The world of cryptocurrency never seems far from the headlines, and it was back in the news recently when JPMorgan Chase announced it is creating the first bank-backed cryptocurrency in the U.S., dubbed JPM Coin. This was especially significant because JPM chief executive Jamie Dimon has been especially bearish on cryptos in the past, even calling Bitcoin “a fraud.”
While JPM Coin isn’t a true cryptocurrency in the vein of Bitcoin and others – it’s a controlled digital payments mechanism currently available only to the bank’s commercial clients – we thought it would be a good time to examine the wider cryptocurrency landscape. At this point, Bitcoin is fairly established, so here’s a look at the top cryptocurrencies to keep an eye on that aren’t Bitcoin. (Any data shown below is sourced from cryptoasset data company Nomics.)
Ethereum – With a market cap of more than $13 billion, Ethereum is the world’s second-most prominent cryptocurrency (though still well behind Bitcoin’s market cap of $65 billion). Ethereum is also the second-most valuable crypto around, trading for $125.81 as of March 4. Technically, Ethereum is the open-source blockchain that generates the cryptocurrency, named Ether. It has generally trudged along as a (distant) second behind Bitcoin since its initial release in 2015 and will likely continue to have staying power compared to most of the blink-and-you-miss-them cryptos that have come and gone; it even survived the near-catastrophic 2016 hack of its system.
XRP – Despite having a market cap near that of Ethereum, XRP – the cryptocurrency created by blockchain-based settlement system Ripple – trades for only around 30 cents. However, Ripple’s end-game is not a consumer-focused digital currency; rather it has designs on taking on Swift and becoming the new de facto standard for cross border payments.
EOS – With a market cap of a little less than $3 billion, EOS lags well behind the “big three,” and falls into the vast realm of the hundreds of other cryptocurrencies mostly unknown to the general public and followed only by the die-hard crypto-enthusiasts. Launched in June 2018, EOS can be said to have had one of the few successful Initial Coin Offerings, raising more than $4 billion before launch. Since it’s launch, EOS has remained generally stable – no small feat for a startup cryptocurrency – and is considered a prime competitor for Ether, though it still lags a bit behind.
Fun fact: Eos is the name of the Greek mythological goddess of the dawn.
GOToken – Can’t say we know much about this one, but it caught our eye since its value jumped more than 1,000% between the last week of February to the first week of March, per Nomics data. Looking through it’s history, GOToken has seen wild fluctuations in price, going from one cent to 56 cents, back down to two cents and back up again to 66 cents –all within the span of two weeks in February. While this cryptocurrency may not be very noteworthy in and of itself, it is perhaps indicative of the roller coaster ride in price that many of the vast majority of cryptocurrencies experience.
Catcoin – Catcoin trades for 7 cents as of March 4, but there’s something about it that just catches our eye. Simply look at that adorable logo. You’re such a smart, handsome cryptocurrency, yes you are.