The cryptocurrency market is a lucrative one today. New innovations and ICOs are taking place, introducing new coins to the market for investors to trade in. The current market value of the circulating supply of any currency is a key performance indicator for investors to consider. This keeps on changing, owing to various news and disturbances in the market.

One August 21, 2018, the total market cap of cryptocurrencies shot up by $12 billion, in a matter of an hour, as BitMEX exchange stopped trading activities on its platform.

So, let’s take a look at the top 5 cryptocurrencies according to their market cap. Out of the 1,889 crypto coins in the market, these are the most significant players disrupting various industries.

1.     Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin has stood the test of time since its inception in 2009. Today, valued at a market cap of $112 billion, it remains at the top of the list, surpassing other contenders by a considerable margin.

Its price stood at $6,254 on August 24, 2018. The coin started the year on a high note, trading at $14,112 on January 1, 2018; continuing on the growth path set in late 2017. Since the beginning of 2018, this digital currency has seen several highs and lows, driven by different circumstances and market situations.

In terms of transaction speed, scalability and mining efficiency, Bitcoin lags behind the newer entries in the market. But this has not stopped major organisations finding ways to incorporate this decentralised store of value in their system. Recently, the NYSE announced a collaboration with Starbucks, BCG, Microsoft and other companies to launch Bakkt Company, which will work towards enhancing mainstream adoption of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

There are also expectations that Bitcoin ETFs filed for review by the CBOE to the US SEC will be approved by the end of the year. This is likely to send the coin’s value soaring to new heights.

2.     Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum currently occupies the second place, with a market cap of $28 billion. It was trading at a price of $276 as of August 24, 2018. The Ethereum blockchain has been a pioneer of major innovations and ICOs ever since its inception. With the rising popularity of ICOs as the new form of venture funding for tech startups, the value of ETH will remain intact in the foreseeable future.

The platform goes beyond a source of peer-to-peer currency transfer. It offers greater flexibility and applications through the use of smart contracts, which have been used by many companies to develop their own cryptocurrencies and smart apps (DApps).

Over 82.86% of all tokens today are built on the Ethereum platform. Recently, the World Bank launched the world’s first blockchain-based bond, Bondi, which will be managed on the Ethereum blockchain, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Microsoft’s cloud computing services.

Unfortunately, with such massive use of the platform, its transaction speed has dwindled over time. But, it remains the strongest contender after Bitcoin. Currently, over 110K tokens have been created on the ERC-20 blockchain.

3.     Ripple (XRP)

Ripple, with a cryptocurrency market cap of $12 billion, is a favourite of the banking industry. The technology facilitates cheap and efficient cross-border transactions, with instantaneous settle-times and very low transaction fees. The system has already been adopted by major names like Santander, Money Gram International and American Express.

It is interesting to note, however, that Ripple and XRP are two entirely independent entities. The San Francisco-based blockchain firm has no control over the price of XRP. Recently, the company has made effective partnerships in the Asian markets. It made a deal with LianLian International, a Hong-Kong based financial services company, to enable fast transactions between China, the US and Europe.

In Japan, it has created an app called Money Tap, collaborating with 61 domestic lenders. Ripple’s xRapid platform continues to draw attention from the biggest money transfer firms like Western Union.

4.     Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

With a market cap of $9 billion, Bitcoin Cash is fourth on our list. It was spun-off from Bitcoin as a “hard fork” in 2017. In comparison to its patent coin, BCH blocks are bigger, which gives it faster transaction times at lower costs.

On August 11, 2018, CEO of Bitcoin.com, Roger Ver, made an announcement that the company will bring in a new tool called, “Wormhole Protocol,” on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. It will give developers flexibility to develop their own coins.

In recent times, Ethereum’s ERC-20 blockchain has reported glitches and bugs. The new Wormhole Protocol will likely be a strong rival to ERC-20, with its faster transaction speed, scalability and support for native tokens.

5.     EOS

EOS is one of the newest entries and aims to be a better version of the Ethereum blockchain. At a market cap of $4 billion, this coin occupies the 5th position in the list of cryptocurrencies with the highest market cap. In comparison with Bitcoin and Ethereum, which have the ability to process 3 and 15 transactions per second, respectively, EOS was built to support almost 50,000 transactions per second.

In the last three months, over 229 DApps have been built on the EOS main net. The platform will likely have over 535 DApps by 2019, if it continues at this rate. China has been consistently ranking EOS ahead of Ethereum in its own blockchain rankings.

The YTD performance of EOS has been at constant levels so far in 2018, with lesser volatility than other cryptocurrencies. Transactions on the EOS network are free, which, combined with greater speed and scalability, will continue to make it popular with businesses.

Cryptocurrencies’ market cap is an indicator of a coin’s liquidity. In order to exit positions profitably, investors have to keep these figures in mind. With greater trading and mainstream adoption, liquidity of alt coins is only likely to increase.