Cryptocurrencies let you buy goods and services, or trade them for profit. Learn more about what cryptocurrencies are, how to buy them, and how to protect yourself.
Below is a list of the current Top 10 cryptocurrencies. Click on the individual listings to have a more in-depth look at each currency.
Up until now, Bitcoin is regarded as the most widely used cryptocurrency in the market. Among the blockchain APIs that are available on a lot of frameworks include Python, C#, Java, PHP and more. These APIs make accepting payments highly manageable and simple. Without the involvement of a third party in the transfer, payments go directly from user to vendor, thus making implementation rather hassle-free. One of the downsides of using this cryptocurrency is its processing time which ranges between mere minutes and an hour.
Regarded as the world’s most popular stablecoin, Tether serves multiple purposes in the market. This makes it a core cryptocurrency in a wide number of investor strategies. Today, a crypto market without Tether may be unthinkable, but this hasn't always been so. Tether overcame many hurdles and controversies to be where it is today.
In today's volatile crypto market, Tether is seen as providing liquidity and acts as a hedge against market volatility - thanks to its status as a stablecoin.
Stellar is perhaps one of the most promising payment cryptocurrencies currently available in the market. It has been forging numerous successful partnerships and building leading-edge technology.
The main goal of the Stellar project is to make money movement as effortless as email. As such, it is building a free and open source that enables anyone to build low cost financial apps. Just like everything else, though, there are a number of competing projects building similar technology.
Litecoin works in much the same way as Bitcoin with some small differences. Similar to Bitcoin, Litecoin uses a proof of work consensus mechanism to validate transactions and generate new blocks on its blockchain. However, unlike Bitcoin which uses the SHA256 mining algorithm, Litecoin uses the Scrypt mining algorithm.
As popular as Bitcoin is, it does not provide the cloak of anonymity. For every Bitcoin transaction, recipients have to divulge their public address to their senders. This allows senders to "peek" inside the recipients' wallets and see how much Bitcoin they own. Furthermore, all Bitcoin transactions are recorded in the blockchain which is in essence a public ledger.
This is not so with Monero, which explains its popularity among those who prize their privacy.
With a concept known as shared security, Polkadot is a unique proof-of-stake cryptocurrency aimed at delivering interoperability among other blockchains. It is designed to connect permissioned and permission-less blockchains, as well as oracles, to allow systems to work together under one roof. It also allows for parallel blockchains (aka parachains) with their own native tokens for specific-use cases.
The Ethereum project aims to create a decentralized suite of financial products that anyone around the world can freely access. This advantage is appreciated by those in certain countries, particularly those without state infrastructure and state identifications. With Ethereum, they can get access to bank accounts, loans, insurance, and a variety of other financial products.
Developed by Sergey Nazarov along with Steve Ellis, Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network that bridges the gap between smart contracts, like the ones on Ethereum, and data outside of it. Essentially, blockchains cannot connect to outside applications in a trusted manner. With Chainlink’s decentralized oracles, smart contracts can communicate with outside data so that the contracts can be executed based on data that Ethereum itself cannot connect to.
Cardano's goal is to be the world’s financial operating system by establishing decentralized financial products similar to Ethereum. It also aims to provide solutions for chain interoperability, voter fraud, and legal contract tracing.
Cardano has been dubbed the “Ethereum killer,” as its blockchain is said to be capable of more. However, Cardano is still in its development stages. It may have surpassed Ethereum to the proof-of-stake consensus model, but it still has a long way to go in terms of decentralized financial applications.
Binance Coin (BNB)
Binance Coin initially operated on the Ethereum blockchain. It eventually had its own mainnet launch. The network uses a proof-of-stake consensus model.
Founded by Changpeng Zhao, the Binance Exchange is one of the most widely used exchanges in the world based on trading volumes. As a utility cryptocurrency, Binance Coin operates as a payment method for the fees associated with trading on the Binance Exchange. Those who use the token as a means of payment for the exchange can trade at a discount. Binance Coin’s blockchain is also the platform that Binance’s decentralized exchange operates on.
USD Coin (USDC)
USD Coin (known by its ticker USDC) is a stablecoin that is pegged to the U.S. dollar on a 1:1 basis. Every unit of this cryptocurrency in circulation is backed up by $1 that is held in reserve, in a mix of cash and short-term U.S. Treasury bonds. The Centre consortium, which is behind this asset, says USDC is issued by regulated financial institutions.