Welcome to our Top 20 Cryptocurrencies Briefly Explained List – January 2018 Edition

This article includes a brief explanation of the Top 20 Cryptos in the market so you can use this as your go-to-place for ultra fast learning

Every month, we’ll be updating this list so make sure to bookmark the page to see February’s edition next month! We also recommend to bookmark this page so that you regularly return to it when searching for a brief summary of a coin/token.


A Brief Summary Of The Top 20 Cryptos

What Do Each Of Them Do?

Who Are Their Main Competitors?

Unique Selling Point For Each Top 20 Crypto


Prices are correct as of 9am GMT, December 1st, 2017

Before We Begin, We Want To Highlight 3 Points:

  1. This is a brief summary of the top Cryptocurrencies – not an in-depth analysis. Over time, we aim to carry out in-depth reviews of all of these coins and we will be including links to them in these regular, monthly articles
  2. Some Cryptos have more extensive information included than others – this is zero indication of whether we are fans of the project or not
  3. Much of the information has come from the project teams directly. As such, we cannot 100% guarantee the accuracy of the information

Total Market Cap

$642 Billion  (9am GMT January 2nd, 20118)

1 – Bitcoin

  • Market Cap – $235.4 Billion
  • Token Price – $14,030
  • Brief ExplanationDigital Currency
  • What is Bitcoin? – The original digital currency, run on a decentralized peer-to-peer network. 
  • Who Are Bitcoin’s Competitors? – Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Litecoin, NEM etc
  • Unique Selling Point – Bitcoin is the original Cryptocurrency; people often know what Bitcoin is without even knowing what a Cryptocurrency is – it has major brand appeal



2 – Ripple (XRP)

  • Market Cap – $90.7 Billion
  • Token Price – $2.34
  • Brief ExplanationDigital Currency For Banks
  • What Is Ripple? – A global real-time settlement network, its system aims to connect banks around the world to allow for cross-border payment systems
  • Who Are Ripple’s Competitors? – Stellar Lumens
  • Unique Selling Point – Rapid transaction speeds; between 5-10 seconds. For banks, this currently takes between 2-4 days. Note: Ripple receives bad press in the current Cryptocurrency space due to its plans to work with the banks. Many people believe that this goes against the core premise of Cryptos; to unbank the banked
  • Extra Points – We believe that Ripple provides banks with an unbelievably improved system and could one day be used globally BUT banks are able to use Ripple’s systems without buying Ripple tokens. With no consistent demand for the tokens, we don’t believe Ripple tokens should be priced anywhere as high as they currently are. Once the majority of the market realises this incredibly important point, we expect to see Ripple’s price crash. Read our review  to learn more.
  • Read Our Review Here



3 – Ethereum

  • Market Cap – $84.4Billion
  • Token Price – $872.65
  • Brief ExplanationDecentralised App Platform
  • What Is Ethereum? – A decentralised app platform, allowing companies to build decentralized applications (Dapps) on top of their blockchain that can make use of Ethereum’s smart contracts
  • Who Are Ethereum’s Competitors? – NEO, Cardano, Lisk, Waves, EOS, Ethereum Classic and more
  • Unique Selling Point – Ethereum have the first mover advantage in the smart contract sector and they have a huge community spearheaded by Vitalik with the most developers of any Crypto, other than Bitcoin
  • Extra Points – We have concerns about whether Ethereum will be able to scale quickly enough. There are many Ethereum-based projects which are currently in ICO/development stage. Over the next few months, many of these projects will launch and require the use of the Ethereum network. Unless Ethereum is able to increase their transaction speed in time, all of those projects might not be able to function correctly. This would be a PR nightmare for Ethereum and could seriously damage investor confidence.



4 – Bitcoin Cash

  • Market Cap – $42.2 Billion
  • Token Price – $2,496
  • Brief ExplanationDigital Currency
  • What Is Bitcoin Cash? – A hard fork of the original Bitcoin, that operates with an increased block size but without the Segwit upgrade that Bitcoin has
  • Who Are Bitcoin Cash’s Competitors? – Bitcoin, Dash, NEM, Litecoin etc.
  • Unique Selling PointPossesses a block size limit of 8MB, compared to the original Bitcoin’s 1MB, allowing an 8x higher on-chain transaction speed (without accounting for Segwit).
  • Extra Point #1 – Bitcoin cash may have an increased block size compared to Bitcoin but they have refused to implement Segwit on the network. As a result, Bitcoin Cash will be unable to implement some 2nd layer upgrades such as The Lightning Network. Without such an important upgrade, we don’t believe that Bitcoin Cash will ever be fast enough to function as a global, decentralised currency.
  • Extra Point #2 – Bitcoin Cash is positioned very highly in the market. However, many people believe that much of the reasoning behind this is simply because of their name – and not their technology – as they carry the Bitcoin name, investors are more keen to invest in the project.



 5 – Cardano (ADA)

  • Market Cap – $20.1 Billion
  • Token Price – $0.775
  • Brief Explanation – Decentralised App Platform
  • What Is Cardano? – A platform to build decentralized applications (Dapps) and cryptocurrencies on with the use of smart contracts
  • Who Are Cardano’s Competitors? – Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, EOS, NEO etc.
  • Unique Selling Point – Cardano uses a programming language called Haskell (they have made their own improvements to the language also) – which will supposedly allows for code to “be written in a more secure and reliable manner as it has a mathematical approach.”
  • Extra Point – Cardano has gone under the radar for many investors until a recent price surge up to 5th in the market as the project is extremely tech-heavy and is difficult to understand for non-technical investors. As a result, many investors are now beginning to believe that Cardano has been highly undervalued and could have an incredible 2018. It’s for this reason that we included Cardano in the ‘Honourable Mentions’ section of our recent article – The Top 7 Cryptos For 2018.



6 – Litecoin (LTC)

  • Market Cap – $13.6 Billion
  • Token Price – $249.5
  • Brief Explanation – Digital Currency
  • What Is Litecoin? Litecoin was made to offer what bitcoin lacked. Litecoin regularly implements future Bitcoin upgrades before Bitcoin e.g. they implemented Segwit before Bitcoin and will most likely do the same with the Lightning Network before Bitcoin
  • Who Are Litecoin’s Competitors? – Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Zcash, Monero, Dash
  • Unique Selling Point – Charlie Lee (creator) maintains a close partnership with Bitcoin. He has often described a future where it’s more beneficial to have both currencies than just one, particularly when the Lightning Network is implemented. Therefore, the success of Bitcoin could also result in the success of Litecoin. Some disagree with this and say that there will be no need for Litecoin if the Lightning Network is added to Bitcoin – only time will tell




  • Market Cap – $11.4 Billion
  • Token Price – $4.10
  • Brief ExplanationDigital Currency for the ‘Internet of Things’
  • What Is IOTA? – A cryptocurrency designed for the Internet of Things, IOTA operates using ‘Tangle’ technology as opposed to the blockchain which is used for virtually every single other Crypto
  • Who Are IOTA’s Competitors? – N/A. Future projects targeting the ‘Internet of Things’ will be competitors e.g. the current Hdac ICO
  • Unique Selling Point – IOTA’s use of Tangle technology has three significant advantages over blockchain cryptocurrencies; theoretically, it’s infinitely scalable, has zero fees and cannot be hacked by quantum computers – a concern for blockchains over the next few years. Some describe the Tangle Technology as the future ‘Blockchain Killer’ but viewers should be aware that the Tangle tech is incredibly new and it’s very hard to predict the validity of these claims at this current time
  • Extra Point – IOTA’s team previously made a relatively beginner mistake in their code which could have been highly damaging for the project if it had not been highlighted to them. With these 2 extra points in mind, we believe that the biggest stumbling block for IOTA could potentially be the team. In spite of that though, we are big fans of the project and believe that they will have a great 2018 hence their inclusion in our Top 7 Cryptos To Invest In 2018 list.



8 – NEM (XEM)

  • Market Cap – $9.81 Billion
  • Token Price – $1.09
  • Brief Explanation – Digital Currency
  • What Is NEM? –A digital currency, run on a decentralized peer-to-peer network, that allows the purchase or sale of goods and services
  • Who Are NEM’s Competitors? – Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Litecoin and many more
  • Unique Selling Point – Operates using a Proof of Importance algorithm (PoI) as opposed to Proof of Work (PoW) or Proof of Stake (PoS). NEM is regularly praised by investors for its technology but it lacks the strong marketing seen by other teams. As such, supporters of NEM regularly argue that it’s undervalued based on its technology. Some people in the Crypto-space argue that marketing is a key element for success and therefore their lower price tag is justified. We’ll let you decide which side of the argument you think is correct 



 9 – Stellar Lumens (XLM)

  • Market Cap – $9.34 Billion
  • Token Price – $0.522
  • Brief Explanation – Digital Currency For Financial Technology
  • What Is Stellar Lumens? Stellar is a bridging currency similar to Ripple except that it is a not-for-profit project.
  • Who Are Stellar Lumens’ Competitors? – Ripple
  • Unique Selling Point – Stellar have announced impressive partnerships with IBM and KlickEx to create a payment solution for the financial technology industry
  • Extra Point – In our review of Stellar, we highly praised Stellar’s impressive technology, the not-for-profit nature of the project and many other aspects. However, we also discussed why we wouldn’t invest in the project as there won’t be sufficient long-term demand for tokens to support prices. This is something that we believe most of the market has overlook – similar to Ripple – and could cause a crash in prices once the market does notice.
  • Read Our Review HERE



10 – Dash (DASH)

  • Market Cap – $8.90 Billion
  • Token Price – $1,143
  • Brief Explanation – Digital Currency
  • What Is Dash? – A digital currency like Bitcoin, run on a decentralised peer-to-peer network
  • Who Are Dash’s Competitors? – Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, NEM, Litecoin and more
  • Unique Selling Point – Unique features such as InstantSend, PrivateSend, the Dash Budget System and the plans to release a Crypto payment gateway similar to Paypal
  • Extra Point – Dash is a very popular choice in the South Korean market




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11 – Monero (XMR)

  • Market Cap – $5.79 Billion
  • Token Price – $372
  • Brief ExplanationPrivacy Coin
  • What Is Monero? – Like Bitcoin, it is a peer-to-peer, decentralized digital cash system but with improved privacy that Bitcoin lacks
  • Who Are Monero’s Competitors? – Zcash, Dash and more
  • Unique Selling Point – The implementation of Ring Signatures, Stealth Addresses and RingCT allows all transactions to be kept anonymous but also allows selective sharing
  • Extra Point – With the global black market estimated to be worth $1.8 Trillion per year combined with the increasing prevalence of online purchases through the dark web, the demand for privacy coins could be huge over the coming year.



12 – NEO (NEO)

  • Market Cap – $5.53 Billion
  • Token Price – $85.1
  • Brief ExplanationDecentralised App Platform
  • What Is NEO? – NEO is a decentralised app platform often referred to as ‘China’s answer to Ethereum’.  NEO token holders receive GAS by holding NEO with GAS being the actual fuel of the platform
  • Who Are NEO’s Competitors? – Ethereum, Qtum, Lisk, and more
  • Unique Selling Point – The transaction speed of NEO is superior than many of its competitors – 1,000 per second compared to Ethereum’s 15 per second.
  • Extra Point – It should be noted that NEO has pivoted away from the idea of being ‘China’s answer to Ethereum’ in light of China’s recent announcements to ban ICOs and Cryptocurrency exchanges. However, any lift in these Chinese regulations would surely be hugely positive for the price of NEO – smart investors should pay close attention to this. It’s for this reason that we included NEO into our Top 7 Cryptos For 2018 article



13 – EOS (EOS)

  • Market Cap – $5.40 Billion
  • Token Price – $9.36
  • Brief Explanation – Decentralised App Platform
  • What Is EOS? – A platform which will enables vertical and horizontal scaling of decentralized applications on WebAssembly. Supporters joke that the acronym stands for “Ethereum on Steroids”
  • Who Are EOS’ Competitors? – Ethereum, NEO, EOS, Lisk, Cardano and more 
  • Unique Selling Point –The capability to process millions of transactions per second through horizontal scaling, far more than the likes of Ethereum (15 per second) and even NEO (1,000 per second)
  • Extra Point – EOS is considered to potentially become one of the top contenders to Ethereum over the next couple of years. With 2018 being the year of their platform release, EOS could be one to watch in the near future



 14 – Bitcoin Gold (BTG)

  • Market Cap – $4.61 Billion
  • Token Price – $275.4
  • Brief Explanation – Digital Currency
  • What Is Bitcoin Gold? – A hard fork of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Gold is a currency designed to reduce the centralised mining power as seen in the Bitcoin network over the network through the introduction of a new mining algorithm known as Equihash
  • Who Are Bitcoin Gold’s Competitors? – Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Dash etc.
  • Unique Selling Point – The mining algorithm known as Equihash which aims to reduce the centralisation of mining seen with Bitcoin. 
  • Extra Point – It should be noted though that Bitcoin Gold has encountered many problems already including a controversial pre-mine, forking without a working blockchain and a wallet hack. Considering this currency is so new, the number of issues is very worrying to us and we believe that it’s high position in the market could be more related to its association with Bitcoin than through the project’s own achievement.
  • Extra Point #2 – This isn’t really an extra point but we wanted to clearly highlight our opinion on this occasion – we are staying well clear of this project



15 – Qtum (QTUM)

  • Market Cap – $4.51 Billion
  • Token Price – $61.1
  • Brief Explanation – A Bitcoin & Ethereum Hybrid
  • What Is QTUM? – QTUM will be a proof-of-stake Ethereum that runs on Bitcoin’s blockchain. Due to its hybrid nature, QTUM has the abilities of both Bitcoin & Ethereum and will be able to take advantage of future upgrades for both e.g. QTUM has already implemented Segwit (Bitcoin) and can add both Lightning Network (Bitcoin) and Raiden (Ethereum) upgrades in the future
  • Who Are QTUM’s Competitors? – Ethereum, NEO, Lisk and more
  • Unique Selling Point – Qtum can take advantage of both Bitcoin and Ethereum upgrades, meaning it theoretically has the largest development team of all Cryptocurrencies



16 – RaiBlocks (XRB)

  • Market Cap – $4.24 Billion
  • Token Price – $31.8
  • Brief Explanation – Feeless digital curreny
  • What Is RaiBlocks? – Raiblocks is a digital currency which uses DAG technology – similar to IOTA – instead of the traditional blockchain. Unlike other Cryptocurrencies, Raiblock’s block lattice structure means that each account has its own blockchain. As a result, Raiblocks carries several advantages as we will discuss in the ‘Unique Selling Points’ section
  • Who Are RaiBlock’s Competitors? – Bitcoin, IOTA, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin etc.
  • Unique Selling Point –  Feeless and incredibly fast. Similar to IOTA, Raiblocks solves many of the problems seen with current Cryptocurrencies by providing the technology to carry out very fast and cheap transactions.



17 – TRON (TRX)

  • Market Cap – $3.82 Billion
  • Token Price – $0.058
  • Brief Explanation – Decentralized entertainment content sharing platform
  • What Is TRON? – TRON is aiming to “heal the internet” by putting users back in control of their own data, enabling them to own the rights to their content and to decide when, how and what cost to share it. This will include a large range of things, including videos, online gambling, social networks etc.
  • Who Are TRON’S Competitors? – From our research, we have found no competitors on the same kind of level as TRON
  • Unique Selling Point – First Mover Advantage



18 – Ethereum Classic (ETC)

  • Market Cap – $3.47 Billion
  • Token Price – $35.11
  • Brief Explanation – Decentralised App Platform
  • What Is Ethereum Classic? – Ethereum Classic formed as a fork of Ethereum after a controversial decision carried out by the core Ethereum developers in 2015. ETH Classic followers believe ‘the code is law’ i.e. a smart contract should never be overriden. Recently, there has been discussion of ETH classic pivoting to focus on the Internet of Things
  • Who Are Ethereum Classic’s Competitors? – Ethereum, NEO, Lisk, IOTA, EOS
  • Unique Selling Point – Appeals to “crypto idealists” who felt the hard fork went against the whole point of the blockchain. ETH classic followers believe that, once a smart contract has been deployed, the terms of it must be carried out exactly as stipulated



 19 – Lisk (LSK)

  • Market Cap – $2.54 Billion
  • Token Price – $21.82
  • Brief Explanation – Decentralised App Platform
  • What Is Lisk? – A decentralised app platform that enables developers to build decentralized blockchain-based applications in JavaScript
  • Who Are Lisk’s Competitors? – Ethereum, NEO, EOS, Cardano and more
  • Unique Selling Point – Lisk will allow developers to write smart contracts in Javascript,  the most common programming language in the world. Ethereum, for example, uses a new language called Solidity, meaning that programmers will have to first learn this language before they can begin creating smart contracts on the platform. Lisk’s use of Javascript could allow for easier adoption with developers worldwide



20 – ICON (ICX)

  • Market Cap – $2.44 Billion
  • Token Price – $6.49
  • Brief Explanation – Decentralising Everything
  • What Is ICON? – ICON is an ambitious project which is aiming to connect various activities within a country through its own blockchain. ICON will allow organizations such as government departments, universities, hospitals, and financial institutions to interact without third-party networks that charge transaction fees or delay the process 
  • Who Are ICON’s Competitors? – From our research, we’ve found no realistic competitors to ICON at this current time
  • Unique Selling Point – The parent company for ICON is known as Dayli Financial Group; an existing and highly successful company in South Korea




On December 1st 2017, we compiled a list of the Top 50 Cryptos with explanations for each. After feedback from our community, we took on board the suggestion to cut the list down to a more manageable size – the top 20 – for the following months.

However, we have left the top 50 article up as we know that many investors may find it useful to read the extra information.

You can check out the Top 50 Article HERE

Remember that this  list hasn’t been updated since posting so the market cap and token price values will no longer be correct


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