Top 10 Altcoins by Market Cap
At a price of over $11,000 and a market cap edging close to $200 billion at the time of this writing, bitcoin is still king of the digital currencies. However, bitcoin alternatives have made significant market gains as well.
Here's look at the leading altcoins and a few reasons why investing in these bitcoin alternatives may prove to be lucrative.
At $97,589,050,465 and $1,004.36 per coin, Ether is the second-most valued market cap. Ether is the native currency of Ethereum, the first viable successor of bitcoin. Ethereum is an open-sourced programmable platform that allows for the simplified creation and implementation of decentralized applications (Dapps) and smart contracts.
In 2017, Ether saw a 120-times increase in coin price, from $10.95 in February 2017 to $1,356.51 in January 2018. With a growing number of banks and financial institutions turning to Ethereum to update their data management processes, Ether has been growing in both market share and coin price in recent months.
Unlike bitcoin, Ether is not meant to be a digital currency, although it can hold digital value. Instead, it is meant to be the platform on which "digital contracts" - autonomous bots that perform a specific transaction between two parties based on instructions from a Dapp - are built.
As the number of banks that embrace RippleNet as their solution for transnational payments has grown, RippleNet's native currency Ripple has grown, as well. Ripple is currently evaluated at $53,154,752,634 with a coin price of $1.37.
Ripple was created as an alternative to SWIFT, the leading global payment messaging network which, before its adoption of blockchain technology, was responsible for slow or lost cross-border payments.
Ripple is a means to use smart contract technology to facilitate low-cost and nearly instantaneous domestic and international payment transmittal between parties. Ripple itself is only used to pay network transaction fees, as reserves against any transmission, and as a marker for a transmission. Payments are transmitted via smart contract. The popularity of this methodology made Ripple temporarily the second-most valued altcoin, surpassing Ether. Ether regained its spot after a late price surge in 2017.
In August 2017, bitcoin underwent an upgrade to deal with the bottlenecking effect a growth in transaction traffic will have on transaction times. This upgrade, SegWit, was controversial, and a group of bitcoin nodes decided to reject it, leading to bitcoin's first hard fork. This rebel group formed the altcoin Bitcoin Cash.
Bitcoin Cash allows for larger blocks, which will mean faster transaction processing times and lower transaction fees. This allowed for bitcoin cash to rise in value, even at times bitcoin's value fell. Bitcoin Cash has a market cap of $28,196,870,909 and a coin price of $1,665.72.
In September, Cardano was launched. Cardano was designed to be a value conveyor that is capable of protecting user privacy while both being programmable and capable of being in compliance with existing and pending legislation. As a programmable platform, Cardano is being seen as a potential competitor to Ethereum.
Cardano's native coin ADA has seen a 50-times growth spike in less than three months of active trading. With a market cap of $15,032,774,769 and a coin price of $0.58, ADA may be drawing the Ethereum fanbase that has been priced out of Ether.
Sold as a faster, less expensive in regards to transaction fees version of bitcoin, Litecoin is one of the first bitcoin alternatives and the best known digital currency alternatives.
Some of Litecoin's fire was stolen by Bitcoin Cash, but Litecoin is still regarded as a healthier, faster alternative to bitcoin. Litecoin's valued spike surrounding the SegWit debate, as some investors started to look at Litecoin as a way around this argument. Litecoin has a $10,029,310,791 capitalization and a $182.73 coin price.
Stellar is a Ripple competitor. Seeking to simplify currency transmittal and storage, the open-sourced Stellar is imagining itself to be the face of an open, global financial network.
With little to differentiate Stellar from Ripple, Stellar is on the downside of a one-time price spike to $0.90 per coin. Currently, Stellar is worth $8,971,635,552 at $0.50 per coin.
Another Ethereum competitor, NEM was introduced as a way to build complex smart assets that can securely and privately address any role their developers can imagine for them. This "build your Dapp from the ground-up" approach is meant to make speed and scalability primary features in applications built on this blockchain.
While NEM's native coin, XEM, has yet to make waves like other coins on this list, it does have a strong following. It currently has a capitalization of $8,738,648,999 and a coin price of $0.97.
Considered by some to be the "Ethereum of China," EOS is positioned to exploit the scalability problems that have plagued Ethereum. As Ethereum's use expands, so does the limitation of its block size, which drives up transaction costs. EOS was designed to accommodate the blockchain's potential growth, which was estimated to be exponential, considering China's emergence as an ICO leader.
China's banning of ICOs cast a dark shadow across EOS. The coin's capitalization, however, has shown signs of growth since the announcement. The coin has a capitalization of $8,415,785,362 and a price of $13.50.
Formally known as Antshares, NEO was China's first altcoin and is the final member of the top ten altcoins. A programmable platform, NEO was the first Chinese altcoin to be compared to Ethereum. The altcoin has the goal to be the vanguard of a smart economy, with its platform being used to develop digital assets, digital identity systems, and smart contracts.
With so many altcoins competing to be the best Ethereum alternative in an environment decidedly anti-altcoin, NEO has still managed to grow and to prosper, seeing a 1,000-times increase in its price in the last eight months. NEO is valued at $8,116,355.00 with a coin price of $124.87.
The Bottom Line
These ten altcoins may present ideal opportunities to expand your portfolio. Each has shown a potential for growth, and some are ready to dramatically redefine the altcoin market.
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