com believe this is where their revolution starts.
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