Currently, there are over 1000 cryptocurrencies in the digital coin marketplace bidding to change every industry from fruits to finance. However, only a few coins have consistently been on top deserving to be named the world’s number one cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin dominated the scene at this same period last year with 85% share. However, the leading cryptocurrency’s market share is now at an all-time low of just 35%. Some coins are advancing and thus, competing for attention.
Here are the four contenders and their respective pros and cons for investor consideration, including latest prices as of 01-26-2018:
Bitcoin (BTC) – $11,362.10
Proven track record after surviving several attacks over the years and known to be a secure blockchain solution.
The only cryptocurrency famous to the majority of the investing public. Many people are not aware other coins exist.
Eroding credibility due to community controversies and constant hard forks.
The ineffective and slow implementation of scaling solutions can force investors to shift and jump to other coins. There might be alternative coins with better offerings.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) – $1,626.96, a simple fork of Bitcoin with increased block size (1MB to 8MB).
Scaling solution appears to be closer to Satoshi Nakamoto’s true vision of Bitcoin. Larger blocks can hold more transactions which generally lead to lower fees and faster transaction times even as the network scales. It has the same Bitcoin technology to make it great and secure.
Can become more profitable if miner support comes out better in maintaining network security. An improved mining hashing power could be the catalyst to dislodge Bitcoin in the near-future.
The tendency to be more centralized around the large-scale mining farms that run the network due to the larger block sizes.
Pressure to continuously increase the block size as the network grows. Some observers view larger block sizes as a linear solution to an exponential problem.
Ethereum (ETH) – $1,073.60, the second largest coin with 18% market share
Operating in a community with strong leadership and an aligned vision. The Ethereum Enterprise Alliance is composed of heavy supporters with a vested interest to ensure the coin’s success.
The network is already processing a lot more transactions than Bitcoin.
Unproven scaling solutions that a surge in network traffic can cause significant congestion like what happened to CryptoKitties.
Difficult to write contracts to make them secure. The DAO hack and Parity wallet bug is a threat even if the Ethereum network is secure. The DApps built on top of it is not yet proven to be capable to deter such threat.
Ripple (XRP) – $1.2291, favorite crypto of banks and other financial institutions
Support of several major banks and preferred digital coin in the financial industry.
Considerably better transaction fees and times than Bitcoin.
Regarded as the most controversial coin in the cryptocurrency space. Critics believe its centralized nature is the complete opposite of what cryptocurrency stands for.
Companies need not use the Ripple token (XRP) when using Ripple payment technology. The token’s popularity could lag behind even if the technology grows in popularity. That is a major drawback.
The majority of the XRP tokens are held by the Ripple Company. This puts an unproportioned amount of control into the hands of just a limited few.
With the slipping dominance of Bitcoin, there’s a strong possibility that by this time next year, a new coin will emerge as the cryptocurrency king. The top four coins listed above could be overtaken by some currencies that could establish market dominance.