Overview of the Top-Ranking Cryptos of 2018

There have been a lot of significant changes in the crypto sphere this year from several countries accepting cryptos to the launch of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. There is also an increasing number of altcoins every month.

Even the ranking of the cryptos has changed. In January 2018, the top 5 cryptos based on the market cap were Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Cardano. But as of this writing, here are the top-ranking cryptos:


With a market cap of US$66,941,875,474, Bitcoin is the number one cryptocurrency. This digital asset started the year with more than US$200,000,000,000. Although the current market cap is less than the cap in January, Bitcoin is still leading the charts.

Launched in 2008, Bitcoin is the world’s first cryptocurrency. It uses a peer-to-peer decentralized technology called blockchain. Through Bitcoin, users can send and receive digital assets with no central authority.

In its white paper, Bitcoin promised to provide fast transactions with low fees. But over time, the coin was not able to maintain its promise. Bitcoin users now suffer the consequences of long transaction times and overpriced fees. This could have caused the unstable market cap of Bitcoin.

But developers decided to fix the issue by creating the Bitcoin Lightning Network. This new system adds another layer to the blockchain to give instant transactions. Users just need to create a channel in the new platform and perform the transaction. All arrangements are done outside the blockchain to reduce the clogging of the public ledger.


Following Bitcoin is Ripple with a market cap of US$15,723,273,496. Ripple had a great market cap entry last January. It started with US$92,626,457,504 but went as low as around US$10,000,000,000.

September has been a great month for the crypto coin when more than 100% was added to its price. This is because big banks, including PNC Bank, have decided to use Ripple. On September 19, 2018, @Ripple tweeted about this new partnership:

[email protected] has joined the 100+ financial institutions on RippleNet. It’s one of the first major U.S. banks to use #blockchain tech to streamline payments into and out of the country.”

Continuing the success of Ripple, the company decided to host an event called Ripple Swell that happened in November. But unfortunately, there was no price rally after the annual event that could have increased the market cap of Ripple.

Despite this, Ripple released xRapid in October. It is an innovative payment system that provides seamless transactions for financial institutions and businesses. During the release of xRapid, the market cap of Ripple played between US$15,000,000,000 and US$18,000,000,000, which is somewhat near to its current market cap.


Ethereum is the third crypto in the list with a US$13,982,113,139 market cap. The crypto entered 2018 with US$74,724,233,458 market cap. Unfortunately, there is a more than 60,000,000,000 difference between the previous and current cap.

One factor that caused this is the many Ethereum hacks that happened this year. An example would be when SpankChain, an adult entertainment platform that runs on Ethereum blockchain, was hacked on October 6, 2018. The hacker got 165.38 ETH on the platform’s smart contract.

Even before, Ethereum was already prone to hacking which is why Ethereum Classic was created.  But since the hacking issues continued up to this day, Ethereum developers decided to create a ConsenSys-backed firm called MetaMask that works for the Ethereum ecosystem only.

This new platform allows users to send and receive Ether just like the Ethereum network. The difference is that MetaMask is a web browser add-on for Firefox, Opera, and Google Chrome. The network was also developed to improve the security system of Ethereum. It even has a privacy mode that would require dapps to ask users for permission before they can view their account address.

This feature was announced on November 6 through MetaMask’s official Twitter account. The tweet read:

“Today we’re rolling out our new Privacy Mode! At first, it is opt-in, but early next week we plan to make this the new default!”

4| Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin’s hard fork, Bitcoin Cash landed on the 4th spot with its market cap of US$3,228,209,496. It has a difference of around US$38,000,000,000 from its January market cap of US$41,081,678,129.

A possible cause for this decline is that users have been relating Bitcoin Cash with Bitcoin. eToro UK Managing Director Iqbal Gandham further explained this. He said:

“Though it recently upgraded its blockchain protocol, it seems that Bitcoin Cash has yet to reassure the crypto community that it can provide a more stable framework for transactions and that it really is ‘Bitcoin. This lack of clarity has repeatedly called into question the authenticity of Bitcoin Cash, and until that is resolved the direction of price movement will always carry an air of uncertainty.”

But it seems that Bitcoin Cash still has a chance to increase its current market cap next year after it was split into two hard forks: Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin SV.

5| Stellar

The next crypto on the list is Stellar. The digital asset has a market cap of US$2,363,933,131. Unlike the other coins, Stellar has somewhat close similarity with its January market cap of US$8,572,450,040.

But there is a huge chance for the coin’s market cap to increase in 2019 after Stellar announced about its impending airdrop that is worth 500 million XLM.

According to Jed McCaleb, Stellar founder, he believes that the airdrop can help develop an inclusive community. He said:

“giving away Lumens for free is an indication to communities to design the services they need.”

The coin also had a lot of achievements this year including the partnership between Chain and Stellar that resulted in other agreements with Visa and NASDAQ. Stellar also created its own payment channel called Starlight and a new crypto exchange Stellar X.

The year 2018 brought changes in the crypto sphere by having partnerships, coin upgrades, accusations, and hacking. These changes have positively and negatively affected the market caps and ranks of the top 5 coins.

Now that 2019 is fast approaching, will these coins maintain their ranks, or will new coins enter the list?