Bitcoin was created in January 2009 and is the world's largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. It follows the idea set out in a whitepaper by the mysterious and pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto. The identity of the person or persons who created BTC is still a mystery. Bitcoin is operated by a decentralized authority. Bitcoin is very popular and has triggered the launch of hundreds of other cryptocurrencies, collectively referred to as altcoins.
ETH is the world's second-largest virtual currency by market capitalization. It is second only to BTC according to market value. Ethereum's live blockchain was launched on July 30, 2015. ETH is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contract (scripting) functionality. It provides a decentralized Turing-complete virtual machine (Ethereum VM), the Ethereum Virtual Machine (VM), which can execute scripts using an international network of public nodes. Contributors to the Ethereum blockchain can build more code into the transactions. So transactions on the Ethereum network may contain executable code.
LTC is an alternative cryptocurrency created in October 2011 by former Google engineer Charlie Lee. LTC is based on an open-source global payment network that is not controlled by any central authority. It has been called the silver to Bitcoin's gold, and at its height was the 3rd largest cryptocurrency by market cap. LTC is designed to produce four times as many blocks as Bitcoin, and it also allows for 4x the coin limit, making its main appeal over Bitcoin to do with speed and ease of acquisition.
XRP is cryptocurrency that runs on the XRP Ledger, a blockchain engineered by Jed McCaleb, Arthur Britto and David Schwartz. McCaleb and Britto would go on to found Ripple and use XRP to facilitate transactions on the network. Independent validator nodes come to an agreement on the order and validity of XRP transactions. This agreement, called consensus, serves as final and irreversible settlement. The ledger reaches consensus on all outstanding transactions every 3-5 seconds, at which point a new ledger is issued. Anyone can be a validator, and active validators on the ledger today include universities, exchanges and financial institutions.
EOS is a blockchain-based decentralized operating system that is designed to create, host, and support secure, decentralized autonomous applications (dApps) and smart contracts. In addition, EOS nodes subscribe to a "constitution" that binds them, via the blockchain, to the rules and regulations set forth by the EOS community. Like many smart-contract platforms, EOS utilizes two tokens, EOS and EOS.IO.
TRON is a blockchain-based operating system, aiming to ensure this technology is suitable for daily use. This project is best described as a decentralized platform focused on content sharing and entertainment. TRON uses a consensus mechanism that is known as delegated proof-of-stake. TRX owners can freeze their cryptocurrency to get Tron Power, which means that they can vote for "super representatives" who serve as block producers. These block producers receive TRX rewards in exchange for verifying transactions, and these rewards are then distributed among the people who voted for them.
ADA is a decentralized third-generation proof-of-stake blockchain platform. While it shares characteristics and applications with other blockchain platforms like Ethereum, ADA distinguishes itself from others through a commitment to peer-reviewed scientific research as building blocks for updates to its platform. Three organizations are responsible for Cardano’s development: IOHK, Cardano Foundation, and EMURGO.
Launching in 2017, BCH was created by a group of Bitcoin users who disagreed with the roadmap proposed by the project's principal developer group, Bitcoin Core, and who believed different technical decisions were needed to bring Bitcoin to a global audience. Bitcoin Cash's most notable feature is that the blocks in its blockchain can be larger, allowing it to process more transactions every time one is added. The additional space enables users to avoid fees used on Bitcoin to determine priority in times of heavy demand, increasing the amount of data it can store in each block to 32 MB.
The Ethereum Classic (ETC) cryptocurrency is traded on exchanges under the ticker symbol ETC. Gas, an internal transaction pricing mechanism, is used to prevent spam on the network and allocate resources proportionally to the incentive offered by the request. ETC uses smart contracts contained within a distributed ledger or blockchain network offering decentralized governance.
BSV is the native cryptocurrency of the Bitcoin SV blockchain. This cryptocurrency functions according to the early rules of BTC from the original Bitcoin whitepaper, aside from the significant increase in the block size. BSV emerged from the hard fork of Bitcoin Cash that occurred on November 15, 2018, due to two main factors: 1 The belief that the scalability features Bitcoin Cash had implemented were not significant enough to meet Bitcoin's ongoing requirements. 2 The desire to return to the original Bitcoin design as represented in version 0.1 of the Bitcoin protocol.
LINK was created to address this issue by incentivizing data providers (called “oracles”) to act as a bridge between blockchain smart contracts and external data sources. Every oracle within the LINK network is incentivized to provide accurate data since a reputation score is assigned to each. Further, when nodes follow the software's rules and provide useful data, they are rewarded in LINK.
Unlike other cryptocurrencies, SXP isn't just a protocol powered by a distributed network. Rather, SXP is both a software and a digital wallet ecosystem that together are designed to allow users to buy and spend fiat money and crypto assets at physical and digital locations. The Swipe network uses the Ethereum blockchain to hold crypto deposits on behalf of users and to grant them various benefits. However, the platform also runs an off-chain API that allows for compatibility with traditional payments infrastructure, and thus enables features like payments to merchants.
UNI is a Cryptocurrency that is issued for the purpose of protecting investors. This is done in cooperation among different crypto issuers, by joint market-making and supporting the value of each token. Issuers adopting UNI can save costs and diversify risks by combining everything together; exchanges, wallets, the payment system, and IR.
One of a number of emerging DeFi cryptocurrencies, AAVE is a decentralized lending system that allows users to lend, borrow and earn interest on crypto assets, all without middlemen. Running on the Ethereum blockchain, AAVE instead is a system of smart contracts that enables these assets to be managed by a distributed network of computers running its software. This means AAVE users don't need to trust a particular institution or person to manage their funds. They need only trust that its code will execute as written.
Dogecoin is an open-source cryptocurrency started in 2013 by Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus. Dogecoin initially started as a joke based on a popular meme featuring a Shiba Inu (a Japanese breed of dog). It is based on Litecoin and has the same technology behind its proof-of-work. Dogecoin has a loyal community of supporters who trade it and use it as a tipping currency for social media content.
FIL is an open-source, public cryptocurrency and digital payment system intended to be a blockchain-based cooperative digital storage and data retrieval method. It is made by Protocol Labs and builds on top of InterPlanetary File System, allowing users to rent unused hard drive space.
DOT is the native cryptocurrency of the Polkadot blockchain protocol. It is used to help maintain the security and consensus of the Polkadot Relay Chain and other parts of the network (parachains, collators, fishermen, and nominators). DOT can be bonded through parachains, staked through validators, and used for other purposes. It is typically rewarded to users who stake DOT to run a validator node. DOT helps the Polkadot ecosystem maintain a fair and transparent governance structure through validator staking and other mechanisms.
Optimism is a layer 2 rollup chain for Ethereum – a separate blockchain that can process transactions, bundle them up, and pass them back down to Ethereum. It helps to scale Ethereum's “layer 1” network through quick transactions and lower fees.
ApeCoin (APE) is an Ethereum-based token linked to the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs. Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs are one of the most successful NFT projects to date. Bored Apes have sold for unthinkable prices. Their notoriety amongst celebrities and high-profile NFT collectors has bolstered their astronomic rise.
dYdX (DYDX) is a decentralized exchange platform for cryptocurrency margin trading for assets like BTC, ETH, SOL, DOT, and more. The bulk of dYdX crypto margin trading products resides atop the Ethereum blockchain. However, the exchange recently rolled out on Layer 2 for instantly settled, inexpensive trades.
Solana is a highly functional open source project that implements a new, permissionless, and high-speed layer-1 blockchain. Created in 2017 by Anatoly Yakovenko, a former executive at Qualcomm, Solana aims to scale throughput beyond what is typically achieved by popular blockchains while keeping costs low. Solana implements an innovative hybrid consensus model that combines a unique proof-of-history (PoH) algorithm with the lightning-fast synchronization engine, which is a version of proof-of-stake (PoS).
AXS is an Ethereum token that powers Axie Infinity, a blockchain-based game where players can battle, collect, and build a digital kingdom for their pets. AXS holders can claim rewards for staking their tokens, playing the game, and participating in key governance votes.
NEAR Protocol is a layer-1 blockchain that uses Nightshade, a unique sharding technology, to achieve scalability. It was launched in 2020 as a decentralized cloud infrastructure to host decentralized applications (DApps).
Fantom (FTM) is the latest smart contract blockchain protocol aiming to take on Ethereum, with a combination of speed and low costs. Fantom is a layer-1 blockchain aiming to provide an alternative to the high costs and low speeds about which users of Ethereum often complain. Fantom runs on a directed acyclic graph blockchain, similar to Hedera Hashgraph.
Cosmos (ATOM) is a cryptocurrency that powers an ecosystem of blockchains designed to scale and interoperate with each other. The team aims to "create an Internet of Blockchains, a network of blockchains able to communicate with each other in a decentralized way." Cosmos is a proof-of-stake chain. ATOM holders can stake their tokens in order to maintain the network and receive more ATOM as a reward.
MATIC is the native cryptocurrency of the Polygon network and is used to help drive development across the network and can be used for staking and paying for transaction fees. Users can earn MATIC tokens by providing computational resources and services to the Polygon network.
MANA token is the in-game currency of Decentraland and also serves as the platform's cryptocurrency. MANA is an ERC-20 token that lets users purchase or trade LAND and pay for goods and services in the virtual world. The token can be used to purchase estates, avatars, wearables, and unique names through the Decentraland Marketplace. Decentraland offers a comprehensive marketplace that is the go-to place to trade and manage all the on-chain assets.
SAND is the native cryptocurrency of The Sandbox; a popular 3D "metaverse" game built on the Ethereum network that users can explore, purchase land on and create structures that can be monetized. All items acquired in The Sandbox are 100% owned by the players themselves, creating revenue opportunities for gamers.
Avalanche (AVAX) is a cryptocurrency and blockchain platform that rivals Ethereum. AVAX is the native token of the Avalanche blockchain, which—like Ethereum—uses smart contracts to support a variety of blockchain projects. The Avalanche blockchain can provide near-instant transaction finality. AVAX is used to pay transaction processing fees and secure the Avalanche network and acts as a basic unit of account among blockchains in the Avalanche network.
FTT is the native cryptocurrency token of the crypto derivatives trading platform FTX launched on May 8, 2019. The team behind FTX comprises some of the largest crypto traders over the past few years who, having found issues with most mainstream crypto futures exchanges, decided to launch their own platform.
YFI is the native governance token of the Yearn platform that allows users to vote on which direction they want the protocol to head. Since its launch in July 2020, YFI has become one of the largest Ethereum-based tokens due to the protocol's focus on automated yield farming strategies.