Cryptocurrency market cap at $10 billion means that there are now over ten billion dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency in existence. For a long time, the market cap of bitcoin has been larger than that, but it’s down to a little over $10 billion.
That still makes the total value of all cryptocurrencies between $100 and $200 billion. That’s a lot of money.
But what is it? How can we tell what it really is? And what would happen if it disappeared?
It isn’t quite as simple as counting up the value of existing cryptocurrencies and comparing them to the value of fiat currency, as most people seem to think. If you had been around when bitcoin was first created, you might well have thought it was worth thousands or millions or even billions of dollars. But then you would have been wildly wrong. In fact, there was no such thing as bitcoin at that time.
Or take ethereum: its market cap was about two billion dollars at the start of 2017, and then shot up to over sixteen billion dollars in less than a couple of months. It is now back around nine or ten billion dollars again. It went from zero to sixty million dollars in less than a year, and then back down from sixty million dollars to
Most of the cryptocurrency market cap is in one currency, bitcoin, and it’s easy to see why. Bitcoin has become a kind of global language. Many people have heard of it but don’t know what it is or do not understand it well enough to be able to appreciate its value.
But there are other currencies, and they are just as valuable. In total, there are now over 2000 cryptocurrencies and tokens worth more than $1 billion each (if you include bitcoin).
So what is the potential value of all this investment? That depends on how many people start using them. To keep things simple, we’ll assume that the most popular cryptoassets have a 10% annual growth rate per year. That would mean a market cap of $100 billion within ten years. If that came about, it would make all this money about as valuable as the world’s largest company – Apple, in terms of market cap – or about $500 billion.
The problem is that we can’t judge from looking at those current values whether an investment in cryptocurrency is safe or risky. Cryptocurrencies are still speculative investments: people buy them because they think they will go up in price, not because they see any particular way their money will be used.
I’ve been toying with the idea of a top ten list of cryptocurrencies for some time now. It’s a genre I find particularly appealing. Lists have an obvious appeal; it’s fun to be told what is good or bad, and, in some ways, all we do here at CoinDesk is tell people what’s good and bad. But most of the cryptocurrency lists I’ve seen are either totally unbalanced or completely off-base; they’re either missing important factors or completely ignoring things that would be important to them.
This list is not going to be like that. We will take a balanced look at both the positive and negative aspects of each coin, and also give you a sense of how much each coin is worth right now (and whether it will continue being so).
Here are The Top Ten Cryptocurrencies in 2017:
The cryptocurrency market cap is currently $211 billion. Bitcoins are currently valued at about $3,000 each, which makes the total value of bitcoins in circulation $3.5 billion. If you had bought a bitcoin in 2011 when you could purchase one for a few cents, it would be worth more than $100 today.
Some people have recently said that Bitcoin is no longer interesting and that it’s time to move on to the next big thing. They point to the rise of the NXT coin and say that we should wait until that coin has risen in value to a point where it seems like a sure thing before we invest. I disagree with their conclusion because, as I will explain later, I think NXT has much more potential than Bitcoin does going forward.
The reason why people focus on Bitcoin is that it is the oldest and biggest coin, and simple logic says that if you want to make money out of this market you’d better get in early when there are still so many people willing to buy. But as we will see in this article, I think there are better coins out there for us to invest in now than Bitcoin is likely to be over the next few years. The last couple of weeks have seen some huge gains for coins like LTC and NXT,
It’s a gold rush, so everyone wants to get in on it. The price has recently been rising at a rate of 20% per week, which is nice for early investors who can buy at a discount and sell at a profit later. But it is also good news for people who aren’t very good at math and haven’t thought about how their money will be worth in the future.
The number of people who understand cryptocurrency is still fairly small, so there are still plenty of bad ideas floating around. Everyone thinks they have the best idea, but all of them are wrong. If you are looking to buy your first bitcoin or ethereum, I strongly recommend focusing on practical things: use it to pay for things you need today that don’t require too much trust (like a cup of coffee or a bus ride), and keep an eye on the value relative to the market cap.
Cryptocurrency is a highly speculative market, and one that offers high potential rewards. But as with any investment, it’s important to understand the risks. One of the most important is the possibility of total loss. Cryptocurrency can be extremely volatile, and while there are some reliable indicators that help you determine whether a cryptocurrency is in a bubble or not, it’s not something that can be relied on 100% of the time.
For example, if the market cap is rising too quickly, it could indicate that there’s no real value in the currency; if it’s falling too quickly, it could indicate that so much demand for the currency has led to some supply shortage. But neither of those things necessarily means that a coin is just going to disappear. It could mean you’ll have to pay more for your cryptocurrency than you expected to, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to vanish.
The same goes for price drops. A drop in price tends to indicate that there’s less interest in a cryptocurrency than there was before; Bitcoin’s price dropped 17% after its peak back in December 2017. If a cryptocurrency looks like it’s losing value or popularity on a regular basis, it could be a sign that there are problems ahead, but it could also simply be
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are digital currencies. They are not backed by any physical assets. And they have no central authority behind them, no company that can run away with your money.
Some people think this makes them safe. But there is a big difference between being safe and being secure. Being safe means you are more likely to come out ahead than if you weren’t playing the game at all; but being secure means you will be protected from someone taking advantage of you, at least in some circumstances.
For example, you might be playing a casino-style card game where most of the other players lose and you win almost every hand; or you might be investing in a pyramid scheme that collapses before you even start, and your only recourse is bankruptcy court. In both of these cases it would make sense to invest only small amounts of money, because it is clear that being able to recover what you invested would not put you much ahead if you lost it all.
So far we have been talking about the security of investments in the traditional stock market. But cryptocurrencies are different: they are peer-to-peer systems that take advantage of the global reach of the Internet to create a kind of barter economy where everyone around the world can trade whatever they want with everyone else