This article analyses the top 3 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.
Beginning with the largest, the top 3 are currently Bitcoin ($BTC), Ethereum ($ETH), Ripple ($XRP).
1. Bitcoin (BTC) $128bn
Created in 2008, Bitcoin was the first-ever cryptocurrency. The exciting thing about Bitcoin is that no one knows who made it. All we know is that they go by the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto.
Bitcoin is a digital currency based on a distributed ledger technology named blockchain. It eliminates the need for centralized intermediaries like banks and credit card companies etc. when making electronic payments.
If you want to pay 1 BTC to your friend, you can do it directly without having to involve your bank at all. So, two words to describe Bitcoin would be — decentralized and digital. It aims to create an alternative for fiat currencies, like USD, GBP, JPY, etc.
In 2010, you could have gotten 1 Bitcoin (BTC) for less than a dollar, and in December 2017, the price of one BTC reached a high of $17,900. BTC grew by almost 2000% in 2017 alone.
Like all other top 3 cryptocurrencies, BTC was in a huge dip in the Q1 of 2018 and had been fluctuating ever since. Its price has experienced another significant drop in December of 2018.
2. Ethereum (ETH) $19.4bn
Ethereum is the second most valuable cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. Created in 2015 by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum is much more than just a digital currency.
Ethereum is a blockchain-based platform for developing decentralized apps and smart contracts. Ether is the native cryptocurrency used for all the transactions on Ethereum’s blockchain.
Ethereum has been one of the best performers of the top 3 cryptocurrencies of 2017. The price of Ethereum grew from $9 in January 2017 to $1389 in January 2018, giving a return of 17,000%!
Currently, Ethereum has begun crashing again. With a steady downwards streak, it started showing signs of rising from the ashes once again in January 2020. Second, only to Bitcoin, Ethereum has a market capitalization of $77.5 billion.
3. XRP (XRP) $8.22bn
Ripple is a unique cryptocurrency as it is focused on solving problems related to just one industry — International Payment Transfers. It was founded in 2012 to make international transactions both fast and cheap.
Of the total number of 100 billion XRP that will ever exist, 50 billion are owned by Ripple Labs (the company behind Ripple).
This is a very different approach than most other top 3 cryptocurrencies where there is no central entity holding the majority of the coins.
Even though Ripple has been around for a long time, it hopped on the growth vehicle only in the Q2 of 2017. But since then, it has grown to become the 3rd most valuable cryptocurrency among the other top 3 cryptocurrencies with a $34.12 billion market capitalization.
XRP was among the top performers of 2017 as its price grew from around zero in January 2017 to about $3.65 in January 2018. Like other cryptocurrencies, XRP crashed and touched its bottom of $0.48 in April 2018.
Since April, Ripple has experienced a lot of difficulties trying to climb back up in price. Some signs of growth can be seen as of December 2018, but are they here to stay? Only time will tell.
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