Among the cryptocurrency community, there is a large group who believe that Ethereum will one day have the largest market cap of all.
The belief is based partly on Ethereum’s long-term scaling solutions, which includes a transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake mining. That transition will result in Ethereum having a drastically lower environmental footprint compared to Bitcoin and other proof-of-work systems.
Ultimately, though, it is the ability to build applications on top of the Ethereum blockchain that makes it so promising. While Ethereum has been around for less than 3 years, some successful applications have already been developed on it. In fact, 43 of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap are Ethereum-based tokens.
This article will talk about 10 of the most successful Ethereum-based tokens, ranked by their current market cap. Note that I will do my best to keep this list up-to-date and add information about coins that climb up the rankings, but the top 10 moves almost daily! Please refer to coinmarketcap.com/tokens for the current top 10 tokens and their prices.
Let’s get started!
(Information last updated December 18, 2017.)
1. EOS (EOS)
With a current market cap of over $2 billion, EOS is the biggest Ethereum-based token out there.
It’s important to clarify, however, that EOS has its own blockchain rather than using the Ethereum blockchain. This means that the Ethereum token is the only extent to which EOS is Ethereum-based.
EOS does still have a lot in common with Ethereum. Both are primarily smart contract–enabled platforms for hosting decentralized applications (dApps). The big technological difference that makes EOS unique is its operating system-like structure that scales both horizontally and vertically.
Horizontal scaling is the key phrase here, as it allows for smart contracts and transactions to be executed in parallel rather than sequentially. This difference makes EOS more efficient than Ethereum, leading to faster transactions and lower fees for dApps.
Some people have gone so far as to dub EOS a potential “Ethereum Killer”. However, if you’re looking to invest in EOS, buyer beware. The project is not well-regarded by a significant portion of the crypto community, and some have even speculated that it’s a scam. On the other hand, if they successfully develop the technology as laid out in the whitepaper, EOS will become a legitimate challenger to Ethereum as the premium Turing complete blockchain.
2. Tron (TRX)
Tron is a blockchain-based protocol for revolutionizing the economics of online content. It aims to connect content creators with ordinary users using Tron’s coin, TRX, so that they are no longer reliant on centralized platforms to store and spread their content or to get paid for it.
The Tron whitepaper states: “Existing content platforms have been controlled by profit demands and centralized mechanisms, and the content we read is that which the centralized platform wishes us to read, rather than what we wish to read.” This rings especially true in China, where the first Tron-compatible entertainment app, Peiwo App, will be released.
Social media platforms today deploy algorithms designed to keep users on the platform for as long as possible in order to generate more revenue from advertisements. Such advertisement-based profit models are not optimal for end-users or content creators.
Tron’s decentralized ecosystem is designed to take control of the internet away from corporations like Facebook, Google, Apple, Alibaba and Tencent and redistribute it to content creators and ordinary users. Safe to say, it’s one of the more ambitious projects in crypto.
Tron is developed by a non-profit foundation based in Singapore. You can learn more about the project on their website, or by reading the whitepaper linked in the paragraph above.
3. Populous (PPT)
With our existing financial infrastructure, the process of getting a loan is very inefficient for small and medium-sized businesses. Populous provides a new means of facilitating these loans, using a decentralized, peer-to-peer platform.
When businesses experience “slack” periods between invoices where cashflow is too low to pay wages, supplier dues, and other operational costs, they can turn to Populous to quickly receive loans. Businesses simply upload their invoices to the platform, and buyers are then free to bid for the opportunity to loan the business money and later collect the principal plus interest.
By building the platform on blockchain technology, Populous eliminates the need for banks and other financial institutions to serve as the middleman in these transactions. This means businesses can get loans faster and at better rates, while people with excess capital can lend their funds and earn more interest on it than they would by leaving the money in a savings account.
Populous has started the month of December with a bang, doubling their market cap in less than two weeks and moving up to their current position as the 17th largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
4. OmiseGo (OMG)
OmiseGo is a hot pick by many to be one of the top performing cryptocurrency investments of 2018.
The motto of OmiseGo is “Unbank the Banked”. What does that mean, exactly? Well, it basically means that OmiseGo will provide completely decentralized and affordable financial services, and you don’t need to have a bank account to gain access to them.
Their services will include payments, remittances, payroll deposit, B2B commerce, supply-chain finance, loyalty programs, asset management and trading. Best of all, OmiseGo is intrinsically agnostic between fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies. As stated on their website, “the system is constructed so that the best currencies will win.” The company currently operates in Thailand, Japan, Singapore and Indonesia, with plans to expand across the Asia-Pacific region.
OmiseGo’s token pre-sale in July 2017 was so successful – bringing in $60 million – that they skipped the ICO altogether. They’ve developed significant partnerships in Southeast Asia since then, including McDonald’s and Credit Saison. The current OMG market cap is just over $900 billion. Here’s their whitepaper if you’d like to take a deeper look.
5. Augur (REP)
Prediction markets are already considered the most powerful forecasting tool we have in the human arsenal. The idea is that when you combine the ideas of game theory and wisdom of the crowd, you’ll generally get more accurate predictions than could be expected from even a panel of experts in any given field.
Augur is an exciting project that plans to create the first ever decentralized prediction market. Instead of having a bookie who takes bets, reports on the outcomes of events, and redistributes the funds accordingly, this can now be done in a decentralized manner.
Augur accomplishes this using Reputation, a coin which is used to incentivize holders to report honestly about the outcomes of events. When Reputation holders report honestly, they earn more Reputation. When they report dishonestly, they lose their Reputation.
Augur is currently in the beta phase, but recent development updates indicate that they’re making significant progress towards a launch. Although their USD market cap has increased over 50% in the past month alone, this may still be one of the more undervalued crypto projects out there. People love gambling, and Augur has the chance to provide a superior forecasting platform that blows their centralized competition away. If they can pull it off, it’s all up from here.
6. Status (SNT)
Status is one of the better-known dApps among the Ethereum community, in good part because its purpose is to actually make Ethereum better. In fact, the Status ICO last summer was so popular that it momentarily overwhelmed the entire Ethereum network.
Status runs the go-ethereum (geth) light client on mobile devices, enabling users to turn their phones or tablets into Ethereum nodes. This allows users to participate in the mining process and make the Ethereum network stronger.
On top of that, Status is also an Ethereum browser and decentralized messaging app. This service makes it easier for people to access other Ethereum dApps and to easily communicate with people around the globe about transactions and smart contracts.
The status app is currently in alpha testing for both iOS and Android. You can learn more about Status by reading their whitepaper.
7. Veritaseum (VERI)
The business model of Veritaseum can be described as creating an entryway into global peer-to-peer capital markets that is cheaper than other options that are offered today. In other words, they plan to compete directly with hedge funds while operating at a fraction of the cost.
According to the Veritas Paper, Veritaseum offers access to assets and value trading without counterparty risks, credit risks, or balance sheet exposure. This is done using a software suite of roughly one dozen smart contracts called VeADIR. Customers can gain access to VeADIR using Veritas tokens, which are available on EtherDelta and a couple other lesser-known exchanges.
However, as far as investing goes, it should be mentioned that Veritaseum is one of the riskier ones out there. Their website is well below standard, and it takes a significant amount of independent research to even understand what they are trying to do.
On top of that, they haven’t officially launched any products yet, so investing at this point requires a lot of faith that they will live up to the promises they’ve made to compete against hedge funds and brokers — and win.
8. Salt (SALT)
Salt takes a traditionally centralized financial service and offers a more efficient alternative by using smart contracts.
Say that you have some crypto assets that you are bullish on and don’t want to sell, but you are strapped for cash. With Salt, you can use your crypto assets as collateral to receive a loan so that you can make it to your next payday without selling your crypto.
You don’t need to report a credit score or go through a lengthy approval process. Borrowers simply put their blockchain-based assets up as collateral in a smart contract and are quickly matched with capital from an extensive network of qualified lenders.
Salt is scheduled to roll out their platform with BTC collateralized loans in Q4 2017, adding Ethereum collateralized loans in Q1 2018 and more altcoin collateralized loans in Q3 2018. Salt launched just a few months ago in October 2017, so their high ranking among Ethereum-based tokens indicates that the project has received a lot of positive attention.
9. Binance Coin (BNB)
Binance Coin is the coin used to facilitate operations on the Binance platform – a cryptocurrency exchange that is capable of processing 1.4 million orders per second. The name “Binance” is derived from the combination of the terms “binary” and “finance”, referring to the integration of digital technology and finance.
The BNB coin is used on the platform to pay exchange fees, withdrawal fees, listing fees, and all other possible transaction expenses. In order to incentivize new users to do their cryptocurrency trading on Binance, the team is offering discounts when BNB is used to pay fees. The discount will be 50% in the first year, 25% in the second, 12.5% in the third, and 6.25% in the fourth year before the discount ends.
Binance was primarily marketed to Chinese cryptocurrency investors at first, but they also have English, Korean, Japanese, French, Spanish, and Russian versions of the platform.
10. Golem (GNT)
Golem’s plan is to create a global, open-sourced, decentralized supercomputer that can be used by anybody who has internet access.
Golem doesn’t actually supply the computational power itself. Instead, they allow people who have unused computational power to “lend” it out to users who need it for a fee. In that sense, you can think of Golem as the AirBnb of computing.
Just about any situation where heavy computation is necessary – medical research, AI development, computer graphics, cryptography, etc. – are good potential use cases for Golem. All computation is done on virtual machines, so hosts don’t have to sacrifice security to offer their computing power.
Golem is currently in the alpha testing phase. You can check out the GolemProject subreddit to see several examples of images that were rendered using the Golem Network. And here’s the whitepaper for those interested in taking a deeper look at the technology.
Previously in Top 10
These are Ethereum Tokens that were in the Top 10 during a previous edition of this article but have since slipped down.
Santiment Network Token (SAN)
Santiment Network Token is marketed as a way for cryptocurrency traders to gain an edge over the rest of the market. They do this by providing a library of specially curated data feeds about blockchain assets and the market sentiment surrounding them.
Santiment’s business model is to offer subscriptions for customers to gain access to their data feeds. Holders of the SAN token can receive limited access to some of that information, or use the token to purchase more exclusive information in auctions.
Trading using fundamental analysis takes a lot of work. You have to research projects in depth and keep up to date on all the latest news to gauge market sentiment. The idea of Santiment is that they will do a lot of the hard work for you and consolidate the most important data into one convenient location.
Santiment’s roadmap includes a whitepaper release, mobile app alpha, ICO analysis stream, and slack sentiment data feeds all before the end of Q4 2017. They haven’t yet delivered on those items, which is worrying given that Q4 is nearing its conclusion. It’s highly recommended that you do more research into what is causing the delays before considering an investment in Santiment.
If you found this list useful, check out our guide to the Top 50 Cryptocurrencies and 5 Undervalued Cryptos You Should Keep Your Eye On.