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 Max supply Algorithm Proof Type Notes Website
Bitcoin.png Bitcoin BTC 2009-01-03 Low ~21,000,000 SHA256 PoW First blockchain. bitcoin.org
Bitcoin.png Tonal Bitcoin TBC 2011-01-02 Low ~21,000,000 SHA256 PoW First on-chain alternative. Tonal Bitcoin
Bitcoin Cash.png BCH BCH 2017-08-01 Low ~21,000,000 SHA256 PoW 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 ~21,000,000 SHA256 Merged PoW First cryptocurrency that implemented Satoshi's BitDNS idea. Essentially the first real altcoin. Still under active development. First merged-mined altcoin. namecoin.info
Dash.png Dash DASH 2014-01-18 Low 22,000,000 X11 PoW/PoS 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 Classic-32x32.png Ethereum Classic ETC 2015-08-07 Low Infinite Ethash PoW Majority premine sale. Used to be known as just "Ethereum" and "ETH" until the Ethereum Foundation split off an altcoin using their trademark. ethereumclassic.org
Ethereum.png Ethereum ETH 2016-07-20 Low Infinite Ethash PoW An altcoin of Ethereum Classic which split from ETC's blockchain in order to refund the Ethereum Foundation's members' money when the DAO was exploited. Regular hardforks to bail out larger losses by e.g. ETH foundation. 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. ethereum.org
Litecoin.png Litecoin LTC 2011-10-07 Low ~84,000,000 Scrypt PoW 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. litecoin.org
Monero.png Monero XMR 2014-04-18 Medium  ? CryptoNight PoW The most successful implementation derived from the Cryptonote codedrop. Uses Ring Confidential Transactions. getmonero.org
Zcash-16x16.png Zcash ZEC 2016-10-28 Medium ~21,000,000 Equihash PoW 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. z.cash
Zcoin-800x800.png Zcoin XZC 2016-09-28 Medium ~21,000,000 Lyra2RE PoW 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). zcoin.io