Today the price of Bitcoin is US$7,950.18; Ethereum is US$172.59; XRP is US$0.290388; Tether is US$1.01 and Bitcoin Cash is US$215.42. These are the Top 5 cryptocurrencies by market capitalisation.
About the Top 5 cryptocurrencies
The top 5 cryptocurrencies are the biggest and most significant cryptocurrencies and constitute the top half of The Top 10 Cryptocurrencies by market capitalisation.
In August 2008, the domain name bitcoin.org was registered. On 31st October 2008, a paper was published called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. This was authored by Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin. To date, no one knows who this person, or people, are.
The paper outlined a method of using a P2P network for electronic transactions without “relying on trust”. On 3rd January 2009, the Bitcoin network came into existence. Nakamoto mined block number “0” (or the “genesis block”) which had a reward of 50 Bitcoins.
Ripple is a real-time gross settlement system (RTGS) developed by the Ripple company. It is also referred to as the Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP) or Ripple protocol. It can trace its roots to 2004 when a web developer called Ryan Fugger had the idea to create a monetary system that was decentralised and could effectively allow individuals to create their own money.
Ethereum was launched by Vitalik Buterin on 30th July 2015. He was a researcher and programmer working on Bitcoin Magazine and he initially wrote a white paper in 2013 describing Ethereum. Buterin had proposed that Bitcoin needed a scripting language. He decided to develop a new platform with a more general scripting language when he couldn’t get buy-in to his proposal.
Bitcoin Cash was born out of the idea of making Bitcoin more practical for small, day-to-day payments. In May 2017, Bitcoin payments took about four days unless a fee was paid, which was proportionately too large for small transactions. A change to the code was implemented and Bitcoin Cash was born on 1st August 2017.
Litecoin was released in October 2011 by Charlie Lee, a former Google employee. It was a fork of Bitcoin with the main difference being a smaller block generation time, increased maximum number of coins, and a different script-based algorithm.
USDT is a controversial cryptocurrency with tokens issued by Tether Limited, a company under the umbrella of Bitfinex. Each token issued is claimed to be backed by one United States dollar (USD). Tether operates on the Omni protocol as a token issued on the blockchain. Every Omni transaction recorded in a Bitcoin transaction sharing the same transaction hash, boosting Tether’s network security.