If we rank cryptocurrencies according to their market cap, we come up with the following list: Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. Truth be told, EOS is very close to Litecoin, and it deserves an honorable mention in this article. In fact, it was in fifth place for some time until Litecoin took over, but that may change once again in the near future since the two cryptocurrencies are very close to each other in terms of their respective market caps.
Now that we know what the top 5 cryptocurrencies are, we need to ask the following questions – why are they so popular? What made them successful in the first place? Let’s take a short overview of each of the cryptocurrencies we listed above and briefly discuss the reasons for their popularity.
The reason why Bitcoin is still the most popular cryptocurrency in the world is quite straightforward – it was the first of its kind. This cryptocurrency was launched back in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto, and it started attracting people from all over the globe. Although it wasn’t immediately popular, Bitcoin took its time, and its BTC/USD price grew over the years.
The thing with crypto coins is that they depend on the market adoption and the overall hype very much. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to raise the hype a couple of years ago that resulted in the staggering price of approximately $20,000 for a single unit of Bitcoin. In other words, Bitcoin is popular because it was the first cryptocurrency to reach global popularity. Even today, it is still the most popular currency, with a total market cap of $141 billion at the moment. Ethereum is the second most popular cryptocurrency in the world with a total market cap of $26 billion at the moment. Once you compare it to Bitcoin, you will understand why Bitcoin is still the king of the cryptocurrency world.
If you follow the news about the blockchain industry, you are probably aware that the platform called Ethereum has been the industry leader for quite a while. Vitalik Buterin and his team came up with an idea to start using blockchain and decentralized technologies with projects, which are not related to finance only. Many believe that Ethereum has the highest potential to disrupt the existing technologies, and that is why its crypto called Ether (many people call it Ethereum as well) has been one of the most popular cryptocurrencies lately.
Some even think that Ethereum will overtake Bitcoin in the future as it is focused on real-world projects and applications of blockchain across a variety of industries. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is still focused on finance, and is still just a cryptocurrency that has some issues which are yet to be solved.
XRP (Ripple) is the third most popular cryptocurrency right now with a total market cap of $17.8 billion. The popularity of this cryptocurrency mainly stems from the fact that it has managed to solve some of the issues that have been buggering traditional financial institutions for a very long time. For example, banks and other institutions are often slow, costly, and lack transparency. All of these things had been considered by Ripple creators and given much thought before the cryptocurrency was made. Nowadays, Ripple is an established company that has made steps in the right direction, partnering up with some really huge players in the banking industry who decided that XRP is worth their time and money, thus investing in it.
Simply put, Bitcoin Cash is a version of Bitcoin that started to live a life of its own. After a particular dispute among developers who contributed to Bitcoin, some of them decided to “fork” and create Bitcoin Cash. The event of the two crpytocurrencies splitting is known as a hard fork.
Now, the reason why Bitcoin Cash is the fourth most popular crypto in the world is quite simple. First of all, it contains the name Bitcoin in it. Furthermore, you can look at it as an upgraded version of Bitcoin where many Bitcoin users decided to continue investing, believing that Bitcoin will not last for long.
Finally, there is Litecoin, which was the first alternative to Bitcoin that appeared on the market. The current market cap for this cryptocurrency is $7 billion. The creator of Litecoin, Charlie Lee, saw certain flaws that exist in the technology used for Bitcoin. This resulted in the Bitcoin network congestion and slow transaction time. Therefore, he offered a “lighter” variant of Bitcoin, which was first intended to be implemented in it. However, Litecoin became a crypto of its own and remained one of the most popular digital currencies to date.
Honorable mention – EOS
We already stated that EOS is very close to Litecoin in terms of market capitalization, with a total of $5.9 billion market cap. It is a very popular blockchain-based technology and a protocol that is supported by its native cryptocurrency. It is currently the fastest crypto out there which paves the way for possible widespread adoption of the technology supporting EOS. In fact, many predict that its popularity could grow further.
A final word
Regardless of the predictions and speculations, nobody is still able to tell what the market would look like in the future. This article is an overview of the top five cryptos at the moment, but it may change in the future since the industry is still very young and quite unpredictable.