The Top 20 Cryptocurrencies Right Now
June 12, 2020

Right now being June 12, 2020. And only based on one metric.

When I was writing my last article on cryptocurrency, I realized that a lot has changed in the market since I last tinkered around with stuff years ago. In my desire to learn more, I decided to look into the biggest performers. Here's a quick list of the top 20 coins as ranked by their current (June 12, 2012) market capitalization:

1. Bitcoin (BTC) - $174 billion
2. Etherium (ETH) - $26 billion
3. Tether (USDT) - $9.4 billion
4. XRP (XRP) - $8.6 billion
5. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) - $4.5 billion
6. Bitcoin SV (BSV) - $3.4 billion
7. Litecoin (LTC) - $2.9 billion
8 (tied). Cardano (ADA) - $2.5 billion
8 (tied). Binance Coin (BNB) - $2.5 billion
10. EOS - $2.4 billion
11. Tezos (XTZ) - $1.9 billion
12. Coin (CRO) - $1.9 billion
13. ChainLink (LINK) - $1.6 billion
14. Stellar (XLM) - $1.5 billion
15. OKB (OKB) - $1.4 billion
16. LEO Token (LEO) - $1.2 billion
17. Monero (XMR) - $1.1 billion
18. TRON (TRX) - $1.1 billion
19. Huobi Token (HT) - $1 billion
20. NEO (NEO) - $784 million

NOTE: While compiling the information for this list, I found out some neat things:

- Not every currency here is a pure cryptocurrency, where the value is based purely on investor perception. Many of these listed are either backed by fiat currency, backed by a trading exchange, or in support of a decentralized application network. From what I saw, only six of the top twenty are simply their own thing.

- Some of my favorite old coins (DASH and DOGE) are still around, but didn't make the list (23rd and 32nd, respectively).

- There is some popularity for proof-of-stake, a model where people earn coins based on how many they already own, as opposed to the standard proof-of-work, where people earn coins based on the work they put into maintaining the network.

- Special thanks to CoinGecko and the CryptoMarketsWiki for lots and lots of new information about the current state of the cryptocurrency market. If you want to learn more, check those sites out!

20. NEO (NEO) - $784 million
Peak: $198.38, January 2018
June 12: $10.93

Introduced in 2014 as AntShares before rebranding in 2017. NEO is both a cryptocurrency and a distributed application platform, where multiple computers work together to solve large tasks. As you go through this list, you're going to see a lot of distributed application platforms, so strap in.

19. Huobi Token (HT) - $1 billion
Peak: $6.07, June 2018
June 12: $4.26

Introduced in January 2018. Huobi Group runs one of Asia's largest cryptocurrency exchanges. The Huobi Token is used on the Huobi Exchange to reward users for exchanging with their proprietary currency.

18. TRON (TRX) - $1.1 billion
Peak: $0.23, January 2018
June 12: $0.016 (one-and-a-half cents)

Introduced in 2017 as a decentralized operating system. Criticized as an Etherium clone, as the two have few differences.

17. Monero (XMR) - #1.1 billion
Peak: $542.33, January 2018
June 12: $65.41

Introduced in 2012 as a fork of failed currency Bytecoin. Originally called Bitmonero. Goes through extra steps to make currency transactions difficult to trace. Uses a special algorithm to make it more profitable for personal computer mining. Favorite of unscrupulous individuals who want to put miners on your computer without your consent. One of my personal favorite coins.

16. LEO Token (LEO) - $1.2 billion
Peak: $2.03, June 2019
June 12: $1.24

Introduced in 2019. Made by trading website Bitfinex to pay off a debt to sister(?) company Tether. LEO is bought back by Bitfinex as its debts are paid. while LEO has a strong market cap, it has also been criticized for its connection with both tether and Bitfinex.

15. OKB (OKB) - $1.4 billion
Peak: $7.40, February 2020
June 12: $5.18

Introduced in 2018(?) as a utility token for the OKEX exchange network. The OKEX network is one of the larger global cryptocurrency exchanges today.

14. Stellar (XLM) - $1.5 billion
Peak: $0.88, January 2018
June 12: $0.07

Introduced in 2014, Stellar is a global financial platform based on distributed ledger technology. It is famously known for doing airdrops -- giveaways of currency to anyone who has a XLM address -- to gain popularity.

13. Chainlink (LINK) - $1.6 billion
Peak: $4.94, March 2020
June 12: $4.05

Introduced in 2017. Chainlink is a developer of distributed computing, with emphasis on creating a middleware that creates connections between external software and a blockchain. LINK is the token used in Chainlink environments.

12. Coin (CRO) - $1.9 billion
Peak: $0.16, July 2019
June 12: $0.11

Introduced in 2016(?), is a cryptocurrency exchange network. The coin is the token they use to help facilitate exchanges.

11. Tezos (XTZ) - $1.9 billion
Peak: $3.91, February 2020
June 12: $2.65

Introduced publicly in 2018, Tezos uses a proof-of-stake model for mining cryptocurrency. This model gives more power and control to those who have the most XTZ in their posession. It also allows for a new type of investment called staking, where people can purchase Tezos and know that they will gain more over time. While many cryptocurrencies operate on a full or partial Proof-of-Stake model, Tezos are currently the strongest users of this model.

10. EOS (EOS) - $2.4 billion
Peak: $22.71, April 2018
June 12: $2.58

Introduced in 2017, this is (another) blockchain-based software platform. It allowed for more robust scalability for its network in either direction, and attempted to make scaling decentralized applications as easy as possible. Many members of the original development team have left to work on other blockchain-related projects, but EOS still remains.

8 (tied). Binance Coin (BNB) - $2.5 billion
Peak: $39.68, June 2019
June 12: $16.53

Introduced in 2017, Binance is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange markets worldwide. It has started out in Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan, and has since expanded to a global network of subsidiaries. Their proprietary coin was used to initially finance the network, and continues to be traded to this day.

8 (tied). Cardano (ADA) - $2.5 billion
Peak: $1.18, January 2018
June 12: $0.08

Introduced in 2017. Cardano is a blockchain-based software / smart contract platform. While it doesn't appear to have any outstanding differences from the other distributed computing currencies in the top 20, it has a large support in Japan.

7. Litecoin (LTC) - $2.9 billion
Peak: $360.66, December 2017
June 12: $44.73

Introduced in 2011. Aiming to alter key points of Bitcoin (faster block generation, increased maximum nomber of coins, and a different hashing algorithm), Litecoin has become the quicker, smaller brother to Bitcoin. The scrypt hashing algorithm makes it more difficult for miners to create ASICs to easily mine Litecoins, which also makes the Litecoin network more distributed.

6. Bitcoin SV (BSV) - $3.4 billion
Peak: $438.61, January 2020
June 12: $18.12

Introduced in 2018 as a fork of Bitcoin Cash, soon after it split from Bitcoin. The SV stands for Satoshi's Vision, named after the pseudonym used for the author of Bitcoin. With an aim to process transactions faster and easier than both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, the original developers were accused of creating this fork, "pumping" it by declaring one of the authors as Satoshi himself, and profiting off the increased popularity. Even with technical issues hampering the network and the delisting of BSV from many major marketplaces, it holds some value for both investors interested in the new direction of Bitcoin.

5. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) - $4.5 billion
Peak: $3785.82, December 2017
June 12: $239.75

Introduced in 2017 as a fork of Bitcoin. As Bitcoin grew, its inability to process large amounts of transactions quickly became apparent. A group of developers took a copy of the Bitcoin ledger and split it off into one that can accept more transactions quickly, and called it Bitcoin Cash. While its value is not near what it's parent currency is, it still has a large following and use.

4. XRP (XRP) - $8.6 billion
June 12: $0.19

Introduced in 2012 in tandem with ripple, a currency exchange and remittance network. XRP is not meant to be mined, but instead bought/sold through exchanges, with additional coins entering the market through the owners of ripple. It trades heavily with tether, which is seen below.

3. Tether (USDT) - $9.4 billion
Peak: $1.32, July 2018
June 12: $1.00

Introduced in 2014, first as RealCoin. Tether was an attempt to make a stablecoin -- a cryptocurrency backed by fiat currency. It has since been criticized for not proving its backing, and for its lack of any-long term banking relationship (which it would need in order to have a place to store it's purported billions of dollars/euro to back their currency). Still, it persists strongly as one of the top 3 cryptocurrencies.

2. Ethereum (ETH) - $26 billion
Peak: $1448.18, January 2018
June 12: $236.16

Introduced in 2015. One of the first attempts to use blockchain technology as a distributed computing network. It has gained popularity for it's Ethereum Virtual Machine, where code in a number of different languages can be run across the network in exchange for Ether (units of Ethereum).

1. Bitcoin (BTC) - $174 billion
Peak: $19,700, December 2017
June 12: $9,413.65

Introduced in 2009. The first and strongest flavor of cryptocurrency. Used in both online and brick-and-mortar stores. Purchaseable at coinstar in the United States. When the cryptocurrency bust happened in 2018, Bitcoin was one of the first to fall in December 2017, with most of the rest following suit.



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