Did you know that there are literally thousands of cryptocurrencies out there right now? Not all of them are worth paying attention to however, and a significant number are actually defunct.
If you want to know which cryptocurrencies are a notch above the rest, a good place to start is with the 5 that are the most popular.
As the very first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin remains the most popular too – despite still not fully recovering from the 2018 crash. It has the largest community, and is supported by almost every cryptocurrency exchange, and wallet.
Despite being the most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is not without its downsides. It is at a point where scaling is an issue, and its transactions are slow and incur high fees. On top of that the cost of mining Bitcoins are high as well.
After Ethereum was launched in 2015 it quickly become the second-most popular cryptocurrency, and has stayed put since then. It popularized smart contracts, and provided a much faster transaction speed than Bitcoin.
That being said Ethereum is facing issues with scalability as well that are starting to affect its transaction speed. In the face of stiff competition from newer cryptocurrencies that are built on better technology, it has definitely been trending downwards.
To correct that trend Ethereum 2.0 was recently announced. It is aimed at fixing the scalability issues and improving transaction speed by leaps and bounds.
Bitcoin Cash is one of the first successful forks of Bitcoin, and has been relatively popular since its launch. Its transactions are faster and incur less fees, while still remaining similar to Bitcoin in other regards.
Despite its popularity, Bitcoin Cash is not as widely supported on cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets, and retailers. It is also not a favorite among miners seeing as it is as expensive to mine as Bitcoin, but has a much lower value.
Overall it is starting to come under pressure from other cryptocurrencies, and it is unknown whether it will be able to retain its popularity in the coming years.
Another popular fork of Bitcoin is Litecoin, and it remains one of the more popular cryptocurrencies. It is very similar to Bitcoin, except its transactions are faster and its fees are lower.
Just like many other cryptocurrencies its price has been steadily declining due to competition from its newer rivals. That being said it is more widely-supported than many of the newer cryptocurrencies, which is partly why it is able to remain popular.
Unlike many other cryptocurrencies, Ripple was built specifically to solve issues involving International Payment Transfers. It is able to provide faster transactions speeds and lower fees compared to conventional international money transfers, and initially gained popularity due to its use by banks and major financial institutions.
The main downside of Ripple is that many financial institutions are now opting to develop their own cryptocurrencies for international payments. As a result it is not able to fully dominate the space, which has led to its price gradually decreasing over time.
Keep in mind that popularity is not everything when it comes to cryptocurrencies, and there are many other factors that you need to consider. Because of how quickly it is developing, innovations are taking place on an almost daily basis.
As you may have noted many of the current most popular cryptocurrencies are actually relatively dated. Despite being able to remain popular due to their large market share, at some point or other newer cryptocurrencies built on better technology will probably supplant them.