Cryptocurrencies have been hailed as the most revolutionary innovation in the finance sector of the millennium. The age of cryptocurrencies began in 2009 when Satoshi Nakatomo proposed and developed Bitcoin. The success of Bitcoin led to the development and release of other cryptocurrencies. These other cryptocurrencies are referred to as altcoins. They are mainly developed to deal with a problem or weakness of Bitcoin and aim to replace Bitcoin as the most popular cryptocurrency. Though they were meant as a means of exchange for online transactions the increased development of altcoins has led to other uses for cryptocurrencies. Such altcoins include ethereum with its smart contracts, Ripple with its frictionless money transfer and Monero with its privacy and increased anonymity features. Although most of the cryptocurrencies are built on a blockchain backbone they have different features that make them different. Cryptocurrencies are still evolving and there is still a lot more to expect from them. The following article will give a list of the top cryptocurrencies at the moment They are among the largest in terms of market capitalization and they enjoy the lion’s share of the market. These tokens are are the most popular cryptocurrencies. BitcoinBitcoin was the first cryptocurrency and it introduced the world to decentralized and open source currencies. The motivation for establishing bitcoin was to overcome the deficiencies of fiat money. By establishing a peer to peer system Satoshi Nakamoto was able to decentralize Bitcoin and free it from government and outsider manipulation by the way of policies. Bitcoin uses blockchain technology to verify and record transactions. The security of Bitcoin is guaranteed by cryptography from which the name cryptocurrency comes from The process of recording transaction in blocks is known as mining and it is carried out by miners. These miners are in turn rewarded with new bitcoinsBecause it was the first cryptocurrency it enjoys massive popularity and adoption by the public. Many vendors and businesses now accept payment for their goods and services. The value of Bitcoin has surged from below a dollar at the time of its release to almost $20,000 in December 2017. It is also the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization standing at 1464 billion as at 12th February 2018. EthereumEthereum is an open source peer to peer altcoin. It was proposed by Vitlik Buterin in 2012 and released in 2015. It is an online decentralized computing platform that gives developers the ability to develop smart contracts and decentralized applications that run on the Ethereum Virtual Machine(EVM). The smart contracts are able to execute themselves without human intervention. This makes them resistant to fraud, downtime, and other human-related shortcomings. This ability gives ethereum an advantage since it can be used in just about any sector. Ether is the cryptocurrency that powers the Ethereum platform. Unlike many other cryptocurrencies that are meant to be used for online trade anywhere on the internet, ether can only be used on the Ethereum platform. Although it can be considered a late entrant into cryptocurrencies it has grown to become one of the most popular cryptocurrencies. One unit of Ether was valued at $848 with a market capitalization of $82 billion. LitecoinLitecoin was developed shortly after Bitcoin. It has even been dubbed as the silver to Bitcoins gold. It was developed by Charlie Lee in 2011.lt is an open-source platform just like Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies, Litecoin is a peer to peer cryptocurrency. This makes it fully decentralized and beyond the reach of governments and other authorities. It has many similarities with Bitcoin, the first being that it was developed on blockchain just like Bitcoin. However, it processes blocks faster. It takes Bitcoin 10 minutes to process one block while Litecoin takes just 25 minutes. It also uses a different hashing algorithm to secure its coins. Being among the first cryptocurrencies it enjoys widespread popularity though not as much as Bitcoin. RippleRipple is a real-time payment platform that provides fast, cheap, secure and frictionless transfer of money. This platform has seen a lot of adoption, especially within the banking sector. These organizations use the ripple platform to bring down the cross-border transfer of money from several days to almost instant. Ripple is also the name of the company that develops the platform. The platform has its own digital token that is known as XRP. This is an open source decentralized token that can exist without the ripple company. As of 14 February 2018 this was one of the largest cryptocurrencies with its market capitalization standing at $39.9 billion MoneroMonero is an open source decentralized cryptocurrency developed in 2014. Monero was mainly developed to increase the privacy and anonymity in the cryptocurrency world. With most cryptocurrencies, the transactions can be traced to the seller and buyer. Monero aims at making transactions untraceable. This cryptocurrency uses ring structures to conceal the amount, destination, origin, and destination of transactions. This feature means that although transactions are recorded on a public ledger they cannot be traced. New units of Monero are created by mining. The increased privacy features of Monero have attracted criminal and illegal elements to use it IOTAIOTA is a data transfer and payment settlement platform. It is based on the directed acyclic graph. It uses a tangle ledger to validate and record transactions. This frees it from having to use blockchain technology like most cryptocurrencies.The tangle ledger is scalable giving it the ability to make nano payments. This platform does not have transaction fees.lt is aimed at the developing internet of things submarket. Many of the gadgets being developed and sold have the ability to collect data The owners of these gadgets usually do not have a use for such data On the other hand, developers may not have access to this data IOTA gives the developers the access the data, at the same time the owners of these gadgets can now monetize their data through IOTA. Cryptocurrencies have proved to be very useful developments in finance and other related fields. The focus has now shifted from if they will survive the test of time to their uses within and outside the finance sector. Other uses of blockchain technology are being explored by both public and private organizations.