Industry Overview: What’s Happening With the Top 5 Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency is arguably a major hit in financial technology since the beginning of this decade. But what we know of the top cryptocurrencies has resulted from several concepts laid out for decades.

From the 1980s, several web developers and innovators birthed the idea of digital currency. It was believed that safe commerce would need a token that would work similarly to paper notes and coins. The privacy feature of such a thing would let people pay others hand-to-hand safely without any third-party, vendor, or banks’ interference.

The privacy and safety aspect of such a project has trickled down across various concepts and eventually took the popular Bitcoin form. Later, other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and others.

Despite major strides in adoption mechanisms, Cryptocurrency is still in its early stage as an accepted payment option. Numerous international market hubs and businesses are yet to acknowledge digital currencies as an alternative payment option.

With fast transaction time and low fees, cryptos could be the next significant payment option. If you are a new investor and want to jump on the crypto wagon, you can start by figuring out what’s happening with the top cryptocurrencies with the largest market capitalization.

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5 top cryptocurrencies with the largest market capitalization 

We shall be reviewing the top five cryptocurrencies with the largest market capitalization, why they’re good for mining, and several other questions you may want to ask about these altcoins will be answered in the next few pages. The top five cryptos are:

  • Bitcoin 
  • Ethereum 
  • XRP
  • Tether 
  • Bitcoin cash 

What’s happening with top cryptocurrencies

1. Bitcoin (BTC) 

Overview of Bitcoin 

Towards the end of 2008, a pseudonymous programmer, Satoshi Nakamoto, invented the first cryptocurrency and named it Bitcoin. Before this invention, Satoshi had studied the blueprints of the foremost cryptocurrencies, their errors and decided to publish a whitepaper titled “Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer electronic cash system.” This document entailed the art of bitcoin and everything else anyone would want to know about the altcoin. 

On January 12, 2009, the pseudonymous inventor of BTC made the first transaction on the platform. When bitcoin kicked off in 2009 fully, one bitcoin was less than the value of one dollar. By April 2011, one bitcoin was equivalent to the value of one dollar. Today, 1BTC equals $9,754.94

Back then in 2009, there were only a few existing coin miners. There was no competition as only Satoshi and a few other geeks were mining at that time. The first successful miner who got rewarded was one Hal Finney, who was rewarded with 10BTC for successfully completing a blockchain. 

Is Bitcoin good for mining? 

Mining and investing in bitcoin could be a perilous financial decision to take. There are a lot of risk factors attached to it, such as a precipitous fall in price. The market is never stable, and anyone thinking of going into it must be ready to lose their capital, depending on your experience and risk management level. Other factors that must also be considered when mining BTC are probable theft and hard drive crash. 

Bitcoin has been performing well in the market for over 11 years now. It is inarguably one of the best options to think of when you’re considering liquidity. Bitcoin can be traded almost effortlessly for assets like gold and even cash without paying much for conversion. These are definitely what you will do with your mined coins after you’ve been rewarded. 

Bitcoin is not a currency regulated by any central government, so it’s not prone to inflation risk. With all these, you’re good to mine bitcoin.

What does the future hold for Bitcoin? 

The Future of bitcoin has been a debate for quite a long time. Most times, people have raised questions regarding the every-four-years halving that takes place with bitcoin. In 2010, the reward for successful miners was 50BTC. Today, the reward is 6.25BTC per blockchain. 

This has raised concerns among concerned financial technology gurus. The question is, “With halving, what happens to miners when the reward turns zero? Would miners be motivated to mine afterward?” That’s a question whose response may remain indefinite until Satoshi Nakamoto comes to clear the air on this. 

By statistics, the reward for mining BTC would not turn zero until 2104. 

A professor of Economics from Harvard University, Professor Kenneth Rogoff, suggests that bitcoin’s market capitalization could hit $5-10 trillion by 2024. He stressed that BTC is a digital gold that could best be profitable on long-term value. 

In his words, Rogoff argued that the use of Bitcoin is monotonous – digital assets, unlike physical gold. Hence, BTC is susceptible to a precipitous collapse in the nearest future. 

2. Ethereum (ETH)

Market capitalization: $23.75bn

Overview of Ethereum 

People thought bitcoin was the only cryptocurrency in existence, not knowing there are thousands of them. Ethereum is the second-largest crypto market. But how did it come by? 

A computer guru and programmer, Vitalik Buterin, created Ethereum in 2013. That was exactly four years after the first decentralized network had been in existence. 

Vitalik began the introduction of Ethereum to the market by building it as a hard fork of Bitcoin. There were several attempts by him to build his own app, DApp, on bitcoin core. When he saw that the results were unsatisfying, he withdrew and thought of something else. What Vitalik was aiming to build was decentralized crypto that can be mined on hardware that produces more than Bitcoin’s 7 transactions per minute. 

By the end of 2013, Ethereum was ready to be launched. But before then, Vitalik made the altcoin’s whitepaper available to the public. The whitepaper contained detailed information about Ethereum, the programming language adopted, and the decentralized system’s technical design. 

Today, Ethereum is the second biggest decentralized digital currency in terms of market capitalization. There are reports that not less than 220,000 tokens and 3,100 DApps (decentralized apps) are currently on Ethereum. 

Ethereum is the first cryptocurrency ever to introduce the idea of accessing loans on digital networks, which they call De-fi (decentralized finance). As it stands, De-fi is capable of revolutionizing the space of fintech in the next few years. 

Is Ethereum good for mining? 

Ethereum remains one of the few altcoins mined with the seemingly outdated technologies – The CPU and Graphics Card. However, mining ethereum depends on the mining power of your computer hardware, as well as its compatibility with your software. 

Although mining ethereum is profitable, using the best rigs would increase your chance of success. GPUs will definitely boost your chance over CPUs. 

The least powerful GPU is 200 times faster than the most functional CPU. However, ensure that your chosen hardware’s hash rate is enough to put you on balance in the crypto world. 

What does the future hold for Ethereum?

The cost of mining is one factor that depicts and predicts one’s success in cryptocurrency mining. That’s why it’s usually advised to spend as much as possible on the hardware. If your hardware is great, there’s a higher chance that your mining difficulty will be reduced. 

The difficulty associated with mining ethereum plummeted in October 2017 by a total of fifty percent. Financial technology experts opined that this drop resulted from the decreasing reward of successful ethereum miners from five to three ETH.

Unfortunately, the mining hardship has continued to regain strength over the years due to an increased number of miners joining the mining race. If miners continue to troop in, the difficulty will definitely continue to increase. 

Looking at the value of ethereum, it’s incredibly moving up, and this may, in the future, result in decreased mining difficulty. 

3. XRP (XRP) 

Market capitalization: $9.06bn

Overview of XRP

XRP was introduced to the digital currency market in 2012 by computer scientists Chris Larsen, Arthur Britto, and Jed McCaleb. Although, the plan to invent this coin had been in the tunnel for several years before it became a huge success in 2012.

When XRP came into existence, there were 100 billion units of the coin pre-created by the programmers. This implies that they don’t mine XRP like every other conventional cryptocurrency. Only the coins in circulation are issued to miners. This coin does not follow an open-source and decentralized system of digital currency.

Out of the 100 billion units, only 20 percent was released to the platform to reward every miner. The remaining 80% was mysteriously gifted to Opencoin Inc. 

However, there has been major criticism that XRP is a get-rich-quick platform, centralized and was made to enrich only the inventors. Contrary to the falsehood, no scam has taken place on XRP till today. It has instead continued to grow to hold the third position in the market. 

Despite all said against the altcoin, it has continued to grow in market share and has one of the largest predominances of the crypto market today. In 2013, XRP market cap growth was around 3.46%. Today, it has risen to almost twice as before. 

In comparison to bitcoin, payments on XRP are very fast as it takes only four seconds for transactions to be verified against the one hour of bitcoin transaction verification. 

Is XRP good for mining? 

First of all, XRP is not like bitcoin and other popular altcoins whose monetary bases are only strengthened by mining more coins. XRP cannot be mined. A whopping 100 billion XRP coins have been pre-mined by the platform’s programmers, supplying 80% to the market and keeping 20% to themselves. 

Overall, the increasing popularity and success of XRP, despite all odds, has proven that the altcoin is a good one to check out. The policies are transparent and clear to all, so there’s no hidden place in XRP. As of late last year, the company has supplied 38.7 billion units of the coin to the market. 

What does the future hold for XRP?

XRP holds a very controversial future, to be sincere. Looking at the company’s accusations, it may soon fall from the high third position and find its way down the table. However, the price of the coin in the nearest future could change people’s minds totally against backing out. 

With the emerging partnerships with XRP, the coin’s price may reach $8 before the end of 2020, and a strong resistance could be found around $10.

In essence, the price depends on partnerships and the advancement of technology for XRP. 

4. Tether (USDT) 

Market capitalization: $8.95bn

Overview of Tether

Originally, Tether was known as Realcoin. In November of 2014, the altcoin re-branded and changed its name to what it is today – Tether. 

Some geeks in the programming world founded tether. Some of the founders include a top-notch member of the BTC Foundation, Broke Pierce. Today, Broke is the BTC Foundation Director. Others include Craig Sellars, who is a renowned software engineer, and Reeves Collins. 

When tether hit the crypto market in 2014, it provided utility tokens for miners and investors. It also aimed to ensure that cross-border payments are made fast with the help of blockchain technology. 

The software layer for Tether was originally built on the bitcoin protocol. The layer, called OmniLayer, served as a platform to which all generated tokens are traced to know how tether tokens are generated and circulated. 

Is Tether good for mining?

There have been major rising concerns about how safe it is to mine tether. Many people alleged that tether tokens are only printed when they’re not demanded, making it all look like some scam.

The confidence in the tether market accounts for the fluctuation in the price of the coin. At some points, the price went a little above $1 and other times, plummeted below $0.95.

Judging by the security designed to keep the tether community together, it’s obvious that the platform is not fully backed. 

What does the future hold for Tether?

Tether is one of the most phenomenal coins that has drawn the media’s attention for the past few years. In addition to that, it’s one of the most popular stablecoin in the crypto market. As a stablecoin, two things must be put in a vision: growth and stability in the market. 

Today, tether has declared that it is pegged to a fiat currency, making it centralized crypto.

Besides, tether has issues with the regular audit of its market. It’s also found guilty of some collateral backing, which may soon lead to some investors pulling out of the respective market. 

Amongst the top management, there’s a perceived conflict of interest. Consequently, this may pull apart the platform and lead to the creation of another altcoin. And it is worth admitting that this may draw the coin down from its current position. 

5. Bitcoin cash (BCH) 

Market capitalization: $4.54bn

Overview of Bitcoin Cash

BCH is a soft fork of BTC, created by Haipo Yang, a product of the political drama that unfolded about Bitcoin between 2010 and 2017.

Issues are surrounding the creation of bitcoin cash. Some of the issues raised include the accusation that BCH is “a cheap ripoff of BTC.” The report alleged that bitcoin cash evolved by changing the leading cryptocurrency block size parameter, bitcoin. Hence, a soft fork of bitcoin. 

Despite being a soft fork, BCH has continued to grow in market capitalization since four years ago. 

Is Bitcoin cash good for mining?

The only factor that tells if mining this coin is profitable or not is the software and hardware. If you invest hugely in mining equipment, you’re good to make a fortune out of cryptocurrency. 

In comparison, bitcoin cash has a block size limit of 8MB, while BTC has just 1MB.  The implication of this is that the coin with the larger block size limit needs more computing power to mine. 

Since the duo of BTC and BCH share the same blockchain, the reward for everything successful is 6.25 units. 

Some of the hardware that best suits mining BCH include Antminer S9, R4, and S7. The price range falls between $2000 – $600

What does the future hold for Bitcoin cash?

If we peep into BCH’s future, we’re likely to see some rewarding future ahead but with a few challenges.

BCH is faster and cheaper to mine than the leading crypto, bitcoin. Most likely, the future of BCH will be determined by bitcoin. This is because they share a blockchain, and BCH is a soft fork of the latter. 

Bitcoin cash is one of the leading rivals of bitcoin. The competition is growing, which accounts for the coin finding its way to the fifth position. If BCH can overtake BTC in terms of scalability, then the coin is on its way to top the table. 

Conclusion 

Back in 2009, mining was quite easy. Anyone with a CPU could mine the crypto fortune and make remarkable profits. However, as technology advanced, professional miners saw the need to employ sophisticated rigs to mine cryptocurrencies. 

In 2017, there was a progressive increase in the number of miners. There was a remarkable growth of over 8,500 percent coin miners in the crypto farm. 

On a general note, you must read far and wide about cryptocurrency. The cost of mining and maintenance before you hit the market. You may have to pay more for electricity, mining hardware, and software to find a good stand in the market at the initial stage. 

If all these are put in place, mining will become much easier to do. 

Now that you have come to the end of the guide, you must have learned one or two things about the digital currency market. 

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