Cryptocurrencies have been all the rage this year with total market capitalization surging 132% since the beginning of the year.
Given this crypto frenzy, it is quite remarkable how some of the top marketcap ranking firms have eluded mainstream attention.
Fintech News compiled a list of top nine cryptocurrency firms ranked (#) by market cap according to coinmarketcap. These crypto firms haven’t been featured much by the mainstream media so far, probably with the exception of the Binance exchange.
Please note this is no investment advice at all and any of those coins can be traded anytime at 0.0001.
Binance Coin (BNB) is the cryptocurrency issued by the Binance cryptocurrency exchange. It powers the whole Binance ecosystem which includes he Binance Chain, Academy, Trusted Wallet and Research projects.
BNB has a strict maximum of 200 million tokens and was launched during an initial coin offering (ICO) in July 2017. It is one of the world’s most popular utility tokens.
At the time of writing, BNB had a market cap of US$61.92 billion and ranked fourth behind only Bitcoin, Ethereum and Tether USD.
Polkadot (DOT) is an open-source sharding multichain protocol that facilitates the cross-chain transfer of any data or asset types, thereby making a wide range of blockchains interoperable with each other.
This interoperability seeks to establish a fully decentralized and private web, controlled by its users, and simplify the creation of new applications, institutions and services.
The Polkadot whitepaper was released in 2016. In October 2017, the project raised over US$140 million in a token sale.
Polkadot’s native DOT token serves three clear purposes: providing network governance and operations, and creating parachains (parallel chains) by bonding. At the time of writing, DOT had a market cap of US$23.63 billion and ranked eighth.
Uniswap (UNI) is a decentralized finance protocol that is used to exchange cryptocurrencies. The protocol facilitates automated transactions between cryptocurrency tokens on the Ethereum blockchain through the use of smart contracts, and eliminates the need of trusted intermediaries.
Launched in November 2018, Uniswap has gained considerable popularity over the past year thanks to the decentralized finance (DeFi) phenomenon and associated surge in token trading.
The company behind it has received investments from venture capital firms including Andreessen Horowitz, Paradigm Venture Capital, Union Square Ventures LLC and ParaFi.
At the time of writing, UNI had a market cap of US$15.03 billion and ranked tenth.
The Internet Computer (ICP) is a digital token that runs on its own proprietary protocol called the Internet Computer Protocol, which aims to let anyone build software or publish content on the Internet without using services from big companies.
Using the Internet Computer, developers can create websites, enterprise IT systems and Internet services by installing their code directly on the public Internet and dispense with server computers and commercial cloud services.
The project is being developed by the Dfinity Foundation, a not-for-profit scientific research organization based in Zurich.
At the time of writing, ICP had a market cap of US$13.17 billion and ranked eleventh. The Internet Computer went live on May 07, 2021.
Chainlink (LINK) is a decentralized oracle network and cryptocurrency that provides real-world data to blockchains. It aims to curb dishonest centralized data-feed providers by using a distributed network of nodes to verify data it receives from sources.
Chainlink is one of the main sources of data used to feed information to applications in DeFi, and has grown to become the main interconnection pillar between the real world, decentralized applications (DApps) and the DeFi ecosystem.
LINK is Chainlink’s native token. Launched in 2017, LINK is an Ethereum token that’s used to pay for services on the network.
At the time of writing, LINK had a market cap of US$12.28 billion and ranked 13th.
Solana (SOL) is a blockchain network focused on fast transactions and high throughput. The protocol is designed to facilitate DApp creation and make DeFi accessible on a larger scale.
Solana aims to improve scalability by introducing a proof-of-history (PoH) consensus combined with the underlying proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus of the blockchain. As a result, it claims to be able to support 50,000 transactions per second without sacrificing decentralization.
Solana was officially launched in March 2020 by the Solana Foundation with headquarters in Geneva.
SOL is the native currency used to interact with and transact on the Solana blockchain. At the time of writing, SOL had a market cap of US$11.95 billion and ranked 15th.
Polygon (MATIC), previously Matic Network, is a protocol and a framework for building and connecting Ethereum-compatible blockchain networks, creating thus a so-called “multi-chain Ethereum ecosystem.”
Polygon aims to solve pain points associated with blockchains, like high gas fees and slow speeds, without sacrificing on security. This multi-chain system is akin to other ones such as Polkadot, Cosmos and Avalanche, but with the advantages of Ethereum’s security, vibrant ecosystem and openness.
MATIC, the native tokens of Polygon, is an ERC-20 token running on the Ethereum blockchain. It’s used for payment services on Polygon and as a settlement currency between users who operate within the Polygon ecosystem. The transaction fees on Polygon sidechains are also paid in MATIC tokens.
At the time of writing, MATIC had a market cap of US$10.54 billion and ranked 16th.
Theta (THETA) is a blockchain-powered network purpose-built for video streaming. Launched in March 2019, the Theta mainnet operates as a decentralized network in which users share bandwidth and computing resources on a peer-to-peer (P2P) basis. The project is advised by Steve Chen, co-founder of YouTube and Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch.
THETA is the network’s native cryptocurrency token, which performs various governance tasks within the network. At the time of writing, THETA had a market cap of US$9.51 billion and ranked 18th.
Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) is the first Ethereum token backed 1:1 with Bitcoin. WBTC standardizes Bitcoin to the ERC20 format, creating smart contracts for Bitcoin. This makes it easier to write smart contracts that integrate Bitcoin transfers, and brings greater liquidity to the Ethereum ecosystem including decentralized exchanges (DEXs) and financial applications.
WBTC was first announced on October 26, 2018, and officially launched on January 31, 2019. At the time of writing, WBTC had a market cap of US$6.86 billion and ranked 23rd.