How many cryptocurrencies are there? This often asked question sounds simple but in reality it is very difficult to know the exact number of virtual currencies. No site lists them all.
The Ministry of Economy and Finance counted more than 2,871 in 2019, without having updated since. Today there are over 8,035 cryptocurrencies listed on coinmarketcap. But that’s not the most interesting thing after all.
It should be noted that there are very many crypto-currencies but that only a few dozen can be qualified as popular cryptocurrencies. We often tend to rank promising cryptocurrencies based on their market capitalization, and rightly so.
The crypto currency Bitcoin, created in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto (without knowing who he is, if it is a man or a woman, or even a single person or several) is the first of crypto-currencies. He is somewhat of the digital gold standard of the cryptocurrency industry, the benchmark in the field. The main crypto currency experienced a “fork” in August 2017. A disagreement in the Bitcoin community over the speed of transactions gave rise to the birth of a new currency: Bitcoin Cash, which immediately rose to third position in the Top 10 cryptocurrencies and has maintained itself since then. around the Top 10 virtual currencies without ever succeeding in competing with Bitcoin.
Remember that the price of Bitcoin is only partially correlated to the global economic situation and rather obeys a momentum effect and that most other virtual currencies are correlated with the first of the crypto currencies. But this is less and less true and challengers manage to make remarkable breakthroughs, especially Ethereum.
The other benchmark crypto currency is in fact Ethereum, which also experienced a “fork” in the summer of 2016. Ethereum, more complete than Bitcoin, relies on all Blockchain applications since it can not only process transactions but also complex contracts and programs. Indeed, technically more successful and more efficient than Bitcoin, Ethereum is both a decentralized exchange protocol that allows users to set up smart contracts as well as a cryptocurrency based on the Ethereum network, more commonly known as Ether. The strengths of this crypto network have participated in the spectacular increase recorded by Ethereum since 2020. The second active crypto could well see itself on the first step of the podium. Its market capitalization at the beginning of September 2021 was around 513.519 billion euros and over one year it recorded an increase of nearly 693%, a much higher increase than that of Bitcoin over the same period (around 182%).
Bitcoin and Ether, together, account for nearly 64% of the total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin dominance reaches 46% and Ether 18%.
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