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We have listed the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market cap and price as an aggregate from top cryptocurrency exchanges. We also have the cryptocurrency price change from the past 24 hours, 7 days and 30 days. Bitcoin is currently the top cryptocurrency so we compare each of the cryptocurrencies on the list to Bitcoin. We also have the cryptocurrency trade volume that have been traded at exchanges (Coinbase, Binance, etc.) over the past 24 hours.
Learn about the Top 20 Cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin was the very first cryptocurrency. Invented by an anonymous person(s) in 2009, it kick-started a revolution of new digital money and decentralized information networks. Bitcoin is likened to digital gold because it has a limited supply and can act as a store of value. It is censorship-resistant, pseudonymous, and an effective means of cross-border payments.
- It has always been the largest coin by market cap value
- It is the most accepted cryptocurrency by merchants
- It is estimated that over 4 million bitcoins have been lost
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Ripple is a real-time gross settlement network and payment network meant for regulated financial institutions to use. It is meant to streamline the onerous process for banks and eliminate third-parties like clearinghouses. Ripple’s native currency is called XRP.
- Ripple is being piloted by dozens of financial institutions all over the world
- The Ripple Company has other financial product that do not use XRP
- Ripple has a much faster settlement time than other top coins
Ethereum is meant to be a decentralized world computer. It works as a general programming platform upon which other blockchain apps can be built. It uses its native currency ether as a way to exchange value and pay for computing power.
- Ethereum became popular as a platform to launch ICOs
- Many other coins are built on top of Ethereum technology
- In 2016, the largest app using Ethereum suffered a $60 million hack
EOS is also meant to function as a decentralized computing platform. It allows for other decentralized applications of all type to use it to power themselves. It is a competitor to Ethereum and other similar blockchains, much like how Windows OS and Mac OS compete.
- EOS had one of the longest and largest ICOs ever, raising close to $4B
- EOS’ founder, Dan Larimer, has founded several other blockchains, like Bitshares and Steem
- EOS does not charge transaction fees
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Bitcoin Cash is a fork of Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash differs in certain technical elements that allow for more transactions per second on chain. Proponents think it is more important to function as payments system rather than as a store of value.
- Bitcoin Cash appeared after a long, dramatic schism within the Bitcoin community
- Bitcoin Cash’s logo tilts left and is sometimes green, while Bitcoin’s logo tilts right
- Bitcoin Cash later had several of its own forks
Litecoin is one of the earliest cryptocurrencies, as well. It is a non-malicious fork of Bitcoin that gave it high transactions per second and a different mining algorithm. Litecoin is sometimes likened to silver in comparison to Bitcoin as gold. In history, silver was used more frequently for smaller transactions and gold was used less for larger sums.
- Litecoin was founded in 2011
- Litecoin’s founder, Charlie Lee, sold all of his Litecoin to avoid conflict of interest issues
- Litecoin is often used a test net for potential new changes to the Bitcoin protocol
Binance Coin (BNB)
Binance Coin is a utility coin that is integrated in the Binance crypto exchange platform. Investors and traders on Binance can use BNB for discounts on trading fees. It is a major trading pair and is featured on its new decentralized exchange.
- Binance is one of the largest exchanges in the world
- Binance is headquartered in Malta
- Its CEO named CZ is one of the most prominent crypto entrepreneurs
Tether is a stablecoin. This means that it is pegged to the US dollar and rarely fluctuates beyond a 1:1 ratio. Tether is often used by traders to escape the massive volatility in crypto prices. One USDT is redeemable for 1 USD on select exchanges.
- When crypto prices fall sharply, Tether often has the highest daily volume
- There is no set limit for USDT and the company creates new coins regularly
- Tether performs audits to prove that all issued USDT are backed
Stellar is an open-source payment network that relies on distributed ledger technology. Stellar is tackling the problem of making cross-border payments faster, cheaper and easier. It connects financial institutions and small businesses in different countries through its software, utilizing its native token Lumen, or XLM, as an intermediary to exchange between different currencies.
- The founder of Stellar, Jed McCaleb, was also one of the Ripple founders
- Stellar has fixed inflation mechanism of 1%
- Stellar has built in voting functions for users
Cardano is a protocol-layer blockchain platform that will support decentralized applications and the use of smart contracts. Cardano is aiming to add unique features, such as side chains and atomic swaps, for interoperability with other blockchains. It is also looking to add optional features like KYC/AML for financial institutions to help with regulations.
- Cardano’s founder, Charles Hoskinson, was also a founder of Ethereum
- The three entities running Cardano are: The Cardano Foundation, IOHK, and Emurgo
- Cardano has a rigorous academic peer-review process before any code is published
Tron is a blockchain-based platform that is looking to become a place for peer-to-peer sharing of digital entertainment content. It will allow developers to build applications on top of its protocol to introduce a more decentralized way to consume and share media.
- Tron’s team is mostly based in China
- Justin Sun is its young, social-media savvy founder
- 27 elected “super representatives” are in charge of verifying transactions on the network
Huobi Token (HT)
Huobi Token is the native cryptocurrency within the Huobi exchange trading platform. It is modeled after the Binance Coin with a few extra perks. Investors and traders on Huobi get discounts on fees, airdrops of various coins, and can vote on certain decision within the exchange, such as new coin listings.
- Huobi Exchange is based in Singapore
- Huobi did a “reverse takeover” of a Hong Kong electronics company so it is now listed on the HK Stock Exchange
- Huobi trades over 435 coin markets
Monero is a privacy-centric cryptocurrency aiming to allow all transactions to be completely anonymous and untraceable. Monero uses highly technical cryptography, such as ring signatures and stealth address, to make it virtually impossible for third-parties to track. By obscuring all addresses and transactions, proponents say it makes for a more useful and fungible currency.
- Most of Monero’s development team are, unsurprisingly, anonymous
- Monero is a fork of Bytecoin
- Monero uses an ASIC-resistant mining algorithm
Dash is an open-source privacy-centric cryptocurrency that was started in early 2014. Dash is short for “digital cash”. Its two priorities are privacy and scalability. It uses a coin-mixing process to make transactions harder to trace and uses proof-of-stake to allow for a higher transaction throughput.
- Dash was previously branded as Darkcoin
- Dash is a fork of the Bitcoin protocol
- Dash uses “Masternodes” to verify transactions on the network
Bitcoin SV (BSV)
Bitcoin SV stands for Bitcoin “Satoshi’s Vision”. It was created after a fork of Bitcoin Cash (which was originally a fork of Bitcoin). Similarly, the Bitcoin SV team wanted to make technical upgrades that allowed the network the capacity to handle an even larger volume of transactions.
- BSV was created in November 2018
- It was delisted on several major exchanges, such as Binance, Kraken and others
The IOTA project is focused on creating a decentralized network for connecting the “Internet of Things”, like smart devices and vehicles. It is aiming to make nanopayments between machines efficient and automated. It uses a different form of distributed ledger technology called Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG).
- IOTA stands for Internet of Things Application
- The IOTA Foundation is based in Berlin
- IOTA does not rely on mining
Ontology is an open-source blockchain project that focuses on tackling issues of identity, data storage and data exchange for enterprise use cases. Ontology aims to solve problems that arise around proprietary data for large companies. It was launched in late 2017 by a Chinese company called OnChain.
- Ontology is meant to integrate into the NEO blockchain
- Ontology never had an ICO
- There will be two tokens within the Ontology network – ONT and ONG
NEO is meant to be a base-layer protocol that acts a platform for other decentralized applications to be built on. NEO is based in China and is sometimes referred to as the “Chinese Ethereum”. It aims to have better scalability and implement an identity system for all users.
- NEO was originally named Antshares
- NEO is owned by the company OnChain, which runs several blockchains
- All tokens were released during the founding of the network
Basic Attention Token (BAT)
Basic Attention Token is a utility coin used in an internet browser called Brave that exchanges value between advertisers, web-sites and users in a peer-to-peer fashion. Users can earn money paid directly from advertisers for not blocking ads and websites can earn money directly from users’ activity on their pages.
- The founder of BAT, Brendan Eich, use to be the CEO of Mozilla Firefox
- BAT is built on Ethereum
- The Brave browser is engineered to automatically block native ads on webpages
Ethereum Classic (ETC)
Ethereum Classic is the original version of the Ethereum blockchain. It only appeared following the events of the 2016 DAO Hack. Ethereum Classic was the version that decided not to fork following a dramatic debate within the community. Additionally, unlike its similarly named counterpart, Ethereum Classic has instituted a supply hard cap and remains using a proof-of-work system.
- ETC proponents thought immutability was more important than recovering stolen funds
- Cardano’s development team is involved in Ethereum Classic too
- ETC suffered a 51% attack in January 2019