Comparison of cryptocurrencies

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The cryptocurrency market is explosive which currently serves hundreds of currencies. Almost all of them are obvious scams—including many which purport to have a large market cap. This article aims to list only the most relevant cryptocurrencies in terms of novel technological advancements or strong engineering teams, or due to widespread awareness thereof. Direct, low-level scams should not be listed here.

Cryptocurrency Exchange symbol Launched Anonymity Notes Website
Bitcoin.png Bitcoin BTC 2009-01-03 Low First blockchain.
Bitcoin.png Tonal Bitcoin TBC 2011-01-02 Low First on-chain alternative. Tonal Bitcoin
Bitcoin Cash.png BCH BCH 2017-08-01 Low An altcoin based on an old snapshot of Bitcoin's blockchain (2017 Aug 1) with replay protection and an increased block size limit of 8MB. An unusual emergency difficulty adjustment algorithm causes significant periods of hyperinflation. Significant miner centralization; often a very low hashrate. Major proponents deliberately attempt to confuse new users into thinking BCH is Bitcoin.
Namecoin.png Namecoin NMC 2011-04-18 Low First cryptocurrency that implemented Satoshi's BitDNS idea. Essentially the first real altcoin. Still under active development. First merged-mined altcoin.
Dash.png Dash DASH 2014-01-18 Low Introduced the X11 algorithm, which is just a composite function of multiple hashing algorithms. Had a significant failure mode in the beginning which equated to a majority premine by a small number of Amazon EC2 customers. This means their Master Node algorithm has been in a failure mode from the beginning.
Ethereum.png Ethereum ETH 2015-08-07 Low Majority premine sale. Source of the ICO bubbles. Multiple client implementations which fail against each other in terms of consensus errors regularly. Requires multiple months of time to sync to eth blockchain. Contract-building tools interpret input incompatibly. Regular hardforks to bail out larger losses by e.g. ETH foundation.
Ethereum Classic-32x32.png Ethereum Classic ETC 2016-07-24 Low An altcoin of Ethereum which split from ETH's blockchain when the DAO was hardforked to refund the Ethereum Foundation's members' money, including to Roger Ver.
Litecoin.png Litecoin LTC 2011-10-07 Low Originally meant to be a CPU-friendly "silver" to Bitcoin's "gold", the early SCRYPT parameters, it was discovered later, led directly to GPU, and then ASIC-mining almost from the start.
Monero.png Monero XMR 2014-04-18 Medium The most successful implementation derived from the Cryptonote codedrop. Uses Ring Confidential Transactions.
Zcash-16x16.png Zcash ZEC 2016-10-28 Medium First cryptocurrency that implemented the zerocash protocol. Large "Founder's Reward" which is paid out over the first few years of mining to people including Roger Ver.
Zcoin-800x800.png Zcoin XZC 2016-09-28 Medium First cryptocurrency that implemented the zerocoin protocol which also makes it the first useful Zero-knowledge proof based anonymous cryptocurrency. First that implements Merkle Tree Proof of Work (MTP).
Cryptocurrency Max supply Algorithm Proof Type
Bitcoin.png Bitcoin ~21,000,000 SHA256 PoW
Bitcoin Cash.png BCH ~21,000,000 SHA256 PoW
Namecoin.png Namecoin ~21,000,000 SHA256 Merged(Bitcoin) PoW
Dash.png Dash 22,000,000 X11 PoW/PoS
Ethereum.png Ethereum Infinite Ethash PoW
Ethereum Classic-32x32.png Ethereum Classic Infinite Ethash PoW
Litecoin.png Litecoin ~84,000,000 Scrypt PoW
Monero.png Monero Not Applicable CryptoNight PoW
Zcash-16x16.png Zcash ~21,000,000 Equihash PoW
Zcoin-800x800.png Zcoin ~21,000,000 Lyra2RE PoW