Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies designed to work as a medium of exchange. The cryptocurrencies use Cryptography to control creation of additional units and to secure its transactions. Market capitalization also known as “market cap” is the total market value of all company’s outstanding shares. Market cap can also be described as the aggregate value of the company based on the total number of outstanding stocks and its current share price.
2017 has been a huge year of crypocurrencies. This is so because we have seen established crypocurrencies like bitcoin skyrocket in interest, value and number within months. Due to the growth of famous cryptocoins like Bitcoin and Ethereum, several digital currencies have been launched to investors and amass of blockchain-related startups have followed in their footsteps.
The blockchain and cryptocurrency space is dominated by volatility, and the fortunes tend to move up and down quickly. Some of the largest digital currencies by market cap as of December 2017 include:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
Bitcoin is the original digital currency and has the highest market cap. According to coinmarketcap.com, there are roughly 16.7 million bitcoins in circulation with a market cap of more than $254 billion, and a market price of over $15,000 per coin. This makes it the leader of in the space despite speculations that other crypocurrencies would take the top position as highlighted in “The Flippening”: Will Ethereum Take Bitcoin’s Place?
- Ethereum (ETH)
Ethereum is the second on the list of crypocurrencies by market cap. It is the digital token that prompted the rise of ICO. Ethereum has a market cap of $73 billion, with a trading price of about $758 per token (coinmarketcap.com). Ethereum is smaller than bitcoin, and currently, it has over 96million ETH in circulation.
- Ripple (XRP)
XRP is a different kind of cryptocurrency in that it can be converted from one currency to the other without relying on a central exchange. Ripple is not meant to be exchanged for goods and services. The current market cap for ripple is slightly above $58billon, with a trading price of $1.52 per token and over $38,739,144,847 XRP in circulation.
- Bitcoin cash (BCH)
Bitcoin Cash is a spin-off of bitcoin which was launched as a result of hardfork. The market cap of this digital currency is about $43 billion, with a market price of $2,604 per coin and the total number of BCH in circulation is less than 17 billion.
- Litecoin (LTC)
Litecoin sits on the 5th spot with a market cap of $13.8 billion, a market price of $254 per coin and a total of over 54 million LTCs in circulation. Litecoin is a P2P internet currency that enables instant and almost zero cost payments to anyone round the globe.
- Cardano (ADA)
Cardano takes sixth position with a market cap of over $11.3 billion. There are almost 30 billion ADAs in circulation and each has a market price of $0.4. Cardano is the first blockchain platform to evolve from a scientific philosophy and is developing a smart contract platform which seeks to deliver more advanced features than any previously developed.
- IOTA (MIOTA)
IOTA is an open source organization that emerged with an aim of dealing with problems of offline transactions, transaction cost and scalability. IOTA tries to improve the blockchains security without increasing the fees, hence its brands itself as the “Internet of Things”. IOTA has a market cap of $10.5 billion, with each coin selling at $3.79.
Dash creator’s main purpose was to make sure that there was a high level of anonymity while using Dash as electronic cash. Dash is an attempt to make cryptocurrency accessible to regular people. Its market cap is almost hitting $9billion and currently has a market price of less $2,000.
- NEM (XEM)
Launched in 2015, NEM were responsible for introduction of Proof of Importance (POI ) algorithm, multi-signature accounts and encrypted messaging. NEM price has increased gradually with its current market price being $0.953164.
- Monero (XMR)
Monero is also an open source cryptocurrency that uses ring signature to combine public keys that they get from their blockchain and users account keys to ensure that no outside observer can make a link between a user and their signature. Monero rounds up at number ten with its market cap being shy of $6 billion and a market price of below $400 https://coinmarketcap.com/.
The market cap and prices of these cryptocurrencies are very volatile; hence the figures are expected to change as time goes by.