Bitcoin was the first blockchain-based digital currency released in 2009 by an unknown creator, aka Satoshi Nakamoto. Its value grew by more than 1000% in 2017, with a market cap today of over $150 billion.
Called by many as “the next Bitcoin,” Ethereum split from Ethereum Classic in 2016. Its performance in 2017 put it in third place of all the digital currencies. Its current market cap exceeds $15 billion.
A peer-to-peer open-source digital currency, Litecoin was released in 2011 with an aspiration to upgrade the technology behind Bitcoin. Although its value is yet to reach Bitcoin heights, its market cap is over $3 billion.
Released in 2015, ETC is one of two versions of the original Ethereum. Outperforming Bitcoin in 2017, it gained over 9000%, but today Ethereum Classic caps at only over $670 million.
Dash was developed by Evan Duffield, a programmer, and is more focused on the payments industry and aiming to be user-friendly. In 2017, dash gained over 9000% in value.
Initially released in 2012, Ripple was the invention of programmer Jed McCaleb. Based on opensource with a public ledger, it is often used to exchange other forms of payment, such as frequent flyer miles and other cryptos.
Resulting from a hard fork of Bitcoin, today in terms of market cap, Bitcoin Cash is the fourth largest digital currency. It was officially released in 2017 and now exceeds $5 billion in the market cap.
Launched in 2014 by the Ripple co-founder, Stellar is a decentralized payment network and protocol with a native currency, stellar lumen. It is now close to hitting $1 billion in the Market cap.
Dubbed the ‘Chinese Ethereum,’ NEO was the first cryptocurrency created in China, and today is one of the fastest-growing. It is easily modified and is designed to comply with Chinese regulations. It cannot fork.