Where are the Mainstream Cryptocurrencies Heading to?

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The world of blockchains is full of quick conversion and the replacement of the old by the new occurs every day.

In this world, there is a conventional line, the Top 20 market value. The one crossing the threshold is called the “mainstream currency”, just like the colleges and universities in China, the most powerful ones are called 985 and the ones in the second echelon are called 211 while the others are just common colleges.

The figure below shows the Top 20 mainstream currencies in 2013-2019, in which the red ones are the encrypted asset which have fallen out of the rank. It is not difficult to find out that being ranked among the “mainstream” does not mean anything. Only Bitcoin and Litecoin are the ones being listed for seven years. As for others, some have already fallen out of the Top 20 for years and some have even fallen out of the top 100 with even no values.

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Then the “mainstream currency” in your hands will still be the “mainstream” ones before the next bull market?

 

No. 1: Bitcoin(BTC)

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Really no more to say about bitcoin?

Without it, blockchain will not exist, including hundreds of tokens and coins as well as market value of hundreds of billions and so many related industries. And of course, this article will not exist either.

Certainly, the development of bitcoin is not as smooth as we have imaged. After several failures of expansion, bitcoin splits the BCH and BSV communities which develop in different directions and concepts. The “peer-to-peer electronic cash system” described in the white paper seems to be gradually deviated to become the “electronic gold” in public consensus.

Of course, the rapid rise of lightning network this year has once again made people see the possible application of bitcoin “cash” system, however, all needs to take time to be tested.

The market value of bitcoin is declining year by year and many people are concerned about it. In fact, it is a good thing because only in this way can people prove that the blockchain is useful, instead of just an “e-cash” or electronic gold. No matter how the market value share has been reduced, the dominance of bitcoin should not be underestimated. After all, it’s not just a coin, but a symbol and a totem.

 

No. 2: Ethereum(ETH)

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Many people intend to regard bitcoin as the representative of the first generation of blockchain, and the representative of the second generation is Ethereum.

Vitalik Buterin used to apply many creative ideas on the bitcoin, but he soon found it’s not appropriate, so he invented a new currency: Ethereum. In the beginning, nobody was optimistic about it and it unexpectedly ranked the second after incredible development.

There are many ideal aspects on Ethereum, such as the global computers, Code is Law, DAO autonomy… However, everything didn’t go so smoothly. The dream of global computers is limited by current TPS and high costs, so there’s a long way to go. Code is Law and DAO autonomy were attacked by hackers, so they had to overthrow their own restrictions and split out ETH and ETC, suffering from a heavy blow.

The craziness of Ethereum in 2017 was inseparable from ICO (Initial Coin Offering). People unexpectedly discovered that Ethereum smart contract was the most convenient for issuing coins, and Ethereum itself was also called a “tool of issuing coin”. With such a nickname, after the collapse of ICO in 2018, 93% of its highest currency price was directly cut off and even the position of the second ranking was endangered.

Fortunately, the rise of DeFi in 2019 gave Ethereum a new goal — the global settlement layer, which has a clearly visible development direction with the support of several projects such as 0X, MakerDao and Drahma. Considering the expectation on ethereum2.0 to transform into PoS, the re-emergence of Ethereum is believed to be only a matter of time.

 

No. 3: Ripple(XRP)

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In terms of mainstream currency, the most controversial one in the entire blockchain should be Ripple.

Why? Because in essence, Ripple should not be regarded as blockchain…

It’s completely centralized and Ripple founder holds 20% of share with the capability of adding or destroying arbitrarily.

Due to obvious divergence, the co-founder, McCaleb, even leave Ripple to join in Stellar (XLM).

Then, why is Ripple able to be ranked the top three for a long time?

Just because of its vision and attractive story. What it aims at is the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) system, a very attractive narration. Moreover, unlike the conventional blockchain projects which intend to “subvert” the traditional economy, Ripple directly chooses to cooperate with the banks and obtain relevant investments from Google, IDG, SBI, Standard Chartered Bank as well as the board of directors with luxury qualifications. It’s more like a big company which just gets involved into the blockchain industry instead of a simple currency.

However, many people didn’t know that Ripple offers three solutions: xCurrent, xVia and xRapid. Only the xRapid solution needs to use XRP tokens as the transit currency. Among the banks or financial institutions currently working with Ripple, only three chose the xRapid solution.

 

No. 4: Bitcoin Cash(BCH)

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Bitcoin Cash can be known as a project which was born with purple spoon with big controversy.

It is a spiritual manifestation of adhering to the direction of big block and opposing Bitcoin Core’s monopoly after repeated failures of bitcoin expansion. In terms of the technology alone, some people believe that Bitcoin Cash is more in line with the definition of “peer-to-peer electronic cash” than bitcoin in the White Paper.

However, the advantage of first issuing was very important. Even if bitcoin changed the development direction towards electronic gold, it’s still bitcoin. The main KOL of Bitcoin Cash community also promised not to compete with bitcoin for “orthodoxy”. From then on, everyone would develop independently according to their respective concepts.

In the past year, Bitcoin Cash has also suffered from a lot of turmoil. For instance, due to big divergence, the community split into Bitcoin Cash and BSV. Then, the Copernicus and Wormhole projects were dismissed, the Bitmain suffered from unfavorable conditions on the way of being listed and the currency price even fell to the bottom. Fortunately, since the current market is getting better, it has successfully recovered the losses for new development potential.

Unlike Bitcoin Core for the “Raspberry Pi” blocks and BSV for “infinite capacity expansion” Metanet, Bitcoin Cash seems to be not so clear about the future direction. After the development team Wormhole was dismissed, Bitcoin Cash smart contract attempted to temporarily declare failure. According to current situation, it seems to develop toward the direction of “pure” electronic cash.

 

No. 5: EOS

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EOS broke a lot of records in 2017: TPS records in the white paper (EOS claims millions of TPS VS 15 TPS of ETH), records for ICO duration (a full year), records of funds-raising by ICO (US$4 billion), etc. During that period, there were hundreds of chains in the white paper and the wonder prospect described by TPS gave investors an endless imagination.

In the days when PoW was popular while PoS was unknown, EOS presented the improved variant DPoS and raised the banner against PoW. Later, many projects such as the TRON began to adopt DPoS. Although it has been criticized by the “decentralization”, many controversies on various mechanisms such as EOS super-node election, constitution, voting, super arbitration, proposals and dividends provided a lot of ideas and experiences for blockchain governance. Therefore, EOS should be regarded as the token of 2018.

However, the dream is ideal while the reality is cruel. In 2018, the online of mainnet was full of twists and turns. After being online, thousands of TPSs were far from the millions of TPS described in the white paper. More importantly, the development direction of DApp in the whole industry was still very vague. So, the simple spinach DApp was rampant so that EOS had been nicknamed a “spinach chain” in the whole year.

 

No. 6: Litecoin(LTC)

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Bitcoin is gold while Litecoin is silver —- That’s the first saying heard by those who contacted with Litecoin.

Without exaggeration, as for billions of dollars of market value of Litecoin, this sentence may account for half of the role because it’s natural for humans to like stories.

Judged by the criteria today, Litecoin seems to be useless because it is just developed from Bitcoin by modifying several parameters as a copycat in different nameplate.

However, due to the huge consensus and time advantage accumulated in the early days, Litecoin has firmly occupied the core position of the mainstream currency in the past years.

Meanwhile, Litecoin owns at least one irrefutable value, that is, as the existence of the Bitcoin test network(refer to: With the upcoming Litecoin Halving, Will Litecoin Maintain Its Status?). Whether it’s segregated witness or the lightning network, they were always deployed on Litecoin for test first and then on Bitcoin. From this perspective, it’s also a way of survival to keep low profile.

 

No. 7: Binance Coin(BNB)

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One or two years ago when you were told that a platform Token would be ranked top 10, did you believe?

However, BNB did it! The words most frequently heard this month are: BNB is the real bitcoin!

Yes, at least in the past year, BNB performed better than bitcoin, and even the best in the entire currency circle. As for the currencies with 80% of price drop, including bitcoin, it took the lead to return to the previous height or even higher than the previous height. Holding BNB certainly gives a feeling of reassurance than BTC.

After all, the platform itself is the only biggest application of the blockchain nowadays. As the absolute head of the platform, the value of Binance token itself is self-evident. From the initial US$ 0.1 to US$30 nowadays, it has increased by 300 times within only two years. Is there any products with better investment income within the past two years worldwide?

After increasing by 300 times, the benefits of Binance haven’t been over, such as the decentralized exchange platform Dex and Binance chain being newly online as well as the futures trading …

 

No. 8: Tether (USDT)

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If the BNB can be known as the top 10 tokens as the platform token, Tether should be said to get involved as the corporate currency.

What supports the USDT value is the billions of dollars in Tether’s bank account which are not “so transparent”.

When it’s newly online, constant controversy has been triggered, especially the facts that some client funds were embezzled, so people are not so reassured about USDT and worry that the USDT in hand will be suddenly changed into waste paper.

However, so many storms and negative news have never blown USDT “seriously”. Within just over a year, although the proportion of USDT is slowly decreasing in the market of stable currencies, people gradually feel it like the “bitcoin” in the stable currency. The advantages of time, the numerous trading pairs on major platforms as well as the general consensus of traders make it more and more difficult for latecomers to overtake.

It’s a slightly ironic example. The one ranks the eighth in the blockchain industry is unexpectedly a “centralized currency”. How about the decentralized stable currencies?

 

No. 9: Stellar (XLM)

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Stellar is nicknamed as the Ripple for the poor, because it is much more popular in developing countries and regions.

Because Stellar was created singlehandedly by one founder of Ripple who was dissatisfied with the Ripple mechanism. He made some small changes based on Ripple source codes and his project can be seen as a hard fork of Ripple.

There are no essential differences between the two technologies. If there are, they might be as follows:

  • XLM is an open source, non-profit network while Ripple is a product of a private company(Ripple Labs). XLM is much more decentralized.
  • XLM has slight inflation while Ripple has no.
  • Main partner of XLM is IBM while the partners of Ripple are major banks and financial institutions.

 

No. 10: Cardano (ADA)

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At the end of 2017, the ADA existed as the focus of the market.

After being released, the market value ranked the top 25 very soon and all the evaluation agencies gave very high scores. It’s also the world’s first public chain project with “peer review” and academic rigor. In 2017, the currency price soared by 50 times … It’s so brilliant that it could even challenge EOS which was just equally popular. The fans can still remember the fierce confrontation at that time.

However, it might be one of the public chains with the slowest development progress, because the EOS in the same period has been online for one year with over 100 DApp.

Can you accurately tell whether the ADA has been online? If yes, on which stage is it now? Can you name any DApp running on the ADA?

The ADA can still rank the top 10 (used to rank the 4th in history), we have to admit that it’s a miracle…

If the development progress is still being delayed, it’s most probable to fall out of the top ten or even out of the mainstream currencies. After all, about six months later, ADA’s competitors include not only EOS, but also other star players such as ETH2.0, Cosmos and Polkadot.

 

Postscript

So far, the top 10 mainstream cryptocurrencies are introduced. In this analysis, we tried our best to be objective and neutral, but it is inevitable that there will be personal subjective judgments. If you have different opinions, feel free to leave a message. In the next bull markets, which cryptocurrency do you think will fall out of the top 10? And why? Feel free to share your opinion in the message area.

 

Appendix

Series articles on cryptocurrency introduction and analysis at EastShore: