The world of cryptocurrency has transformed drastically over the last two years and there have also been many important changes among the top 5 cryptocurrencies. These changes come amid a wave of regulation, smarter investment tools, and a generally more stable market.

We take a look at the top 5 cryptocurrencies and their trajectories, as well as what is currently driving their prices.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin has remained steadfast at the top of the cryptocurrency pile and continues holding onto its leading position. In 2017, Bitcoin saw a tremendous growth in value that resulted in a boom, but crashed in January 2018. Up until a couple of months ago it was still plummeting in value and there were those in the crypto community that felt the drop wouldn’t tail off.

A lot can change in a month though (especially in the world of cryptocurrency). Lately, Bitcoin to the delight of investors has begun to rise rather nicely in value and break out from a steep downward trajectory. This rise in BTC value is not only good news for Bitcoin users but also for the crypto market as a whole. With Bitcoin having such a large and widespread influence, it gives hope to less popular currencies that they too may break out.

Improved functionality by way of workarounds like the Lightning Network has also bolstered Bitcoin, providing a solution (though imperfect) to some of the trouble of transacting on the Bitcoin blockchain. Lastly, Bitcoin is seen as the flame-bearer for blockchain technology which is going from strength to strength as more companies are employing the use of blockchain for all manner of purposes.

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Ethereum

Another mainstay of any top 5 cryptocurrency list, Ethereum has consistently been trailing Bitcoin for a number of years. Unlike Bitcoin, however, it hasn’t fared well over the last two years and the price remains consistently quite low. Occasionally, it shows signs of improvement only to drop again, in fact. The Ethereum price has remained very static for the last 12 months and significantly lower than its all-time high.

Because the operation and functionality of Ethereum is so different from Bitcoin, the two often act independently of one another in the market. Most cryptocurrencies do well when Bitcoin does, but Ethereum tends to do a little better against a dropping Bitcoin price.

It is difficult to assess what the next twelve months have in store for Ethereum. As of late, it has shown some slight (marginal) improvements but it seems that the currency is a bit lost at sea trying to reassert itself. It is likely that Ethereum will always have some market share. But now more than ever, its place at number two is under threat from chasing cryptocurrencies and was in fact overtaken briefly by number three on our list.

XRP

XRP is the oddball of the cryptocurrency world. Highly controversial, incredibly popular with banks and financial institutions, and extremely low-value, it seems to defy the odds when it comes to its consistently high rankings.

XRP has pioneered extremely fast payment processing times, which makes it a very sought-after cryptocurrency in the financial sector. It also collaborates with financial companies in order to make wealth more accessible all over the world.

One thing is certain about XRP, it will continue to be on top 5 lists and it will continue to collaborate with the wider financial services sector to implement bold, new and exciting projects all over the globe.

Bitcoin Cash

When the crash happened across the rest of the cryptocurrency market, Bitcoin Cash followed the lead, which is quite obvious as it is the closest rival to Bitcoin. Generally, Bitcoin Cash has performed very well since its entry to the market in 2017 after the hard fork, and there is still a sense of positivity and excitement that surrounds the coin. Recently, it has demonstrated a sharp swing from $270 to around $330.

It is, however, a very volatile cryptocurrency. Over the last year, the price of Bitcoin Cash resembles a mountain range with sharp peaks and sheer drops. Many attributed it to the hard fork that Bitcoin Cash went through in November 2018, splitting into Bitcoin Cash ABC (now, BCH) and Bitcoin SV.

Currently, it is beginning to perform better again after a rather poor showing over the last six months, but it may be some time before the price stabilizes and falls in line with the rest of the market.

Litecoin

Choosing a number 5 on this list was tricky as different lists will have different coins in this position. That is mostly due to different metrics being used to equate the top 5. Litecoin has been around for a number of years now and has always mirrored the successes and failures of its big brother Bitcoin.

One thing that stands out about Litecoin though is despite it’s booming at the same time as Bitcoin and collapsing at the same time as Bitcoin, it didn’t fall off the grid. In fact, Litecoin’s downward trajectory was relatively short-lived and it has been on a growing upwards trend for a while now. It could just be that this reliability might ultimately see it surpassing all other coins above over the next few years.

Here, we’ve analyzed the top 5 cryptocurrencies that drive the market now. Their leadership can hardly be undermined due to the strong concepts behind them. Gone are the days of sweeping rises and sharp falls; and today’s crypto market is maturing to the point that it will become accessible and viable for mainstream investment. Will we witness this soon? Nobody knows, so it remains to be seen.