The top 10 cryptocurrencies

Posted: 15 January 2018 5:54 pm

Top ten1 - ITI

Who's going to stand out in a crowded cryptocurrency market?

OPINION: To generate a list of key currencies, I've ranked them against five key qualities that are markers of confidence for cryptocurrencies. It's worth remembering that cryptocurrencies are intended to be used as money, and these qualities reflect that need. No value could be attached to a cryptocurrency without any of these qualities in the long term.

These are the five qualities used for ranking.
Utility is the ability a cryptocurrency has to achieve efficiency gains or solve a unique problem in society.
Industries are constantly searching for innovative ways to approach business and cryptocurrencies can assist with this.
Some of the cryptocurrencies selected here have been selected for the quality of their development teams.
Privacy focus
Privacy is an asset to both individuals and big business. The more privacy-oriented cryptocurrencies have utility in that sense.
There are three cryptocurrencies which are considered to have the greatest potential to revolutionise the world economy. This quality is used here because these three examples have the greatest potential to lead a transformation in the global economy.

The one exception to that rule are the trailblazers. Their value has been in making new paths off the beaten track. That means there is a lot of value in what has been achieved by those cryptocurrencies. However, their longevity is uncertain because blockchain technology continues to develop. That process may lead to those cryptocurrencies becoming redundant and eventually replaced.

Throughout the article links can be found that will navigate to easy-to-understand background reading about some of the trickier cryptocurrency concepts here. Market cap data is drawn from CoinMarketCap at the time of writing.

The top 10 essential cryptocurrencies

1. Ripple (XRP) - innovation, utility

  • Description: Cross-border transactions in the global financial services industry.
  • Slogan: "Enterprise blockchain solutions for global payments"
  • Potential market size: US$135 trillion per year in cross-border payments (McKinsey, Global Payments Study 2016).
  • Primary focus: The primary focus of Ripple Labs aims to make efficiency gains in the cross-border payments industry. The present system at its fastest is three to five days. With the use of XRP and its blockchain, the transfer of funds is near-instant.
  • Market cap: US$73.02 billion.

2. Ethereum (ETH) - innovation

  • Description: Ethereum is a decentralised platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third-party interference.
  • Slogan: "Build unstoppable applications."
  • Potential market size: With money pouring into the cryptomarket and the Ethereum blockchain, it is hard to say how much market capture Ethereum can manage. This depends on the long term prospects of Ethereum.
  • Primary focus: The Ethereum blockchain focuses on allowing applications to transfer data and value across the entire globe in an instant. This has driven innovations in application payment processing via the use of smart contracts. This allows autonomous machines to more easily transfer data and value.
  • Market cap: US$130.2 billion.

3. Bitcoin (BTC) - trailblazing

  • Description: Bitcoin is the world's first decentralised peer-to-peer distributed ledger of account.
  • Slogan: N/A
  • Potential market size: Bitcoin's market dominance has reduced significantly in recent months, and that might prove difficult to reverse.
  • Primary focus: The founder of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, an unknown person, intended to create a private method of transacting across the internet on a peer-to-peer basis with lightning speed and low costs. The trouble has been that technical difficulties have made transaction times and fees far longer and more expensive than had been envisioned. While there is a level of privacy, the original cryptocurrency is not anonymous. Despite these drawbacks, bitcoin maintains the largest market cap of all bitcoins.
  • Market cap: US$230.4 billion.

4. Stellar Lumens (XLM) - utility, innovation

  • Description: "Stellar is a distributed, hybrid blockchain that is fully open-source. It is infrastructure that exists to facilitate cross-asset transfers of value, including payments." (
  • Slogan: Move money across borders quickly, reliably, and for very low costs (under 1 cent).
  • Potential market size: US$135 trillion per year in cross-border payments (McKinsey, Global Payments Study 2016).
  • Primary focus: Stellar is in direct competition with Ripple. The difference with Stellar is that there is more utility in Stellar in that it aims to provide micropayments services across its platform. Whether this will generate more revenue for existing institutions is uncertain.
  • Market cap: US$11.3 billion.

5. Monero (XMR) - privacy-focused

  • Description: "Monero is a secure, private, and untraceable cryptocurrency. It is open-source and accessible to all. With Monero, you are your own bank" (
  • Slogan: "Private digital currency"
  • Potential market size: Depending on competition from other privacy coins, Monero could carve a large market share from those investors looking to secure their personal information.
  • Primary focus: Monero stands out from the cryptocurrency market because of its emphasis on privacy. It uses a protocol called ring signatures to make transaction details almost totally private. Challenges include transaction fees and transaction times.
  • Market cap: US$6.1 billion.

6. 0x (ZRX) - innovation

  • Description: 0x is an open, permissionless protocol which allows ERC20 tokens to be traded on the Ethereum blockchain.
  • Slogan: "Powering decentralised exchange"
  • Potential market size: US$5 billion worth of 24-hour trade volume (CoinMarketCap).
  • Primary focus: 0x protocol creates a decentralised exchange on which ERC20 compliant tokens such as Ethereum and Ripple can be freely traded. The upcoming changes on the Ethereum blockchain will suit the business model of 0x, giving 0x the potential to develop into a key Ethereum exchange.
  • Market cap: US$990 million.

7. IoT Chain (ITC) - revolutionary

  • Description: IoT Chain aims to integrate any smart device to share data across networks.
  • Slogan: A high-security light Internet of Things (IoT) operating system.
  • Potential market size: US$3.9-US$11.1 trillion per year worldwide (McKinsey 2015, The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value Beyond the Hype).
  • Primary focus: Internet of Things is seen as a huge market, and IoT Chain is focusing on its use in China and Asia.
  • Market cap: US$143.8 billion.

8. IOTA - revolutionary

  • Description: "IOTA enables companies to explore new business-2-business models by making every technological resource a potential service to be traded on an open market in real time, with no fees." (
  • Slogan: "The economy of things"
  • Potential market size: US$3.9-US$11.1 trillion per year worldwide (McKinsey 2015, The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value Beyond the Hype).
  • Primary focus: "The main innovation behind IOTA is the Tangle, a revolutionary new blockless distributed ledger which is scalable, lightweight and, for the first time ever, makes it possible to transfer value without any fees (" IOTA is essentially the US version of IoT Chain.
  • Market cap: US$10.3 billion.

9. The Petro - revolutionary / trailblazing

  • Description: The petro is the first example of a national cryptocurrency.
  • Slogan: N/A
  • Potential market size: 2016 net petrol export revenue (all countries) was US$433 billion.
  • Primary focus: While much is uncertain for the Petro it is clear that the Petro is intended to "escape Western Sanctions". The Venezuelan government hopes that this method of transaction will lead to greater market access to petrol consuming nations overseas.
  • Market cap: Yet to be traded on an exchange formally, the Petro is stated to be backed by the country's oil reserves. With that wealth behind it, this would make the Petro the world's biggest cryptocurrency by market cap at approximately US$267 billion.

10. Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

  • Description: Bitcoin Cash resulted from a split in the community which saw a hard fork of Bitcoin Cash from the bitcoin core blockchain.
  • Slogan: "The real bitcoin" (contentious)
  • Potential market size: Unclear
  • Primary focus: The primary focus reportedly is to remain as close to the ideals laid out in the bitcoin whitepaper by Satoshi Nakamoto. In doing so the BCH community refused to accept planned changes to the bitcoin blockchain such as SegWit and the planned Lightning Network upgrades. In addition to this, the mining hardware necessary to continue mining bitcoin is controlled by a major bitcoin player from China, Jihan Wu, who is rumoured to own almost half of all mined bitcoin.
  • Market cap: US$43 billion.
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    RickyFebruary 3, 2018

    Hi I’m new to all this and I was wondering if you think some cryptocurrencies will get to or exceed the price that bitcoin got to?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaFebruary 22, 2018Staff

      Hi Ricky,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. We are a comparison website and general information service and we’re more than happy to offer general advice to answer your question.

      In regards to your comment on our page:

      Hi I’m new to all this and I was wondering if you think some cryptocurrencies will get to or exceed the price that bitcoin got to?

      That’s an interesting question. :)

      Bitcoin has been at the top of the pyramid because of the continued support of many investors for this coin since this was introduced to the market, thus making its value higher and higher.

      Whether other altcoins will surpass Bitcoin or not, only time will tell. But there’s a possibility that other coins will do so, given the fact that cryptocurrencies are highly volatile and unpredictable.

      I highly recommend that you bookmark our cryptocurrency page. It comes with useful information related to cryptocurrencies. On that page, you will find current and predicted trends of each coin. It also comes with numerous useful links and resources for you to explore.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


  2. Default Gravatar
    glennJanuary 25, 2018

    Could you give me any info on salt token? Thanks.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezJanuary 30, 2018Staff

      Hi Glenn,

      Thank you for your comment.

      SALT, just like traditional lending, enables you to put up your crypto as collateral in exchange for a cash loan.

      SALT tokens are also known as membership tokens. These are tokens that you spend to become a member of the SALT lending platform. You can redeem these tokens to pay down loan interest, receive better rates on loans, and purchase items from SALT’s online store. These tokens currently hold a different value on the lending platform than what they’re trading for in the market.

      You may refer to our article and guide on how to go about buying SALT tokens here.


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