How Many Cryptocurrencies Are There?

When people first start to learn about Bitcoin, then one of the most common things people will start to question when they begin their Bitcoin journey is how many cryptocurrencies are there? It is pretty much impossible to answer this question 100% accurately, as there are a number of smaller cryptocurrencies that are not registered on exchanges, so it is not possible to track all of them, but let’s take a look at some of the more interesting ones out there.

How many cryptocurrencies are listed on exchanges?


As mentioned in the opening paragraph there are a number of cryptocurrencies listed on exchanges, and also a number of smaller ones which are not. And of course another thing to remember is that different exchanges list different cryptocurrencies, so if you were looking for a particular one then you might have to search around before you find an exchange listing it.

One of the most popular places people go to buy their cryptocurrency is Coinbase, however at the time of writing this platform only deals with four – Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. However, a quick look at CoinMarketCap and you’ll see that it currently lists a whopping 1596 currencies which are available across various exchanges.

What are the top cryptocurrencies?


When answering the question what are the top cryptocurrencies, at the top of the chart is of course Bitcoin. The original cryptocurrency which emerged after the financial crisis in 2008, as of April 2018 it has a market cap of around $120 billion, with a 21 million token limit. At the time of writing one Bitcoin would cost you in the region of $7,000.

The second most popular cryptocurrency is Ethereum which is often seen as the biggest rival to Bitcoin. Ethereum claims to be different to Bitcoin in the way that whereas Bitcoin is purely a currency, Ethereum is a ledger technology which can be used to build new programs. The currency itself operates on the Blockchain technology, however Ethereum claim there’s is a lot more robust that Bitcoin. In terms of value, at the beginning of April 2018 there was a market cap of roughly $38 billion, with a token costing $392.

Outside the big two we can look at Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin to make up the rest of the top five. Ripple was born in 2017 and is different to Bitcoin as it is a centralised transaction network which, much like SWIFT, is used for money transfers by banks. The current cap is $19.4 billion with a token price of $0.49.

Bitcoin cash was the brainchild of frustrated Bitcoin miners who changed to a new software in the hope of creating a currency which could overtake Bitcoin. Whilst they haven’t yet managed this, there is currently a market cap of $11.5 billion and a token price of $675.

Rounding off the top five is LiteCoin, which has in the past been called Bitcoin’s younger brother. LiteCoin boasts a faster transaction speed that Bitcoin, and currently has a market cap of $6.5 billion dollars and a token price of $120.

Lesser known Cryptocurrencies


So away from the main players what other cryptocurrencies are out there? As mentioned as well as the 1000+ which you can invest in using exchanges, there are also a number of smaller ones which won’t even appear on exchanges.

There are a number of reasons and purposes for the various number of cryptocurrencies out there. For example some of them are created with a specific purpose in mind, such as Game tokens which are designed to be used for all video game related transactions, or Dentacoin which is specifically for the dental market. There are also a few cryptocurrencies which have been designed as a joke even!

Perhaps the most well know ‘joke’ cryptocurrency is the much discussed Dogecoin. Dogecoin was created by Billy Markus who was a programmer and set out to make a fun coin which would appeal to a broad demographic. The design itself was inspired by a famous internet meme, and even the designer himself said it was designed to be a fun way for people to play around with currency, and he said the value of it didn’t matter. Despite this the value soared as the coin was an unexpected hit; and as of writing the currency has a market cap of $317 million!

Investing in other Cryptocurrencies


So as you can see for any potential investors out there, there are a number of options available to you. Of course before making the plunge and puting in your hard earned cash it’s vital to do your research. Once you’re sure you know the currency you want to invest it, the next step is to find an exchange with lists it. Once you’ve done this the process is straightforward, although it varies slightly between the difference exchanges. You can look at one of our guides about buying cryptocurrency through an exchange here.

Ian Scarffe

About the Author:

Ian Scarffe is a serial entrepreneur, investor, key opinion leader and Blockchain consultant with business experience from around the world.

As a leading entrepreneur, Ian is on a personal mission to develop a culture of entrepreneurship, helping startups achieve their full potential as well as helping to expand existing companies.

Ian has founded ‘Binkplus’, a startup incubator in Europe. Ian is an Independent Expert at the European Commission – Horizon 2020

An expert in Startup, Investment, Fintech, Web3 and Blockchain industries. Ian currently consults and advises for a range of multi-million dollar companies.

Ian’s overall mission is to foster a society of economically independent individuals who are engaged citizens, contributing to the improvement of their communities across the world.

Ian Scarffe has written two books to help others:

The Ultimate Guide to Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency 2018 Blockchain Basics 2020

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