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Cryptocurrencies also known as virtual currencies, are digital assets that use cryptography for security. The word comes “crypto” comes from the ancient greek word “kryptos” meaning private or hidden. Unlike other currencies, cryptocurrencies are exclusively digital, everything being done online.

Cryptocurrencies are decentralized meaning that they are created, exchanged and regulated by its users. Its benefit is that it is controlled by any central authority or financial institution, making them immunte to government interference and manipulation.

It is a peer-to-peer system that enables people to send and receive payments anytime they want. When you transfer crypto funds, the transactions are recorded in a public ledger, storing your cryptocurrency in a digital wallet.

Cryptocurrency got its name due to its use of encryption to verify transactions meaning that advanced coding is involed in storing and sending crypto data between wallets and public ledgers. Encryption aims to provide security and safety.

Bitcoin (BTC)

February 27th 2021

Rank: 1

Market Cap: 875B USD (~47.000 USD per coin)

Circulating Supply: 18.640.350/ 21.000.000

Bitcoin is the first successful internet money based on peer-to-peer technology; whereby no central bank or authority is involved in the transaction and production of the Bitcoin currency. It was created by an anonymous individual/group under the name, Satoshi Nakamoto. The source code is available publicly as an open source project, anybody can look at it and be part of the developmental process.

Bitcoin is changing the way we see money as we speak. The idea was to produce a means of exchange, independent of any central authority, that could be transferred electronically in a secure, verifiable and immutable way. It is a decentralized peer-to-peer internet currency making mobile payment easy, very low transaction fees, protects your identity, and it works anywhere all the time with no central authority and banks.

Bitcoin is designed to have only 21 million BTC ever created, thus making it a deflationary currency. Bitcoin uses the SHA-256 hashing algorithm with an average transaction confirmation time of 10 minutes. Miners today are mining Bitcoin using ASIC chip dedicated to only mining Bitcoin, and the hash rate has shot up to peta hashes.

Being the first successful online cryptography currency, Bitcoin has inspired other alternative currencies such as Litecoin or Peercoin.

Bitcoin can be exchanged on any exchange platforms. Some of the exchanges that have a large volume of transactions daily are Binance, Huobi Global, Coineal, HitBTC, Coinbase, Kraken, Bitfinex, Upbit or Digifinex.

Ethereum (ETH)

February 27th 2021

Rank: 2

Market Cap: 169B USD (1475 USD per coin)

Circulating Supply: 114.845.550 / ∞

Ethereum is the first smart contract platform that lets developers build tokens and decentralized apllications  known as “dapps”.

ETH is the native currency for the Ethereum platform and is also used as transaction fee on the Ethereum network.

Smart contract is a computer code that runs exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third-party interference. It can facilitate the exchange of money, content, property, shares, or anything of value. When running on the blockchain, a smart contract becomes like a self-operating computer program that automatically executes when specific conditions are met.

Because Ethereum is the first blockchain based on smart contract platform, new competitors are fighting for market share due to it’s popularity. Some of the competitors are Cardano, EOS, Neo, Icon or Qtum.

Being the second most popular cryptocurrency, it can be exchanged on Binance, Huobi Global, Coineal, HitBTC, Coinbase, Kraken, Bitfinex, Upbit or Digifinex.

Cardano (ADA)

February 27th 2021

Rank: 3

Market Cap: 44B USD (1.40 USD per coin)

Circulating Supply: 32B / 45B

Cardano is a decentralised platform that will allow complex programmable transfers of value in a secure and scalable fashion. It is one of the first blockchains to be built in the highly secure Haskell programming language. Cardano seeks to deliver more advanced features than any other project previously developed.

Cardano is different from other blockchain projects because it addresses the need for regulatory oversight while maintaining consumer privacy and protections through an innovative software architecture.

Cardano is completely open source and patent-free. Made for efficiency and scalability, the Cardano ecosystem will grow into the most complete cryptocurrency ever constructed.

Ranking on the 3rd spot as Market Cap, it can be exchanged on platforms like Binance, Digifinex, Kucoin, Kraken, HitBTC, Upbit, Huobi Global or Bitfinex.

Binance Coin (BNB)

February 27th 2021

Rank: 4

Market Cap: 34B (226 USD per coin)

Circulating Supply: 154.5M / 170M

Binance Coin is the cryptocurrency of the Binance platform which is a trading platform for cryptocurrencies. The name comes from the words “Binary” and “Finance”.

BNB can be used to trade and pay fees on the Binance exchange. Users of BNB receive a discount in transaction fees on the Binance Exchange as an incentive. It can also be exchanged or traded for other cryptocurrencies as well.

Uses of Binance Coin that go beyond Binance exchange are

  • Trading
  • Transaction fees on Binance
  • Credit card payments
  • Payment processing
  • Travel Booking
  • Entertainment
  • Investment
  • Loans and transfers

Notable exchanges: Binance, HitBTC, FTX, Bilaxy, BKEX, Dcoin.

Litecoin (LTC)

February 27th 2021

Rank: 7

Market Cap: 11.5M (174 USD per coin)

Circulating Supply: 66.5M / 84M

Litecoin was created by Charlie Lee and is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency. It is based on Bitcoin protocol but it is different in terms of hashing algorithm use.

Created by former Google employee and Director of Engineering at Coinbase, Charlie Lee, Litecoin was the first to alter Bitcoin and the difference is that it takes around 3 minutes for Litecoin to generate a block or a transaction, compared to Bitcoin’s 10 minutes.

Notable exchanges: Binance, HitBTC, Huobi Global, OKEx, Coinbase, Bitrue, Gate.io, Kraken.