It’s getting more difficult by the day to keep up with the changes in the ever-evolving cryptocurrency market. Even for the lucky few of us who get to spend our days reading whitepapers and refreshing coinmarketcap.com, the sheer volume of information is overwhelming.
The first way we sought to address the problem was with long-form articles such as the Top 50 Cryptocurrencies and the Top 20 Ethereum Tokens. These articles help to introduce investors to new projects in a concise manner, as well as provide links to resources for further research.
However, we felt that the information could be distilled even further. And so, in an effort to create the most concise possible overview of the cryptocurrency market, we began work on a Periodic Table of Cryptocurrencies.
Do note that there wasn’t a set criteria for deciding which cryptocurrencies would make the table, nor for determining the order in which they are included. The cryptocurrency market changes incredibly quickly, so we may update this table in the future to include new projects that have gained relevance and to take out any projects that have lost it.
For a more scientific take on a periodic table of cryptocurrencies, check out Dr Aleksandar Arsov’s proposal on blockchain categoization. His paper puts forth the idea of a “theory of cryptocurrency periodic table policy in Altcoin markets with focus on supply rigidities identified with aggregate supply in cryptocurrency markets.”
The Periodic Table of Cryptocurrencies
(Click here to download the table.)
Categories of Cryptocurrencies
The Periodic Table of Elements consists of 118 elements that fall into 8 different categories.
Try as we might, 8 categories couldn’t quite cut it for cryptocurrencies, but we managed 9. These categories are listed below, along with brief explanations of the factors that contribute to a coin or token being included in a given category.
Note that there are many cryptocurrencies that could fall into multiple categories. That’s particularly the case with Business & Enterprise vs. Platforms. We tried to place each coin and token in the category that was most appropriate, but it’s expected that some readers might feel that different categorizations work better for specific cryptocurrencies.
(If we receive strong feedback that a coin or token has been miscategorized, we may consider updating it in future editions of the table.)
- Currencies – Coins used primarily for payments and to store value.
- Protocols, Exchanges, and Interoperability – Projects building decentralized infrastructure to exchange cryptocurrencies and enable communication between different blockchains.
- Computing, Data Management & Cloud Services – Projects related to computing, data storage and security, and cloud services including file storage and cloud computing.
- Others – Projects that didn’t fit into any of the other categories. These include prediction markets, oracles, betting platforms, and AI-related projects.
- Platforms – Smart contract and decentralized application (dapp) platforms.
- Gaming, Media, and Social Networking Platforms – Projects related to the gaming industry, online content publishing and distribution, and social media.
- Privacy Coins – Currencies with features to make transactions anonymous and/or untraceable.
- FinTech – Financial services and technology.
- Business/Enterprise – Platforms meant to help businesses improve efficiency, transparency, and security, among other things.
Learn more: What is Bitcoin? Everything You Need to Know About Bitcoin, Explained, Bitcoin is a Deflationary Currency: What Does it Mean?, How the Lighting Network Can Resolve Bitcoin’s Scaling Issues, How to Buy Bitcoin
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Learn More: What is Decred?, Decred 2018 Roadmap: Will Decred Finally Grab the Attention of More Crypto Enthusiasts?
Bitcoin Gold (BTG)
USD Tether (USDT)
Learn More: Find Tether in The Top 50 Cryptocurrencies
Protocols (6), Exchanges (6) & Interoperability (6)
Binance Coin (BNB)
Learn More: 3 Cryptocurrencies That Stood Strong Against the Bears, find BNB in The Top 20 Ethereum Tokens
Whitepaper: (Published on Waves Platform’s Medium channel) https://blog.wavesplatform.com/waves-whitepaper-164dd6ca6a23?gi=22eeb0cd792b
Learn More: What is Waves?, Could Waves Become the Top ICO Platform?, What 2018 Holds For Waves: A Look At Its Progress So Far and What’s Next
Kyber Network (KNC)
Learn More: Find KNC in The Top 50 Cryptocurrencies
Huobi Token (HT)
KuCoin Shares (KCS)
Learn More: Find KCS in The Top 20 Ethereum Tokens and Cryptocurrencies to HODL for Passive Income
Learn More: Find BTM in The Top 20 Ethereum Tokens
Learn More: Find LRC in The Top 20 Ethereum Tokens
Learn More: 5 Undervalued Dapps to Keep an Eye On, Dbrain Integrates Bancor Protocol to Facilitate Secure Token Liquidity
Learn More: What is Wanchain?
Learn More: What is Ark?, Should You Invest in Ark?, Highlights of Ark’s Progress and What the Future Holds
Learn More: Could Aion’s Newly Live Network Solve One of Blockchain’s Biggest Problems?, find AION in The Top 20 Ethereum Tokens
Learn More: Find HSR in The Top 50 Cryptocurrencies
Computing, Data Management & Cloud Services (10)
Whitepaper: Currently unavailable, may be found here in the future.
Learn More: Golem Takes Shape as Brass Beta Launches on the Ethereum Mainent, Highlights of Golem’s April Reddit AMA, Golem 2018 Roadmap: What the Future Holds
Learn More: SONM: A Computer Power Marketplace, SONM 2018 Roadmap: What’s Next for SONM?, Blockchain Supercomputer SONM Quietly Hits Milestones
Byteball Bytes (GBYTE)
Learn More: What is Byteball?, Is Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) Blockchain’s New Competitor?
Whitepaper: https://github.com/maidsafe/Whitepapers/blob/master/Project-Safe.md or see the Safe Network Primer
Learn More: What is Maidsafe?
Learn More: Find RLC in Distributed Computing on the Blockchain: 5 Projects to Watch Out For
Power Ledger (POWR)
Learn More: Energy, Blockchain, and the Role of Tokens, 3 Blockchain Projects Set to Revolutionize the Energy Industry
Learn More: What is Aeternity?
Learn More: Find STORM in 10 Sub-100 Million Market Cap Cryptocurrencies to Watch in 2018
Learn More: Substratum Node Early Open Beta is Live!, 5 Blockchain Projects That Are Increasing Our Freedom
Learn More: What is Ethereum? Everything You Need to Know About Ethereum, Explained, What is the Ethereum Casper Protocol?, The Top 20 Ethereum Tokens
Learn More: What is Cardano?, Cardano Roadmap and What the Future Holds, Cardano Announces Their First Use Case: Proof of Diplomas for Greek Universities
Ethereum Classic (ETC)
Learn More: What is Zilliqa?, Zilliqa Releases Public Testnet, Top 5 Cryptocurrency Projects to Watch in June 2018
Whitepaper: No whitepaper, but you can read in-depth documentation here.
Learn More: What is Lisk?, Understanding Lisk (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (Part 4), Lisk Continues Its Forward Momentum With New Developments, Lisk Launches a New Version of Lisk Hub, Plus Other News
Learn More: What is Nxt?
Learn More: Skywire: Building an Internet For the People, Run By the People
Gaming, Media & Social (11)
Learn More: What is Steem?, Steemit Review: How Does it Work and Can You Really Earn From It?
Basic Attention Token (BAT)
Learn More: What is Basic Attention Token?, BAT 2018 Roadmap: What the Future Holds, Brave Browser Announces $1 Million BAT Token Giveaway
Loom Network (LOOM)
Learn More: What is Nebulas?
Learn More: What is Status?, Status Development Roundup: Highlights From Townhalls and Recent Updates
Worldwide Asset Exchange (WAX)
Learn More: Find WAX in 10 Sub-100 Million Market Cap Cryptocurrencies to Watch in 2018
Privacy Coins (13)
Learn More: Should You Invest in Zcash, What the Future Holds For Zcash: Can it Win the Battle of the Privacy Coins?
Learn More: What is Verge?, Verge Announces Successful Hard Fork Which Allows Processing of Stealth Transactions
Bitcoin Diamond (BCD)
Bitcoin Private (BTCP)
Learn More: Find KMD in The Top 50 Cryptocurrencies & 10 Promising Cryptocurrencies to Watch in Q1 2018
Whitepaper: Taken down from website, was previously here.
Learn More: Find NAV in Top 8 Privacy Coins, 12 Best Proof-of-Stake Coins For Passive Income & 10 Promising Cryptocurrencies to Watch in Q1 2018
Learn More: Find ENG in Top 8 Privacy Coins
Learn More: Find CLOAK in Top 8 Privacy Coins
Learn More: What is Ripple?, Stellar Lumens vs Ripple
Learn More: What Are Stellar Lumens?, Stellar Rockets Ahead of Competition With New Partnership and Updates, Struck by Lightning: Stellar to Implement Scaling Solution by December 2018
Learn More: What is OmiseGo?, OmiseGo 2018 Roadmap: Will This Be OMG’s Breakout Year?, OmiseGo Releases Roadmap Update and Clarifies Agenda
Learn More: What is Populous?, 10 Most Successful ICOs of All Time
Learn More: What is Maker?, What is a Stable Coin and Does the Crypto Market Need Them?, OmiseGo and MakerDAO Collaborate to Create a World With Disintermediated Finance
Learn More: Find DGD in The Top 20 Ethereum Tokens, The Rise of Asset-Backed Cryptocurrencies, & 3 Cryptocurrencies That Stood Strong Against the Bears
Request Network (REQ)
Learn More: What is Request Network and Why Should You Invest?, Request Network Goes Live, Allows You To Integrate Crypto Payments On Your Website, What’s New With Request Network: Revamped Roadmap, Bitcoin Support, Partnerships, and More
Learn More: What is Iconomi?
Learn More: Exclusive Interview With Brendon From TenX
Learn More: What is Salt?
Learn More: What is VeChain?, VEN to VET: The VeChain Thor Rebranding and What the Future Holds, 5 Reasons to Invest in VeChain
Learn More: Waltonchain: An Interconnection Between the Physical and Virtual Ecosystems, Match Made in Blockchain: Waltonchain + Request Network (Analytical Speculation), Waltonchain Pushes Forward: Huodull Agreement, AMA Highlights, and Other Updates
Learn More: What is Stratis?, Stratis Launches ICO Platform, Stratis Strides Forward With the Launch of Smart Contracts in C# Alpha, Should You Invest in Stratis? (Opinion)
Learn More: Ontology: The Road to Achieving $1 Billion Market Cap
Learn More: What is Dragonchain?
Learn More: What is Factom?, Factom is Building Fast, Reliable Document Auditing Services on the Blockchain
Learn More: Top 6 Mainnet Launches to Look Forward to in May and June 2018
Learn More: Find NEBL in 12 Best Proof-of-Stake Coins For Passive Income & Top 5 Cryptocurrency Projects to Watch in June 2018