Cryptocurrency is any digital or virtual currency that is transacted over a verified decentralized system, securely backed with cryptography. Rather than fiat or traditional currencies controlled by a central authority, cryptocurrencies are traded, recorded, and maintained by groups.
Its decentralized nature implies that no government or central body can control what happens in the blockchain or an individual’s personal wallet. Thus, cryptocurrencies offer a pool of wealth that is beyond appropriation and limitation to traders, developers, and investors.
There are myriads of coins out there built on different blockchains with varying traded volumes and market cap. The most common and most traded of all is Bitcoin (BTC). Others include Dogecoin (Doge), Tether (USDT), Ethereum (ETH), Binance Coin (BNB), XRP, etc.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the top 5 cryptocurrencies in today’s digital world, their name, and uncommon facts about them.
Cryptocurrency: A Quick Overview
Using encryption algorithms backed by cryptography, an alternative form of transacting was created to compete with the fiat/traditional currencies. This is known as cryptocurrency, and they are developed on blockchains.
The encryption feature of cryptocurrencies renders them useful in two different contexts. Firstly, they can function as a digital currency for buying, selling, and carrying out other transactions. Secondly, they serve as a virtual accounting system that is stored and traded.
Cryptocurrency doesn’t have any central regulating body except for the platform that issues it. It is a decentralized system that makes use of cryptographic backing to record transactions and issue new units. The transactions on the blockchain are immutable and accurate.
1. Bitcoin (BTC)
When it comes to cryptocurrency news, Bitcoin seems to be the most talked-about. In fact, it is considered a main entity while others are subordinate or alternative, called altcoins.
Bitcoin is considered the first successful decentralized digital currency existing as far back as 2009 when it was released to the market. It was created by Satoshi Nakamoto, and ever since then, it has been the talk of the market.
In 2017, a tremendous change occurred, and it gained popularity on the internet. The current price of Bitcoin is $19,178.57 USD and market cap of 367.79 B
As provided by Fool’s Emma Newbery, here are 7 uncommon facts about Bitcoin.
i. Around 20% of Bitcoin has been lost forever
ii. Brock Pierce took out the first Bitcoin mortgage in 2019
iii. There have been 668 million Bitcoin transactions
iv. Bitcoin is a legal tender in El Salvador
v. The last Bitcoin will be mined in 2140
vi. A pizza purchase was the first commercial Bitcoin transaction
vii. There are almost 100,000 Bitcoin millionaires
2. Ethereum (ETH)
Ethereum is the second most common name in the digital currency world. As explained in my previous article, Ethereum as an evolving technology, and what’s new, Ethereum could be categorized as a cryptocurrency as well as a decentralized open source blockchain system.
Well, we are talking about the currency here, which is known as Ethereum as well as Ether (ETH). It was ideated by Vitalik Buterin in a white paper, an action that earns him the father of Ethereum.
The smart contract aspect of Ethereum makes it more popular. Currently, the market cap and price of Ethereum are 162.94 B and USD 1,298.46 respectively.
According to AIBC Group in its 2022 article, below are 6 of the 16 uncommon facts about Ethereum.
i. Ethereum platform is open-source — you can contribute to it.
ii. Ethereum was funded through Crowdfunding
iii. Large businesses support Ethereum
iv. It is a centrally decentralized currency
v. Ether is the Crypto unit, not Ethereum and it’s more than just a cryptocurrency.
vi. Ethereum is not bound by limits like Bitcoins
3. Tether (USDT)
Tether (USDT) is a stablecoin traded at $1 per coin ever since its debut. Stablecoins are digital currencies that are attached to the value of a specific asset. In the case of Tether (USDT), it is attached to the United States dollar (USD).
On trading platforms, Tether functions as an intermediary between currencies when traders switch. Rather than go directly to a dollar, they choose USDT. The current market cap of Tether is USD 68,460,874,864.
Some uncommon facts about Tether include:
i. Due to its 1-to-1 peg to the U.S. dollar, it can potentially minimize volatility
ii. It was initially known as RealCoin during its launch in July 2014
iii. It was renamed “Tether” by Tether Ltd. in November 2014
iv. Although it secure the reserved amount of the fiat currency (U.S. dollar), it is not possible to exchange Tether directly for USD.
4. Binance Coin (BNB)
Known as one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance is the issuer of the digital currency BNB. It was initially created as a token to pay for discounted trades. However, it is now available as a coin to carry out transactions as well as trading.
Currently, the market cap and price of Binance Coin (BNB) are $ 43.89 B and $534.10 M, respectively.
Some uncommon facts about BNB include:
i. Its transaction fees are among the lowest in the world
ii. It was initially an ERC20 token but now BEP-2 & BEP-20 standards
iii. It powers the largest crypto-to-crypto blockchains
iv. BNB ATH is $675
5. USD Coin (USDC)
Like Tether, USD Coin is also a stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar. By implication, its value is expected to not fluctuate. However, unlike Tether, USDC’s founders claimed that the cryptocurrency is fully backed by reserved assets.
In other words, traditional assets with fair value equivalent to that USD coin are used to back it. These assets are recorded and held in accounts with regulated U.S. institutions. This shows its level of legality and security.
Currently, the market cap and price of USD Coin (USDC) are $ 44.555 B and $ 1.0, respectively.
Some uncommon facts about BNB include:
i. It is the second largest stablecoin ecosystem after Tether
ii. It is also used in neutralizing volatility of other cryptocurrencies
iii. It is a fully-reserved stablecoin
Cryptocurrency is any form of currency that exists digitally and is backed by a cryptography system to secure transactions. It is neither authorized nor regulated by any central authority; rather, it is decentralized and spread over a wide network area.
While Bitcoin is the most commonly traded cryptocurrency, there are several others like Ethereum, Solana, Avalanche, Binance Coin, Dogecoin, and Tether, among others. You have read about the top 5 cryptocurrencies in this article.
In subsequent ones, we’d be looking into trading as a whole and what factors to consider before choosing what platform to trade on and which digital currency to trade.
Kindly share your thoughts about cryptocurrencies and their unique features. Do you trade cryptocurrencies? Which is your favourite?
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