Bitcoin, the leading digital currency by market capitalization, has grown in value by more than 10 times at certain points over the past year, but it has also seen significant plunges in value. Still, a number of cryptocurrencies have managed to come out on top. (See also: Bitcoin Price Takes Backstage as Altcoins Rally.)
To say that 2017/2018 has been a big year for digital currencies would not begin to do the industry justice. In the span of just months, digital currencies skyrocketed in value, interest, and number, only to see their values plummet once again, before leveling off. There are new digital currencies being launched to investors every week, and a hoard of blockchain-related startups have followed in their footsteps, often bolstered by major fundraising efforts through ICOs.
In the world of virtual currencies, fortunes tend to move up and down quickly. The space is dominated by volatility above many other factors. These are the largest digital currencies by market cap as of mid-July 2018.
Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency and it remains the go-to leader of the space. As of this writing, the market capitalization of the world's top digital currency is more than $125 billion, with a price per coin of more than $7,305.
There are roughly 17.1 million BTC in circulation, according to coinmarketcap.com. This is all in spite of earlier speculation about a Flippening, in which other digital currencies would permanently take over the No. 1 spot. That has yet to transpire. (See more: "The Flippening": Will Ethereum Take Bitcoin's Place?)
Ethereum, the digital token which prompted the rise of the initial coin offering (ICO), comes in second on our list of cryptocurrencies by market cap. It is significantly smaller than bitcoin; the current market cap is just shy of $50 billion, with a trading price of about $500 per token. There are just over 100.7 million ETH tokens in circulation as of this writing.
The No. 3 slot goes to the much-hyped Ripple, with a total market capitalization of more than $19.8 billion. Unlike the top two digital currencies (as well as the one directly following it), the price of each XRP token is very small. As of this writing, it's just over 50 cents per token. On the other hand, the total number of XRP in circulation is quite high. There are over 39 billion tokens in circulation now.
4. Bitcoin Cash
Bitcoin cash, the spin-off of bitcoin which launched as a result of a hard fork, comes in fourth in our ranking. The total market cap of this digital currency is about $14.5 billion, with a market price of $843 per coin and a total circulation of just over 17.2 million BCH.
Rounding out the top five is EOS, with a market cap of $7.83 billion and a total circulation of more than 896 million tokens.