Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies with a mostly decentralized structure. They are based on networks in which all information is exchanged with one another. Transactions are stored and processed publicly. Digital currencies enable cashless payment. In contrast to the conventional markets such as shares, foreign exchange or bonds, they are traded continuously. The most well-known cryptic currencies include Bitcoin, Ethereum , Bitcoin Cash and Ripple.
The concept behind the digital currencies dates back to 1998 when Wei Dai formulated the first basic idea. The term cryptography refers to the science of encrypting and protecting information or data. Cryptocurrencies should be an answer to the classic banking system. Several years passed before the idea was implemented. Satoshi Nakamato picked it up and released the Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System in 2008. A payment system that works from person to person without the intermediary of a bank.
In 2009, Bitcoin gave the starting signal for the new era of digital payment transactions. Since then, many more cryptocurrencies have been implemented. These are also called altcoins. They describe themselves as an improved version of Bitcoin, but they also use blockchain technology. Over 800 currencies are now in use. According to Coinmarketcap.com, the market cap of all cryptocurrencies is just over $176 billion. Bitcoin accounts for the largest share at USD 79.5 billion (as of September 2017). Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Litecoin , NEM, Dash, IOTA, Monero and Ethereum Classic follow on the cryptocurrency ranking.
Encryption at all levels is the entire basis of digital currencies. The assets are secured through the stringent use of cryptography. Each transaction is summarized in a block of data and attached to a blockchain. The blockchain is secured against subsequent manipulation by the cryptographic chain.Bitcoin and Co can be traded on numerous trading platforms. A corresponding payment point (wallet) is required for their possession. With this virtual wallet one can send and receive the cryptic money. The basis of a wallet consists of a public and private key. In addition to the possibility of buying and trading cryptocurrencies at a current rate via special exchanges, there is also the possibility of creating new coins through mining.
Which cryptocurrency is currently the largest? A look at the market capitalization can help – these are the ten largest cryptocurrencies in the current ranking.
Of all cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin accounts for by far the largest share of market capitalization.
Ethereum, Cardano and Solana also made it into the top ten largest cryptocurrencies in 2022. The current overview of which cryptocurrencies are also among the largest according to their current market capitalization in 2022.
These are the ten largest cryptocurrencies by market cap in 2022
10th place: Terra (LUNA)
Terra is a blockchain protocol for stable cryptocurrencies, so-called stablecoins. These are cryptocurrencies that are tied one-to-one to an underlying asset. This can be a currency like the dollar, for example. For example, the stablecoin “TerraUSD” replicates the US dollar. By being tied to the price development of a specific currency, the price of such a stablecoin does not fluctuate as much as the prices of other cryptocurrencies. Terra network bundles cryptocurrencies that replicate the euro or yuan, among other things.
The Terra coin Luna now has a market capitalization of $22.6 billion , putting it in tenth place. The South Korean company Terraform Labs is behind the project, which was founded in 2018 by Do Kwon and Daniel Shin.
9th place: Avalanche ( AVAX)
Avalanche’s market capitalization is currently around 23.7 billion US dollars – this means ninth place in the ranking of the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.
Avalanche only really started in September 2020. Accordingly, the network is still quite young and not as complex as the protocols of the competition. Avalanche is considered the fastest network for so-called smart contracts, i.e. virtual contracts that are exchanged via the blockchain .
This already shows who Avalanche wants to compete with – including the second largest cryptocurrency Ether, whose blockchain Ethereum can also process smart contracts and has similar properties to Avalanche. Both cryptocurrencies are based on the so-called proof-of-stake algorithm: transactions are approved by validators on the network. Anyone holding a certain amount of Avax tokens can become a validator, the requirements for this are quite low compared to other protocols.
8th place: Solana (SOL)
Solana has only been in the top ten coins with the highest market capitalization since last year. The cryptocurrency was founded by Anatoly Yakovenko in 2017 and experienced a price explosion over the summer of 2021.
Solana relies on a new timestamp algorithm called Proof-of-History. It enables automated transactions to be chained together that take place in fractions of a second.
Solana relies on Proof-of-Stake. This also makes staking possible. Proof-of-stake is a process by which a blockchain network reaches consensus on which participant may generate the next block. Staking, in turn, means that cryptocurrencies are kept in a proof-of-stake blockchain for a certain period of time. Individual transactions can thus be viewed by everyone.
SOL’s market capitalization is currently around $ 33.2 billion , making Solana the eighth largest cryptocurrency.
At the beginning of January 2021, the market capitalization was still $85.5 million. At that time, the Solana price was $1.84, but then rose to the current all-time high of $259.40 on November 6th .
7th place: Cardano (ADA)
Cardano is in seventh place in the current ranking . The Ethereum founder Charles Hoskinson, who as CEO of IOHK also helped to develop the Cardano blockchain, was involved in the foundation.
The market capitalization of the digital currency is currently around 37.1 billion dollars . At the beginning of 2021, the market cap was still $5.45 billion, but on September 3, Cardano’s market cap peaked at more than $95.02 billion.
The goal of cryptocurrency is to research and solve problems in blockchain currencies. In 2020, for example, an update was carried out that was intended to make the blockchain “50 to 100 times more decentralized” than it already was. The Alonzo update was last on September 12th. Since then, so-called smart contracts can also be exchanged via the blockchain , i.e. virtual contracts.
6th place: Ripple (XRP)
One place ahead of Cardano is the cryptocurrency XRP . The market capitalization is currently around 40.1 billion US dollars . The XRP digital currency was created by the founders of the Ripple payment platform and was intended to be one of the great alternatives to other cryptocurrencies.
Ethereum and Bitcoin were primarily created to create a money and payment system independent of banks and states. Ripple, on the other hand, works with various banks, including Unicredit and Santander.
5th place: USD Coin (USDC)
USD Coin is the fifth largest cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of $52.6 billion . Similar to other stablecoins, the cryptocurrency USD Coin is also tied to the exchange rate of the US dollar, which keeps the exchange rate of the digital currency largely stable and is therefore less volatile.
4th place: Binance Coin (BNB)
With a current market capitalization of around $ 71.2 billion , Binance Coin , also known as BNB, ranks fourth in the ranking of the largest cryptocurrencies in 2022. Binance Coin was created to support its own cryptocurrency platform and thus become a contribute to the creation of a sustainable ecosystem.
However, there have also been negative headlines about the cryptocurrency in the past. The associated crypto platform Binance was accused by British authorities of having offered financial transactions without the necessary licenses. This brought Binance into the focus of several regulatory authorities.
3rd place: Tether (USDT)
Tether ranks third among the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization . Just like USD Coin, Tether is a stablecoin that is always pegged to the US dollar exchange rate. The low volatility should give crypto investors more security when investing in the digital currency.
However, there is always criticism, especially in the basic construction. Because Tether is only issued by a company that itself has an opaque background. In addition, Tether is connected to the exchange exchange Bitfinex, which, among other things, causes skepticism in the crypto scene due to addresses in the Caribbean.
Despite the negative headlines, the market capitalization of the cryptocurrency Tether is currently around 78.7 billion US dollars .
2nd place: Ethereum (ETH)
The second largest cryptocurrency is ranked a long way behind Ethereum . At around $ 376.8 billion , Ethereum’s market cap is currently three times larger than third-ranked Tether’s market cap.
Basically, Ethereum is a decentralized blockchain system that has its own cryptocurrency, Ether. The goal of the crypto platform is to become a decentralized application for users from all over the world. On the blockchain platform, it is therefore also possible not only to trade with the cryptocurrency ether, but also to conclude so-called smart contracts. These automatically execute programmed agreements or contracts. In future, transactions should be made more cost-effective and reliable.
1st place: Bitcoin (BTC)
Bitcoin is still the undisputed number one among the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization in 2022 . The market capitalization of the oldest cryptocurrency is currently around 838.3 billion US dollars . Bitcoin reached its current all-time high in terms of market capitalization on November 8, 2021. At that time, the market capitalization of the oldest and most important cryptocurrency was $1,274.8 billion.
If you calculate the sum of the market capitalization of Bitcoin and Ethereum together, first and second place in the current ranking account for more than 65 percent of the market capitalization of the entire crypto market.
The largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization 2022 in the table
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Coinbase is the premier cryptocurrency trading platform on the stock exchange. With the share, investors could benefit from the boom in the crypto market without buying Bitcoin, Ethereum and Co. directly. Is it attractive at the current price?
It was one of the largest US IPOs of all time: the crypto trading platform Coin base brought a good 112 billion US dollars to the floor when it debuted on the Nasdaq. After a price explosion on the issue day in mid-April, the share closed at $311. The timing for the IPO was ideal – the crypto hype catapulted the best-known currency, Bitcoin, to more than 50,000 euros at the time. After the subsequent sharp price losses, Bitcoin and Coin base are now on the up again. The platform is also growing rapidly, with Coin base earning in the first quarter more than all of 2020. The new numbers show that the second quarter was even more profitable. The broker benefits from the growing crypto market, because the platform earns money from every transaction by its customers.
What is Ether good for and when will Ethereum 2.0 come?
After Bitcoin, Ethereum is the second most popular cryptocurrency . Strictly speaking, that’s wrong. Because: The term “Ethereum” does not mean a digital currency, but an entire system based on blockchain. The cryptocurrency used in it is called Ether (ETH).
Ether currently has a market capitalization of around $323 billion (as of February 17, 2022; 1:45 p.m.) , making it the second largest digital asset , well ahead of Binance Coin (BNB), Tether (USDT ) or Solana (SOL). Like the rest of the crypto market, Ether has recently experienced a significant price setback. But is it currently worth investing in Ethereum? The most important answers for investors.
Ethereum – Forecast, opportunities and advantages at a glance
What is Ethereum (ETH)?
Ethereum is a decentralized, programmable system based on blockchain technology. It can be described as a federation of independent computers that appears to end users as a closed system. In contrast to Bitcoin, Ethereum not only enables transactions of assets, but also a variety of other applications based on so-called “smart contracts”. These are digital contracts that come into force independently under certain previously defined conditions.
For asset transactions between participating computers, Ethereum uses its own cryptocurrency: Ether, abbreviated ETH. With a market capitalization of 323 billion US dollars, it is currently the second largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin.
Who is behind Ethereum (ETH)?
The then 19-year-old Canadian-Russian programmer Vitalik Buterin published a white paper in 2013 in which he first outlined the idea behind Ethereum. A year later, the project was officially announced at a Bitcoin conference in Miami. Ethereum was launched on July 30, 2015 .
The Canadian investor Anthony Di Iorio, who financed the project, counts six other people among the Ethereum founders in addition to himself and Vitalik Buterin: Charles Hoskinson, Mihai Alisie, Amir Chetrit, Joseph Lubin, Gavin Wood and Jeffrey Wilcke. Since 2014, the development of Ethereum has been the responsibility of the non-profit “Ethereum Foundation”, headquartered in Switzerland.
How has Ethereum price evolved?
The Ethereum project started in 2015 with great advance praise from the crypto scene. In the first week of its existence, the cryptocurrency ether reached a price of 2.77 US dollars. After a few minor ups and downs, the ether price settled around the $1 mark at the end of 2015. Between January and March 2016, the cryptocurrency then achieved an increase in value of around 15,000 percent.
In 2017, the first companies started experimenting with the Ethereum platform’s “smart contracts”. The great market potential of the technology gave the associated cryptocurrency immense price jumps. In June 2017, an Ether coin was worth more than $300, in early 2018 it was worth $1380. However, the course continued to develop in waves. Because: The Ethereum project was still in its initial phase. Every step backwards in development and every success in development was reflected in the price development.
In 2019, the cryptocurrency leveled off again – between $100 and $200. Since the beginning of 2020, the curve has mostly been pointing steeply upwards again – even if there are still large and small sags. As in the entire crypto market, after the high in spring 2021, Ether also experienced a brief low, which many experts interpreted as a price correction. However, the value of the cryptocurrency recovered dynamically by autumn 2021 and reached a new all-time high in November: the ether price reached its all-time high of 4859.5 US dollars on November 10, 2021.
The ether price has been in a correction phase again since mid-November 2021. According to the analysis house Coinmarketcap, the Ethereum price is currently around $3,000 . (as of February 17, 2022)
Forecast: How will the Ethereum course develop?
As with the entire cryptocurrency market, the same applies to Ethereum’s digital asset: there are no reliable price forecasts. The number two cryptocurrencies have repeatedly had to give up feathers in the wake of price losses on the stock markets. At the end of September 2021, for example, Ether initially lost almost ten percent after the difficulties of the highly indebted Chinese real estate group Evergrande caused turbulence on the stock exchanges. Then the Chinese central bank was critical of digital currencies – and the price dropped by a further seven percent. However, the course was able to recover quickly from this. With the fear of rising interest rates in the USA, the ether price continued to fall in January 2022. Basically, the following applies: external factors will continue to have a major impact on the development of the price of the digital currency in the future.
Nevertheless: The market potential of Ether (ETH) is considered large due to the Ethereum system behind it. Also because the further developed 2.0 version of Ethereum should be completed within the next two years.
Although their forecasts vary greatly in detail: A majority of crypto experts agree that the November 2021 value will not remain Ether’s all-time high. CoinPriceForecast predicts that Ethereum’s cryptocurrency will reach $20,000 by 2031 at the latest. The “WalletInvestor” platform assumes that the ether price will increase fivefold by 2026. By the end of 2022, the price is expected to end up at around 6,000 US dollars.
On which exchanges is Ethereum (ETH) tradable?
Ethereum’s cryptocurrency Ether (ETH) can be traded on all major crypto exchanges such as Coinbase or Kraken. As a rule, investors need their own Ethereum wallet for this. Crypto brokers such as eToro, Plus500 and Libertex, who relieve investors of the custody of digital assets, do without one.
There is also an opportunity to trade Ethereum (Ether) on a leverage basis. In this case, investors do not buy actual ether coins, but only so-called “CFDs” (Contracts for Difference). These are digital securities that reflect the price of the cryptocurrency.
How does Ethereum mining work?
The generation of ether coins, like that of bitcoins, is still based on the “proof of work” principle. Replenishment is therefore created by computing power – and is therefore very energy-intensive. With Ethereum 2.0, however, that will change.
What is Ethereum 2.0?
The term Ethereum 2.0 describes the further development of Ethereum, which is currently already being used in isolated cases and is intended to completely replace the previous Ethereum model within the next two years. The Ethereum Foundation distanced itself from the term “Ethereum 2.0” in January 2022 and now prefers to speak of Ethereum’s “consensus layer”. However, it is “just a change in the naming,” says the associated blog entry .
What is the difference between Ethereum 2.0 and Ethereum?
The main difference between Ethereum in its current form and Ethereum 2.0 is the way in which ether coins and smart contracts are generated: With Ethereum 2.0, the computationally intensive proof-of-work procedure is to become a so-called proof-of-stake procedure replace and give way to the previous Ethereum blockchain for a newly developed beacon chain. Ether will then no longer be minable, but only “stakeable”. The principle is comparable to fixed-term deposit interest on savings accounts. To put it simply: Those who hold certain ether stocks and make them available will be rewarded with ether growth.
When is Ethereum 2.0 coming?
Ethereum 2.0 should be implemented by 2023 at the latest. The so-called “roadmap” of the Ethereum developers envisages a complete conversion to the newly developed beacon chain and the “Proof of Stake” procedure for 2022. However, many experts doubt that the transition will really be as quick and as smooth as Ethereum developers would like it to be. So far, they have at least not managed to convince all members of the Ethereum network to say goodbye to the previous Ethereum blockchain. There is also still a lack of technological subtleties in the implementation of the new beacon chain.
What advantages does Ethereum have over Bitcoin?
Compared to bitcoin, mining ether is much more energy-efficient. This is because the computing processes required for ether mining are less complex. With Ethereum 2.0 and the change to “Proof of Stake”, the energy balance of the second largest cryptocurrency should improve significantly again.
Another big advantage of Ether is the versatility of the Ethereum system behind it. While the Bitcoin blockchain supports only one cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency Ether is only a small part of the Ethereum blockchain’s overall scope. In terms of market capitalization, bitcoin is currently more than twice the size of ether. But: The scaling potential of the number two cryptocurrencies is significantly greater.
What are the disadvantages of Ethereum compared to Bitcoin?
Much of Ethereum is currently still immature – this applies all the more to its further development Ethereum 2.0. Now and then there are still malfunctions in the “smart contracts”. Sometimes this means that ETH is frozen for a short time or hackers can even plunder foreign ether stocks.